10 Reasons Why Your business Needs SEO Post Covid
How does a psychologist become an SEO specialist? When I started my private psychotherapy practice in 2013, none of the traditional marketing efforts I used worked.
So, I turned to SEO because it’s what bloggers were using to drive traffic to their websites. SEO became the cornerstone of my marketing strategy. It helped me fill two psychotherapy practices.
This seven-year head start was essential when Covid hit and businesses, including mine, had to go online. After almost a decade of growing my businesses and consulting with others, I’ve seen why SEO is crucial to long-term success.
This post covers 10 reasons why your business needs SEO to stand out, succeed, and grow in the post-Covid online world.
Why you need seo for your business? | @goumbik
How do you start a business from scratch?
In 2013, I started my current private psychotherapy practice, Bucks County Anxiety Center. It’s in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This area is full of therapists. Imagine hundreds of therapists packed into about seven small suburban towns.
The well-known therapists had been here forever. Everyone referred to them. In a highly personal and stigmatized industry like mental health, being a known entity is key. These therapists had built-in credibility and trust. They won all the clients by word of mouth.
Since I had gone to grad school, trained, and owned a practice in New York City, all of my professional connections were there. I didn’t grow up here. I didn’t have a local network of people who could refer clients or even vouch for me. We moved here because our family needed something different.
What should you do if your marketing isn’t working?
So, how do you start a small business in a quirky industry with tons of local competition? How do you set up a highly personal business as the new lady in an area where people actually care where you went to high school?
Like other business owners in my field, I tried to do all of the things to build a reputation and build visibility with potential clients. I took the courses, read the blog posts and ebooks, and did everything that you’re supposed to do to fill a private practice:
- I called and mailed letters to doctors’ and lawyers’ offices.
- I catered breakfasts and presented while people walked in, grabbed a muffin, and left.
- I met up with other therapists for coffee and lunch.
- I left my lovely brochures and business cards everywhere.
- I got my family to help me put stickers with my practice logo on 200 cellophane baggies of cookies fresh from the bakery for a local health fair (yes, this actually happened).
The result? Not much. The cookies? Not even a single person.
That’s when I realized that I would have to do something different or my practice wouldn’t survive.
The psychologist who loves SEO.
In my spare time, I was learning about blogging. Bloggers were using this thing called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to drive traffic to their websites. I figured I would give it a try. This was the smartest decision I ever made. SEO became the cornerstone of my digital marketing plan and helped my business succeed. I taught myself how to get in front of my ideal clients 24/7.
Then, I realized I loved doing SEO. I love how you can use data to solve a puzzle. I’m amazed that a simple Google search can show me what people are thinking about, looking for, and spending money on. Search engine optimization is one big strategy game. You’re playing with and against Google in a game that’s always changing. The reward is a higher search engine ranking and everything that comes with that. To me, that’s worth the time and work.
If I didn’t truly enjoy SEO, I probably would have dropped it by now. Unless you’re motivated to learn it and keep at it, SEO can be boring and annoying. Luckily, it clicked for me. I used SEO to grow and fill two psychotherapy practices. I’ve been helping other therapists, coaches, and small businesses build brand awareness and succeed online with SEO for almost a decade too.
What is SEO and why is it important?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a series of steps and processes that help a web page rank higher in search engine results. The closer the page gets to the top of search engine results, the more likely it is to get organic web traffic (i.e., not from paid ads). The main goal of all search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Bing), is to show someone the best answer to their question as quickly as possible.
Is doing SEO yourself difficult?
The good news is that you don’t need to be a tech wiz to succeed with SEO. Instead, focus on the two key pieces of search optimization:
#1 Use best practices to consistently improve your website SEO ranking.
This makes it easier for Google and search engines to find your website and for potential clients to love it. You want to show up as the best answer to a search query. Website visitors resonate with content that talks about their problems and offers good solutions.
#2 Build a strong online presence..
This helps you build trust and credibility as well as brand awareness. As a result, people and Google see you as the go-to expert in your geographic area and/or field. This authority and expertise will help your website show up higher in organic search results. Then, you’re more likely to get better website traffic.
