So, you’ve finally done it
You’ve taken one giant thing off of your “opening my practice” to-do list.
You’ve launched your website!
And hopefully, if you’ve been following me, it resembles more of a digital home than a hoarder’s den…
A congratulation is in order! Your private or group practice dreams are closer than ever to becoming reality. Now, those who need you have a place to find you, so clients should come flooding in.
There’s just one problem….
How do they find you???
What is Therapist SEO?
While many therapists may love to believe that their website and content magically gets found by Google the minute it’s posted, that’s not exactly how search engines work (*tear, tear*). They need clues, clues that give it a signal as to what the website is about and what services it offers.
*Enter SEO* – Also called Search Engine Optimization
You may or may have not heard this term before, and either way, it’s okay. We all start somewhere! SEO for therapists is the way of giving Google the right information it needs to know who would benefit from seeing your website. This typically comes in the form of Keyword Optimizations, a Backlink strategy, and Technical SEO improvement.
And the better and more relevant that content is to what people are searching for, the better your rankings will become over time.
And SEO can make a night and day difference when trying to get your practice found online
In this article, we’re going to discuss WHY SEO is so important (in my opinion, of course).
We’re going to cover some of the tops reasons SEO is a business asset in 2021, especially for mental health professionals!
So, let’s get into it!
Benefits of Therapist SEO For Your Private Practice
1. An additional source of clients
Say goodbye to relying on word of mouth and Psychology Today referrals!
Having a solid SEO strategy in place gives your practice a way of gaining more client leads that’s consistent.
When your practice relies on word of mouth alone, there’s always a chance of the well running dry. While yes, it’s great to build your network and have others referring you, it’s not something that a growing practice is built off of. Similarly, Psychology Today referral engines are also prone to losing steam, especially given the endless amount of competition that all have very similar profiles.
With SEO for your therapist practice, you’re creating a continuous stream of referrals that isn’t dependant on your time. Potential clients and new traffic can be invited into your digital home at any given point. And the best part? It’s YOUR website they are being drawn to. Not a directory, but where your business lives – so others can see your unique value right from the start.
2. Position your mental health practice where its being searched for
According to SEMrush, the term “therapist near me” is being searched for 135,000 a month! That means that more and more people are turning to Google to find what mental help. Now don’t worry, I’m not saying ALL OF that traffic will be knocking on your door, but there is room for you to get a slice of that pie that makes sense for your practice!
By leveraging search, your unique content hub can be there when potential clients are searching for it! By targeting highly specific keywords related to your unique therapist specialty, you can draw others to your digital home and be there when they need you without any effort on your part.
3. Reach A larger audience
Are you trying to get your practice and brand out there via other digital marketing channels? Maybe a Facebook Page, Instagram Business account, or maybe you’ve even dabbled into Tiktok!
Organic search can help drive up your audience to thee other mediums, thus building your brand awareness and authority.
This could happen is two different ways.
First, as more and more people are being driven to your website, it proves to Google that people actually want to see your content. That itself will push your social media channels higher in search results – especially if their query in the name of your practice!
Also, as more and more people become familiar with your brand through the content you post, they’ll WANT to follow you on social channels. So they may search for your Instagram page (hopefully you’ll be there!) or click on the link to your profiles form the footer of your website.
All digital marketing channels work together.
And if they are working together well, they will boost each other’s presence.
4. Less costly & Higher ROI than advertisements
If you’re advertising your practice on Facebook, Google, or other social media, it can get pretty costly pretty fast. And with a CTR (click-through rate) of less than 3% for paid advertisements, it may be challenging to see that return on investment.
Hiring an SEO expert or undertaking it yourself tends to be a lot less costly than paid advertisements – decreasing their need or removing it entirely.
Not only that, but studies have shown that search engine users click on organic search results over paid advertisements 94% of the time!
Over time, we have habitually begun to attribute paid advertisements to irrelevant information, especially on Google. I can attest to this with my own searching experiences – the paid ads are ALMOST NEVER what I’m looking for! This happens because businesses bid on every keyword under the sun with Google Ads, even when it’s completely unrelated to the page.
So now, I automatically assume the organic results are going to be more relevant to what I’m looking for, and I’m usually right.
The same goes for a big chunk of Google users. Organic search is more trusted because it usually leads to the desired result. An SEO strategy for your therapist practice will help you not only cut down the costs of your marketing efforts but also increase the results.
5. Mental health education for your audience
As a mental health professional, you have a sincere and genuine passion for helping others. For 99.9% of psychologists, I have had the pleasure to chat with, that’s the primary reason they have gone into the role!
Now, how can you help others on a larger scale without needing to see all of them in 1:1 settings?
Consistent content through a blog.
And not jut any content, content that is related to your expertise that will help others who are struggling, but may not be able to get your help right now.
Blog articles that you post on your website can help your audience navigate through specific mental challenges. And, it can also serve to educate others ABOUT mental health. Stigma is still there (although on a much smaller scale). Content that answers specific questions your audience may have about mental health can help fight the stigma, educate your audience, differentiate your practice, and change more lives.
6. Keeps your website in tip-top shape
Another big part of SEO is the technical aspect. Google just isn’t going to promote a site that gives a bad User experience, has broken links, or has security leaks. And because nearly 50% of consumers expect a page to load within two seconds, speed is one of the biggest technical ranking factors.
In fact, technical SEO is so important that most SEO experts will prioritize fixing technical issues before any content, on-page, or off-page optimizations.
Since so much time is put into creating this amazing user experience, it means that your website is always kept in the best shape! This helps maintain a website that your visitors will love visiting, thus driving more traffic and continuing that feedback loop.
SEO is all about meeting clients where they are, creating your brand identity, and building your authority. Since it’s far less costly than advertising, the ROI is usually far greater and more leads can be generated.
And since SEO integrates will with other marketing efforts, implementing it can create a well-rounded marketing strategy that drives more organic traffic to your website.