In a previous post, it has been described how to use Alt text as an SEO strategy. I want to dive deeper into the secret power of using photos for SEO. The secret power of the alt text and photo titles is that it is mostly hidden. Headings, links, CTA/OS sections, and meta descriptions are all SEO strategies that are going to be seen by most, if not all, people that google and look at your website. While the alt text will be used for a screen reader it is not something that every person is going to read through. However, it will have some weight when trying to get a boost from SEO.
What information is beneficial when optimizing photos?
So how can you use the hidden tool to further your SEO? With therapy keywords and locations! If you have read any of our blogs then you have most likely read about the importance of keywords and locations in all areas of SEO optimization. Using them in photo optimization is a little different though.
First, let’s look at the starting point for SEO: keywords. You will most likely come across some keywords that you are not a fan of or do not fit the voice on your site. However, they might be keywords that your ideal clients utilize. Furthermore, these unfavorable keywords might help your SEO due to easy ranking power or high search volume. Take the keyword “counselor” for example. Maybe you have a strong preference for the term “therapist”. However, “counselor” might be easier to rank for or has a higher search volume in your area.
There is a way to help stay true to your voice without losing out on the SEO benefit of using “counselor”. It would still be important to utilize ‘counselor’ within the text of the page and in other SEO strategies whenever possible. However, the alt text and photo title will allow you to utilize it a lot more and thus leading to a higher ranking in google.
Locations For Potential Clients
Secondly, let’s look at locations that you want to target. It is common practice as an SEO specialist for therapists that I try to pinpoint specific locations by utilizing zip codes. At Simplified SEO Consulting during our Done-For-You program, our clients are asked to choose 6 to 9 zip codes they want to target. On a single page or blog post, you are not going to be able to include all of these zip codes in the text. Additionally, there will most likely be locations that you might want to include but do not want to focus on. In general, these types of locations include:
- Specific communities within your city
- Specific neighborhoods that have a local well known name such as talking about Ballard in Seattle
- Metro area (such as Houston area or Portland area)
- A general location within your state ( such as Mid Missouri or Northeast Kansas)
For the most part, using the above locations in headings and meta descriptions doesn’t work as well as using your specific city. That does not mean you have to lose out on targeting those key locations.
What areas should you utilize when optimizing photos?
When optimizing photos for SEO there are three areas that you should focus on. Compressing photos is the first step for photo optimization. Once a photo is uploaded the alt text and the photo title (alt title) are the focus areas for google. Thus, making them the hidden tools for SEO.
Choosing and Compressing Photos for Private Practice SEO
When it comes to photos optimization starts before you even upload them. The photos you put on your website need to be in sync with the style throughout your pages. Beyond that, the images need to send the right message to your clients. As well as complementing the topic of that page or post. In a previous blog post, it is thoroughly detailed why selecting the right photos is important.
There is a step between selecting photos and uploading them to a page that is beneficial for SEO. Compressing photos is an important step for SEO which is commonly missed. Uncompressed photos affect the loading speed of your website. Having just one uncompressed photo on your site might not show a noticeable change in speed. However, as you add more photos throughout your pages potential clients and google will notice the effects. Wondering why page speed is important for SEO? Read more about how page speed affects private practice SEO.
Step by Step Guide to Compressing
Compressing a photo isn’t as difficult as it can sound if you are unfamiliar with the process. One tool that we use and suggest is TinyPNG. It is a simple to use and effective image compressor website. Altogether compressing photos is a fairly simple two-step process.
- If given the option while downloading an image choose a medium size (px | 1600 x 1066).
- Download that image into a photo compressor online. Then redownload it.
After that the first part of optimizing your photos is complete! The additional areas for photo optimization begin after the image as been uploaded to a page.
