Approximately three-quarters of consumers use the internet to find healthcare information, according to data from Becker’s Hospital Review. The takeaway is clear for therapists and counselors looking to attract new clients: you need a strong digital presence.
Think having a website is enough? Think again. To keep up with the competition, you need an optimized website that incorporates the best practices on SEO for therapists.
Use this SEO guide for therapists to learn more about why a user-friendly and optimized website matters for today’s healthcare organizations, along with tips for upgrading your therapy practice website to build your client base.
What Is SEO for Therapists?
No matter how wonderful your therapy practice website is, it doesn’t matter if clients can’t find you. That’s where SEO comes in. It is a powerful way to draw new clients to your business while simultaneously helping to retain your existing clients.
SEO refers to “search engine optimization.” This is the process by which you can design your website to improve its positioning in organic search results. When it comes to helping qualified internet users discover and access the online content they’re looking for, SEO is pivotal.
Not convinced that it’s worth the time and effort it will take to improve your search engine results page (SERP) positioning? The data says otherwise. According to a Search Engine Journal study of billions of search results, the top organic search result has an average click-through rate (CTR) of nearly 30 percent.
Meanwhile, CTR rates drop sharply after the top spot with the Nos. 2 and 3 results seeing just 15 percent and 11 percent CTRs, respectively. Even worse? The 10th position comes in at just 2.5 percent.
Think of it this way: Would you rather have 30 percent of prospective clients click on your website or on your competitor’s?
How Does SEO work?
Search engines use something called “crawlers” to scour the internet, collecting information about the content available there.
Also known as “spiders” or “bots,” these crawlers examine the pages within your site, internal links, and external links to make sense of what each page is about and how it fits within the search engine database, or “index.” The search engine then uses an algorithm to provide what it determines to be the most accurate and useful pages in response to a search query.
Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, which is why it’s important to keep up with the latest trends in SEO and digital marketing. However, certain elements consistently factor into the search engine algorithm and SERP rankings:
- Authoritative, trustworthy, and high-quality content
- Effective keywords
- Useful backlinks
- An accessible and secure platform
- Page loading speed
- User engagement
- Scheme markup
- Site authority
- A reliable business listing
- A robust social media presence
Evidence clearly shows that these elements matter now and will continue to do so moving forward — despite the fact that search engine algorithms are notoriously dynamic with limited transparency. For example, pages with videos have been increasingly prioritized in recent years.
Why SEO for Mental Health Professionals Matters
You may be wondering why SEO for metal health professionals is so important. It doesn’t just work in one way to help your website do its just better, but in three ways. These include the following:
SEO improves your positions in organic search results
While paid search strategies like pay-per-click (PPC) ads are an effective way to drive traffic to your website, organic search is the gold standard. There’s no way to achieve a high SERP positioning if you don’t have successful SEO strategies in place.
SEO boosts the quantity of organic traffic to your website
It’s straightforward math: the more people you can attract to your therapy practice website, the more likely they are to convert.
SEO enhances the quality of organic traffic to your website
The effectiveness of your website doesn’t just hinge on how much traffic you can drive to your website. The quality of that traffic also matters. SEO — especially local SEO — can ensure that your website visitors are genuinely interested in your therapy services. The better your SEO is, the more accurately a search engine can match a user’s interests with your website and, by proxy, your business.
Yet another benefit of search engine optimization for counselors? It has the ability to meet potential clients where they are on their journey. Depending on their search parameters, search engines will make sure they’re directed to the page that best meets their needs at the moment.
For example, if an internet searcher is just starting to consider whether they want to pursue therapy, they’ll have different interests than if they’re looking for a certain type of therapy in their geographic area. An effective SEO campaign lets you target both with the most appropriate and valuable content.
Making the Most of SEO for Your Mental Health Practice
Of course, all SEO marketing for therapists isn’t created equal. If you don’t have the knowledge and experience to design and implement a robust and effective SEO strategy for your mental health practice, you’ll miss out on capitalizing on its many profound benefits.
That’s why partnering with a digital marketing agency can be a savvy investment. Not only does it give you access to qualified professionals who know exactly what you need to do to benefit from SEO, this also frees up you and your staff to focus on what you do best: providing high-quality client care.
More and more people are prioritizing their mental health and wellness. While this means more demand, it also means new competition as supply races to keep up with demand. That’s where SEO for mental health counselors comes in.
If you’ve ever asked yourself how to get new clients, an SEO-optimized website is the answer. It is essential to positioning your therapy practice to grow and thrive in the competitive and evolving healthcare landscape.