And now, from Katrina:
Marketing your private practice online can be a daunting task. Where do you begin? What do you focus your energies on? I’d like to provide a quick overview of important steps towards improving your online visibility and generating clients for your private practice.
Where it begins: your website
Your website is the online home of your business and is the cornerstone of marketing your practice online. Start by building (or commissioning) a well-designed, responsive, and attractive website. Then you’ll want to write content that accurately describes who you are, the services you offer, and why clients should choose you for their therapy needs.
A good rule is to have the following core pages: Home, About, Services/Specialties, Contact, and Blog.
Focus on writing unique and compelling content for your website. While there are no hard and fast rules for word count, Google recommends writing at least 300 words/page.
Start building local visibility
Most clients are searching for a local therapist in their city or town. Therefore, you’ll want to show up in search results when potential clients search city name + counseling/therapy + niche (if applicable). A great way to get on the map with Google is to create and verify your business listing with Google For Business. Click here to get started. Once you’ve created your business listing your business may begin to show up in local search results, As shown just above.
Continue building links to your website
Search engines track the authority and popularity of your website by how many links are pointing to it. You’ll want links from relevant and trusted websites. Creating therapy directory listings, such as Psychology Today, Good Therapy, and others, allows you to gain valuable links to your website. Writing articles or guest posts for outlets such as Huffington Post or Psych Central will also help your website rise in rankings and authority. A word of caution as you’re building links: do not buy or otherwise solicit links from sites that are not relevant to your business or that appear spammy. These links will actually hurt your rankings, rather than help them.
I hope these few steps are helpful to you as you begin to market your practice online. Of course, the world of internet marketing and search engine optimization is a complex one. Yet taking small steps towards improved visibility online can lead to big gains for your private practice.
- Katrina Taylor, MA, LMFT-A
Katrina is presenting to our AUSTIN LAUNCH members on September 23rd if you're interested in learning a ton more on SEO!!!