Should I use SEO to Optimize My Mental Health Site?
Search engines compete with each other to be your go-to search engine. If they lose your business, they lose advertisers, data collections, and other forms of income. No search engine, not even Google, can hire enough people to actively explore every site out there to determine what is authentic. What they can do is set up a list of behaviors that authentic and quality websites generally engage in.
Search engines run on the assumption that businesses and topical websites use words that relate to their topic. They create algorithms that direct their search engine to work on that assumption. So when readers enter their search term, Google looks for sites that mention that word or string of words — more than once is even better.
One of the best things for showing that a website is a legitimate site and not a scam is activity. This is one of the reasons why it is recommended to keep a blog on your site. Not only does it establish your authority, educate your clients, and give your potential clients a taste of who you are — it also is a very reasonable way to keep a website active without constantly changing things up.
Pages run by real people link to other sites and articles and have other sites and articles link to them. This can either start to happen organically after you have been writing for a while, but ways to increase the occurrence of this is to engage with social media — posting links to your site and blog, email lists, guest blogging, and interacting with others accelerates this process. The reality is that any sort of increased traffic draws search engine attention.
Backlinking to your own articles or pages also keeps a reader on your site. While search engines do pay attention to how long a visitor stays and how many pages they view, the most important thing about this is that someone who stays on your site for a while is more likely to become a client or customer.
How Big of a Deal is SEO?
Search engines don’t have the means to determine a quality site, but by determining how quality sites behave and then setting up algorithms for those behaviors, they come up with their results and keep their users happy.
Search Engine Optimization is the systematic attempt to make a site or post conform to these expectations. When search engine bots notice that your site fulfills their criteria, your site is likely to show up higher on search results for mental health professionals in your niche or location (preferably the first page, but that might take some time). Unfortunately, scam sites optimize as well, so search engines do change their algorithms frequently.
Keywords used to be a big deal in SEO. Now they aren’t so much. In the end, if readers come to your site, but the content isn’t good, they will be leaving quickly, so it doesn’t matter how many times you mentioned “dialectical therapy” in your article if the writing doesn’t engage your reader.
What are Some Things I Can Do to Optimize my Mental Health Post or Site?
SEO techniques can help rank your site, but good content is what really makes a good site. Produce good articles that are a reflection of you, your interests, skills, and abilities. Using some SEO techniques can accelerate getting noticed. But make them organic to you and how you do things.
- Link to other articles that really do relate to what you are writing about (called “backlinking”)
- Use keywords that pertain to what you are writing about. Work it into the post a few times.
- Establish a writing schedule that doesn’t exhaust you, but allows you to keep your site active.
- Pick one or two forms of social media for promoting your work. Learn to use them so that you get comfortable with them. Different social media services have different strengths.
Yoast SEO Plugin
I will go through Yoast SEO Plugin in more detail next, but install it on your site and learn to use it. The plugin sits underneath your page construction or your blog post construction and gives you pointers on SEO and readability.
Want Some Guidance?
Search engine ratings don’t overnight, but adding the elements is worth the effort, and done well, increases the usefulness to the reader, too. As in every other field that depends at least partially on search engines for their clientele to find them, optimizing your mental health site is a good idea.
Don’t go it alone! I provide some of these related services for mental health professionals:
- Online coaching in search engine optimization.
- I can go over your WordPress site and optimize it for search engines.
- I can edit your blog, integrating search engine optimization features.
Send me a message on my Contact Me page. I respond quickly.