As a therapist, you are your own business, and like any business, marketing is the key to success! When you think of marketing, you might think of billboards or magazine and television adverts. But while these used to be the most effective forms of advertising, they’ve given way to a new powerhouse! What might that be? Have a think about what we all look at and likely use every day: the internet, and more specifically, search engines.
Whether you’re surfing the web with Google or just searching for trends and interests on social media, you’re probably using a search engine. Search engines carry out worldwide web searches in a systematic way and they use algorithms to determine who gets to the top of the page. This is where the term search engine optimisation, or SEO, comes from. SEO is what puts your business at the top of the list when your potential client searches for services like yours, and once you know how to use it correctly, it will become your greatest marketing weapon!
Not sure where to start or what to do? Check out our checklist of SEO to-dos to get your business to the top of the rankings!
1) Research! Research! Research!
Research your client and their needs by deciphering what keywords are being used to find therapy services. This will give you an idea of the top keywords being searched for, which you can then use in your online content to attract more visits and more importantly, clients who hit book now! Sprinkle these keywords throughout your site, your social media posts and even in your URL! The more your keywords are present, the more you are as well. Not only is it good to know what people are searching for, but you’ll get a better idea of where you rank and where other therapists rank. Identifying your competition is another key element to your SEO strategy, this gives you an opportunity to visit sites with better rankings and discover their techniques to use in your own advertising.
So how do we find all of this information? There are a lot of online services which offer insight into SEO trends across multiple search engines like Google and Twitter, or a simpler and more accessible method is typing your keywords into Google and scrolling down to see the ‘Searches related’ portion. This will give you a series of suggested sentences based on popular searches made with your chosen keyword.
2) Have a niche
Specialising in one particular area can sound like a bad idea when it comes to marketing; many think it will be off-putting to potential clients and limit audiences and interest. This isn’t always the case, however – creating a niche can actually make you more appealing to clients searching for particular types of therapy such as anxiety in adults or speech therapy for children. While promoting yourself as an all-rounder will get you more visibility with more people, you run the risk of not standing out and having to compete with all other therapists nearby. Whereas when you market yourself as a specialist, your audience might be smaller, but they are more likely to engage and click to book.
3) Write content
Once you’ve got a visitor to your site, it’s important to impress and keep them there. Having articles and information on your specialised area is important for capturing the attention of your client, not just keeping them on your site for longer, but letting them know you are the right and most knowledgeable person to help them.
Keep your content fresh and inventive! Use different media like podcasts and videos with your articles; the more accessible and engaging your content, the more likely it is you can get backlinks, linking friends of your clients to your page. This also gives you more opportunities to implement keywords. More pages equal more possibility for rankings! Just watch out for oversaturating your content, keep a good balance between good writing and keywords.
4) Off-site optimization
Improving your reputation outside of your site is key to driving clients to it and getting more bookings. Try growing your social media platforms to connect with new clients or share information about your therapy. Gather positive reviews and testimonials which can be linked back to you and your site. This is called off-site optimisation and it is a large part of getting and keeping your audience.
5) Do what works for you!
After finding your keywords, your niche, filling your site with content, establishing a strong social media presence and off-site optimisation, you’re likely to start seeing new patterns on what works and what doesn’t. This is important to take note of! The things which make your site visits spike or drop are crucial to both predicting and controlling future traffic. So track what keywords drive content to you and which ones don’t, keep your research fresh and up-to-date and try new keywords, new platforms and continue to grow your audience and gain reviews! Finding what works for you not only keeps your marketing wheel turning, but it gives you the advertising confidence to push further and be seen!