How to Write Meta Descriptions for Your Blog Posts: A Guide for Psychiatrists, Therapists & Mental Health Providers
Meta descriptions can be a valuable asset for your blog posts. Why? Because they are one of the first things people see when they do a search engine results page (SERP) search. A well-written meta description can entice people to click on your post, which can result in more website traffic and better SEO. In this blog post, we will discuss how to write effective meta descriptions for your blog posts. We will also provide some helpful tips and examples.
As a therapist, you likely have a wealth of knowledge and experience that you can share with others. Blogging is a great way to share that information. And I’ve often talked about the benefits of blogging regularly both for your SEO as well as for your clients. Therefore, I often talk about blogging when I’m teaching mental health providers to manage their own SEO. And I often talk about meta descriptions when I talk about SEO. However, someone recently pointed out that most of the examples I share are related to service pages so I thought we’d chat a bit about meta descriptions for mental health related blog posts.
What is a meta description?
A meta description is a brief summary of a web page or document that appears on the SERP below the title. Meta descriptions are typically between 150-155 characters long. The main purpose of a meta description is to briefly explain what the page is about and help people decide if they want to click on your result or not.
How do I write a meta description?
The first step is to identify the main keyword or phrase for the blog post that you want to target. Once you have your keyword, you’ll want to include it in your meta description. In addition to your keyword, you’ll also want to make sure that your meta description is clear, concise, and interesting. You want people to know what they’ll be reading about if they click on your blog post, and you also want to entice them to do so!
Here are some tips for writing effective meta descriptions:
– Use your keyword(s) early on in the meta description
– Keep it under 155 characters
– Write in complete sentences
– Make it interesting and compelling!
You can read more that I’ve written about why (here) & how to specify a meta description (here).
Why isn’t Google using the meta description I wrote in SERP results?
There are a few reasons why your meta description may not be appearing in SERP results. One reason could be that your meta description is too long- remember to keep it under 155 characters.
Another reason is simply that the exact keyword the person is searching for wasn’t in the meta description you wrote, but you did use that exact phrase somewhere else on the page. In this case, you can expect Google to pull a random sentence from somewhere on the page that happens to use that exact phrase.
A final reason could be that Google didn’t think your meta description was as relevant or interesting as some of the other results on the SERP, so they chose to display a different result above yours. This is why it’s important to not only use your keyword(s) in your meta description, but also to make sure that the meta description is interesting and relevant!
It’s frustrating when you take time to write what you believe to be the PERFECT meta description (includes keywords, accurately summarizes the page & is interesting) but know that it’s common. And while we can influence what Google shows, we can’t ultimately can’t control Google.
Does a meta description directly impact SEO?
Essentially, Google has said the meta description does not directly impact your SEO. However, it is still an important part of your on-page optimization and you should still use keywords you think your ideal clients are searching for. Google does see what you’ve written, and not using keywords in your meta descriptions could result in Google using a random sentence in the middle of the page when your blog post shows up in search results.
In short, yes, you should still be writing meta descriptions for your blog posts!
A well written meta description improves your “click through rate.”
The click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of searchers who click on your result in the SERP. A higher CTR means more traffic to your website, and a lower CTR could mean that your result wasn’t as relevant or interesting as the other results on the page.
So, having a well written meta description greatly improves the chances Google will show what you’ve written in search results which will result in more clicks to your website.
While we can’t control everything that Google does, we can influence it. And one way to do that is by writing interesting & relevant meta descriptions for our blog posts.
Examples of Meta Descriptions for Mental Health Websites
Now, for the part of the blog you’ve probably been waiting for. The examples! I’ve provided a few different examples of meta descriptions for mental health blog posts below.
Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Trichotillomania | Chino Anxiety Specialists
Meta Description: From its causes and symptoms, to treatment options and all the questions in between, this post tackles every aspect of trichotillomania.
A Simple Guide to Common Antidepressants | Blue Skies Psychiatry
Meta Description: A psychiatrist from Billings, MT explains commonly used antidepressants. This is a must read for everyone taking an antidepressant.
Busting Myths About PTSD: Thoughts From a Trauma Therapist in New York City
Meta Description: While trauma & PTSD are often discussed, everything you hear may not be true. Get your PTSD questions answered from a NYC trauma therapist.
How Alcoholism Impacts the Entire Family | Miami Family Therapy
Meta Description: Alcoholism affects every member of the family. A therapist discusses exactly how alcoholism impacts the entire family in this helpful guide.
Setting Your Marriage Up for Success: Lessons from a Marriage Counselor | Woodlands Christian Relationship Center
Meta Description: Curious how premarital counseling can help set your marriage up for success? Learn how this Texas, Christian counselor helps & lessons taught
Bipolar Disorder: All Your Common Questions Answered | Charleston Comprehensive Mental Health Care
Meta Description: This blog post dives into the most common questions our psychiatrists, therapists & case managers are asked about bipolar disorder.
Support For Optimizing Your Mental Health Website
If you need help optimizing your website for mental health SEO, Simplified SEO Consulting is a SEO business exclusively serving psychiatrists, counselors and other helpers. We offer a range of services including SEO training, DIY courses & “done for you” services. Our training program includes ongoing small group intensives and an in depth, customized 1:1 SEO training program. Right now, we’re most excited about the Fall cohort of our small group intensive starting and an upcoming kind of unique thing we are doing which is our blogging for SEO mastermind and cruise retreat that will take place this winter.
Upcoming Unique Opportunity Related to Blogging & SEO
In December, our group will meet weekly (except for the week of Christmas) to support one another as we write blog posts that will help improve SEO and serve our ideal clients. Then, January 6-9, 2023 we’ll be going on a 3 day cruise in the Bahamas. In addition to having fun, we’ll be spending time talking about SEO strategy and optimizing our blog posts. You’ll have personalized, in person support from our founder as well as our director of SEO as you write meta descriptions for your blogs, optimize your subheadings, do additional keyword research, write sections to highlight your expertise for Google and so much more!
However, we do want to keep this group small so we can really get to know one another and give everyone lots of individualized support! So, reach out to us ASAP. You can do so by emailing me (Jessica) directly at email@example.com if you want more information or are ready to join!
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