You know, increasing your online presence would help you grow your small business. The truth is people look for service-based businesses online these days. And you want to show up. But when it comes to optimizing your website for search engines, you may find yourself struggling with one of the most basic steps – keyword research.
You’re not alone in finding it overwhelming or confusing to figure out what words to use on your website. Let’s take a closer look at why keyword research is so hard and what you can do to overcome the challenges.
What is Keyword Research & How Does it Relate to SEO for Therapists?
Keyword research is the process of identifying the words and phrases that people use to search for information online.
Think about the last time you searched for something online. For example, this morning, I searched online for “things to do with kids in Chicago” because I’m considering a family vacation there. The “keyword” in that scenario was “things to do with kids in Chicago.” In other words, keywords are what you type into a search engine.
Keyword research is all about trying to figure out what keywords people are typing in when your website should be ranking. It’s about figuring out the keywords your ideal clients are typing into Google.
The Importance of Keyword Research for Small Businesses
For small businesses, having a strong online presence can be a very important part of marketing. Keyword research allows you to understand the language your target audience uses to search for information related to your business and tailor your website content accordingly. By using the right keywords, you can improve your website’s ranking on search engines, increase traffic to your site, and, ultimately, drive more business.
Keyword Research for Health Professionals
As a mental health and/or healthcare professional, your website serves as an important tool to attract new clients/patients and provide information about your practice. But with so much competition in the online space, it can be difficult to stand out.
Keyword research can help you to identify the terms that potential new clients or patients are searching for when looking for your services. By optimizing your website content with these keywords, you can increase the likelihood of appearing at the top of search results and attracting new clients/patients to your practice.
Common Challenges of SEO for Therapists & Keyword Research
While keyword research is a critical step in optimizing your website for search engines, it’s not always an easy task. In fact, I firmly believe it is the single most difficult thing that we teach new clients and/or staff. It often takes months before our staff or training clients fully understand the nuances of keyword research. And this is why you see us writing so many blog posts, doing webinars, and including long sections about keyword research in our online courses. We know it’s challenging. And we want to help practice owners every step of the way.
Here are some common challenges that small business owners face when conducting keyword research:
Challenge #1: Finding the Right Keywords
One of the biggest challenges of keyword research is identifying the right keywords to target. With millions of potential search terms out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Furthermore, not all keywords are created equal – some are more competitive than others, and some may not even be relevant to your business.
And often, the words we would use as a professional aren’t the same keywords an average person looking for our services might use. For example, the first time I was asked what keywords my clients would be searching for I confidently said, “Prolonged Exposure.” This is an evidence-based PTSD treatment I had extensive training and experience in and knew to be really effective. However, the truth is that this search term has hardly any search volume meaning very few people are actually searching for it. While those searching for it *may* have been my ideal client (or another professional researching that treatment), I’m going to find a lot more of my ideal clients by targeting keywords related to trauma or PTSD.
And, there’s the added struggle that often the most searched-for terms are also the more competitive. Meaning the more people are searching for a term, the more websites tend to target that term. So, aiming to rank for the most searched keywords isn’t always the best strategy because it’ll be so hard to make it to those top few spots.
So, figuring out the “right” keyword can be really difficult.
Challenge #2: Understanding Search Intent
Another challenge of keyword research is understanding the intent behind a particular search query. For example, if someone searches for “physical therapy near me,” they may be looking for a local physical therapist to schedule an appointment with. On the other hand, if someone searches for “physical therapy exercises,” they may be looking for information on how to perform exercises at home. Understanding the intent behind a search query is critical in order to provide the right content to the user.
Challenge #3: Analyzing the Competition
Another challenge of keyword research is analyzing the competition. Your website may be up against hundreds or even thousands of other websites vying for the same keywords, which can make it difficult to rank high in search results. Analyzing your competitors can help you identify opportunities to differentiate yourself and attract more clients to your practice.
Challenge #4: Keeping Up with Trends
The world of online search is constantly evolving, and staying on top of the latest trends can be a challenge. Honestly, this is part of the challenge that I personally love. I often wake up and look for the latest information being talked about in the SEO world as I start my day. But this makes it hard for small businesses to stay on top of things.
New keywords emerge all the time. The language people use to discuss their mental and physical health changes all the time. Furthermore, search engines update their algorithms regularly, making it difficult to predict how your website will perform in search results. So, it’s essential to stay up to date on the latest trends to ensure that you’re targeting the right keywords.
