One of the biggest mistakes we see therapists and helping professionals make on their websites is simply not having enough content. We get it, you want to keep things simple. You might have a bulleted list of your services, a short “about me” section, and a contact form. Or, you might actually have a few service pages for each of your specialties. But each page only has about a paragraph.
You aren’t alone. Many, many mental health professionals have similar setups for their private practice website. But that’s the issue. You don’t have enough content to set you apart for potential clients OR for Google.
Google Wants to Know You’re a Mental Health Expert
When it comes to SEO, content is key! You want Google to recognize you as an expert on mental health, and particularly the areas of mental health you have particular expertise and training in.
Honestly, Google prefers to rank websites written by true experts higher on Google than random things written by people with just an interest in the topic. Expertise of the writer matters when it comes to SEO. But Google has to understand that you’re an expert. So, many of the most educated and experienced mental health clinicians just don’t rank very well on Google because Google simply doesn’t understand that they’re an expert or the value they bring to potential clients.
Google May Not Understand You’re a Mental Health Expert
If you only have a paragraph on your website about anxiety treatment, Google is going to think that you only know a paragraph’s worth about anxiety. If you have 500+ words on your “anxiety treatment” service page and then 3 or 4 blogs about anxiety too, Google is much more likely to recognize you as an expert on anxiety treatment. Which in turn means that Google is also more likely to rank you higher for search terms like “anxiety treatment”, “symptoms of anxiety”, or “anxiety counselor near me”.
Content Helps Demonstrate Your Expertise
So, one of the first things we do with our clients is bulk up their content! We work with mental health professionals to strategically add content to their website that really showcase their expertise, give value to potential clients, and communicate to Google when to put your website at the top of search results.
So, it’s important to have both service pages and blog posts on your website if you want Google to recognize you as an expert on mental health. Service pages help to demonstrate your expertise in a particular area, while blogs allow you to share your knowledge and experience in a more informal way that helps build up those service pages. Both are important for SEO purposes and should be used in conjunction with each other to maximize your visibility on Google.
However, we can’t optimize everything at once. So, we need a strategy. And generally, our team prefers to start with service pages and then move to blogs that compliment those service pages. When I tell clients this they often ask, “Which is more important, service pages or blogs?”. Which is the question I’m here to answer today!
Are Service Pages or Blogs More Important for SEO?
From an SEO standpoint, neither is “more important”. Well optimized content is well optimized content! Google doesn’t care if it’s in the form of a service page or a blog post. Both carry the same weight, when it comes to SEO. However, service pages and blog posts have different functions in regard to user experience.
Services Pages for Psychiatrists, Therapists, & Other Mental Health Professionals
If you’re a therapist, psychiatrist, or other helping professional, the people coming to your website are most likely potential clients. They are probably struggling with their mental health and looking for a solution. They’re interested in the services you provide, your experience, your approach to counseling, and who you are.
On a Private Practice Website, Service Pages Tell Clients What Counseling Services You Offer
Let’s say someone is struggling with anxiety and ADHD, and they want to know if you offer counseling related to those concerns. They are probably going to look at your service pages to find out, rather than your blog posts. If they find an “anxiety counseling” or “ADHD testing” page on your website, they’ll know that’s a service you offer and they’ll get a chance to read more about your services too.
Service Pages are Valuable for SEO and Clients too!
That’s why we always start with service pages before moving to blogging. Service pages are important because they tell potential clients what services you offer and what you specialize in. They also give potential clients more information on how depression counseling or EMDR can help them. There is a lot of great information you can pack into services pages. What can clients expect from therapy? Why should they see you instead of someone else? How do they know if it’s time for them to reach out?
Having service pages for your different specialties helps clients easily identify the services you offer. If there is enough content, it also shows Google that you’re an expert on those services. And if it’s well optimized content, then you are on track to start ranking higher on Google for search terms related to that content!
So Where do Blogs Come in on a Private Practice Website?
Let’s say you now have several amazing service pages for the different services you offer. You have at least 500 words on each page, content that is valuable for potential clients, and you’ve optimized the pages with keywords and location indicators. That’s amazing!
But, you check your rankings and see that you’re not on the first page of Google for the search terms you want. That’s where blogging comes in.
See, you can only build in so many keywords and location indicators into your service pages in a way that feels natural. It’s important to balance SEO with user experience. If you have content that is only there for SEO purposes with no regard to user experience, potential clients won’t be interested in it.
Blogs Compliment Your Service Pages
Blogging allows you to build in more of those SEO elements (and high quality content) to show Google that you are an expert on the services you offer. However, blogging isn’t just great for SEO. Writing blogs is a great way to give potential clients even more information on your approach and your expertise. They can also be a great resource for your current clients too!
If you want to rank well for “trauma therapy” then you’ll want to start by writing (and optimizing) a trauma therapy service page. But, you’ll also want to write at least 3 blogs related to trauma therapy too. For example, you might write a blog on the difference between trauma and PTSD. Or, maybe a blog on coping skills for traumatic memories.
Essentially, you want to write blogs that compliment your service pages to support the keywords those service pages are targeting. However you can always write on a topic that you’re passionate about, and add in the keywords later. Remember, blogging should be fun for you too!
Add Service Pages and Blogs to Your Private Practice Website to Build Your SEO
Now that you know the function of service pages and blogs, it’s time to get to work! If you already have a few service pages on your website, consider adding content to them. Or, if you already have some amazing services pages that are well optimized, it’s time to start blogging. And if after reading this you’re just wanting someone else to do it all for you, then reach out to our team!
Are You Struggling With the Content on Your Website? Our Mental Health SEO Specialists Can Help!
Many therapists and helping professionals are too busy to handle their SEO. You might have time to write a great service page, but have no idea how to optimize it. That’s where we come in! At Simplified SEO Consulting, we offer a variety of SEO services to help mental health professionals rank higher on search engines. Our team of Mental Health SEO Specialists can optimize your website for you, so you can get back to the work you’re best at! If you’re interested in learning more about our SEO services, you can follow these simple steps:
- Schedule a free 30-minute video consultation with one of our Mental Health SEO Specialists
- Learn more about how our SEO services can help you get connected with your ideal clients
- Watch your website climb to the first page of Google through the power of SEO!
Our team can’t wait to meet you and give your practice the tools it needs to thrive!
Additional SEO Services f0r Therapists
We don’t just offer Done-For-You SEO services at Simplified SEO Consulting. For those who are interested in learning how to optimize their own website, we offer training options to! With our 12-Week SEO Intensive program you’ll receive one-on-one training from one of our team members! Or, you can learn SEO in a group of other helping professionals through our Small Group SEO Intensives. We also offer DIY Online SEO Courses on a variety of SEO techniques if you want to learn SEO on your own. Our team is honored to be a part of your business journey, no matter what services are best for you. If you want our advice on which option may be the best for your business, you can always schedule a free consultation with one of our team members!
About the Author
Kaite Ritchie is our Administrative Assistant, Alumni Specialist, and a Mental Health SEO Copywriter at Simplified SEO Consulting. She has had a passion for mental health since college, when she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. During that time she also worked as an Intake Coordinator for our founder, Jessica Tappana, at her private practice! During her time as an Intake Coordinator she got to see first-hand what a big impact SEO can have on a private practice. Now Kaite uses her experience to help mental health professionals across the nation get connected with their ideal clients through SEO! She enjoys writing blog posts for counselors that both deliver great content to potential clients, and improve their SEO. You can schedule a free consultation with Kaite to learn more about our SEO services!