1.1 Trillion. This is the number of searches Google alone processes in a year. Of all these searches, millions are potential clients looking to find mental health professionals. In fact, 80% of Internet users have searched for health related topics online, making it the 3rd most popular online activity behind email and researching a product or service before making a purchase.
If this is where everyone is at, then it is essential that you take control of your web presence and get in front of these clients. Think of getting to the top of Google (and all major search engines) as winning a race. It’s a process that takes time. You have to train, condition your body and prepare to go the distance. Once the race has begun, you are well on your way to the finish line, recording your personal best!
The first step in the race to the top is to start training and getting yourself out there, which is to get a website. Your website is your home, your domain, and an easy way to market your practice to 3 billion internet-using potential clients. You can customize it to promote your services, your books, and your speaking engagements, all in a way that fits your personality.
Now that you’ve started the process with your website, the next step is conditioning. This is done with Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO. SEO is the collective name for a series of techniques that make search engines deem your site “relevant.” When you achieve relevance, your ranking increases, and the traffic to your website improves. SEO for your website is just as important as a runner’s training regimen and diet plan – without a good one, you’ll quickly fall behind the competition. Just like physical training, your SEO plan can be as intense or as light as you like. But no matter what, two things are absolutely necessary – keywords and content.
Identifying your industry related keywords is very important. A keyword is a particular word or phrase that describes the contents of a website or webpage. Your keywords sum up an entire page. For example, if you are a therapist specializing in anxiety, you want people with anxiety to be finding you, so your keywords would include “anxiety”. You need to know your audience and tailor your keywords to them. Keywords should include your specialty, location, age group focus of your practice, anything you want people to know about you and your practice. Second, you need to implement those keywords into unique, fresh content. Content includes any information on your website or page (information, links, etc.) and should easily identify what you do and say a little about who you are. The more original you are the more likely you are to be differentiated in the world of Google. And of course your content should be updated regularly as well. You want Google to visit you often so that you are on their radar and being ranked. The more often you update the more Google comes to visit. Updating can be as easy as adding a link to an article or new finding in the field.
Now that you have a website and it is prepared to go up against the competition, the last big step is to use your water, snacks, and crowd energy to go the distance and cross the finish line. In terms of Internet marketing this would be taking your optimized site and utilizing social media to network and draw attention to it. Social media gives you that big boost to carry you to the finish line. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are some of the easiest ways to spread the word about you and your practice. And the best part? They’re all free, and they all provide backlinks. Post new information (articles, fun facts, new developments) on social media, update your website, and keep people informed, and you’ll have the crowd on your side.
Just like running a race, optimizing your website takes time, research, and dedication. To help you kick off the process smoothly and achieve your personal best, California Counseling Association has partnered with TherapySites, who can help you start the race on the right foot with a special opportunity for One Month Free by entering Promo Code: PromoCCA Start building an online presence today at http://www.therapysites.com?a_aid=8127&a_bid=3dd8338e
About TherapySites: TherapySites specializes in websites designed specifically for mental health professionals. They provide the necessary resources for an effective online presence including basic search engine optimization, online scheduling, an eNewsletter feature, credit card processing, and more.
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