Alt Text for Photos
At Simplified SEO Consulting we format alt text and photo titles differently. When optimizing the alt text it is important to start with a sentence describing the image. A fellow SEO specialist has previously detailed the importance of describing images in the alt text more in-depth. Following the description, the rest of the alt text can be sentences packed with keywords. Try to use two to three keywords in the alt text. Having at least one of those keywords as a long-tail keyword with a location. Using a combination of the top keywords you are trying to target on that page and the ones that fit the topic but are not utilized a lot throughout the text. Even if it will not fit with a keyword, include at least one location name. Whenever possible try to insert a zip code in as well along with the location name.
Examples of Alt Text Optimized for a Website for a Counselor, Psychologist or Psychiatrist
- Photo of a person taking a pill representing someone who has come to our Midtown Manhattan psychiatry office for depression and anxiety. Our psychiatrists provide medication management for mental health concerns including PTSD, bipolar disorder, lasting depression, panic attacks, and more for people living in New York City.
- Photo of a happy young black woman representing someone who has attended counseling for depression and is feeling excited about life after reducing her symptoms of depression. Our counselors provide help for depression at our office in Austin or to anyone throughout Texas through online counseling.
- A person talking in an office representing talking to a therapist or other mental health professional Maddison, WI.
- The word “ADHD” in colorful letters represents how the testing psychologists at our Jamestown, Rhode Island practice provide various types of psychological testing including testing for learning disabilities.
The photo title differs in that it doesn’t need to be in complete sentences. When working on search engine optimization for counselors I try to include the following items in the photo title:
- 2 to 3 words summarizing the image
- 1 long-tail keyword
- 2 to 3 short tail keywords
- 2 to 3 zip codes
I separate each of these components with a vertical bar ( | ) to help distinguish each keyword and zip code.
Examples of Photo File Names for Psychiatry & Counseling Websites
Here are a few examples:
- Happy Couple | Marriage Counseling After Affair | Denali, AK 99755
- Smiling Teen | Teen Counseling | Adolescent Therapy | Kapalua, HI 96761
- Diverse Group | Group Therapy for Addiction | Addiction Counseling | 85054 | 85357
- Prescription Bottles | Psychiatric Medication Management | Psychiatrist | 94809 | 95013
Final thoughts in regards to SEO for counselors
Using specific keywords and locations for photo optimization doesn’t mean you should not use them throughout the pages altogether. Photos do not replace the benefit of using keywords and locations in headings, links, meta descriptions, etc. However, they do give an added benefit especially when you don’t want those specific keywords and locations heavily used on your pages. Put the photos on your website to good use by adding alt text and photo titles.
Want help making the most out of your photos?
Are you a therapist who loves the idea of letting the photos on your website work for you? If you are unsure of where to start or do not feel like you have the time you have options! We provide SEO help for therapists. Our team of dedicated and skilled SEO specialists who are ready to help you reach your SEO goals. At Simplified SEO Consulting it is our passion to help get your website ranking in Google through SEO. Start follow these steps :
- Make an appointment with our Consult Team
- Take a look at our motivated team of SEO Specialists.
- Start learning how to build SEO for therapists.
Simplified SEO Consulting’s Other Services
There are several options for search engine optimization guidance at Simplified SEO Consulting. For those who want the most assistance and guidance, we offer Done for You SEO Service packages. If you are wanting to be more involved and learn how to do SEO for counselors yourself then one of our online courses or SEO training opportunities might be right for you. With limited time and positions look into our SEO Mastermind group which is a great training opportunity at a discount. Maybe you are looking for a more specialized package? We also offer a SEO strategy package for that. To get started, make an appointment with our Client Success Specialist today!
About the Author:
Winnie is part of the dedicated team at Simplified SEO Consulting. She works hard as one of our Mental Health SEO Specialists. Specializing in working with our clients who have picked our Done for You package.
She has a lot of passion for providing SEO help for therapists. If you’re ready to see how Simplified can serve you, schedule your next consultation. Speak with our Client Success Specialist to discuss how Winnie can support you on your SEO journey.