How It Helps You
Attract More Clients
How SEO Helps Mental Health
Providers Grow Their Practice
Technology plays a critical role in raising awareness about the importance of mental health. Online channels facilitate conversations that help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Social media campaigns, for example, are effective in spreading accurate information, which helps battle misinformation.
These innovations make it easier for people to find relevant answers to their questions regarding mental health. Users have two distinct behaviours when it comes to going online for mental health matters.
Digital Trends for Mental Health
Digital platforms allow people to share their experiences as they struggle with mental health issues. They find social and emotional support through peer-to-peer interactions, which help them cope with their condition. Apart from seeking emotional support, people go to the internet to learn more about mental health problems in the same way they would research about issues concerning their physical well-being. Also, consumers have certain expectations when retail shopping. And they carry those same demands when it comes to healthcare services.
Digital consumers follow a distinct journey: do research, compare brands and service providers, read customer reviews, then finally make a purchase. These steps force businesses to create a seamless digital experience that would allow people to easily go from one step of their journey to another. If the user sees something about the brand they don’t like, they’ll move on to another provider.
These two digital trends concerning mental health – online path to purchase and the search for emotional support – are two needs that can and should be facilitated by mental health professionals. The first step to meeting these demands is by making sure that users can find you online. This is where search engine optimisation comes in.
SEO for Mental Health Providers
SEO allows you to secure a well-exposed spot on the search engine results page (SERP) through best practises determined by search engine algorithms. A high ranking on the SERP offers your website more visibility, which means users are more likely to visit it. And the more web visitors you have, the more lead generation opportunities you get.
Seeing as people with questions about mental health look for answers online, mental health workers should take advantage of SEO to grow their private practice. Plus, SEO helps psychologists, counsellors, therapists and social workers build meaningful relationships with patients, boosting their loyalty. What’s the best way for mental health providers to incorporate SEO into their marketing strategy?
1. E-A-T Content
Google uses a huge number of ranking factors to determine which webpage will take the highest spot on SERP. And for Your Money, Your Life pages (i.e., those that can impact the health, happiness, safety and financial stability of the user), the search engine emphasizes the importance of Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) of the content.
The E-A-T of your content doesn’t have anything to do with search engine algorithms. It’s all about creating webpages that aim to provide value to the reader. Pages that misinform, deceive or harm the user, whether intentionally or not, get low rankings.
For articles about mental health, it’s imperative that the author is an expert on the topic, especially when giving medical advice. Refrain from writing about subjects that don’t fall under your specialisation. Above all, your copies and on-page blogs should be relevant to the query. Google will see that your content is valuable for their users, so it will rank it higher.
Author bios in each blog help increase your authoritativeness. This way, the reader can see the credentials of the writer and know that they’re certified in that field. Also, create individual bio pages for all the contributing authors. The page should include a brief background of the writer, their title or position, contact information and a list of articles they wrote on your website.
All this makes it easier for users and the search engine to assess the E-A-T of your content.
2. Local Search
People would want to go to a mental health professional near them, in case they need to rush when there’s an emergency. Local SEO helps you optimise for searches that are made or aimed at your location.
Include the name of your neighbourhood, city or region in your copy. If you serve multiple locations, create separate service pages for each of them. This helps you rank your private practice higher when someone makes a local search for your services.
It helps to publish localised content as well. Write about trends in mental health issues in your area to attract local patients. This also further strengthens your authoritativeness as a mental health professional in your location.
If you’re outsourcing your SEO implementation, it’s better to hire a firm that’s based near your business address. For instance, an agency offering SEO services for therapists in Christchurch is the wisest choice for a practice located in Beckenham. They’re more familiar with local news and public health trends.
List your practice in various online directories. These make it easier for local customers to find your business. Some healthcare-specific content directories are HealthPoint, HealthEd and Health Pages.
3. Mobile Optimisation
Lastly, you want your website optimised for mobile use. The first reason is that most local searches are made on smartphones, so mobile optimisation will also help you improve your local SEO.
Second, healthcare consumers are starting to demand a mobile patient experience, which includes mental health matters.
Third, Google has been following a mobile-first indexing since July 2019. This means that the performance of your website on mobile may affect your ranking.
Google advocates adopting a responsive design for mobile optimisation. A responsive website uses media queries that modify the layout according to screen width, resolution and orientation of the device. This enables a flawless viewing of your webpages on different gadgets.
Apart from page layout, loading speed is another important mobile ranking factor. The 2019 Page Speed Report reveals that slow loading times decrease the chance a shopper will return to that page in the future. Improve your page loading time by compressing your images, reducing redirects, loading above-the-fold content before below-the-fold content and minimising your server response time.
Ultimately, your SEO strategy should be aligned with the needs and expectations of the users. The techniques you use should create a digital experience that helps your patients, old and new, find the information they need quickly and easily.
Experienced digital agencies offer expert guidance, making sure you don’t miss valuable search engine clicks.
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Agency in Christchurch
We offer short 30-day contracts to give our partnership a try without pressuring you to stay long term. Email us today for a free business audit and let’s talk about how we can start growing your business!