As a trained therapist myself, nothing has been more enjoyable than helping other therapists build their practices. Why? Because when I help you, you get to help the world. It’s a synergistic effect that has extended my deep personal commitment to mental health, healing and innovation in our space.
The world needs healers, today more than ever. When we help you with your SEO, you reach more clients. It is that simple.
So how does it work?
SEO for therapists and counselors is truly no different from SEO for plumbers or electricians (yes, we’ve worked on those sites too).
Your website needs all of the same SEO elements as any other well-designed site:
- great backlinks
- informative blogs
- fast loading time
- clean navigation
- embedded keywords
- mobile responsive and
- smart branding
Technical and on-page SEO is the same for everyone; the industry you’re in doesn’t really matter. Where SEO for therapists is different from other industries is in the keywords and the language. Everything you say on your website should align with the language clients use when they search for your services.
And that’s where things get tricky.
Because it’s tempting to use phrases like “anxiety” or “depression” but the reality is, everyone uses those same terms.
To rank highly on search, not only does your website need to demonstrate authority, it also needs an abundance of key phrases that match how clients search for your services. Ideally, your keyword pool shouldn’t just be big terms like “trauma” or even “trauma-informed,” but should include a myriad of phrases that clients use when they search for help with their challenges.
To be found on Google, you need to be more specific with your keyword selections.
All things being equal, you want to use keywords on your website that have a high search volume that matches well with your “user’s intent.” User intent is a fancy way of saying the person searching WANTS what you’re offering organically; that is without any influence from you. (Read more on keyword intent here)
You also want the lowest competitive keywords so you can rank faster.
These screenshots are from SEMRush, the main keyword research tool we use, and they show the vast difference between individual terms and the level of difficulty to rank for each.
Volume = the number of searches for a term averaged monthly over a year.
KD = keyword difficulty and higher is harder.
Conclusion – ranking for “emdr therapy for anxiety” is light years easier than ranking for “therapy for anxiety.”
Any good SEO consultant should be able to help you unwind the value of one set of keywords over another.
Ideally, you end up with a “keyword cloud or cluster” such that your whole practice can be connected through the words and phrases you weave through the language on your website.
Marketing For Therapists
The work on an SEO project doesn’t end when you pick the right keywords. After that you need to apply your keywords to your content and make sure Google can see all of your hard work.
After getting your landing page corrected, then it’s time to start blogging. That’s where your marketing engine really takes off.
Marketing your private therapy practice is similar to marketing for different industries, with the exception of the sensitive nature of your clients and their needs. Every avenue is at your disposal as it would be for any other business. But, where you choose to market your private practice should also fit with the values of the social media or websites you’re considering aligning with.
You may, for example, not be a fan of Facebook’s advertising policies. That’s fine, you can pick another social media site to share your content on. For many therapists LinkedIn is a better place to share with your peers. But, if you want to develop a private community with potential clients NOT peers, currently Facebook is the only social platform that offers “private groups” and perhaps you want that?
Choosing your social media sites is a critical step but it’s only one part of a strong marketing plan.
Your complete plan should include everything from blogging and content marketing, to link building, to guest blogging or offering quotes to other sites. These marketing strategies are important so you don’t want to ignore it them. These strategies lay the groundwork for how non-referral clients find you and that is important to your bottom line. (Not sure how social media impacts SEO, read this to find out)
Marketing your content is the work you do to share your message with the world.
Think of it like extending a fishing line into the vast ocean of clients. It’s not enough to set up your shop, you also have to tell the world you’re also open for business and that’s the intent of marketing.
Marketing a therapy practice should align both your values and your goals. It should also include promoting all of your SEO’ed articles and blogs. By doing this, you create the opportunity for strangers who need your services to find you.
And there are also a ton of “local” ways to market your practice if your business is an in-office practice with a physical address or a virtual office where you’re licensed across an entire state (or two or three).
As you can see, SEO for therapists is a lot like SEO for other industries. The main differences are when you want to market your content, then you need to focus on marketing avenues that work for your values and align with your ideal potential clients.
Finding an SEO consultant who speaks the language of therapists is far trickier than the actual work. And that’s where we excel.
As a trained therapist leading the Crownsville Media team, I have lived in your world for more than 20 years.
I know the challenges of not enjoying marketing but “knowing you need to do it.”
I know the challenge of getting off insurance and raising your fees.
I know the wishful thinking of doing SEO “once” and hoping it works.
I know the dislike of writing, blogging or putting your thoughts on paper.
I know the imposter syndrome experience of feeling like you’re an expert on some level with your clients and a total novice at marketing.
I also know the deep love you have for this field and your intrinsic belief that the world needs healers today more than ever.
And, the inner knowing you have that you can make a difference.
From my seat in the world, I believe you can make a difference too.
We can as well.
SEO for therapists, healers, coaches, professional development businesses, course creators as well as content and other forms of marketing are our expertise. We would love the opportunity to be a part of your team and help you reach your goal of helping more clients.
Please contact us for a complimentary chat to discuss how we can help you on your journey.