How Therapists can Rank on Page One of Google Results (This is Not Clickbait!)

Jeff Guenther on Feb 25, 2018

Landing on the first page of Google search results has been the number one way for me to attract a full caseload and a waiting list of clients. 

For example, I rank on the first page of Google for the search term: codependency therapy in portland

You’ll see come up somewhere between the fourth and sixth result on page one consistently. That’s a pretty big deal. You can do the same thing. Here’s how.

But first, want to find out how popular your speciality is? Click here and I'll send you a list of mental health issues, ranked by how often they are searched for.

Step 1: Perform a Google search and find topics 

Do you want to rank on page one for "open relationship counseling?" Start going through each of the ten results on the first page for the keyword phrase you’d like to show up for. As you click through to the websites, jot down the topics that each page covers. Many of the pages will cover the same topics. That’s to be expected. Start making a list like the one below.

The first result at Bay Area Relationship Center covers a handful of topics which include:

A. Offering guidance
B. Looking at different forms of open relationships
C. Working through feelings of jealousy and insecurity
D. Negotiating boundaries
E. We support all types of relationships

The second result at Dr. Meg Stein cover similar topics and a few others:

A. Offering guidance
C. Working through feelings of jealousy and insecurity
D. Negotiating boundaries
F.  Poly is an identity
G. Is polyamory the best fit for you?
H. Negotiating the “coming out” process

The third result at Jacob Art, MFT covers these topics:

A. Offering guidance
C. Working through feelings of jealousy and insecurity
G. Is polyamory the best fit for you?
I.  Maintaining trust
J. Defining what open and poly relationships are
K. What traditional therapy has offered in the past

Continue this list for all 10 results. Or at the very least make this list for the top 5 results. Feel free to skip over therapist directories that might pop up. 

Step 2: Add topics to your webpage

Now that you have a list of the most popular topics from each webpage, you know exactly what topics Google values when it comes to ranking high for your keyword phrase. Take all those topics and include them on the webpage that you want to optimize. It will probably not be your homepage. In order to have the best shot of ranking high, target a page that focuses on one aspect of your counseling process. This works best with specific mental health issues. 

When you add the topics to your webpage make sure you try to go into as much, or, ideally more, detail as all the other websites. The goal of this exercise is to create a webpage that has a lot of depth. The primary goal isn't to just create a lot of content. It’s about diving deep into the topics that Google values. 

Step 3: Tell Google to crawl and index your site

Once you’re all done, ask Google to crawl your web page so they can update where you land in search results. In order to do this, set up an account with Google’s Search Console. Once you have done that you can click here to submit your updated webpage

If you don’t sign up for Google search console that’s okay. Don’t worry too much about it. Google will see your new content in between 3 days and 3 weeks and will update accordingly. 

What if it doesn’t work?

If it doesn’t work then continue adding more quality and in depth content to the specific page, as well other pages, of your site so that Google knows you’re the real deal. 

Another thing that could be holding you back from the first page is if all the first page results have websites with a ton of already established authority on these topics. You won’t be able to compete with Psychology Today and the Mayo Clinic. But you can compete with fellow practitioners that have websites that are similar to yours. So if your desired keyword phrase only returns big websites with a lot of authority, you should try targeting a different search phrase.

Jeff Guenther, LPC, is a therapist in Portland, OR. He has been in private practice since 2005. Jeff is the creator and owner of Portland Therapy Center, a highly ranked therapist directory. Jeff, and his team, have launched a new progressive therapist directory, TherapyDen.

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