SEO is an investment. It’s certainly a worthwhile investment for private practice websites, and compared to other options such as “pay-per-click” ads, SEO has much more longevity. Nonetheless, it’s a big investment, and as a small business owner it’s important that you get the best ROI possible. This is why I’m writing this blog today, to ensure that you’re taking these considerations and steps into account to get the most out of your investment!
Embrace Your Niche as a Therapist
As an SEO business that primarily works with therapists, we know that therapists do their best work when they work with their ideal clients. But having a niche, or rather embracing your niche, isn’t only beneficial to having a fulfilling career as a therapist. Having a niche is also beneficial to SEO!
See, the more focused you are on a specific service (or related set of services) the easier it will be to improve your rankings for that service.
Let’s dive into what this looks like. If you want to rank for anxiety therapy, trauma therapy, therapy for depression, couples therapy, and family therapy you’re going to have much more competition. And as a result, it’s going to take more time and effort to improve your rankings for such a wide range of services. However, if you really enjoy working with couples (or even couples and families) you can concentrate your SEO efforts on these services and ranking for keywords related to these services.
Now, having a niche is not essential to improving your SEO. We work with many group and solo practices that offer a wide range of services. In fact, our founder’s group practice specializes in a fairly wide range of therapy services. However, it will take more time and effort to have consistently high rankings for a wider range of services. So we suggest that you take this into consideration when beginning your SEO journey.
Create a Private Practice Website with your Ideal Client in Mind
The primary goal of SEO is to allow more clients to find your website in search results by improving your online rankings. And once clients click on your website, you want them to reach out if they are indeed your ideal client. This is why it’s so important that your website speaks to your ideal client.
There are many things to keep in mind when creating (or editing) your website to speak to your ideal client. The content on your service pages, the blogs you’re posting, the photos you use, and your overall web design are all ways you can tailor your website to your ideal client. This is one of the reasons that writing quality content is so important! And, why we recommend writing your content in a similar way that you speak to your clients. On that note, let’s talk about how you can write content that’s really relevant to your ideal client.
Write Quality Blog Posts
Blogging is a really great SEO tool since it allows you to display your expertise on a certain topic, while also building in keywords and location indicators naturally into the content on your website. However, blogs are not just for SEO! Blogging allows you to answer common questions clients have, discuss issues that are relevant to them, and give prospective clients a glimpse into what it may be like to work with you as a therapist. For example, if you specialize in anxiety therapy then you may write blog posts on navigating social anxiety, what to expect from anxiety therapy, or your favorite tips for coping with panic attacks.
When you use blogging correctly, it’s a great tool for private practice websites.
It’s not uncommon for our clients to write (and optimize) such great blogs that they become some of the most highly trafficked pages of their website! This goes to show how important it is to write blogs that are valuable to your ideal clients. We recommend posting at least 2-3 blogs each month to keep up with a consistent blogging strategy. But remember, quality over quantity always!
Pay Attention to Local SEO
A large part of our process is what we call “on-page” SEO. This refers to optimizing the content on the pages of your website itself. However, “off-page” SEO is also a really important piece of an effective SEO strategy, and often it gets overlooked. There are many different “off-page” SEO tactics, such as creating and keeping up with a Google My Business profile, building quality backlinks, and making sure your NAP information (name, address, and phone number) is consistently listed across the web.
Many of these off-page SEO tactics are related to local SEO, which as it sounds, is helping Google understand where your practice is located so you show up more consistently in local search results.
It’s generally not “enough” to simply add your address to your website, especially in highly competitive areas. Because of this, it’s important to take additional steps to show Google where you’re located. To help people understand this, I often explain that Google may not be as smart as you think it is. That is why we want to make sure your location is super obvious. This means getting your NAP information listed on relevant online directories and optimizing your GMB profile.
However, there are also ways you can (and should) do this on the pages of your website themselves. You can add your address to the footer of your website, refer to your location in your service pages and blogs, and write blog posts that reference local spots. For instance, if you specialize in couples therapy then you could write a local date night guide.
Simply put, if you can find a way to naturally incorporate your location into your content, please do so!
Make Sure Your Private Practice Website is Technically Sound
Now, I’ve left this point for last because many people find the technical parts of SEO to be the least fun. But, it is important.
If you landed on a website and the pages took a long time to load and the links you clicked on didn’t take you anywhere, you would probably leave the website. That website could be just what you were looking for, but if it had technical errors that made it difficult to use, you’re probably not going to spend much time on it. This is why it’s so important that your website is technically sound.
So make sure you are considering your page speed, technical errors like broken links, and the overall ease that you can navigate your website with!
These Steps Can Help You Make the Most of Your SEO Investment as a Therapist
Whether you invest time into SEO by learning how to optimize your own website or you invest money by outsourcing your SEO, it’s important that you make the most of it. So make sure you aren’t neglecting an important piece of the process such as local SEO or creating a website that’s easy to navigate. Right now it may seem like a lot, but remember that you don’t have to do it all at once!
Step by step you can create an amazing and well-optimized website to reach more of your ideal clients.
Need Support Optimizing Your Private Practice Website?
At Simplified SEO Consulting, we offer a variety of SEO services to help mental health professionals rank higher on search engines. Whether you want to learn how to optimize your website with one of our online courses or training options, outsource your SEO with our Done-For-You SEO program, or combine SEO with a bit of fun through our Hawaiian Digital Marketing Experience.
Additional SEO Resources for Therapists
If you’re still dipping your toes into SEO and want to learn a bit more, we have several resources available that you can take advantage of. You can start with our free 7-day SEO email series. Or, you can check out our other blogs on SEO as well to gather more information on how SEO can benefit your practice!
About the Author
Kaite Ritchie is our Done-For-You SEO Coordinator at Simplified SEO Consulting, and as part of that role, she helps our clients make the most of their SEO investment. However, Kaite also worked as an Intake Coordinator for our founder’s private practice for several years. During that time she gained a unique experience that allows her to better understand what clients are looking for in a website, and what often leads them to reach out. Through her combined experience as an Intake Coordinator and SEO Coordinator, she understands what a big difference SEO can make for therapists!
You can schedule a free consultation with Kaite to learn more about our SEO services, and which may be right for you.