What You Can Do To Further Optimize & Market Your Website

So you've seen what TherapySites is doing for you, but you want to know what else you can do to go the extra mile. Good for you. As much as we have done, there are some additional things that only you can do. This article will break things down to show you what else you can do to optimize and market your website.

This document focuses primarily on the search engine side of the equation, but for general tips on editing your website check out our Get Help section of your control panel. Click to login.

Please Note: Some of the information in this document is for advanced users who feel more comfortable working on the web. These sections can be safely skipped, and the rest of the tips here will go a long way!

Tip #1: Customize Your Page Title Tags

Customizing your page title tags will allow you to impact your search engine ranking by defining a keyword goal for each page of your website. We make it easy to update your page title tags. Just open up a page in your site editor, and click on the "Page Info" tab at the top. From that tab you can edit the "SEO Title Tag". The keywords you choose as the goal for each page should reflect the most important information covered on the page as well as the search terms you hope people will use to find the page.

Click here for a detailed look at writing good page title tags for search engines

Once you've written your page title tag, it's time to integrate those keywords into the content of the webpage itself. Read on for our tips on optimizing the content of each page of your site for search engines.

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Tip #2: Personalize & Update Your Website Content

We provide the boilerplate text so that it is easy for you to get started with a complete-looking website. We even populate the text with the keywords that we have found to be most relevant to therapists' websites. However, having unique content that is specific to you will help tremendously in getting search rankings and repeat site visitors. If your site reflects your ethic, personality, and character, visitors will feel they know you better and may be more comfortable contacting you for an appointment. Post a picture of yourself! Studies have shown that people are far more likely to contact you if they've seen your face.

Click here to see how to integrate the keyword goal from your page title tags into your site content

Don't forget to update your site!

Search engines want to see websites that are fresh and dynamic. You'll be rewarded for taking the time to update your site every once in a while. It doesn't take much - Just adding a friendly note about an upcoming holiday or an amusing personal anecdote once in a while will tell potential clients that you're really paying attention to your site and keeping it current, while letting search engines know that your site is still active. You can also post informative articles related to your specialty or interests, which give visitors a reason to bookmark your site and return in the future.

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Tip #3: Create Additional Internal Links

You can create additional internal links throughout your website to provide even more clout with search engines. The advantage of internal linking is that web crawlers give you credit for linking to yourself. Every link on the internet is read by the web crawlers and, subsequently, search engines see these links as a vote of confidence for that website. To do this, simply create website content that provides links to other pages of your website.

Click here to learn how to build "The Perfect Link!"
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Tip #4: Powerlistings

There are a few places on the web where we cannot list your website for you, but they can be powerful tools to help you bring in more site traffic, and to get your website listed sooner in search engine results. These are called powerlistings, and here we've outlined a few of the best to give you that extra edge.

Remember, these resources won't do you any good unless they include a clickable link to your website! A clickable link is one which appears highlighted in a web browser and can be clicked on to load the page, like this one: http://www.therapysites.com. Usually just typing out the full address, http://www.therapysites.com, is sufficient to generate a clickable link, but not always! Want more information about clickable links? Check out "The Perfect Link" above. Don't forget the link!

Google My Business listings appear on the right of the search page when people are searching for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search. They are generally accompanied by your office hours and a map. You can include photos and a business description as well.

LinkedIn - LinkedIn is an interconnected social network for experienced professionals. In addition to being a great place to promote your website, it may provide networking opportunities that will be useful to you in the future.

Facebook - Facebook is a social networking site that allows you to keep up with friends and colleagues, as well as share photos, links and videos. As with LinkedIn, it may not be a direct source of new referrals, but linking to your website here will make the search engines take notice.

Yelp - Yelp is an online local city guide that helps people find reviews for local businesses. It's not only a good way to get noticed by search engines, it'll also provide you with another direct referral opportunity to bring in more customers.

Real Psych Solutions - Real Psych Solutions provides useful, practical self-help materials written by licensed mental health professionals. Here you can publish your articles online and make them available as a free resource or sell them to generate additional revenue.

You should also not forget any local resources that may be available in your area. You should be able to find some local directories of therapists by searching Google for the terms 'therapist directory' and your zip code or city/state. They won't have as powerful an effect on the search engines, but any local directories that your website appears in are great opportunities for new clients.

The bottom line is, the more web pages that link to your site the better, whether they're coming from LinkedIn, Psychology Today, or one of your colleagues in a link exchange. All of these links add up to positively impact your search engine rankings!

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Tip #5: Self-Promotion and Paid Advertising

Finally, make sure to get your website address out there by every non-Web means at your disposal: include it in advertising, Yellow Pages listings, letterhead, business cards, email signatures, and any other way you contact your potential clients. Also, make sure your current patients know your website address (perhaps by including it on appointment cards). A well-tuned website makes an excellent referral tool!

As a last resort you may want to consider paying for online advertising. For online ads, we'd recommend checking out Google Adwords, as Google is by far the most popular search engine on the web. Adwords will also integrate cleanly with Google Analytics, making keeping track of your ad campaigns much easier.

There Are No Shortcuts, So Be Patient

Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to getting good search rankings. While it is possible to hire someone for $200–$300/month (or up to thousands per month for a real hotshot) to do dedicated SEO, this option is usually not practical or cost-effective for most single-practitioner businesses. And even if they're good at what they do, these methods will still take months to take effect! Some unscrupulous companies even use methods that try to game the system, and if the search engines find a site using these methods they will often ban it from the search engine results!

In the end, even the best SEO firms in the world will tell you that the best way to bring in more traffic is to build your search engine ranking naturally, using the techniques we've outlined above.

Have you followed the tips above? Then you're on the right track! These steps are all it takes to guarantee that you are on your way to the top of the search engine charts!

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