Why Your Business Needs SEO? Follow our SEO tips for small businesses | @stilclassics
Why you need SEO to succeed in a post-Covid economy.
By building and consulting with businesses in different industries, I’ve seen the benefits of SEO first hand. This is more true now than ever. Covid shutdowns and restrictions changed how we do business. Many industries have moved online, at least partially. Chances are, we’re never going back to the pre-Covid internet and/or work world.
Regardless of whether you offer services online or have a physical location, SEO will play a key role in your business success from now on. Here are 10 key reasons why your brand, bottom line, website, and online reputation can benefit from SEO practices in a post-Covid economy:
#1 People are going online for everything now.
Internet searches were already high in 2019. However, time spent online, e-commerce, and internet searches all increased significantly since Covid hit in March of 2020. Businesses have to change their marketing and business strategy to increase their visibility where potential clients are looking.
When Covid hit in March 2020, most mental health practices had to go online. Thankfully, my private practice had a 7-year head start. The practice website was already ranking well on the first page of Google and other search engines. I was already well placed when people turned to the internet for everything.
#2 A high Google ranking builds trust and credibility.
One of the key benefits of SEO is that it builds on the fact that people trust Google. Over 90% of searches around the world take place on Google. As a result, people assume that if you rank high in Google search results, you must be an expert. It’s like getting a 5-star review. That’s why most people don’t look past the first page of search results.
Our patients often tell us that our high Google ranking was one of the main reasons they called us first. They believed that ranking meant we had to be the best.
#3 Good SEO results in 24/7 marketing.
Optimizing your website and creating fresh, quality content can be better than hiring a salesperson. The clear advantage that SEO gives you is that you show up exactly when and where people are looking for you. SEO increases organic traffic to your site while you’re asleep, on vacation, or spending time with family.
I don’t need to have endless meetings and calls to help people learn about my services. Instead, when they Google a question related to what I do, my practice website comes up as the best answer. This search visibility makes it easier to attract potential clients as well as referral sources and collaboration partners.
#4 SEO is the most cost-effective marketing tool.
People searching for your services and/or products are looking for you on their own. You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars in social media and Google ads to convince them to check you out. Although you may have to invest in SEO services, especially to build a solid foundation, it generates more profit over time than ads. With ads, search traffic drops when you stop paying. There’s also no guarantee that ads will produce the number or kind of clients you want.
SEO vs. Google Ads Return on Investment
In the therapy world, Google ads are great for attracting clients that are looking for services immediately. However, that leaves many therapists in one area competing over a small group of clients. As a result, certain mental health keywords are very expensive. Ad spends could easily be close to $1000 a month. I invest money every year to become better at SEO and improve my websites. However, the return on investment through SEO is much better than what I would make if I had to compete based on ads.
How to make your business show up on google? Use SEO to help your business succeed! | @youxventures
#5 SEO gets your website in front of users who are likely to become clients.
A significant benefit of SEO is that it pulls in high-quality traffic. These users are using specific keywords and questions to search for your services and products. When users see content on your website that meets their specific needs, they’re more likely to become paying customers. They’re also more likely to pay your fee and refer you to users they know. Besides, 90% of users are more likely to click on an organic search result than on an ad. Good SEO builds trust.
Building a website that resonates with potential clients
In my psychotherapy practice and SEO business, potential clients who contact me will often quote something they read on one of my web pages or blog posts. They appreciate that I understand their struggle and can talk about it using the same words they do.
#6 Potential clients are researching before they buy.
Over 85% of people do online research before they make a purchase. The ability to do research is one of the main reasons people shop online in the first place. Your website is your online headquarters. However, potential clients will also check out reviews, social media, and content across the internet to learn about you. It’s to your advantage to create, or at least shape, as much of that content as possible.
Customers use your website differently throughout their purchasing decision
In the mental health world, people avoid making an appointment for months or years. They usually call when the issue is impacting every area of their life and they can’t hide and/or stand it anymore. A good SEO strategy allows you to meet potential clients at every step of their purchase journey. By showing up on various platforms with different content, I can get in front of them regardless of where they are in their process. I can be there when they’re just looking as well as months later when they’re ready to hire me.
#7 SEO increases your reputation online.
