Do you have a website for your therapy practice? Are you getting traffic? If not, it is important to understand why not.
It is likely due to a lack of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Without proper SEO, no one is going to find your website, which means you can’t provide therapy services to people in need.
SEO can be confusing, though — and this is why many people choose to forego it. But, if you are here, that is probably not your case, right?
Keep reading to learn all the best practices of SEO for therapists!
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First of All, What Is SEO and How Does It Work?
Maybe you’ve heard of search engine optimization, and maybe you haven’t.
Either way, you need to know that SEO is important to the overall success of your website. Now, there is a good chance that you have no idea why it is so important or how it works.
Believe it or not, the concept of SEO is rather simple.
SEO simply refers to improving your website so it will appear in search results when someone types in a question or keyword related to your practice.
With hundreds of millions of websites on the internet, there is a lot of competition out there.
In order for Google to want to show your website to people when they search for a specific term, you have to let Google know who you are.
They don’t know you exist if you don’t optimize your website so they can find you. With this information, search engines will know who to show your website to based on search terms.
How Can SEO Help Therapists?
Years ago — you know, before the internet — people would search for a therapist through the phone book Yellow Pages and word-of-mouth from friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.
While these tools are still used today, the people who are looking for your practice are more than likely going to be searching for you on the World Wide Web.
Therefore, it is imperative that your marketing strategy consists of internet tactics that can help grow your business.
An effective digital marketing plan is going to make it easier for someone to find you online as opposed to your competitors.
As a therapist, you want to be able to provide your services to those who are in need of them. You can have the best possible website design and top-notch content; however, if people cannot find you online, you won’t be able to help. You won’t be able to turn a life around.
Did you know that 95% of all web traffic will go to the websites that are ranked on the first page of the SERPs?
This means that if you aren’t on that first page you are losing out on potential clients.
Further, the very first result that appears (not including the advertisements) will receive about one-third of clicks. The second result will receive about 18%. Go on down to the 7th place result and it receives only 4% of all clicks.
So, in order to make your way to the top of that first page, you must invest in SEO for therapists. And, if done well, success will be seen.
SEO for Therapists: 5 Tips to Grow Your Business
There are numerous steps you can take to grow your therapy practice online. Here are the top five SEO for therapists tips that you should consider.
1. Find the Right Keywords
You may not be in school any longer, but research is necessary — and worth the time and effort in the end.
In order to determine the keywords best associated with your practice, you will want to first scope out the competition.
Identify your top three to give competitors. Read through their website, including their blogs. Take note of the keywords that they use most often.
Head to Google or another favorite search engine and input those keywords. Examine the SERPs and see if their website is on the first page.
If so, especially the higher up they are in the results, this means that those keywords are working for them. You will want to use these and similar keywords on your own website.
You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to also help you identify relevant keywords and phrases for your website. Further, you should take a close look at the Google Suggests — the searches that occur related to a specific keyword.
In the end, your keywords should be relevant to what you are offering, searched for frequently, and are supported by your existing or new web content.
2. Create a Keyword-Rich Title Tag
The title tag is important because it is what informs search engines of what a page on your website is all about.
With that being said, title tags serve an important role in your overall SEO strategy.
Your title tag should be no more than 70 characters (not words!), and this does include spaces. If your title tag is too long, then it will be cut off in the SERPs, leaving some to be clueless as to what you are trying to say.
Your keywords should be placed in the title tag in order of their importance to your strategy. Pipes | can be used to separate your keywords.
Always make sure that the tag is relevant to your therapy practice, and never duplicate the title tags. Reusing your title tags can result in a hit from the search engine, which isn’t good for your SEO.
3. Hone in on the Content
Once you have identified the most relevant and important keywords that relate to your practice, it is time to put them to good use.
You may have heard that content is king, and this really can’t be any truer.
If you are going to be creating an informational piece, you should stick to a minimum of 250 words. Ideally, though, you should aim for around 450 words.
This may sound like a lot of words, but it really isn’t.
As you aim to get to 450 words, though, you never want to stuff the content full of keywords. This keeps the content from sounding natural, which is a huge turn-off for potential and current clients.
In your writing, you will want to focus heavily on the first 150 to 200 words in terms of keyword usage, as this is where the most weight lies for SEO.
You may also want to bold your keywords and/or phrases so that they stand out to web visitors.
Images can help to break up the words on the page. However, they can also help with SEO. If you add images to your content, make sure to utilize the alt text. Insert your keywords here.
Don’t forget to also link to some of the other pages on your website. For instance, if you are writing about teens and depression, make sure to link back to your Depression Services page.
4. Don’t Forget Off-Page Optimization
So far, we have talked about SEO tactics that can be utilized ON your web pages. However, there are also SEO techniques that can be utilized off of your website.
Off-page optimization refers to anything that you can do to promote your website and services outside of the website.
This can mean generating positive reviews, connecting with current and prospective clients on social media, and more.
These generate traffic to your site, leading to higher SERP rankings later on.
One of the most important steps you can take for off-page optimization and for your business is connecting and interacting with clients. If you aren’t on social media, it’s time to get there.
It is crucial to have active social media accounts, and it’s easy to make it work. Simply promote your blog posts on social media, alert followers of internal updates, and respond to comments.
Getting your clients to leave a positive review for your practice is important as well, as it lets search engines know you are a legit practice.
5. Use Free Tools to Your Advantage
When you are first starting out trying to optimize your website, you probably aren’t sure where to begin and/or are skeptical about paying a lot.
The good news is that there are many free tools out there that you can use.
Google Analytics is a free SEO tool that allows you to measure the return on investment in terms of advertising, track your website traffic, monitor efforts on social media, and so more. Best of all? It is easy to use!
Google Trends is another one. This tool allows you access to some of the latest data, trends, and visualizations from Google. This tool will let you find out what keywords are trending near you, which can be incredibly beneficial as you are identifying your keywords.
Broken Link Finder
Finally, Broken Link Finder is a tool that checks for any broken links — links that aren’t working on your website. Broken links can cause your website to take a dip in the SERPs, so by identifying and repairing them, you are one step closer to that top spot.
The aforementioned SEO for therapists tactics are just the tip of the iceberg of using SEO to grow your private practice.
We listed a few free SEO tools above, but if you want to learn about others, check out this blog that talks about free keyword tools to help increase organic web traffic!