SEO Blog for Psychotherapists
Some basics that therapists need to know related to SEOby The SEO Therapist on 09/04/18
Google is the most used search engine today and ranks all the content out there in the world according to what their search engine bots determines to be most helpful and relevant to searchers.
Here are the main elements related to search and some SEO tips:
1. Keywords and Search Phrases
Keywords are what you are likely familiar with. When clients are looking for help they type in either a phrase or a few keywords such as "help for dealing with anxiety" or "therapist, anxiety, Farmingdale, NY". Optimizing your website completely for keywords without keyword stuffing or turning off clients is a part of SEO. It is a piece of what helps clients find you.
Google is looking not just for words, but quality without spam or overdoing it. Google is now able to understand context, surrounding text, and synonyms so you cannot just stuff your page with keywords and would probably would experience a drop in rank if you did.
When you have quality writing with good SEO signals, you have have the chance to attract more clients and may even get the clients who you are the best fit for.
2. Your domain name (not to be confused with page titles)
Having a great domain name does not suddenly get you to rank, and without all the rigorous SEO work even an amazing name will not get your site to rank, but it is the one SEO strategy that is the easiest to accomplish in proportion to its impact.
Make sure, as a therapist with a local business, to have at least two of these keywords in your domain name: what you do, your location, who you treat. You do not want a domain name that is too long (more than 4 words) and still want humans to easily read and remember what your domain name is! :)
Also, once you get a domain name, you do not want to change it because doing so erases nearly everything you waited and worked for. You will have to wait for Google to trust you again. Luckily you would still (I hope) have your subname and pages with your amazing content and SEO structure so that at least with time you can rank again without having to redo everything except that the waiting and unknown is very difficult!
Lastly, did you know that the longer your domain name is around, the more Google trusts you? A ten year old site with two relevant sentences can outrank a one month old site full of content for this reason. I call this the 'Bob's diner' effect! Bob's dinner may not serve variety and the food is okay, but they have been around for years and consistent so they bring in a ton of people due to trust and reliance!
So, even if you are not ready to complete a whole website you can still come up with and buy a great domain and just put your location, town, number, and a paragraph or two about your services on a page attached to it until you are ready. It will give you a little boost with Google when the time comes.
3. NAP (Name, address, phone number)
Your NAP needs to be consistent throughout your pages and other web content. Make a choice about whether you want to use your given name or business name, or both and stick to it in the same order everywhere.
4. Niche it up!
Along with your general practice information, it is a good idea to have at least one niche specialty page. It gives you a boost in ranking faster in early stages and your won't have to compete against as many people in a search. The niche I chose was working with children, and I had a detailed page devoted to it. I did not just simply state services with a couple of sentences, but really tried to connect with the potential parent of the client. Google, believe it or not, understands different styles of writing and looks for length as well.
5. Your Content, content, content...
I bring this up often because it is so important. Provide relevant, quality, detailed content. It will help you tremendously and you can never go wrong with it. Google loves it, clients love it, and you will love it too after you write it out and see the results. :)
What NOT to do with SEOby The SEO Therapist on 08/30/18
SEO can be daunting to think about, especially as a therapist with a private practice. Nonetheless some of you may have an interest like I did in it and want to begin that journey. OR you consulted with an SEO company and they shared with you some of what they plan to do but your intuition is telling you something may not feel right. Of course you can also just read on if curious about what NOT to do with your SEO. I commend you on even looking more into SEO and for trying some of these out and brainstorming. At first you feel cool and stealthy with these ideas but they have been tried out and kicked out or ignored by Google. You may have come up with a great idea and be on to the next SEO trend even if you do not have tech knowledge yet, but do yourself a favor and at least stay away from bad SEO techniques after you read this. I refer to any of these practices as an S-E-NO!
Negative reviews and how SEO can help minimize their visibility and impact.by The SEO Therapist on 08/27/18
Some therapists have had the unfortunate luck of getting a bad review and I think everyone worries about this happening to them.
We work with clients who are already likely to come in feeling generally not well and who deal with multiple stressors that compound their existing conditions. Clients also use us transferentialy and project onto us often. And of course, sometimes therapists mess up too. Usually the client sees this soon enough as a great opportunity to work through conflict with someone they trust. Not always though. It is no stretch then for all of this to potentially lead to a bad review.
To hear of a poor client experience whether its sources are real, imagined, transferential or otherwise is disheartening enough. For negative reviews to be seen by the public can be upsetting to existing clients and staff, and also wards off potential clients. Lastly, it just feels terrible.
While there are ‘reputation management’ companies that offer to get rid of reviews by paying the websites they are listed on, or responding to the reviewer, these are not suitable options in our line of work as they are unethical, a liability, and aggressive. These options also tend to be scams that backfire or yield little to no results anyhow.
I offer a couple of uniquely developed non-interactive approaches which include lowering the ranking of the pages containing the reviews, minimizing a certain review while keeping the page, or strategic ways to get rid of page altogether (just not in the way you might think).
This can work quite well due to the fact that we do not rely on review websites in the way that a restaurant or retailer might.
As for good reviews, it can feel a bit funny getting one though I welcome them especially when it is from a parent of a child I used to work with. It would be interesting for a current adult client to leave me a review and I would hope they bring it up as it is good to talk about and I would wonder what they are trying to tell me and the deeper meaning.
Either way, good reviews are great for SEO! If you are okay with the idea, I suggest having a colleague write you a review and you can write them one as well.
-The SEO Therapist
Tags: SEO, Therapists, Negative Reviews, Dealing with reviews ethically, mental health