There are many, many benefits to being in private practice as a psychiatrist. Certainly, a huge benefit is that you’ll likely make more money. And, in private practice, you have the ability to take the time to get to know your patients. Additionally, there will be fewer patients who really don’t want to be there. In private practice, there is time and space for continuing education, collaboration, and, well, everything.
But you’re also a business owner now. Therefore, you have new responsibilities you haven’t had to worry about before. Among the many new tasks you’ll have as a business owner, you have to think about marketing. Because you can’t help patients if they can’t find you.
A Website is a Powerful Marketing Tool for Private Practice Psychiatrists
It’s important to meet patients where they are. And in today’s day in age, that’s often online. Because most of your patients are probably looking for help online, you need to have a presence there.
But the truth is that as a private pay psychiatrist, your website needs to do more than just show up. It needs to have the right design to attract your clients’ attention. And then, it needs the right content to help them understand the value you offer.
SEO Helps You Reach The Patients Who Need You
In private practice, you have more choice in who you take on as patients and who you refer elsewhere. You know your skillset better than anyone else. And you know the populations you not only work best with but also find joy in serving. You got into this field to help people and to make an impact on the world of mental health. And your ability to practice most effectively is impacted by the fulfillment you find in your work.
So no, it is not unethical to target populations you’d like to work with. In fact, it is most ethical to cater to a population you feel skilled to serve. Search engine optimization (SEO) allows you to target your ideal clients online, which is why SEO should be an essential part of your marketing strategy.
SEO Tips for Psychiatrists
Do Keyword Research
Keyword research is the foundation of good SEO for most websites. But psychiatrists face a unique challenge. Most likely, you have two audiences: referral sources and potential patients. Both may be searching for different keywords. Therefore, it’s important to consider each audience when doing keyword research.
A good first step is to ask referral sources what they would search on Google when looking for a referral for a patient. Another good resource for keyword research is your existing patients. Take a look at your intake paperwork. Why are your clients coming to you for services? What are the trends among your patients’ concerns? This information can give great insight as to how your patients see themselves and their needs. In turn, indicating which keywords they would most likely search for online when looking for a psychiatrist, much like your potential clients you’ll be targeting on your website. The final keyword research opportunity is to use a keyword research tool. These can be extremely helpful, as they can help you find additional keywords you may not have even thought to track, but are frequently searched for in your area.
Popular Keywords for Psychiatrists
As a starting place, I’ll share some general keyword trends in the United States. However, know that it’s important to do your own keyword research for your specific area. As of April 1st, 2021, one of our keyword research tools, KWFinder, says the following keywords are searched for this number of times each month in the United States:
- Psychiatrist – 439,000
- Psychiatry Services – 2,200
- Psychiatric Medication – 2,500
- Medication for Depression – 8,5000
- Medication for Anxiety – 165,000
Once you’ve done your research, start to use keywords throughout your website.
Building backlinks is an essential part of a healthy SEO strategy. Backlinks refer to when someone sends a website user off of their website and onto yours using a link. When you work with other professionals in your community like therapists, primary care doctors, community nonprofits, or schools, you become a known and trusted name. Brainstorm entities and organizations that work with your ideal clients. These would be great relationships to form if they do not already exist.
Many large organizations have resource pages or directories on their websites. Here, you will find lists of businesses or professionals that a credible community organization supports. Typically, you can request to be put on a resource page or directory by emailing the organization or filling out a form. When your business gets listed on one of these pages, it shows both Google and website viewers that you are a quality resource to be trusted. However, there are many ways to build backlinks.
Create Individual Service Pages
Consider writing a service page for the specific types of psychiatry you really enjoy doing. Do you have specialized training in eating disorders? Then make sure you have a page on “Psychiatry for Eating Disorders.” Enjoy treating postpartum depression, anxiety, or OCD? It would make sense to have a service page on “Psychiatry for Moms.” Are many of your patients depressed? If so, create a “Medication for Depression” service page. We recommend that each of these pages have at least 500 words (2,000 is better if you’re up for writing that much!) of original content. Make great use of subheadings, include a direct call to action (Speak to a Psychiatrist About Your Depression in ______) and make sure to link to other pages of your site!
