We all know that showing up on page one in Google can send your practice through the roof. But how do you go about making sure your therapy website gets a high Google rating?
An important document was just leaked from Google. I’ve spent the last hour reading it. It is a training document for Google subcontractors who are hired to rate websites and pages on websites.
The biggest focus is on relevancy and identifying spam. Since most therapists don’t spam, we won’t worry about that, however, the relevancy of our websites should be a big focus for therapists.
Sites and pages are rated one of the following 5 relevancy options: “Vital”, “Useful”, “Relevant”, “Slightly Relevant”, “Off-topic” and “Unratable”.
I’ll write another blog post about how your website content will be rated on this scale, later, but before I get there, I want to talk about some specific reviews that are done in the process of determining the ratings:
These are both simple things that all therapists can do!
1. Does your website have an appropriate amount of contact information?
2. Is your Homepage Updated/Maintained?
3. Does your site display well in Firefox, or better yet, in Chrome?
Getting Your Contact information up to Snuff
I think most therapist do a good job, here. Make sure you have a Contact Me link in your navigation bar that goes to a page with contact information. Or, you can also display this on your about page. Our suggestion is this: In addition to having a contact page that is easily identifiable on the home page, also include your name, address and phone number in the footer of your site so that it shows on all page. This is easy to do with most website platforms.
Making Sure Your Homepage Appears Updated and Maintained
This is a bigger issue for many therapists. How long ago did you create your home page? 3 years ago? 5? 7? Have you changed it? Read the excerpt below from the Google document, paying close attention to those areas I’ve highlighted.
- If you don’t have a copyright date at the bottom of your site, you should, and you should keep it current. Ours looks like this: Copyright © 2012 CounselingWise.com
- Does your site look really old? If so, it will immediately give the rate the impression of “not well-maintained”
- One way to keep fresh material on your home page is to continually update your blog and have those posts visible on your home page!
Use the Firefox or Chrome browser to view your website!
Google raters are instructed to use the Firefox browser to view your website. Many therapists are still using Internet Explorer or Safari. Please check your site for formatting issues in Firefox! You may be surprised to find issues there that must be fixed!