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DIY v. DWY v. DFY: How to strategically choose your SEO investment

Danica here, Simplified’s Chief Operating Officer and primary SEO trainer. Perhaps you’ve heard me say before that you have the opportunity to choose how you approach SEO. SEO is an investment of time, money, or a blend of both. But, what do I mean by that? Let’s break it down:

Time Intensive: DIY SEO Options

Learn SEO totally on your own! There are approximately a million SEO resources and tools available for anyone to comb through, digest, and then apply. Some cost money and some are free SEO resources. Some are therapist-focused, and many aren’t. The scope of these resources is vast. Google considers over 200 different ranking factors when determining how to position a single page in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). When learning SEO on your own, you have to determine where to focus your attention and efforts. You can dive into on-page SEO, technical SEO, Local SEO, black hat SEO, and so much more. There is an abundance of information available in various formats on the web and beyond. At this point, you could probably even ask an AI tool like Chat GPT or Bard to create an SEO strategy for your website! (That would certainly be a lot easier than what Jessica did to learn how to do her own SEO for her private practice therapy website.) Of course, I can point out the many, many downsides of using this strategy. When I say “time intensive” I mean it. The SEO literature available these days is vast, complex, and often contradictory. Remember the list of different types of SEO techniques I provided above? They all have a different lens and purpose. So, finding the right mix for your website will take time, energy, patience, and a lot of trial & error. If you’re ready to take that on, enjoy! Feel free to start with our SEO blog posts and free 7-day SEO email course.

Take a DIY SEO Course Online

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While still an “unguided” and static option, taking an SEO online course can still save you a ton of time. SEO courses condense the research and recommendations available at the time of their creation. They provide more focused information for you to move through and apply to your website. Of course, I recommend our comprehensive online SEO course for therapists, private practice owners, therapist consultants, mental health professionals, birth workers, SLPs, and other helpers. In January 2023, this DIY SEO training course was overhauled to include more than 10 hours of teaching, examples, and advice from our team of SEO experts. It was already an awesome resource for DIYers, but now it is even better! Of course, you have lifetime access to this course after purchasing, so you’ll be the first to have any future updates as the world of SEO continues to change and evolve. (Note: This online DIY SEO course is also included in some of our Done-With-You SEO Training options, discussed below)

“More Significant Investment”: Done-For-You SEO Options

On the other end of the spectrum is a Done-For-You SEO program. This approach relies on SEO experts to determine the best way(s) to boost your website’s SEO during a contracted period of time. (Hot tip: If someone tells you you’ll need to pay them to do your SEO forever, we recommend moving on to someone else…that’s not how we see it!) Done-For-You SEO appeals to folks for many reasons including convenience, quality, and saving your precious brain space!

When you delegate, you want to know that you are in the best possible hands. So, determining how to choose a company to trust with your SEO strategy is certainly not something to take lightly. If you are considering working with our Done-For-You SEO program, we have a thorough page detailing the ins and outs. There are also quite a few blog posts about SEO Investment and what to expect with Done-For-You SEO. Basically, we believe in transparency and trust throughout the Done-For-You SEO process. Since this is our most expensive SEO option, we want you to feel confident that your investment is taken seriously.

Getting the Most Out of Your Done-For-You SEO Program

One important thing to know is that the Done-For-You SEO option with us is NOT completely hands-off. Since our SEO strategy is based on on-page optimization, we need your voice included. We need your words. Your stories. The examples and perspectives that only you can provide! I often get questions about this and want to be sure I’m clear. We CAN do great things for your SEO without your input, but it isn’t going to maximize your SEO investment. For example, if we write the copy for your website, we want to meet with you and/or get some content (bullet points, video, audio, thorough answers to one of our copywriting questionnaires) from you to work with. Then, our incredible copywriter can put together a service page or blog post that is written with your ideal client in mind. Even if you come to our Done-For-You program with your copy completed, we still may ask for a little more content in order to truly connect with your ideal client where they are already looking for you on the web. This is how to get the most out of the Done-For-You SEO program with Simplified SEO Consulting.

“Blend of Both”: Done-With-You SEO Training Options

Finally, for those who find themselves in the middle of this continuum, let’s talk about SEO training! This is one of my favorite SEO options and the foundation of Simplified SEO Consulting. As I mentioned before Jessica Tappana, founder of Simplified and private pay group therapy practice owner, taught herself SEO to maximize her marketing impact. Then, she started training her friends and colleagues when they asked her how she did it. Meanwhile, I was busy building my birth business and working at our local University as a program director and Adjunct Faculty member. After major life changes and a global pandemic, I get to now spend my days supporting our incredible team of SEO experts and training practice owners around the world to boost their private practice websites with SEO. While I’m a strict instructor, it is because I truly want trainees to get the most out of this experience. Whether through our private SEO training or as part of the Small Group SEO training cohort, I truly believe participants can do their own SEO effectively. Guided SEO training allows you to do so most strategically with support and accountability.

