As a mental health professional, you are incredibly passionate about serving your clients. But, before you can get clients in the door and support their life journey with tailored mental health services, you need to connect with them. To maximize your reach and connect with those who need your support, you must be mindful of various local SEO ranking factors, any one of which can impact your online visibility.
Content Journey uses reliable SEO research to help our clients rank in search results. SEO done right works every time, and our clients’ organic traffic increases are proof of that. For example, we helped a mental health treatment center increase its website traffic by 1,200%.
In this post, I’ll explain why you want your mental health treatment center to rank locally and how to go about setting it up online to do just that.
Why You Want to Rank Locally
As a quick refresher, search engine optimization or “SEO” uses different strategies to improve your website’s organic (unpaid) search ranking. You want to make it easier for prospective clients to find your website and content on Google.
At this point, you probably wonder why ranking “locally” matters so much. Isn’t a high ranking good for your business, no matter what? Yes and no.
Achieving a high organic ranking is generally good for your business. But if you only offer services in a few select geographic areas, getting your content in front of audiences outside of those areas might not impact your clinic much, especially if it’s not a residential treatment facility. People can’t travel from one state to another to get weekly treatment.
For instance, let’s say that you operate several mental health clinics in Florida. While most of your clients live within the state, some come from neighboring states like Georgia and Tennessee. However, virtually none of your clients are from the west coast. So earning a large volume of traffic from people in California might serve them with information, but it won’t help you grow your client intakes.
That’s where local SEO comes into play. Local SEO helps you increase your visibility in Google’s local search results. When a user searches for local services, Google will include a map pack at the top of the page, which contains three listings for local companies in that vertical. Paid ads may appear in this segment as well. If you want your clinic to make it in the map pack, you must be mindful of local SEO ranking factors.
It looks something like this:
6 Local SEO Ranking Factors You Need to Know
You must leverage some proven behavioral health SEO best practices to achieve optimal visibility within your target audience. Additionally, you must be mindful of the wide range of local SEO ranking factors that impact how easy your brand is to find in search. Some of the factors you need to address in your SEO strategy include.
1. Google Business Profile Optimization
The first step to getting noticed by local audiences is to claim your Google Business Profile. If you haven’t made one yet, claim your Google Business Profile and add up-to-date contact information for your mental health clinic. Claiming your profile is free and is a great way to make your business easier to find in local search. That said, craft an engaging business description and select relevant categories so that Google’s algorithm can provide users with relevant results.
If you want to know more, here’s our guide to Google Business Profile for Mental Health Marketing.
Once your profile is live, proactively manage your reviews and ratings. Encourage satisfied clients to leave you feedback so you can spread the word about your services. Respond to reviews professionally and promptly. Also, address any concerns or negative reviews.
Most importantly, take advantage of Google Business Profile’s features, such as its Q&A section. This section works like a FAQ page and can help potential clients learn more about your clinic. Also, add high-quality photos and videos to showcase the care you deliver.
You want your GBP to be active and look something like this:
2. Website Optimization for Local SEO
When it comes to website optimization for mental health clinics, it is vital that you’re engaging in ethical SEO practices. Be honest and transparent, use non-stigmatizing language, and showcase your compassion throughout your site.
Focus on identifying relevant keywords for mental health clinics. Always include location modifiers, such as the name of the city you are targeting.
As part of your on-page optimization efforts, add or enhance meta descriptions and title tags. Weave relevant keywords throughout all of your content. Also, structure your content in a user-friendly way. Ensure that your content includes accurate and consistent name, address, and phone (NAP) data so clients can connect with you when they’re ready.
Ensure that your website loads quickly and is mobile-responsive. Many prospective clients will conduct searches from their mobile devices. If you want to reach them, you need a site that looks and performs great on mobile.
Want to know more? Read our post about simple SEO solutions that propel your site’s traffic.
3. Online Reviews and Reputation Management
Potential clients and their loved ones love reading reviews to learn more about your mental health clinic and how it’s helped other people. It helps minimize the risk of seeking treatment there themselves. Therefore, it’s critical that you proactively gather client feedback and manage your online reputation.
Encourage satisfied clients to leave feedback. The feedback can display on your Google Business Profile, but you also can use it in your email marketing and on your website. Also, continuously monitor your reputation and look out for negative reviews. Respond to anyone who expresses concerns about your services in a polite, professional way. Take feedback seriously and make changes to your operations where warranted. Use feedback to improve your business.
4. Local Link-Building Strategies
Backlinks, which are links from another site back to yours, will help you improve your search rankings. Admittedly, acquiring backlinks can take time, but you can build a strong portfolio of links with a little strategy.
First, build relationships with local organizations within your vertical. For example, does a local doctor frequently recommend your mental health services to patients who need additional assistance? If so, ask them to include a link to your clinic on their website. Additionally, consider guest blogging on local websites and include links from that content to your page.
You can join local business directories or mental wellness associations as a mental health services provider. These directories already have a strong online presence and can help you reach hundreds of more potential clients.
5. Social Media and Local SEO
You need to use social media in your marketing mix to maximize your reach among local clients. Social media platforms are great for getting the word out about your services and connecting with potential clients.
You don’t have to use every social media outlet, but it makes sense to be active on the platforms where your ideal clients already gather. As you start building a following, engage with your audience members. Reply to comments, post regularly, and demonstrate your passion for helping others.
You can also use your social media channels to promote your content and drive traffic to your site. For instance, each time you publish a new blog, post about it on your social channels and include a link to your site.
6. Tracking and Analytics for Local SEO
Google Analytics is a useful (and free) tracking and analytics tool. You can use Google Analytics to monitor your web traffic and gauge the impact of your new local SEO strategy.
However, to get a full picture of your local search performance, use Google Search Console too. Like GA, Google Search Console is free and user-friendly.
Use the insights from these two tools to see how the various local SEO ranking factors influence site traffic. Continuously make adjustments to improve your visibility and connect with more clients.
Elevate Your Local SEO Rankings with Content Journey
As you can see, there are many local SEO ranking factors that mental health clinics should be aware of. If you want your center to get noticed by the right audience so you can serve more clients, you need a holistic strategy that leverages multiple touchpoints.
While developing a winning local SEO strategy can be challenging, you don’t have to go it alone. Content Journey is a compassionate drug addiction and mental health clinic marketing agency that understands how to build your brand ethically.
To learn more about how we can help you serve more clients, book a call, and let’s chat about your local SEO needs.