Search engine optimization.
Showing up high on search engines.
There is so much buzz. So many scams. It brings out our inner demons of greed and “easy money” or “easy clients.” Even my Psychotherapy Networker article on “getting clients on a shoe string budget” doesn’t get to the complexity or the history that brought me to launching my husbands therapy career online.
The reality is search engine stuff is challenging and requires a lot of effort! This is why my approach in my trainings is to TEACH YOU! It’s the only way the vast majority of therapists will ever be able to do this. Why? I’m not sure you can really get enough new clients to offset the price of an “SEO firm.” Or, you can be like friends who hire SEO consultants, but the friend has no idea what they did, or how to make business decisions off any real knowledge of SEO.
Where is the work, you may be wondering, in “ranking high?” This is one small example of how work pays off… work beyond “ranking high” for one word. It’s been a few days into January, and so far on The First Dance website, I have 47% of my website traffic coming from “showing up on Google” and other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, etc. This represents only 1/3 of my traffic, the other two sources being people who type in my website directly, and the other source being links from other websites who direct traffic to me.
Imagine in 7 days, over 1,800 pages have been found by web surfers. These web surfers didn’t just say things like “premarital counseling”, or any other term you’d want as a therapist, but they have used a whopping 890 DIFFERENT PHRASES to find me. 890! Not 1 or 2 phrases, as the scammers “promise you”, and suggest you’ll have great success with “ranking high.” Rank high for what? Your business name?
Imagine how much work it took me to get what usually results in about 3,000 unique phrases every month? (A phrase is anything someone types out, from “how much does a wedding cost?” or “who do I invite to the wedding?” or simply “counseling.”) This means lots of writing to capture the vast questions and issues people are bringing to search engines like Google. What I train, and why I’m so passionate, is this search engine stuff is NOT some super techie geeky thing, but is most simply understanding HOW to write and writing for your AUDIENCE, what THEY care about, not your pet interest, or some obscure therapy model you did your Ph.D. on but nobody even cares about, let alone would go to Google to find more information on.
So again, what does “ranking high” really mean? I want to give you an under the hood look at what it REALLY means.
In 2009 over 87,000 pages from The First Dance showed up to search engine surfers, using not 1 or 2 keywords, but over 26,000 UNIQUE phrases. And the crazy part is I could have done way, way,way better if I weren’t balancing motherhood, a major surgery that pretty much took out half the year, other work, and life. The last time, about a year ago, I spent a SOLID 8 hours of researching and writing specifically FOR search engines, I added 100 new visitors A DAY because of my efforts. That has sustained itself, and then grows…
So if you were every skeptical of all those “rank high” scams, I hope you see why. It’s not about one word. It’s more like building a HUGE spider web so you can attract as many bugs from as many directions as possible. And who is the best person to build your spider web? YOU! You have the expertise. YOU know your clients. YOU know what you find fascinating and YOU know what you want your spider web to look like.