If you want clients to find you online, you need an SEO strategy.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” Search engine optimization is a collection of techniques that help your practice appear when a potential client searches for a therapist. If you’ve ever Googled “therapist near me” and wondered how to get your practice to appear, SEO is the solution.
SEO can seem intimidating, but you don’t need to worry.
The basics of SEO are pretty straightforward, even for folks who aren’t tech savvy. You want your website and online presence to be technically optimized so that it’s appealing to Google’s algorithm. And you want the written content on your website to be helpful, authoritative, and easy to read. You can understand these concepts more in depth with my SEO guide for therapists.
Finding SEO Success
Unfortunately, it’s pretty difficult to move beyond the basics. Figuring out what exactly will make Google happy is not intuitive, and teaching yourself how to beat the competition with SEO can feel like starting grad school – again.
What’s more, most therapists didn’t open a practice so they could learn how to tweak meta tags or upload XML sitemaps. All that time you spending working on your SEO is time taken away from meeting with clients, sharpening your therapy skills, or your (much-needed!) self-care.
But trying to hire someone to help can be a huge gamble. Most SEO consultants don’t understand the world of therapy, which means they might write content for your website that includes inaccurate information or suggest strategies that go against your code of ethics (like asking clients for reviews or testimonials). Or you might find a good writer who doesn’t understand the technical fundamentals of SEO, preventing you from implementing a comprehensive SEO strategy.
Working With Us
I know all of this because I’m a therapist myself. I’m in my final year of a doctoral program in clinical psychology, with expected graduation in August of 2019.
And I know this because I’ve worked in online marketing since 2011 – I spent four years working at some of the top online advertising agencies in the country before starting my graduate program, and after I began my studies I founded Marketing for Therapists to continue using my marketing skills to help therapists.
However, on my own I wasn’t able to help therapists find SEO success, because effective SEO is a team effort. You need someone who can craft an overall strategy, someone who can write brilliant Google-friendly content, and someone else who can go deep in the technical weeds and talk robot to the search engines. And I wasn’t able to offer all of those things myself alone without compromising on quality.
That’s why I recruited an absolutely stellar team. I’ve brought on the best psychotherapy SEO writer in the business (the deeply talented Dr. Kyler Shumway) and a rock-solid expert in the technical side of SEO (the highly skilled DJ King). Think of us like your own personal SEO A-Team. (Get to know us at our about us page.)
Here’s what we do for you, and how you can get started.
1) SEO Optimization & SEO Strategy
While anyone can get started on SEO, real success requires someone who knows all of the technical tricks to make your website shine in Google’s eyes.
That’s why I partnered with DJ King. DJ is a bona-fide SEO expert, who has been working as a search strategist since 2014. Since joining the team, DJ has been teaching me plenty about online marketing that I didn’t know – and I literally wrote the book on online marketing 🙂 He’s also passionate about psychology, and plans to pursue his own doctorate in the coming years.
DJ provides both SEO consulting and technical SEO optimization for your therapy practice. Just like a good therapist can help clients untangle their complicated emotions and figure out a pathway forward, DJ’s consulting work can help you understand out the murky world of SEO and figure out the best strategy for your practice.
DJ can also go deep in the weeds and optimize all of the behind-the-scenes technical aspects of your SEO presence. If you’re starting from scratch, he can make sure everything is configured for you, and if you’ve already done some of the work yourself he can provide an expert second opinion and make sure that you’re not missing any opportunities.
Working with DJ
If you’d like to work with DJ, we offer three different packages, plus you can hire him for a la carte hourly work. Here are the details
SEO Audit & Setup Package – $450
With the SEO audit, DJ will analyze your current SEO situation, catalog the areas where changes should be made, and will work with you to get you set up on Google Analytics and Google Search Console if you haven’t already done that.
After completing the audit, DJ will send you a document detailing how your current SEO setup compares against best practices, providing you with suggestions for high-impact optimizations, and giving you various possible actions you might take going forward. This will allow you to estimate how much time and money you might need to invest to reach various SEO goals, and allow you to make strategic decisions about what to focus on.
The SEO audit is designed to be an assessment, not an intervention, so DJ won’t take any specific actions other than helping you set up Analytics and Search Console. However, after the audit is complete you should have a much better idea of what to do going forward, whether that’s using DIY strategies or hiring us for further work.