Part of a good SEO strategy involves creating a strong online presence. When you show up in many places online, you build greater trust and authority with Google and potential clients. This is called off-page SEO. Unless you’re a celebrity, people need to see your content/brand 7-9 times before they contact you. This is true for potential clients, referral sources, and business opportunities.
Off-page SEO helps you increase your online presence
By showing up in multiple locations, I give people different opportunities to learn about me. Part of my SEO strategy includes guest blogging, hosting webinars, teaching online classes, social media, and being listed in relevant directories. Additionally, this helps me build authority. The public and Google expect experts to show up in lots of places online. Finally, all of these efforts help drive organic traffic back to my website. As a business owner, you want others to highlight the benefits of working with you.
#8 Your competitors are using SEO now.
In 2013, using SEO made me weird. Most therapists didn’t even know what it was. Almost a decade later, it’s a buzz term. Companies that design websites for therapists use it as part of their sales pitch. There’s tons of paid and free content to help any business improve its website SEO.
Your competitors are analyzing your website and online efforts
Your competition wants to succeed just like you. As a result, they’ll work hard to get in front of the same potential clients. They may even hire an SEO professional or agency. If you want to improve your search engine rankings and keep a steady flow of customers, you need to outdo your competitors.
Should you hire an SEO consultant?
Staying ahead of your competition is hard work. You’ll have to decide how much of your SEO you can do on your own versus what to outsource. Although I’m an SEO specialist, I outsource most of the technical optimization work for both of my websites. I also hire SEO consultants to coach me through certain issues. I’m one person and I can’t do or know everything.
#9 SEO can help you beat out larger companies in your area and/or industry.
Between 2017-2019, Google searches for local providers, products, and services increased by 250%. That’s why Google improved its Google My Business and “near me” features in organic search results. A good local SEO strategy can help you create content that highlights being part of a community and/or supporting certain causes. Compared to the big guys, you’ll stand out as familiar and relatable. Besides, during Covid shutdowns, communities rallied around supporting local businesses. This trend is expected to continue growing.
Local SEO helps search engines show your website to more people.
My practice is located in between Philadelphia and New York City. Some of the best treatment centers in the country are only 1-2 hours away. However, through SEO-relevant content, I can focus on what matters to local consumers. I highlight the excellent treatment people can receive without the hassle or safety risk of travel. I also emphasize how my colleagues and I work closely with other local specialists to make the treatment process easier for our clients.
#10 SEO is a long-term strategy.
It can often take 6-12 months to see significant results from SEO work you do both on your website and online. However, you’ll continue to experience the benefits of SEO for years once you set up a system built on an optimized website, content across different platforms, partnerships and collaborations, and a positive online and offline reputation.
SEO helps maximize your marketing efforts and investment
If you want to be successful and profitable, you’ll be doing these activities anyway. You also know that all of these take time and effort. When you link your efforts together through a thoughtful SEO strategy, they feed into and off of each other. This creates a system that picks up momentum and produces better results with every action you take.
SEO for your business: read our beginners guide to SEO. Google Search Console | @mjessier
Next steps in using SEO to help your business grow.
Even though the SEO for my private practice website is doing well, I need to constantly work to maintain it. I also can’t assume those results will help my SEO consultancy website.
Additionally, SEO in 2021 is drastically different than what it was in 2013. Both my therapy practice and SEO consultancy need updated websites, digital marketing, and search engine optimization to get in front of potential clients and build ongoing success.
Whether you own a business or work in-house, you have to keep up with changes in marketing, technology, website trends, and consumer spending habits. Otherwise, your marketing strategies and efforts will be based on guesses.
SEO is still worth it.
While other marketing trends will come and go, SEO is here to stay. As long as your potential customers are using search engines, you will need SEO for them to find your website. This is why SEO is important for both your online and overall success.
Your people need you now more than ever. Whether you do SEO on your own and/or outsource it, make it easy for Google and your potential clients to find you online.
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My name is Ronit (Ro-neet) and I’m a clinical psychologist, private practice director, and SEO consultant. I help therapists, coaches, wellness experts, and health businesses build the success they want and deserve by boosting their online ranking, reputation, and impact. To learn more about me, please check out Simple SEO Systems.