The Importance of SEO for Therapists
Sites that rank well on Google, capture more organic traffic. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting found online.
Google presents search results that match a user’s search query. A well optimized website will get Google’s attention for relevant keywords. To rank well in search results, Google needs to understand your content. Keyword research is an essential part of SEO for therapists.
How do you know which keywords to focus on?
Look at the data for keyword insights.
- What search terms does your site currently rank for?
- Are there specific keywords where your competitors outrank you?
- Do competitors rank for relevant terms that you aren’t focusing on?
Keyword Research 101
Every page on your website is an opportunity to get found by Google. Each page should focus on targeting a unique keyword phrase. If more than one page is targeting the same phrase, Google won’t know which page to prioritize.
Before identifying which keyword to target, research the following for each term you are considering:
To increase traffic to your website, you need to find terms that people search for in your area. Do people actually search for the keyword you are considering? If you enter a search query and see your site ranking well, don’t get too excited. You may be the only person searching for that term.
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.
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.
Large monthly volume. Very high keyword difficulty.
Moderate monthly volume. Reasonable keyword difficulty.
Note: The data above shows Keyword Overview based on national data from ubersuggest.com
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. The sites that are displayed are those that Google feels are the most relevant. 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.
Interested in SEO for your private practice? Schedule a free 30-min. consult.BOOK A FREE CONSULT
My Approach to SEO for Therapists
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 Therapists
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 Therapists
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.