10 Local SEO Tips for Psychologists

During these unprecedented years, the need for expert psychologists and mental health practitioners is on the rise. However, acquiring clients is still a challenge that many professionals face. Simply relying on word of mouth isn’t enough.
The solution?
Local SEO for psychologists.
So, here are ten tips for growing your practice online and gaining visibility and clients.

10 Simple Local SEO Tips for Psychologists

1. Claim Your Listings

The most important step of local SEO is claiming your listing on reputed directories. That’s because you want to make sure your practice reaches locals in your area and not clients in a different city who can’t access your services.
So, claim your listing on Apple Maps, Bing Places, the American Psychological Association, etc. However, the most important one is Google My Business (GMB) because Google is the most widely used search engine (SEMrush).
Additionally, the information from your GMB profile is used to rank your practice in search result pages. So, say your competitor has a profile too. But, you have a higher rating, more reviews, and updated NAP info.
Therefore, if a client is in your neighborhood, you will appear in the top 3-pack or rank higher than the doctor next door. Here’s how it appears on SERPs.
It results in more visibility, conversions, and organic traffic.
After claiming your business listings on reputed directories, look for well-known healthcare directories like healthgrade to boost local authority.
Read: What are the Benefits of a Google My Business Listing?

2. Add Local Keywords To Web Content

Keyword research is the backbone of any SEO strategy. So, for local SEO, start by researching the best keywords to help your practice appear in searches conducted by potential patients in your area.
The best way to do this is by using smart tools like free Google Keyword planner.
For example, if you have practices in Manhattan, the keyword ‘psychologist in New York’ is a good starting point.
However, you want to attract patients to your Tribeca location. Therefore, it’s beneficial to create content around keywords such as ‘Tribeca psychologist’ or ‘best Tribeca psychologist.’
Also, consider keywords that target your expertise, user search intent, and location. Let’s say a war veteran is looking for services, and you’re a licensed military psychologist.
Consider adding keywords such as ‘Austin military psychologist’ or ‘Austin psychologist PTSD’ to your service pages.
Keywords like these will increase website ranking, quality traffic, and visibility on more search result pages.

3. Maintain NAP Consistency

Name, place, and phone number (NAP) information are crucial for your local SEO strategy. It might sound simple. However, inconsistent contact info can cause potential patients to go to your competitor.
You can use free Mozlocal to analyze the consistency of your NAP on the web and improvise it.
Let’s say a patient is visiting from out of town and looking for a group therapy session in Fort Worth. They search and find your practice.
However, your contact information is unavailable, or it’s the wrong phone number. This results in a missed opportunity to convert the lead.
Additionally, inconsistent NAP info can also cause ranking and indexing issues.
Search Engine crawlers use NAP info from websites, listings, social media, blog mentions, etc. Therefore, crawlers will rank you lower if inconsistent information on these channels.
So, outrank a competing therapist by updating all your NAP info, and you will rank higher than their practice.
Read: The Role of NAP in Local SEO

4. Ask for Reviews From Industry Peers

Patient confidentiality and the code of ethics are two main reasons why etically psychologists can’t ask for reviews from their patients. However, reviews are a huge pack-ranking factor.
Specifically, Google factors the reviews on a GMB profile when deciding who it wants to bring to the top of the results. Additionally, potential clients like to read reviews to ensure that your practice is legitimate.
So, how can a psychologist get a review ethically?
The answer is industry and peer reviews.
Here is a list of people you can ask:

  • Other Therapists - Return the favor by writing one for them, as well. Here’s a review example found on the GMB listing.
  • Colleagues - You’ve worked with people such as research assistants, psychology professors, etc.
  • Journalists Or Local Influencers - People who have written articles on your practice should also be encouraged to write a short GMB review.

5. Create More Local Content

Having a blog post on your website is an excellent way for psychologists to share their knowledge on mental health. Plus, it’s a local SEO tactic to create content that includes a city or local keywords.
For example, say you’re a behavioral therapist in Detroit. Writing informational blogs like the ones mentioned below will help your website show up in local searches:

  • Seven tips for better mental health for working moms in Detroit
  • 5 Ways for Detroit’s small-business owners can reduce stress.

Take a look at the below screenshot. A content created for Detroit Labs in 2018 is still ranking on SERPs for local search, even after four years.
Regularly publishing authentic content that adds value to the local community will increase your website rank and traffic. Plus, Google’s crawlers index these pages. So, the more local content you publish, the more it deems your practice authority in that area and your niche.