Overcoming the Challenges of Keyword Research
While keyword research can be challenging, there are several strategies that you can use to overcome these challenges and optimize your website for search engines. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Tip #1: Use a Variety of Keyword Research Tools
There are many keyword research tools available that can help you identify potential keywords to target. Some popular tools include Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Moz, and Ahrefs. My personal favorite places to get keywords include Google Search Console (what are you already showing up somewhat for?), KWFinder from Mangools, and then I occasionally use Keywords Everywhere and/or SEMrush for some additional keyword research. You can even ask AI tools such as Jasper or ChatGPT to create a list of keywords for you on a topic as a starting place.
Using a variety of tools can help you get a more complete picture of the search landscape and identify opportunities to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Tip #2: Think Like Your Target Audience
To identify the right keywords to target, it’s important to think like your clients. And let’s face it, you know your clients. You truly do. So, put yourself in their shoes for a moment.
Consider the questions they may have when searching for services like yours. What is the language they may use to describe their concerns or symptoms? What might be going through their mind at that moment when they’re looking for your services? This can help you identify keywords that are relevant and likely to be searched by your target audience.
Tip #3: Use Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that are less competitive than more generic keywords. They’re generally full phrases instead of 1-2 words. While they may not generate as much traffic as broader keywords, they can be more effective in attracting clients who are specifically looking for services like yours. For example, instead of targeting “therapy services,” you may target “couples therapy for communication issues.” For couples therapists, not only are they more likely to rank for the second keyword, but that is probably a more ideal client anyway.
Tip #4: Keep an Eye on Trends
Staying up to date on the latest trends can help you identify new keywords to target and adjust your strategy to keep up with changes in search behavior. Consider following industry blogs and news sites and monitoring social media to stay informed about changes in your field.
Keyword Research & SEO for Therapists is Hard, But Worth It
Keyword research may be challenging, but it’s a critical step in optimizing your website for search engines and attracting new clients to your practice. By understanding the challenges of keyword research and using the right tools and strategies, you can identify the keywords that are most relevant to your clients and improve your website’s visibility on search engines.
Keyword research is a bit like driving – you need to know where you’re headed and the best route to take to get there, just like when you’re behind the wheel, knowing your destination is essential when it comes to keyword research. Keyword research helps you identify your destination. Your destination, after all, is ranking for those keywords. So, understanding the words and phrases your clients are searching for helps you drive more traffic to your website.
At Simplified SEO Consulting, we understand the importance of a well-executed keyword research strategy. And we understand how challenging keyword research can be. So, we’re here to help you navigate the process. We understand the road map and terrain that you’re navigating. We’ve helped hundreds (at least, maybe thousands now?) or private practice owners get ranking and grow their practice. So, we know what to look for when we’re doing keyword research. And we can help you through the complicated twists and turns of it if you’d like to learn it yourself.
Support With Keyword Research
While keyword research is a critical step in optimizing your website for search engines, it can be overwhelming and time-consuming. As a practice owner, you have a lot on your plate, and it can be challenging to find the time and resources to tackle keyword research on your own. That’s where Simplified SEO Consulting comes in.
We offer a range of services to help support you with your keyword research and SEO needs. Our Strategy Package provides you with one-on-one support to discuss your keyword strategy and get a little extra support specifically in this area. We also offer “done for you” services where we can take care of the majority of your SEO needs, including keyword research.
If you’re looking for more in-depth support, we offer a 12-week 1:1 training program where we walk you through the entire keyword research process. This program includes personalized support, resources, and guidance to help you create a comprehensive keyword strategy tailored to your practice’s unique needs.
At Simplified SEO Consulting, we understand that every practice is different, and we tailor our services to meet your specific needs and goals. With our support, you can feel confident that your keyword strategy is optimized to attract more clients to your practice and help you stand out in the competitive online landscape.
So why not take the stress and guesswork out of keyword research and let Simplified SEO Consulting help you optimize your online presence? Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help support you and your practice.
Need Support with SEO on Your Website?
Feeling frustrated with keyword research and trying to figure out what to use when researching SEO for therapists? Our skilled and passionate team of SEO specialists is here to make sure your SEO journey is tailored to your brand and identity. Simplified SEO Consulting would be excited to help you on your SEO journey. To get started with our service, follow these simple steps:
- Schedule a consult with our Client Success Specialist or Consult Team.
- Learn more about our awesome team of SEO Specialists.
- Begin your SEO Journey!
Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting
We can also help if you need other types of support! We offer a variety of training options to meet your needs, including a 12-week training program, small group intensives, and courses. If you are ready to start using SEO, or you are planning to move your site or redesign your site, then the strategy session may be an excellent option for you. We can also assist you with our Done for You Program if you want to work with a dedicated and skilled team of professionals. To get started, schedule a consultation with our Client Success Specialist today!