How TherapySites Optimizes Your Website

Just by choosing TherapySites you're well on your way to building a successful online presence for your practice. We've worked hard to do everything we can to give you a competitive edge by optimizing your website for search engine rankings. Our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools provide you with the key to higher rankings, better online visibility, and more clients, all at no additional cost!

This SEO tutorial outlines how search engines work, the top factors involved in optimizing websites, and the steps we've taken to increase your search engine rankings.

Pro Tip! - Throughout this guide you'll see a number of tips for advanced users who feel more comfortable working on the web. Find these tips in our Pro Tips guide, which can show you how to go the extra mile with search engine optimization!

How do Search Engines Work?

We are often asked, "What search engines will TherapySites submit my site to?" As it turns out, we don't pick them—they pick us. Every search engine downloads all of the content of every site on the web using automated systems called "web-crawlers" that catalogue websites and determine the search engine ranking of each as democratically as possible according to a number of different factors. Some of these factors include: how many other important sites link to your website, number of visits to the site, how long the site has been live on the web, and the amount and quality of the content.

It's important to realize that search engines treat each page of your website as a unique destination. This means that your home page may be a front page result for "Family Therapist in Boulder, CO" while your page about "Couples Counseling" is a front page result for a different set of keywords. We take advantage of this to give your site the opportunity to come up high in the search rankings for several different terms!

"So when will my site be in Google?"

It can take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks for the crawlers to get around to your new site. Until they do you will not come up on that search engine—it simply won't know you're there yet. Be patient. Once you are in the search engines your site is poised to be at the top of the results. So, read on!

Pro Tip! - Want to be found by the search engines sooner? Check out our powerlistings guide for a list of directories to which you can submit your website for listing right away!

The First Key: Inbound Links

The first key to search engine optimization is to have other websites link to the pages of your site. These links should come from high quality, larger sites, that are topically related to your field. TherapySites has researched some of the most highly ranked inbound link sources on the internet.

These high quality sites get large amounts of traffic, are fully search engine optimized themselves, and have high rankings in the major search engines. The Psychology Today Therapy Directory is another high quality site. Having a listing in this directory lets the search engines know that your website is considered important by a respected directory on the web. There are also many other specialized directories that can help you increase the number of links to your website. We provide a list of additional directories that may serve your individual practice well. The bottom line is, the more links pointing to you the better your search engine results will be.

We provide you with a 6-month free listing in Psychology Today's Therapy Directory to get you listed on the top ranking therapy directory on the web today.

Pro Tip! - List your website on additional highly ranked sites on the web using our supplemental PowerListings guide and our recommended Therapy Directories listing. These sites will provide better search rankings and even direct referrals, and only you can submit your site to them.

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The Second Key: Page Title Tags

While most web surfers gloss over the title tag information displayed in the top of their web browser window, it is arguably the most important information used by search engines. In fact, just creating effective title tags for your pages can often generate quick improvements to your search results. To maximize the strength of the title tag, there should be between 6-10 words used and those words should include the targeted keyphrases that you used in the page content as well as your geographic location. Each page in your website should have a unique title tag associated with the content on the page.

Our title tags are based on the best set of practices for search engine optimization. Each page of your website is pre-supplied with the most effective general set of page title tags to reach individuals searching online for therapy.

Our editor allows you to modify the Title Tag on each page of your website. It's easy to customize your Page Title Tags to reflect your area of specialization, and personalize the page titles to your practice.

Defining the "Meta Tags" will also help optimize your site for search engines. Your keyword metatag defines the description of your website that appears in search engines. The keywords metatag, while less important today than it was a decade ago, is still one of many factors that are considered by search engines when ranking your website.

Pro Tip! - Looking to customize your page title tags or meta tags? Follow the advice in our Pro Tips guide to use your page title tags to define a keyword goal, and customize your keywords meta tag in your site editor!

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The Third Key: The Page Content

The third key to successful search engine optimization is page content. The internet is home to millions and millions of websites, many of which have only outdated information and haven't been updated in years. If you want your website to show at the top of search engine results, the content on your site must be updated regularly and filled with useful keywords and information that people will use to find you.

When someone searches for a particular keyword or phrase the search engine's goal is to find the most up-to-date and current websites that include that phrase, and rank them in order of relevance to the searcher. To ensure that your website is among the most relevant results, your site must include the appropriate keywords and be updated frequently. The search engines will recognize this, and rank your site among the top results for the keywords you include.

We've done the research and found the most targeted and beneficial keyphrases for therapists' websites. We've supplied your website with keyword rich content that is geared specifically towards online searches.

We've partnered with Psychology Today to bring you a dynamically updated page that will keep fresh content on your site, to show the search engines that your site is up-to-date and relevant.

Pro Tip! - Personalize and update your website content! Your website is about people, not just search engines, and the human visitors to your site will want to get to know you. Write about yourself and post your picture on the home page!

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The Fourth Key: Internal Links & Link Title Tags

The fourth key to your search engine marketing strategy is to make sure that any internal links on your website include the SEO targetted keyphrases from the title tag of the page they link to. As we discussed earlier, every page on your website has a unique title tag that defines the keyword goal for the page. If this information is included in the title tag of every link on your website, the search engines will be able to connect the dots. These internal links give even more credibility to your website and will improve your ranking in the search engines still further.

We have already pre-populated your navigation with properly built internal links. We've done the work so search engines know how to find you.

We have developed your website to display link title tags when a user hovers over the internal link, providing you with more clout and higher rankings with Google.

Pro Tip! - Use the tutorial in our Pro Tips guide to create your own internal links and make your website even more search engine friendly.

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Remember, Be Patient

At TherapySites we have worked hard to provide you with a competitive edge in search engine rankings. However, there are no shortcuts to good rankings. This process will take some time. If you are interested in taking extra steps for even quicker and higher ranking search engine results check out our Pro Tips guide for additional things you can do to convert clicks into clients!

We've designed our service to make Search Engine Optimization easy for you and to get you top results, but if you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us - we're always happy to help!

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