6. Add Location to Meta Tags

Meta tags are the headers, sub-headings, image descriptions, page descriptions, URLs, etc., on your website. Crawlers use meta tag information to understand the content of your website.
Therefore, by adding location keywords into these tags, search engines will promote your content to users in the area who are conducting searches for your services.
Ensure that you add city, suburb, or state keywords into your URLs and site descriptions. That's because users read the descriptions under the links on search results pages.
Take a look at this website with a URL, title, and H1, indicating both search engines and users that it has what they are looking for.
So, say a potential patient is looking for a therapist in suburban Austin. Your practice is number three on the search result page. However, your page description mentions Cedar Park, Austin.
Since your competitors failed to do that, the user will click through on your website because it fulfills their search intent of a suburban therapist.

7. Select Your Listing Category

Directories give businesses the option to specify their niche. Therefore, you can select the 'Psychologist' or 'Counselor' categories as a therapist.
Google My Business gives you the option of selecting up to 10 categories. The category you choose is visible on the search results pages and distinguishes you from your competitors.
So, think when choosing the categories, as this information is what search engines use to bring more target local traffic to your website. Also, categories help users identify which practice best suits them.
Take a look at the below example of how categorizing helps the audience find your business easily.
Therefore, select 'Family therapist' as your primary category if you specialize in family therapy. That way, users in your area searching for a family therapist will be motivated to click through to your site or book a session.

8. Add Local Structured Data

Nowadays, the trend is for users to find all the information they need on the first search results page. This phenomenon is called Zero Click Results/Searches. Thus, making content creators and developers depend on structured data.
Schema or structured data is a piece of code that search engines understand and use when delivering results to users.
For example, a user searched for 'how to choose a counselor.' Google will show them the answer directly on the results page. The content will appear in the form of a listicle or paragraph.
Here’s how it looks on search results.
The answer is usually taken from a high-ranking and authentic website that uses schema markup or structured data to format this information.
That's why it's imperative to use structured data in your code. It will help with your overall and local SEO strategy.

9. Maintain A Social Media Presence

Another local SEO ranking factor is your social media presence. With more than 3billion users a month, social media is a great platform to connect with the right audience.
Sharing attractive images, videos, blogs, etc., will enhance impressions and engagement, indicating your page's quality.
Geo-tagging posts and adding location info to your profiles will help clients and search engines identify your practice as part of the community. It's also a great way to stay connected with past clients and explore new demographics.
Plus, it's an opportunity to publish informational and location-optimized content on these platforms. These additional links tell search engines that you have a legitimate business in that area.
For example, as a therapist, you may not have time for influencer research or getting your research papers published on online periodicals.
Yet, you can publish those blogs on your Linkedin, Healthshare, or Facebook profiles. This will create more citations and help you appear in search results.
So, spend time maintaining your social presence.

10. Hire An Expert

The biggest benefit of hiring an expert is to outrank the competition. For example, if you find that your direct competitors perform better online or have more clients. Chances are they're using expert help.
The screenshot below shows that the experts perform meticulous research on user behavior and strategize to improve the website.
These experts stay informed on the latest algorithm changes, trends, and future pitfalls. They ensure that your website and online presence aren't affected by technical changes or new search engine guidelines.
Lastly, as a private practice business owner, your time is better spent focusing on your patients.
A digital marketing agency or local SEO expert will create personalized strategies to get more quality leads, generate online and foot traffic, and increase search rank.
So, consider hiring an expert who can take your marketing and your local online presence to the next level.

Local SEO for Psychologists - FAQs

Q1: Does Local SEO Work For Psychologists?

Local SEO techniques work for all industries and all professionals. Your practice will rank higher on search engines through tactics such as claiming listings and adding local content to your website. Plus, you'll attract more quality traffic.

Q2: As A Counselor, What are The Best Off-Site SEO Techniques For My Website?

Along with your local SEO strategy, you can implement these off-site techniques:

  • Influencer outreach
  • Google My Business Optimization
  • Social media marketing
  • Citation building
  • Video marketing
  • Local listings management

Q3: Can A Local SEO Expert Help Boost My Psychology Practice Online?

Yes, hire a local SEO expert with mental health industry experience. They will create a strategy by implementing best practices, such as:

  • Claiming listings
  • Creating local content
  • Optimizing meta tags with local keywords
  • Review/rating management, etc.

Key Takeaways

  • Update NAP information on all directory listings and web pages.
  • After claiming your business listings on reputed directories, look for well-known healthcare directories like healthgrade to boost local authority.
  • Include keywords in content that incorporate your city, suburb, or location.
  • Curate more local content on your web pages.
  • Optimize meta tags and descriptions with location keywords.
  • Ask peers for online reviews.
  • Add location information to the footers of all your web pages.
  • Get backlinks and citations from reputed sources in the medical field.
  • Hire a local SEO expert to create and implement a strategy specifically for a psychologist.
  • Maintain a consistent publishing schedule on your social media platforms.

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