In the past, when any local service was needed, you turned to friends and personal recommendations from people you knew. Today, however, most people turn to the internet first.
This means there’s a huge potential to attract new clients to your therapy practice using local search engine optimization (local SEO). While you may know something about SEO in general, local SEO is much more specific.
Keep reading to learn more about marketing for therapists and how to make local SEO work for your practice.
3 Reasons Therapists Need to Invest in Local SEO
If you aren’t convinced that the targeted efforts of local SEO can help your practice, think about these three things:
1. The Yellow Page No Longer Exist
The Yellow Pages got their start in 1878. This alone shows how old-fashioned this method of finding a business is.
In the past, though, the Yellow Pages offered a great way for therapists to find new business. You would purchase an ad and then wait for the clients to call.
Or you would start the name of your business with the letter A so you show up at the beginning of the phone book.
Today, people turn to the internet.
In fact, 93 percent of people start the search for a local business online, with Google being a favorite search engine.
2. It’s a Source of Free Traffic
Depending on the stage of your practice, paying for some advertising can be beneficial.
But I’m a huge proponent of free ways you can get traffic to your therapy website. http://createmytherapistwebsite.com/free-ways-to-drive-traffic-to-therapy-website/
If you can boost your ranking on Google, you are going to have a constant flow of completely free traffic. All you have to do is to convert them to real, paying clients.
3. Fast Results
When you focus on local results for your therapy practice, you are only competing for the top spot in Google with other therapists in the local area.
So if you have a local office and see clients in person, this could be a place worth investing some time or marketing efforts.
You don’t have to try and compete with therapists and other websites across the country that may have a larger marketing budget than you.
Is Local SEO more Important than Traditional SEO?
So, you may be wondering if local SEO efforts are more important than the traditional type of SEO you’ve heard so much about.
The truth is, you need both.
Regardless of your business model, as a local business with a website you are trying to rank, you need to ensure it is well-structured, properly optimized, multi-device compliant, error-free, and indexable.
The good news is, the factors that help with traditional SEO are also going to be beneficial for your local SEO efforts.
You can think of local SEO as being extra steps you take to get your website to appear in the local search results instead of an alternative to traditional SEO.
When building an SEO strategy for your practice, make sure it considers the traditional and local SEO needs. You’ll want to work on both for the best results.
Local SEO: What Really Matters?
Local SEO and traditional SEO efforts are actually quite similar. They both consider on- and off-site factors.
Some specific examples of on-page local factors to focus on, in your own strategy include:
- Ensuring your business name, address and phone number (sometimes called NAP) is consistent across all online presences such as your Facebook page, Psychology Today and Google Business listings
- Linking the contact page in the main navigation
- Include schema mark up for your site
- Using fresh and relevant content on your blog
- Specific information related to the local area
Each of these can help set you up for success when building your local SEO strategy.
However, that’s just part of the puzzle. You also have to consider the off-page local SEO factors.
A listing is what makes your business visible, and this is at the core of local SEO. You find listings on directories and websites such as Psychology Today, Bing Places, Yelp, Local, and Google+
A citation is a reference to your business. This includes a reference to the name, phone number, website, or address. Multiple citations of your private practice, spread across a number of websites, can be a signal to Google of where your business resides and what it’s all about.
If you want to be found locally, you have to embrace social media. Make sure to do research to see where your target audience hangs out online.
Therapists and Reviews: What’s the Verdict?
For local SEO related to non-mental health businesses, reviews are an important part of the bigger marketing strategy.
They can actually help with ranking a local business higher and increase conversion rates.
However, with therapy (of any type) it isn’t a typical local business. Factors such as confidentiality and not pressuring clients to leave a review, along with other ethical considerations, come in to play.
So you’ve got to be a bit careful when it comes to reviews.
The decision of if you collect reviews for your therapy practice is dependent on how you are getting the reviews, your personal comfort, and your ethical guidelines.
Help More People by Investing in Local SEO Marketing for Therapists
The more people you can reach online, the more opportunities you have to help them.
More leads also mean you can choose the clients that are a good match for your private practice.
As a therapist, you have to adhere to requirements and guidelines that may not be present for other businesses in the area.
While this is true, it doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from local marketing efforts to help you get found by potential clients nearby.
Enlist Help for Local SEO Success
As a therapist, regardless of your specific niche, the end goal is to help people. However, if people don’t find you when they search online, you miss out on the chance to help them.
This is one of the many reasons why investing in local SEO marketing for therapists is such a good idea.
If you aren’t sure how to get started, or if you don’t have the time to invest in these efforts, we’d love to help.
Learn how you can work with us to get the local SEO results you need to keep a steady flow of new clients coming to your practice.
The more people who find you, the more people you can help.