While getting traffic to your private practice website is important, what’s more important is getting the right kind of traffic.
You need to target the searches that will draw potential clients to your website, rather than any passing browser.
This requires understanding your client and thinking ahead—as well as some SEO know-how! In this guide, we’ll take a look at how to know what your potential clients are searching for before they search for it.
Create A Client Persona
Before you start trying to get into the mind of a potential client, you need to figure out who your potential client is.
When creating your client persona, consider how far along in their search journey they are. Are they gathering basic information about private practices? Or are they ready to get in contact, they just need that final push?
Consider the questions the client is likely to want answers for. These will form a lot of the searches that drive traffic to your site.
Think of the questions you typically answer during an initial consultation. What comes up repeatedly?
Explore The Obvious Keywords
Some keywords are obvious starting points. These are the short, descriptive phrases that potential clients will be searching for frequently.
Broad keywords are useful as a starting point, but tough to target. For example, the word “therapist” is an obvious keyword, but you’re going to face some stiff competition if it’s your target keyword.
However, these broad keywords can be used to develop clusters of long-tail keywords. These narrower phrases have less traffic, but you’ll also find less competition. These are the keywords you want to target with your posts, such as…
- depression counseling
- anxiety therapy
- trauma counseling
When you search for your broad keywords on Google, you’ll discover related search topics. These are the keywords that clients are searching for related to the initial keyword. Use these related searches to narrow down your keyword clusters and decide which topics to write about.
See What’s Already Working
Once you’ve started producing content and building your private practice website, you can begin to see what’s working.
Use tools such as Google Analytics to see what pages are getting traffic, what is getting engaged traffic, and what pages are rarely visited.
Make a list of what pages are successful and where the traffic is coming from. This can help you understand what your clients are searching for that’s leading them to you.
You can then use these successful pages to further develop your content strategy.
See What’s Working For Your Competitors
Your private practice website isn’t alone on the internet (unfortunately!). Everyone is online and that includes your competitors. And you want the traffic that goes to them to come to you instead.
By competitors, we mean local practices in your area. There’s no point in targeting keywords that lead people to the APA or similar organizations.
In the same vein, you don’t want to target inquiries that lead to informational websites like Healthline. These clients are at a different stage in their journey—if they even are potential clients.
Instead, see what keywords and questions lead to other local practices that might be ranking above you. You can then optimize your own website to match these searches.
Speak To Colleagues
You’re a therapist, not a marketing expert, so it’s easy to get lost in your keyword research. Don’t worry. all your colleagues and competitors are likely feeling the same way!
Discuss trends you’ve noticed are attracting clients, and which ones aren’t working. By sharing information, you can fill any gaps in your own keyword research.
Assess And Adjust
What potential clients are searching for changes all the time. It’s impossible to create an evergreen content strategy, as the needs of your client base, as well as the broad demographic, will be consistently shifting.
That doesn’t mean you have to give up on keyword research! Instead, you need to stop and assess your keyword plan frequently.
Expand those initial topic clusters with the results of new research, abandon keywords that aren’t going anywhere, and stay on top of trending topics.
You also need to stop and analyze the content that’s on your site, to see what is attracting traffic. Create new blog content to target the results of your new research, and edit old content to match the popular searches.
Now that you know what your potential clients are searching for, you can begin to tailor your marketing efforts toward these targets.
Create content that answers your client’s questions, and design marketing that uses the keywords people are searching for.
Every few weeks, take another look at how you’re ranking, where your visitors come from, and what new searches might be popular. Then, adjust your marketing plan to match!
Keyword research, combined with analytics tools and supportive colleagues, can help you find what potential clients are searching.
And when you know what they’re searching for, you can start directing them to your practice website!