With nearly 80% of all individuals seeking information on mental healthcare facilities and practices online prior to committing to reaching out for help via a form submission, inbound phone calls, etc, it’s important for facilities and private practices to be there at the point people are looking for assistance for themselves or a loved one suffering from mental health issues.
There are numerous ways your services can be found online ranging from PPC advertising to Social Media Marketing campaigns to Display and Retargeting, etc, but we’re going to focus this article on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and what your practice/facility can be doing NOW to promote your services to the masses in a sustained, and laser-focused manner to gain new patients.
SEO is nothing new to the world of marketing services or products online. It’s been around since the mid 90’s and has become a top priority for a lot of healthcare providers, especially mental healthcare providers since it’s proven to provide the best ROI when executed properly.
Of all of the main SEO factors your practice can be pursuing in SEO, we’ve distilled a list of the top 4 areas your facility should be addressing in both the short- and long-term to help amplify your brand online and gain new patients.
Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) should be a top priority out of the gate for marketing your behavioral healthcare practice online. Since a solid majority of your patients will be coming from your local area, focusing on your ‘local’ SEO via Google My Business Optimization is a no-brainer, but requires strategy and focus.
GMB Optimization is an area we’ve mastered for our clients in the space for local patient acquisition and we’ve written extensively on the subject including a more thorough post describing what needs to be done to properly optimize a Google My Business listing.
Site Architecture (Pre-SEO)
Your website needs to be not only void of crawling and indexing issues, but it should load quickly and be mobile friendly since over 50% of all searches are being conducted via mobile. So, be sure to evaluate your site from an SEO perspective and plug any holes that may exist prior to writing optimized titles, metas, alts, content, anchors, etc. If your site is inherently broken, it will never realize its true potential.
A content creation strategy comes in many forms including text, images, videos, and podcasts, and all of these types apply when it comes to promoting your mental healthcare services online. Foundationally speaking though, the main areas you should be concerned with is standard text, and images if the other content isn’t available or easily executable. Regarding content, always make sure your content is 100% unique from other sites and have the content be authoritative in nature and use real photos of your facility and its personnel instead of stock photos if possible.
Content we’ve seen work well for our mental health clients include general topical items, answers to frequently asked questions, statistical data, mental health issue types, and therapy options available at their facility. Again, the key to success is unique content that builds your brand as the authority in your particular vertical specialties and geographic market.
Anyone that tells you ‘link popularity is dead’ should consider themselves irrelevant as SEO’s. It couldn’t be further from the truth since link popularity makes up a large portion of Google’s search algorithm and incorporates internal linking (linking from page-to-page within your site) and inbound linking (links from third party sites linking back to your site’s pages). The biggest challenge for most facilities is they don’t know how to do link building that will positively impact organic results.
Our experience has shown the following methods are the best options in which to pursue and acquire quality links for mental healthcare practices:
- Local directories (impacts Google My Business and organic SEO)
- Competitor backlink analysis and pursuit (going after links points to your competition that is working to their benefit organically)
- Blogger outreach and backlink requests
- Mental health websites that offer content contribution and backlink potential and/or author profile attribution
- Topical sites that are healthcare specific, but may not be mental health-only focused
- Authoritative and highly relevant directory submission and inclusion for directories such as PsychologyToday.com, as an example
- Social profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
Search Optimization is an Integral Part of Advertising Mental Health Facilities
SEO is proven to be the most rewarding digital marketing venue a company can pursue in terms of new patient acquisition and provides amazing benefits long-term. However, SEO takes time and a lot of patience for it to precipitate results. If you’re operating a mental health practice and can’t make heads or tails of how to do a mental health marketing plan for your practice, you may need a full-service advertising agency that knows the industry and what works and what doesn’t. Lead to Recovery is that agency.
Just give us a call for a free, no-obligation consultation and let’s see if there’s a fit.