Your website for your private practice can boost your clientele. Using search engines, a few keywords, and a good website, you can attract customers and improve visitor’s knowledge of your practice. For many patients looking for health professionals, online resources are a right way for them to learn more about your practice without causing any mental issues that speaking on the phone or in person can cause. However, most people aren’t likely to go past the first page of their Google search. How can you make sure your private practice will be at the top of the list?
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. When a user searches for something on the web, a search engine looks for different types of information from a website and then ranks them in how relevant they believe it is to the user’s request. They examine things such as keywords, updates, popularity, and authority to decide what will keep their search engine users happiest with their results.
SEO is the process of bettering your website’s chances of being placed higher on the list. SEO does not take any money or investment. You can do it yourself as long as you know what you’re looking for. That is the great thing about SEO. Your private practice won’t get buried by any corporations who can afford to “buy out” spaces or rankings since there is no way to do that. Search engines are a great equalizer among online sites. SEO has three main types to it: on-page, off-page, and local.
For on-page, a search engine will factor in everything on your website. The three main factors it includes are design, technical, and content factors. Design focuses on your layout, whether it’s user-friendly and compatible with any device. Good design makes it easy for visitors, has a well laid out sitemap, and keeps the user engaged with the site. The technical factors just make sure your design is technically accessible and correct. For example, all the internal links and buttons go to the page they are supposed to.
Content focuses more on the written aspects of the website. Search engines look for content that is frequently updated, is useful to readers, shared on social media, and has keywords that connect with the content and the visitor. Content even includes button names, titles, and meta-descriptions. A great way to keep content updated is to start a blog. This can also give your potential clients a look into your practice while giving your patients tips on dealing with mental illness.
Search engines use more than just what’s on your site to rank it. It also uses how visitors and other websites look at your site and how they identify it. Backlinks, meaning links on another site to your site, are one of the main off-page ways search engines rank your website. The more meaningful backlinks you have, the higher your ranking will be. Social media is a great opportunity for this. Connecting with potential patients will not only boost your SEO but help you bond with clients before meeting them in person. It also boosts the number of reviews you will receive on other sites which let’s search engines know you are a legitimate business.
Local SEO is important in letting your potential clients know that you are located in their area. It is one of SEO private practice that is most focused on. This involves both on and off-page factors. Search engines may use local directories, addresses on websites, and even your URL to figure out if your location matches that of the user. To better local SEO, you should make sure your location address is consistent everywhere, not just on your website. Sites, like Google Business or Psychology Today, will list local businesses. Making sure your private practice is listed correctly will help make sure you optimize your local search engine ranking.
Why Is It Important?
SEO is very important when drawing in website traffic. Imagine you want to try a new product, but you’re not sure which brand to buy from. An online product with several amazing reviews is going to be more appealing than a product with no reviews. However, a product with amazing online reviews and several people you trust who recommend it to you is going to be even more appealing. SEO is an online version of that, except instead of reviews and recommendations, it’s keywords and links. The more and better quality you have of these, the more a search engine will recommend your website to a user.
How Poor SEO Affects Your Client Base
Search engines make up 93% of online experience beginnings. The first thing most people do when getting online is look something up using a search engine. If your site is getting buried, even on the third or fourth page of the results, you’re not getting the traffic you want. Clients who would benefit from your practice won’t find it in the first place. Word-of-mouth is an especially difficult way for patients to hear about your practice since other patients are likely less inclined to speak about their therapy. However, using online SEO private practice techniques, you can avoid poor SEO.
Boosting Your SEO for Mental Health Counselors
Great ways to boost your SEO include keywords, consistency, guest blogging, and colleagues. When picking keywords, they may change depending on the content you are creating. For example, if you are writing about ways to control anxiety, you may use keywords like “tips” or “anxiety.” Keywords should capture what the content is about or answer key questions the visitor would have. Looking at sites similar to yours can give you ideas for keywords. Consistency is another big one. If your site doesn’t have consistent information across the whole web, then that will ruin your SEO.
If you have colleagues that have private practices in a different venue or specialty, consider asking them politely to share your link on their site and in return, you can share theirs. This connection will help both of you in the long run. Another way to get your site link onto another’s site is to guest post for a blog. Find a blog with good authority which discusses mental health or counseling and write a guest post for them. Your name will be on the blog, and many times they will allow you to also link to your website in the post.
SEO is extremely important for your private practice. SEO is the process of raising your ranks within a search engine, so your website will get more traffic directed towards it. It involves several factors from web design to your social media involvement. While you can invest in companies who can manage it for you, it is also fairly simple to optimize it for yourself. It is important to make sure you don’t over-focus on buffing your site with SEO. You don’t want to go overboard and lose your organic voice by stuffing it with keywords. SEO is vital for your practice, but it isn’t difficult to learn. You’re only a few easy steps away from directing more traffic to your site.