Blogging as a Psychiatrist
Blogging is an important part of a good SEO strategy. And there are many reasons to blog! Yes, search engine optimization is a key reason to blog because Google notices and likes consistently published fresh content. However, blogging also gives potential patients a sense of who you are, how you help people, and what being your patient would be like.
You may be thinking… “what do I write about?” Our SEO specialists recommend writing blog posts that answer typical questions your patients ask. You may also want to write blog posts talking about typical diagnoses you treat, but make it clear that a blog post can’t diagnose. Blogs can provide a wealth of information to patients about if you will be the best fit for their care.
Consider a Specific Page for Local Therapists & Primary Care Doctors
As a psychiatrist, the truth is that you have two audiences: potential referral sources and potential clients. Local therapists and primary care doctors who think their patients could benefit from your specialized knowledge about psychiatric medications will be looking for your services online. However, they are a very different audience than potential patients. These potential referral partners can handle a bit more technical jargon and will be asking specific questions. Therefore, we recommend you have a page on your site dedicated to these referral sources.
On the other hand, most of your content on your website needs to be targeted at your larger audience: potential patients. When these folks are finding your site, it’s probably not while they are at peak brain performance. Rather, it is most likely when they just had a panic attack, a breakdown, or at their wit’s end with their symptoms. They are probably scrambling to find help when they don’t know where else to turn. Likely, they’re looking for a psychiatrist during a quick lunch break or late at night when they can’t deal with insomnia any longer.
With that being said, as a psychiatrist, it’s essential that you have a page speaking directly to your hopeful professional referral sources. This page can be technical and you can speak as a professional. In regards to the rest of your website content, take into account what a “3 AM trauma brain” would be able to digest. Write for that state of mind. Your patients will appreciate it and likely find you very relatable.
Answer Common New Patient Questions
At Simplified SEO Consulting, we’ve found that FAQ pages are great for both your website viewers AND your SEO. Make a list of the questions new patients are likely to ask. If you have someone who answers new patient inquiries for you, check in with them about those questions. Then, add a few more you get during that first session. Now, write a 1-2 paragraph response to each of those questions.
I encourage you not to base the questions you use off what questions someone else answered on their page or some stock FAQ page. Instead, think about what pages your ideal clients are asking. Remember, we care about SEO, but we also want your website to help your clients. We want them to see that you would be a great resource for them. That you get them, relate to them. These are the things that will bring them through your doors.
Are you a Private Pay Psychiatrist?
We strongly recommend private pay psychiatrists have content on their website directly addressing their status as private pay. Maybe write a series of blog posts on the top advantages of working with a psychiatrist who is private pay. It’s ok to get slightly personal about how much you value face-to-face time with clients. Or about how you want to work for clients instead of insurance companies.
It’s also important to have a fees page on your website. Now, it’s up to you if you publish your specific fees. We’ve seen many private pay psychiatrists who do. However, this page is also a great place to address your reasons for being private pay. And, you can do so in a way that highlights the benefits for clients.
Ready to get Serious About Your Website SEO?
At Simplified SEO Consulting, we specialize in helping private practice therapists get their websites ranking on Google. Not only that, we help them stay at the top of Google too. Our SEO Specialists are passionate about getting your site in front of the clients you enjoy working with because we know that a solid therapeutic relationship makes all the difference in the world of mental health. To learn more about Simplified SEO Consulting and how we can help you get ranking, follow the steps below.
- Schedule a free 30-minute consultation call with us.
- Meet with one of our SEO Specialists to learn more about our packages and process.
- Get your website in front of your ideal patients!
SEO Services at Simplified
We offer a variety of services to help you along on your SEO journey. One of our most popular services is the Done For You SEO package. With this, you get to take a backseat while a skilled SEO Specialist takes point on your website’s SEO. On the other hand, we have DIY Online SEO Courses and a Done With You package if you’d like to become an SEO wizard yourself!
About the Author
Simplified’s founder, Jessica, and one of Simplified’s Mental Health SEO Specialists, Olivia, wrote this blog together. Both team members enjoy educating our clients about search engine optimization and how it can help private practices bring in clients that professionals are excited to work with!