12-Week SEO Training Intensive

Our private, 12-Week, SEO Training Intensive is completely customized to the needs of the individual doing the training. This is the magic of this SEO training option. While I have a general outline of how the weeks can go, that is often thrown out the window in order to focus on what the practice most needs. As I mentioned earlier, you get lifetime access to the comprehensive DIY SEO course and can move through as quickly as you’d like. This option allows you to take the most control over your SEO journey, with maximum support and guidance.

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My approach to training is one of individualization and strategic personal (and professional) development. I’ve been known to call what we do “therapy for websites”. This is absolutely true in SEO training, with training alums calling the process “transformative”. The most successful trainees have had intrinsic motivation to move through the concepts. Then, they apply SEO to as much of their website as possible during and after our time together. Of course, you can read all about this on our 12-Week SEO Intensive Training page, but I want you to know what you’re getting into. This option generally requires at least two hours of dedicated work between your sessions. This is separate from the online self-guided SEO course, so you can apply the concepts. Then, we can use our sessions to review your data, review your work with my live editing, answer questions that have come up along the way, and introduce new concepts. Training sessions tend to fly by, so the more you can do outside of our time together the better. SEO training is like the approach most therapists and helping professionals take with their clients: the more you put into the process, the better your outcomes will be. The only downside of this program is that while you have the benefit of my expertise and experience, you would need to find your own colleagues or others to bounce ideas off of. That’s where the Small Group SEO Intensive comes in!

SEO Training in a Small Group Format

Each semester for the last couple of years, we have offered SEO training in a small group format. As a former professor, you know I love this! It’s group accountability and support without the “group work” pressures that many of us are scarred from in academia. (Come on, you know what I’m talking about!) Like the 12-Week SEO Training Intensive, the Small Group SEO Intensive uses the comprehensive DIY SEO course. This allows each participant to learn the SEO concepts at their preferred pace. Small group Mastermind sessions allow for more concrete instruction and application of these concepts. I also spend time answering questions and using participant sites as examples. Between sessions, participants are encouraged to find coworking times and connect with each other to swap ideas. They even sometimes swap blog posts for ethical backlink building! Since we spend an entire semester working through this course, the time commitment can be spread out if needed. Again, all Small Group SEO participants will get out of the experience what they put into it. Those who have been most successful attend all sessions (or review the recording right after), actively participate, do the work between sessions, and ask thoughtful questions. The “syllabus” is rigorous, but worth it! I truly love this program and believe this hybrid education model has the potential to revolutionize the SEO training space. This is also the place where I tend to test out new SEO concepts for folks who want to be a part of the ever-evolving world of SEO trial and pivot. So, it’s a great opportunity to be on the cutting edge of SEO for therapists and mental health websites.

You CAN Learn How to do SEO, If You Want

Phew. Would you believe that was my attempt to keep this short? True story. I could talk about this for days. It’s that important, and I’m so passionate about helping our clients connect with their ideal clients in a way that makes sense for them. Therapists, counselors, birth workers (doulas, midwives, CNMs, etc.), speech-language pathologists (SLP), coaches, mental health consultants, and other helping professionals…the list goes on and on. The final thing I say all the time is “we don’t work with dummies!” You CAN learn to do your own SEO, if you want to. That’s what Simplified SEO Consulting is all about. While learning SEO isn’t easy, we try to make it simple for you. If you want to hear more about who these options are best for, check out the webinar Jasmine and I did last week about SEO Training for Therapists. Then, if you’re ready to talk with one of us about which option will fit your needs best, fill out a pre-consultation application to meet with us! We want to find the best fit for your website’s SEO and maximize the investment you choose to make.

A woman working on a computer with a headset on smiling. Want to learn about SEO and how it impacts a business. We can teach you about SEO and it being an investment to you.

About the Author

Danica Wolf, MSW, is the Chief Operating Officer of Simplified SEO Consulting. She is also the primary trainer for SEO clients who want to learn how to boost their own website SEO. With years of experience as a professor and instructor, and almost two decades of public speaking experience, Danica loves helping to motivate and inspire learners. As a lifelong learner herself, Danica loves diving into SEO concepts and exploring strategic ways to create content creatively. Helping the helpers meet their ideal clients where they are already searching is one of her favorite ways to spend the workday! You may see Danica on Simplified’s social media, working at the Simplified table at a therapist conference, or during one of our Zoom webinars. Be sure to say hi, and ask questions about how to best meet your business goals. She’d love to meet you!

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