Marketing for Psychologists: What is SEO and How Does it Work?

Marketing for Psychologists: What is SEO and How Does it Work?

It’s easy to highlight your practice and attract potential clients when they see you as an authority on your subject. Having your own website is the route to looking professional, becoming a valuable source of information and a trusted psychologist. A website can help you acquire visitors who eventually become your clients through proper SEO practice. By creating a website for your practice, you will be where your customers are. You can start building a relationship with them by including a mailing list on your site. If you want more people to find your site, you need to learn how to rank properly on search engines using SEO.

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is an ongoing process of optimizing a website so that it can rank higher on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and so on. As a psychologist, the higher your website ranks, the more visible your service will be, thereby bringing in more clients to your practice.

SEO for psychologists is a great opportunity to scale your practice in the internet era. Google handles 3.8 million searches per minute on average across the globe, which cumulates to 2 trillion searches in a year. With the right SEO practice on your website, you can increase your reach online and constantly bring in new leads.

How Does SEO Work?

Publishing quality content on your website which will be useful to searchers and which also optimizes for search engines is key to SEO success. When a person enters a keyword on any search engine such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, the search engine makes use of bots to crawl pages on the web. It goes from one site to another, collecting information about those pages and putting them in an index. The bots crawl the code of the pages, text, and several other factors such as:

  1. The quality of your site technical structure
  2. The quality of the content
  3. The page speed
  4. The number of backlinks to a page.

Through a search engine algorithm, the bots will then sort the results relevant to the searcher’s keyword in the order of best to worst.

As a psychologist, you might be very good at what you do, you might even be the best in town but if you do not play by the rules of the Search Engine algorithm, your site will not rank higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Therefore, there is a need to take into consideration several ranking factors. Involving these factors in your SEO strategy will help Google or any other search engine verify that your service is trustworthy and real. Google wants to give its searchers accurate results at all times. The algorithm helps them achieve this. 

SEO Must-Haves for Your Site

SEO has its core in Keyword, Content, and Backlinks

KEYWORD

A successful SEO campaign begins with a good keyword. As a psychologist, you have to first identify keywords that your prospective clients are searching for. I recommend that you make use of long-tail keywords and not just short generic keywords. Examples of long-tail Keywords are “Psychologists that can treat anxiety in Texas.” While examples of the short generic keywords are “Psychologist,” “Therapy,” “Health.” Long-tail keywords are what your prospective clients are most likely searching for in Google and they might even want to hire someone as soon as possible. It is easier to rank higher for long-tail keywords than short generic keywords.

CONTENT

After you have gotten keywords that you want to rank for. The next thing is to create top-notch content. Remember, Google and other search engines will always rank the best on the first page of the search results. About 4 million posts are published each day which means the competition is massive. That’s why your content has to be very good and unique. Here are some tips that can help you optimize your content for Search Engines:

  1. Make use of your keyword in your heading and at least one or two times in your first paragraph.
  2. You can also make use of the natural variants of your keyword. This means you can make use of words related to your keyword in your content, to avoid excessive repetition of the keyword.
  3. Write at least 800 – 2,000 words that give adequate information on your keyword.
  4. In your meta-description and title tag, ensure you add your keyword.

 

BACKLINKS

After you have published your content, the next thing to do is to build quality backlinks to your website. Backlinks are links on other websites that lead the visitor back to your website. Backlinks are important authority signals. The more quality backlinks you have, the more search engines will trust your site. As a Psychologist, you should build backlinks from websites relating to psychology and therapy. Also, build backlinks from authoritative sites that have domain extensions like .edu or .org. Building quality backlinks may take time but once you get them, it will go a long way in ranking your website.

SEO Tools for Beginners

Certain tools are crucial to practising SEO. Below are some of the tools that are essential to SEO, especially if you are just starting out:

  1. Google Analytics (Free): This is a tool that gives you important data about your site traffic, visitors, bounce rate, and other necessary data that helps you keep track of your SEO efforts.
  2. Google Search Console (Free): This web analytics console from Google gives you invaluable insights about your site and you can even get to know your site health from Google using this tool.
  3. SEMRUSH (Paid): This tool is highly recommended for beginners and even professionals because it helps you do a lot. It is a keyword research, site-auditor, and competitor analysis tool.
  4. Page Speed Insights (Free): This tool helps test your core web vitals and load time. Load time is one of the determinants of ranking on Google’s first page. Therefore, this tool is important.

Getting a website is worth investing in because once you implement SEO on your site and it ranks higher, you would have more people patronizing your practice.

References 

  1. Neil Patel. What is SEO? (Learn How to Do It in 5 Minutes). Retrieved from neilpatel.com
  2. SEJ. What is SEO and How It Works (Beginner’s Guide to SEO). Retrieved from searchenginejournal.com