What is SEO?
SEO is an abbreviation for search engine optimization, and the process is very similar to what it sounds like it would be. Undergoing processes that make your website more likely to appear at the top of the search results. There are two main types of search engine optimization, national and local. National SEO allows you to target entire counties, and this is the method that is used both by companies that operate on a national and global scale. Local SEO would be the method used for a psychology office. This process allows you to use methods that make your website pop up for people within a specified area. There are a lot of methods that go into this, but the end goal is to make your website pop up for any keywords related to your practice when searched. For instance, let’s say you run a psychology practice in Cleveland, Ohio. Possible keywords that people would be using to find you and your competitors would include Cleveland psychologist, Cleveland therapist, Cleveland therapy, Cleveland CBT, etc.
How SEO Could Help Your Practice
In the digital marketing field, it’s common knowledge that most people don’t look past the 3rd search result. In some cases, people will look down to the fifth result, but very rarely will someone look below that especially if they’ve already found what they needed. That means that the higher up in the search results your practice appears, the more likely it is that potential clients will click on your website and proceed to give you a call or submit their information through an online form depending on how you have your website is set up.
Is Using an SEO Company the Best Choice?
In short, it’s always a good idea to hire an SEO company to help you with your search ranking for a lot of reasons. Firstly, it’s simply cheaper to hire an SEO company than it is to hire a dedicated SEO employee. For one employee you have to pay wages, taxes, paid time off, workers comp, training, insurance, overtime, and they’ll likely want to take days off every week. By hiring an SEO company you have a team of experts that manage your SEO campaign for you and all you have to pay is the fees that the SEO company charges. Not only that, but you don’t have to worry about training anyone. SEO companies already have experts that have likely already seen many successful campaigns.
That brings us to the second point: When you hire an SEO company, you’re paying for expertise. Doing it yourself is an option, but SEO is tricky. All search engines run off algorithms, and those algorithms can change so quickly that even the professionals can be caught off guard. SEO experts instead do what they need to to make your website SEO friendly. That means using a variety of techniques to cultivate conditions that make search engines more likely to choose your website for the top spot.
To put it in very oversimplified terms, search engines choose search result rankings based on how relevant they perceive your website to be. The closer to the top of the search results, the more relevant the result is to the user’s search query. This can sometimes mean rebuilding your website from the ground up to ensure that the search engines will consider your website relevant, as well as a lot of behind the scenes things that will make this process a lot easier.
Are There Any Negatives to SEO?
With anything in life, it’s a good idea to make sure you completely understand both the positives and negatives. Search engine optimization is no exception to this rule. You may be wondering to yourself, what are the negative sides of SEO? If we’re being honest, there are a few things that could be seen as negatives.
Firstly, search engine optimization takes time. Because the algorithm is constantly changing and you’re competing with every other psychology practice that had the same idea it’s very unlikely that you’ll see results overnight. In some cases, it can happen relatively quickly but this ultimately still means it can take weeks or months.
Another issue is if your campaign is more effective than you anticipate, or it somehow works faster than expected. That sounds like a good problem to have, but if your website isn’t prepared for all of the extra traffic that can cause major issues. Your website can crash and your phone lines could get overwhelmed by new patient inquiries. That could be very problematic, especially if your current clients can’t reach your office to schedule appointments or make payments.
The last issue we’d like to look at is by far the least likely for you to encounter, but it’s still worth mentioning. There is a small chance that a competitor will see the success of your campaign and undergo what are called black SEO tactics using your domain. That would cause your website to be blacklisted from search results and destroy a lot of the progress you’ve made. The reason why that’s unlikely is because that takes a lot of time and effort. Time and effort they could be using to strengthen their own online presence.
Making SEO Work for Your Psychology Practice
Many companies have found a lot of success by undergoing search engine optimization campaigns. It’s a good way to make sure that more of your potential clients can see your website sooner, and can give you a competitive edge over other practices in your area.