The Importance of SEO for Psychologists
A site that ranks well in Google’s search results will attract more organic traffic. SEO involves applying best practices to optimize a website for search engines.
Keywords are an essential part of SEO for psychologists. Make it easy for Google to understand your content. Identify what search terms users enter when searching for your services. How do you know which keywords to focus on?
Look at the data for insights.
- What keywords does your site currently rank for?
- Do your competitors rank higher for these terms?
- Are there relevant keywords you aren’t focusing on that your competitors rank for?
Keyword Research 101
Think of every page on your website as an opportunity to get found by Google. To optimize your content, each page should target a unique keyword or phrase. If more than one page is targeting the same keyword, Google won’t know which page to rank in search results.
When evaluating keywords to target, research the following for each keyword you are considering:
Do people actually search for the keyword you are considering? To increase traffic to your website, identify keywords people search for in your specific area. Monthly search volumes vary by location. Both infidelity counselor and marriage counselor show reasonable volume nationally. Yet, in my local market, marriage counselor has significantly more monthly traffic.
If you enter a search query and your site appears in Google’s top search results, don’t get too excited. You may be the only person searching for that term. Verify that there are at least 50 searches per month for any keyword you are considering.
Keywords are assigned scores based on how difficult they are to rank for. Difficulty scores range from 1 to 100, with 100 being the most difficult. Keywords with a difficulty score under 50 are easier to rank for. Like search volume, keyword difficulty can vary across geographic areas. Keyword difficulty scores are available for organic search terms and paid search.
Large monthly volume & high keyword difficulty score.
Moderate monthly volume & reasonable keyword difficulty.
Note: The data above is from ubersuggest.com. The data from this tool represents national data only.
What is the purpose of the user’s search query? What does Google think it is? Enter the keyword into Google’s search box and find out. Google displays results for the sties that are the most relevant for the keyword. How do these websites compare with what you offer? It won’t do you any good to rank for a keyword if the intent of the searcher doesn’t match your offering.
The goal of attracting organic search traffic is quality over quantity.
Schedule a free 30-min. consult to discuss SEO for your private practice.BOOK A FREE CONSULT
My Approach to SEO for Psychologists
When I approach SEO for my clients, I want to understand their business. I start every SEO project with a client questionnaire. The questionnaire covers their market niche, geographic area, and competitors. Once I have this initial data, I start my keyword research. Using a variety of sources, I extract data to analyze keyword options.
Step 1: Client Questionnaire
To kick off my SEO projects, clients complete an intake questionnaire. This provides me with a better understanding of their practice. The area they specialize in, their competitors, and the geographic market they serve.
Step 2: Keyword Research
After analyzing the data, I identify up to three potential keywords for each page. After reviewing my findings with clients, we fine tune the keywords to target.
Step 3: SEO Titles, Meta Descriptions & H1 Tags
The SEO title, meta description, and Header 1 tag (H1) are optimized with the target keyword for each page. The SEO title and meta description will not appear in the page copy. Below is an example of an organic search result from Google:
The SEO title and meta description explain the content of the page. They need to be written for both Google and searchers. When search results are presented to a user, you want your link to stand out over the other options listed. The H1 (Heading 1) tag indicates the main topic of the page. Each page should have only one H1 tag.
Step 4: Measure & Monitor
To report on SEO efforts, it is important to capture current keyword rankings. This baseline can then be compared overtime to track results. After the SEO tags have been updated on a client’s site, I create a Baseline SEO Scorecard. This report shows the current ranking for each keyword. The report is updated 30 days after the SEO implementation to show how the rankings have progressed.
SEO Results for Psychologists
Clients typically see results 30 days after their SEO implementation. For both Squarespace and WordPress websites. The results below are for a client that manages a group practice of psychologists in a highly competitive market.
Organic Search Traffic
Increase of 115%
It takes time for SEO efforts to show results.
This client’s WordPress site was updated with optimized keywords in early August. Within 60 days, organic search traffic increased by nearly 60%. After 6 months, traffic increased by 115%.
SEO Maintenance for Psychologists
Clients can sign-up for a 3 or 6 month maintenance plan. These plans include:
- Monthly keyword monitoring and quarterly recommendations for further SEO enhancements.
- SEO Scorecard each month showing keyword ranking positions.
- Monitoring Google page indexing to ensure the appropriate pages are accessible to Google.