Mental health professionals have to be creative in order to market their practice online, where customers go to seek solutions as quickly and easily as possible. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a proven way to increase leads and grow your business by tapping into the popularity of finding new businesses through search engines.
Mental health services do not usually spread by word of mouth, so most potential customers use search engines to find a facility based on location and services offered. By carefully tailoring your website to include search terms that customers frequently use, your site’s visibility will be boosted, increasing leads quickly.
With all the competition, just adding a few keywords isn’t enough. Easy-to-read landing pages, quick lead generation forms, and other digital marketing campaign elements are also critical.
Destiny Marketing Solutions has extensive experience in SEO for small and medium-sized local businesses. We recently completed work for a psychiatric practice. They had updated their website, but did not achieve the desired results on their own. We used proven SEO for mental health professionals methods to improve their website traffic and patient acquisition rates several times over.
The client is based in the MetroWest area outside of Boston, making it challenging to advertise to new patients. Even though they are an established practice, the client had no brand recognition and was too small to spend much money on advertising.
Although there was plenty of local demand for the client’s services, most potential patients were using location-based search terms that were overlooking the client’s convenient location. Because of this, few leads were coming through the client’s website and they were not meeting their target number of patients.
The client worked with us and agreed on a two-pronged approach: improving their local SEO and resulting search engine rankings and using Google AdWords at the start of the marketing campaign to quickly improve visibility at the beginning of the campaign. This approach allowed them to achieve growth with a small budget.
SEO Process to Improve Leads
We knew that our own digital marketing services would have to be multifaceted in order to improve website traffic and leads. Keeping the specialized needs of mental health professionals in mind, we tweaked our process to increase leads focused on:
- Increased organic and referral website traffic
- Search engine visibility and rankings
- Backlink development to local and authoritative websites
- Improved patient flow and qualified lead generation
Google and other search engines use a complex number of factors to decide page rankings and all four aspects influence each other to determine how visible the client’s page would be to patients. We could not ignore one element of SEO and expect the other elements to still increase the client’s qualified leads.
Other Key Goals
The client’s practice was located in Sudbury, but there were many other towns within a reasonable driving distance. We designed the initial campaign to focus on Sudbury, but knew that what we created would have to be replicated to attract customers from other nearby areas.
Because the client is a small business, they also needed to increase their patient numbers as quickly as possible in order to survive. Since Google and search engines take time to update their search rankings, there would be a lag of a few weeks before our SEO results would improve. We decided that an initial Google Adwords campaign would be necessary to spark initial interest in the client’s site.
The Final Results
The results spoke volumes about the client’s potential for growth. Because they were such a small practice, the client was initially scoring very low in search engine rankings. By the end of our 13-month campaign, we had achieved:
- 573% growth in organic traffic
- 588% growth in referral traffic
- 2533% improvement in Google rankings, including first-page placements for Ashland, MA; Maynard, MA; Acton, MA; and Framingham, MA.
- 1100% growth in patient acquisition
Traffic and patient acquisitions had an increasing growth rate month over month, showing that the SEO improvements were creating lasting change and not just a temporary boost.
These results are not surprising considering the science behind SEO. Google and other search engines use a set algorithm to display relevant results to users. Making sure your business shows up near the top of these results only requires a little help from a team well-versed in SEO best practices.
Progress and Obstacles
To start our process, we walked through the client’s website with them via video chat and discussed their needs. Once we had a plan, we quickly designed and launched Google AdWords advertisements designed to show up on the first page of search results when potential local patients searched for mental health services.
Of course, the quality of the leads was just as important as the quantity. The client had a few specific challenges to obtaining qualified leads, the largest of which was the limitations on which insurance they accepted.
We quickly identified this obstacle and worked to improve ads to make sure qualified patients were using the pages. We disabled call-only ads, removed the call tracking numbers, and made sure to include verbiage on the website indicating the types of insurance that would be accepted for the appointment.
