Even if you’re using paid marketing techniques to bring traffic to your therapy website, if you’re not also optimizing your website for organic traffic, you’re losing out on a significant number of prospective clients.
Did you know: 33% of internet users click on the first organic link they see when searching on Google?
Not only that, but fewer than 10 percent of users ever look at the second page of their search engine results. ¹
So what can you do to get yourself onto page 1 of Google and boost your website’s rankings? Other than hiring an SEO agency (like us), there are plenty of things that you can do on your own to raise the profile of your therapy practice’s website. Read on to learn some SEO tips and tricks that you can start implementing right away. And, best of all, they won’t cost you a dime.
SEO Tips and Tricks that Will Boost Your Organic Traffic
Before we talk about how to improve your onsite SEO, let’s talk about what SEO is first. Very simply:
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a strategy that makes it easier for search engines to index and rank your website so that they can then display them for relevant keyword searches.
Each search engine has a unique algorithm for how they determine a website’s rank. However, since Google holds over 90% of the search engine market, our SEO tricks are focused on their rankings.
There are countless factors that Google considers when ranking your website. In the past, therapists could trick search engines by stuffing pages with long lists of issues and modalities, related keywords, and backlinks. However, those days are long gone. Search engines have gotten a lot smarter and now the only way to get your psychotherapist website to rank well is by having a quality website.
How Does Google Judge Your Website’s Quality?
Before considering all the ways to boost your onsite search engine optimization, let’s explore some of the metrics that Google uses to give your website a quality score. These include:
- The amount of time people stay on your website
- The number of pages people visit on your site
- The keywords you’re targeting
- The quality of your incoming and outgoing links
As you can see, Google wants to know that your website is providing value to the visitor. After all, a search engine’s primary goal is to provide the very best answer to every question you ask. Now, with that in mind, let’s move on to those SEO tips and tricks.
1. Optimize Your Website for Local Search
For any service-based business, such as your therapy practice, it is critical to optimize for local search. Someone living in New York is not going to drive to a therapy practice in Maryland. In fact, searches along the lines of “XYZ thing near me” have grown 150 percent over the last two years.
One major way you can optimize for local search by using Google’s business listing service, Google My Business. This service lets you set up a mini web page which displays information about your business. This includes hours, contact information and address.
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2. Create Content that Prospective Clients Will Find Useful
With search engine marketing, it’s all about making prospective clients come to you. When you create amazing content that people want to read, they will see you as an expert in your field. Plus, every single piece of content you create should be talking directly to your dream client and showing them why you’re a great fit. In the past, you may have thought, “I don’t need a blog. Who would read it, anyway?!” The reality is, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
These articles become the bread and butter of what Google indexes when it’s determining your website’s rank. If the only pages on your website are for services, rates, insurance info, and staff bio pages, you’re losing out on SEO points to another therapy practice that is writing articles every week.
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3. Use Keyword Research When You’re Planning Your Content
Before you start creating that amazing content, you need to do keyword research first. You don’t want to dedicate precious time to researching and writing about topics only to find that no one is looking for that information.
We could write an entirely separate article about keyword research but to keep it simple, you want to brainstorm a list of things that people are searching for when they reach your website. After that, use a keyword research tool (like Google’s Keyword Planner) to find the phrases that are easy to compete for. The best keyword phrases are the ones that have a high search volume but not much content.
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4. Edit Your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
Once you’ve determined the keywords that you want to optimize your content for, go back through the pages on your website and previous blog posts and edit your page titles and meta descriptions to include those keyword phrases near the beginning. The meta description (sometimes referred to as an SEO description) is the text that is displayed below a website’s title on Google.
For example, if your keyword phrase is “choose a therapy practice” then your post title can be, “How To Choose a Therapy Practice That Fits Your Budget” and your meta description would be something like, “Choosing a therapy practice doesn’t need to be stressful when you know the right questions to ask.”
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5. Optimize Your Image ALT Tags
This is something that you can do in about five minutes. When you upload images to your website, you will be asked to enter an ALT tag describing that image. Since search engines cannot see what’s in an image, they use these ALT tags to index them instead.
Changing your ALT tags to include both a description of the image and the relevant keyword phrases will not only result in them being displayed on image searches, it boosts the overall keyword score on your page.
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6. Learn How to Use Google Analytics
We’ve kept this one for last because it is a long-term strategy. Once you have a better understanding of Google Analytics, you’ll be in a better position to improve your SEO. This is because Google Analytics gives you a ton of data about who is visiting your website.
While this can be daunting when you first look at it, understanding the metrics under Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions will give you a lot more data about your prospective clients and how they are responding to your website.
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Always Keep Your Dream Client In Mind
The most important thing with these SEO tips and tricks is to always keep your dream clients in mind. By thinking about client intent, you will be able to put yourself in their shoes and build a website that your users find useful.
On the other hand, you may decide that this is a lot of work better handled by someone else. The advantage of hiring a digital marketing agency is that you have more time to focus on what you’re good at: helping your clients.
Contact us today if you’re looking for a full-service marketing agency and we can talk about strategies to boost your search engine rankings and more.