Here are the specific deliverables you receive:
- Setup and configuration of Google Analytics and Google Search Console We set you up with Google’s world-class tools for tracking your SEO performance, so you can make informed decisions. If you already have these tools set up, we’ll make sure they’re configured correctly, and we’ll do a preliminary analysis of the data that’s there.
- Comprehensive website SEO audit: We go through your website with a fine-tooth comb, identifying all of the technical changes you can make that will improve your SEO.
- Directory profile audit: We research your local profiles on platforms such as Google My Business, Bing Places, and Psychology Today and make sure the information contained therein is accurate. If a profile is missing, we’ll let you know so you can consider adding it.
SEO Optimization Package: $900
With this SEO optimization package, DJ will complete an audit, and then he’ll take action to complete the highest-impact optimizations that he uncovered. He’ll also do a deeper analysis of your website to find opportunities not just for better SEO, but also greater conversion rate. And he’ll go beyond your website to make sure that your listings in Google Maps and Bing are optimized as well.
You get everything from the audit package, plus…
- Website SEO Optimization We work to optimize your website for SEO, which includes investigating opportunities for page speed improvement, fixing your meta tags, and writing page descriptions.
- Website conversion audit: We suggest (and apply when appropriate) changes to your website design that will improve your conversion rate, boosting the chances a visitor will become a client.
- Google My Business & Bing Places: We setup and configure your Google My Business and Bing Places accounts, making sure these crucial profiles are working as they should be.
Deep Dive – $1600
With this package, we will provide you with everything from the audit and everything from the optimization, but with an even deeper level of both analysis and optimization. We also provide you with personalized, one on one consultation which you can use for coaching, specific projects, or anything else.
Specifically, you get everything from the audit and optimization packages, plus…
- Comprehensive analysis of Google Analytics & Search Console We do a thorough look at your analytics information, providing you with detailed insights into how visitors are finding your website and what they’re doing once there.
- Search Engine Competitive Analysis: We gather information on your top keywords and your local competitors, and do research to see how you stack up to other therapists in your area and how you might improve.
- Comprehensive Directory Optimization We analyze and optimize your profiles across all relevant local directories, making sure you have a consistently strong presence
- Personalized coaching and consultation: You work with DJ via email, phone or video call (your choice) to get personalized, one on one guidance. You will receive two total hours of coaching with this package. (You can also use these hours for additional optimization or analysis work if preferred.)
A La Carte Services – $250/hr
If these packages don’t quite fit you, or you’d like some additional services after your package is finished, you can hire DJ for a la carte services at a rate of $250/hr. If you’ve previously signed up for the “Deep Dive” package, this rate drops to $200/hr.
2) Content Writing For Therapists
Content is king when it comes to SEO. If your website has high-quality, authoritative writing, Google is much more likely to place it in the search results.
That’s why I partnered with my friend and colleague Dr. Kyler Shumway. Dr. Shumway completed his PsyD in clinical psychology and has published dozens of articles on psychotherapy all around the web. He’s also presented on online writing for APA, and he’s written his own book. So the guy knows how to write, and he infuses his writing with the expertise derived from his clinical training.
What’s more, Kyler understands how important the therapeutic relationship is, and takes pains to craft content that helps clients start to connect with you right from the moment they land on your website. Kyler collaborates with you to develop a list of topics that are best suited to improving your marketing results, while also taking the time to learn your therapeutic style to make sure that his writing reflects your unique “voice.” The result is SEO-optimized content that is tailored to your specific practice and custom-written to ensure both readability and clinical accuracy (no pseudoscience or outdated data in our writing!)
Here’s a few of the highlights of what Kyler does for you:
Working with Kyler
Kyler offers a few different content writing services. If the service you need isn’t listed below, feel free to contact us so we can see if we can offer you a custom service.
Quickstart Content Package – $500
When a client visits your website, you have just a few moments to demonstrate your expertise and differentiate yourself from other therapists. Otherwise, clients will leave and find another therapist to contact.
