middle age man at his computer looks frustrated writing content for SEO. He gets tips on readability and writing content for his private practice from SEO specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting

Readability 2.0: The Importance of Using Approachable Language

middle age man at his computer looks frustrated writing content for SEO. He gets tips on readability and writing content for his private practice from SEO specialist at Simplified SEO Consulting

I hear it all the time, “I hate writing content for my webpage.” I get it, as therapists you talk all day long for a living. You’re great at helping your clients. You’re well educated. And to put it simply, you know your stuff. Sometimes, having academic and clinical knowledge of the topic you’re trying to write about for your webpage, be it in the form of a service page or a blog post is hard and this may make you feel frustrated. Therefore, you may divert back to using the same language, words, and phrases you used while writing papers in grad school or perhaps while writing your doctoral dissertation. 

That language was great and very appropriate in the world of academia, but let’s face it, it’s hard for anyone outside of the mental health world to understand. When you write like this, you may run the risk of losing your prospective client’s interest and ultimately their business. 

An Important Part of Readability is Using Approachable Language

I don’t want writing content to feel even more intimidating. Just think about writing in the same way you would talk to a client. Using a less academic tone and replacing it with one that’s more conversational allows your client to really feel heard and create a sense of safety and trust long before they even step foot in your private practice.

Say It With Me: Readability Matters!

I’ve talked to you before about readability, and how important it is. But, just for grins, let me hop back on my soapbox for a moment. Readability is crucial in getting client conversions and maximizing the return on investment you’re making in your SEO. After all, we want your potential clients to understand what they’re reading with, what we like to call a “2 am trauma brain.” This simply means, would your reader understand what you’re saying when they’re in crisis and looking for mental health support. Likely if they’re searching for “anxiety treatment” or “help for depression,” it means something is wrong and they’re struggling. At that moment, they don’t want to decode (and likely Google search) complicated clinical terms. Yes, this rule applies, even if they’re well-educated.

Another really important part of appealing to your prospective client is to use language and phrasing that speaks directly to them. We want them to see themselves on your page. This allows them to not only see that you understand and can empathize with their struggles, but that you also have helped people who are dealing with similar concerns. So often when a person struggles with a mental illness, they feel as if they’re being swept under the rug or are just another diagnosis. Although I am confident you don’t treat them that way, it’s important that you convey that to them through the writing on your webpage.  

SEO Readability Tips for Appealing to Your Ideal Client:

1. Speak simply and avoid unnecessary clinical terms 

mature woman writes in her notebook planning content for her service page and working on her SEO for private practice. She gets help from an SEO expert at Simplified SEO consultingThis is pretty important. Yet, it’s what most of the professionals we work with struggle with. Why? Because let’s face it, grad school rewarded really complicated writing. It made your professors think you’re smarter. But it doesn’t help when it comes to writing content for your website.

Google prefers and ranks web pages better if they’re easy to read. So simple uncomplicated language is always better. My favorite example that I share with almost every single client I work with is: use the word ‘use’ instead of ‘utilize.’ The word utilize is a common example of a word that’s unnecessary and frequently used by almost every clinician. 

Another example is psychotherapy, it’s unlikely that your client would type that into Google when they’re having a full-on panic attack. They’re probably just going to use the word therapy or counseling.

2. Say “you, your family, or your child/teen” when talking about an issue.

Using words like “the client” or “an individual with ____ makes your page less personal. We want your ideal client to see themselves in your content.

Here’s an example: “When an individual struggles with anxiety they feel a variety of psychosomatic symptoms like racing heart, profuse sweating, nausea, trembling, etc.” This sentence could easily be simplified as personalized to read, “if you struggle with anxiety you may feel sometimes sweat for no reason, feel like your heart is beating out of your stomach, get nauseous, or tremble.”

Also, avoid over-usage of the word ‘we.’ For example, “when we experience trauma, it changes the way we view ourselves and our world.”  Instead, speak directly to your client and say something like “when you experience trauma it may change the way you see yourself and your world.”

3. Address your clients’ pain points.

If you’ve worked with any member of our Simplified SEO consulting staff you’ve heard us ask “what your ideal clients’ pain points?” During a planning meeting or an SEO training session. We ask this because it’s another way to address them directly and show your understanding of what they’re going through. 

Likewise, address their fears or uncertainty surrounding calling a mental health professional and asking for help. You know going to therapy for the first time is scary and makes them feel vulnerable, so empathize and reassure them that there’s nothing to fear.

Ready to Begin Optimizing Your Private Practice Website?

stylish woman in glasses holds a coffee and works on optimizing her private practice webpage. She gets SEO tips on readability from an SEO specialist at Simplified SEO ConsultingIf you’re ready to work with us and learn all our secrets, then please reach out and contact us, we’d love to talk your ear off and tell you all about the magical power of SEO. 

Follow these simple steps to begin optimizing your website, getting to the top of Google, and reaching your ideal client:

  1. Make an appointment for a free 15-minute consultation with a member of the Simplified SEO Consulting team
  2. Learn more about our SEO packages and training opportunities
  3. Start optimizing your webpage and watch your site rank better on Google!

Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting

The Simplified SEO Consulting team is passionate about providing SEO services for helping professionals and therapists. Our comprehensive SEO services are included in our Done for You SEO Service packages. Also, we offer alumni packages and al la carte SEO services. Our SEO staff provides several SEO training opportunities. including our “Top of Google” online course and 12 weeks of online video training. We also offer an SEO Strategy package to learn more about SEO and what you can do to rank better on search engines.

Contact Simplified SEO to learn more, or book a free SEO Consultation to decide which SEO service is best for your business. Our team looks forward to hearing from you!

Photo of Cory, our Content Coordinator who helps you write blogs for SEO and also offers 1:1 SEO TrainingAbout the Author:

Cory Moss is a Simplified SEO Consulting SEO specialist based in Kansas City.  In addition, she is our content coordinator and helps oversee all copywriting done for Simplified SEO Consulting clients.  She has a keen eye for detail and can spot a typo a mile away. Furthermore, she loves helping other people learn to do their own SEO and sometimes helps with our 12 week 1:1 SEO Training program.  As part of her Content Coordinator role, she specializes in working on readability for therapist websites. She really enjoys helping her clients get to the top of Google and attract their ideal clients.

Wanting to learn a lot about SEO quickly? Cory also wrote a Comprehensive Guide to SEO for Therapists that gives away many of our best optimizing tips for private practice owners!

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