Steps to Success
We designed ads and improved the client’s website to include more SEO keywords for mental health, including bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, psychotic disorders, depression, ADHD, and many more. These keywords are critical for reaching patients who may be searching based on their diagnosis or symptoms, instead of based on provider type.
We incorporated these keywords naturally throughout the site, making sure to create a variety of pages for different purposes. Our approach included blog posts and service pillar pages, but also focused on hyper-local landing pages tailored to specific areas in MetroWest.
We worked closely with the client’s team to identify targeted cities and towns and then created customized local pages with the name of the town. This allowed the client’s webpage to rank much higher in potential patients’ local searches.
Interlinking and Backlinking
Google and other search engines’ algorithms account for how much a website links to other pages on that site as well as external links. This is a search engines’ way of determining which sites are authoritative and trustworthy and can help boost that website’s rankings.
For this client, we took care to incorporate links between pages on the website, especially between blogs and pillar pages. This has the benefit of improving the patient experience when reading the site, but also helps with SEO.
Search engine algorithms typically prioritize pages that are seen as informative instead of merely advertising. With this in mind, we took care to build links to relevant blog posts and news articles both on our site and on other local, authoritarian sites.
Every single campaign and market is different, so all SEM and ad campaigns need ongoing testing and improvement to ensure they are as effective as possible. One key tactic is the use of A/B testing, which allows marketers to determine which version of a landing page is most effective in communicating with patients and motivating them to schedule an appointment.
General website analytics can also reveal a lot about visitor bounce rate and average time on a site. For example, some visitors may leave a website quickly because they cannot find the information they need or the information on the landing page isn’t relevant to their needs.
We used both these tactics when working with this client, especially when tweaking paid ad campaigns. Since mental health is a nuanced topic, we knew that understanding patient needs for information and reassurance would require careful analysis and fine-tuning.
Ongoing, in-depth analysis and improvement of web pages is essential to SEO success in all industries. Although the bulk of the work happens at the beginning of the campaign, a dedicated SEO expert puts the work in to monitor and improve results over time.
The results spoke for themselves, but the client experience also matters. Since mental health is such an important and sensitive field, mental health professionals want to ensure their website is as comforting and inviting as possible.
We worked hard to consult with the client and listen to their concerns about their brand and image. We knew that the quantitative results of increased traffic wouldn’t matter unless patients could trust the provider, so we listened to the client’s concerns about tone and messaging as we created content.
In the end, the client was thrilled with the results:
“Leonard helped our SEO program tremendously especially with the blog posts that he created. He was always flexible in changing focus as required,” said the owner, James Berry, at the end of the 13-month campaign.
Replicating for Other Clients
Marketing a professional website isn’t easy, especially when you’re a small practice with a minimal marketing budget. Mental health in particular cannot rely on word of mouth because most patients are nervous about asking friends and family.
Because of how likely patients are to seek out services online, your practice can’t afford to be invisible in search engine results. Best practices for SEO for mental health are easy to replicate when you partner with an experienced digital marketing expert who knows how to turn search engine rankings into revenue.
Getting Results Fast
Although Google and other search engines need time to update their rankings, we can work fast to get you improved search engine visibility and increased revenue as quickly as possible. Our multifaceted approach can focus on both short-term and long-term gains, while keeping your overall marketing costs as low as possible.
Paid ads are a great short-term fix, but they do little to build long-term revenue. Since you have to pay for each impression or click, your marketing budget may be depleted without ever generating qualified leads.
Investing in SEO enables you to remain visible to customers over the long-term. SEO experts can take care of the initial optimization efforts, then provide fresh content and make improvements to older pages as necessary. The resulting website is hassle-free for both you and your patients.
A Leader in SEO
Destiny Marketing Solutions has a proven track record in boosting new customers and revenue in a wide range of industries. Instead of just increasing your web traffic, we’ve unlocked the secrets to getting you qualified leads on a consistent basis.
We can custom-tailor our digital marketing services to fit your needs and take care to keep your brand, image, and voice at the heart of all the content we create. Contact us today for more information, or connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn to keep in touch. Once you’ve seen how our services work, leave us a review to spread the word.