Kyler’s “Quickstart” writing package solves this problem by giving you concise, compelling content which makes it easy for clients to get to know you and see your unique value. This package is designed to give you the greatest impact on your website’s conversion rate, while costing the least. The Quickstart package includes the following:
1) A services page with one paragraph per service/specialty (600-800 words)
2) An about page, introducing one therapist in depth or writing short paragraphs for multiple therapists (600 – 800 words)
3) An attention-grabbing paragraph for your homepage, designed to be placed above the fold so it’s the first thing visitors encounter (100 – 250 words)
Full-length SEO Content Pages (800 – 1200 words) – $200 per page, plus one-time $150 research fee.
Google loves lengthy, high-quality content. This is because Google knows that people who are searching for help with something want to find an authoritative answer that they can trust, not a handful of sentences of dubious value.
So the single best kind of content for boosting your SEO performance is full-length (800 – 1200 word) pages that talk in depth about a service that you offer (like couples counseling) or a specialty area (like trauma therapy.) When your website has a detailed page for a particular specialty or service, Google is much more likely to show that page when someone searches for that specialty. This full-length content also serves to improve your conversion rate, because it gives human readers confidence that you know what you’re talking about and you’re able to help them.
Kyler has extensive experience producing these kind of pages, and his doctorate in clinical psychology makes him well-equipped to explain complex therapeutic topics in a way that is accurate and understandable to lay clients. He also tailors your article to fit your specific practice, which is why we charge a research fee so that he can take the time to fully understand your approach and style.
Each page includes one round of revisions if desired.
Short Content Pages (400 – 600 words) – $150 per page, plus one-time $150 research fee.
SEO is tough to compete in, and you might decide that it just doesn’t make sense for you to invest your efforts there. However, even if you don’t want to compete in SEO, it’s still critical that your website has high-quality content, because people who find you through other marketing channels (including AdWords, word of mouth, Psychology Today, etc) will still want to peruse your website before deciding to sign up with you. If your website is lacking in good content, those people are likely to choose another therapist instead.
That’s where Kyler’s short content pages come in. These pages are about half the length of the full-length pages, which means they won’t be as attractive to Google’s algorithm. But they’re still fully compelling to a human reader who is wondering if your services are right for them. Plus, some therapists prefer a succinct style for their website content, in which case this is exactly what you’re looking for.
As with the full-length pages, each page includes one round of revisions if desired, and you pay a one-time research fee so Kyler can make sure he accurately represents your approach.. The cost decreases if you commission five or more pages, which provides you with a savings if you want to fully kit out your website for SEO success.
Directory Profile Optimization – $250 for the first profile, $100 for all profiles after that.
Kyler can also make sure that your directory profiles are well-written and fully optimized. A huge number of potential clients start their search for a therapist on directories such as Yelp or Good Therapy, but you need an optimized profile in order to make sure that they click on your profile instead of another therapist. That’s where Kyler comes in – he can craft custom descriptions for your profiles and make sure that they’re fully optimized. The rate is $250 for the first profile, and $100 for all profiles after that (since there’s an up-front time investment we only need to do once.)
Please note that you have to sign up for the profiles yourself since you need to validate your business ownership, but we’ll do the rest. Here are the links to sign up for the profiles:
Yelp (sign up here)
Psychology Today (sign up here)
Health Grades (sign up here)
Good Therapy (sign up here) – use coupon Save40DW to receive a pro membership for the cost of a basic membership
Yellow Pages (sign up here)
Google My Business (sign up here) AND Bing Places (sign up here) – you get both
I also want to make a special mention of CareDash.com. CareDash is a newer player in the directory space, but they’re growing fast – with over a million potential clients visiting the site every month. They’ve also invested in technology to help weed out fake reviews, so if you’re a good therapist, you can have higher confidence that your reviews will reflect that. Plus, their algorithm is set up to reward the effort that you place in your profile, which means that if you take the time to fully optimize your profile (or hire us to do it for you), you’ll be rewarded with higher placement in their results. This is a big improvement compared to some of the other directories where you have no control over where you show up in the search results.
CareDash is a sponsor of Marketing for Therapists, which means I’m able to offer you an exclusive deal. Signing up with CareDash is totally free, but if you email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention my name, you can get five calls free through their sponsored listing program – in other words, you get a sponsored listing for totally free until you get five actual referrals from it. That’s a great deal because you can find out if their sponsored listing works for you or not without spending any money.