The Guide to SEO Strategy for Therapists During Covid 19: Part 2
Developing a new SEO strategy during Covid-19
If you’re like many private practices, you’ve noticed a dip in new client inquiries during the Covid-19 pandemic. You’re wanting to focus some on marketing but aren’t sure how. First of all, I recommend checking out Part 1 of this Comprehensive SEO guide where we addressed SEO as a long-term marketing strategy during Covid-19 and gave you our first few tips.
The truth is, we need to make adjustments in various areas of our business. SEO is one of those areas. Many of these tips are always good, but especially important to check on during this unique time.
Let’s go ahead and dive into some more strategies for working on SEO and using your website to market your services right now.
Update Google My Business
Google My Business and SEO go hand in hand. In general, a complete Google My Business listing will help you rank better on Google, and excellent SEO will help your listing be shown more in those top three. So, now is a great time to update your Google My Business listing! Add a note about how you’re offering online services, update your hours, etc. Show Google that you’re staying up to date and make sure the information clients find is accurate.
Focus on Conversions
There are fewer people searching for our services now during covid-19. Therefore, it’s more important than ever that you convert the clients who do find you in search results! The two areas to look at are improving your click-through rate (the number of people who “click” on your link when you show up in search results) and improving conversions to client inquiries when people are on your page.
To improve your click-through rate, I recommend taking a look at your meta descriptions. Make sure they are compelling and accurately describe what the person will find when they follow the link to your page.
To improve the conversions when someone does land on your page, take a look at your website design. Now is a great time to tweak your website design. Make sure you have a clear “call to action” button in the top right-hand corner like, “Schedule an intake” or “Call now.” If you’re considering a complete website redesign, you can take a look at our therapist resource page for a few designers we’ve worked with in the past.
Update Pages on Your Site People will Need Later
Consider updating pages right now you think might be relevant in the future with changes that have happened due to Covid-19. In other words, plan ahead for the searches people will be looking at. Another article I read this week agrees with this strategy of thinking of the future when determining our SEO strategy right now. It’s easy to just get reactive and make changes to a website out of fear and reaction to he changing market. However, it’s so important to be strategic and forward-looking when making changes!
How my private practice has anticipated future client needs
A therapist in my practice who does a lot of work around grief decided to use this time to get trained in an evidence-based trauma therapy she’s been eyeing. Why? Because she knows that coming out of this, there will be a lot of complicated, traumatic grief. There will be people who said goodbye to a loved one over the phone, family members who didn’t have the closure a funeral provides, and hospital staff who witnessed death.
Along those same lines, our practice decided it’s time to update/rewrite our grief page! I met with one of my clinicians to discuss this. Now, she’s working on a rough draft of what that will look like. Then, naturally, I’ll do the SEO work for it so we don’t lose our ranking when it’s rewritten. But it will be written with conversion in mind so that when people realize they need help processing the grief from the loss they’re experiencing now, they’ll see how we can help.
Nurture your audience
I think another thing to think about right now is the importance of building up trust with your community and audience. Even if people aren’t ready to actually call and begin therapy right now, you can begin to at least build positive associations in your community with the name of your practice.
For example, tonight I participated in a virtual telethon for our community relief efforts. I spoke about using grounding to cope with Covid related anxiety. Do I expect any calls off of that? Probably not right away. However, I’m hoping that people will begin to associate my practice name with helping the community. It’s planting seeds.
At some point in the future, people will look for counseling. When they do and see the name of my practice show up in search results they’ll think, “Oh, I’ve heard good things about Aspire.” They may not even remember what those specific “good things” were, but the positive association is there.
Other options for this include sending short, helpful information to your mailing list, giving mental health tips on social media and sharing the blog posts you’ve been writing.
Make sure your website is fast
Internet is being used in record numbers now during Covid-19. In many cases, people are overwhelming their internet. I spoke to another therapist who recently upgraded their internet speed at home and have it on my “to do” list to look into that for my own house this week. What does this mean for potential clients looking for our services? Their internet is already slower, so if technical issues are slowing down your site not only will it hurt your SEO, but may be even more frustrating to your clients than usual!
I recommend everyone puts their website through Google PageSpeed Insights from time to time. I’ll warn you right now that the results can be a little hard to understand. Therefore, you may just want to take a screen shot of your results and their suggestions, e-mail that to your website developer and ask what of these things they’d recommend targeting to improve your score.
Link building is always an important strategy for SEO. I feel like I touch on this topic all the time. But, that is because building backlinks is effective. So, I’ve written several blog posts about this, talk about it 1:1 with SEO clients frequently and it’s often a topic of my weekly “Facebook Lives” in our closed FB group for clients.
What can you do to build backlinks right now? Getting on relevant directories is always a good strategy. And I’m often talking to therapists about guest blogging. But I think one of the biggest opportunities right now is being featured in the media. So, reach out to your local papers and TV stations and offer to be a source. Respond to some HARO inquiries. Offer to be on a local radio show. Participate in a podcast interview. People know mental health is important right now. And, when you serve as a source in these situations they will typically link back to your website in the online article or show notes.
SEO Training During Covid-19
For many of you, now is a great time to learn to optimize your own website. Investing that time to learn to manage your own SEO now can pay off for years ahead. I highly recommend our online SEO courses if you’re looking for a really affordable option. If you want more personalized support, you might consider our one-on-one 12-week SEO intensive. Or you can e-mail me at jessica@simplifiedSEOConsulting.com and let me know if you want to be included in a brief 4-week SEO mastermind we are considering. Lastly, if you’re just looking for a quick SEO strategy session or are an alumni looking for a quick update, we do offer those as well.
If you’re ready to dive in and learn search engine optimization, we’re here to help.
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