By Jade Pruett, SEO Strategist at Mind Over Marketing: an agency specializing in marketing for therapists.
Last week, we talked all about the marketing tactics therapists should know in 2021, one of which was blogging. Today, we are going to cover the steps you need to take to make sure you aren’t just blogging for blogging’s sake, but creating content that will work for you.
In fact, these are the same steps I take to create high converting blogs for therapists that connect them organically with their ideal clients.
Let’s crack into it!
Table of Contents:
Blogging for Therapists
Why is Blogging Important?
When you think of blogging, you may think of the early days of the internet when people shared everything from their deepest secrets to their daily routines on simple, pictureless personal websites. And while there are still plenty of personal blogs out there, blogging has become big business. Blogs are now a staple of almost every business’s website, and for good reason.
Blogging is a powerful marketing tool that showcases your authority, gives your website personality, helps you connect and build trust with your ideal customer, and helps boost your SEO.
Let’s dig into what that all means.
Blogging helps showcase your authority
Blogging is a great way to set yourself apart as an authority in your field. In fact, it has been said that nothing is a better resume in the digital age than a blog that showcases your expertise in your chosen niche. That means having a blog can help you gain more clients and even advance your career.
Blogging gives your website personality
On most websites, a simple headshot can be the most personality a professional gives themselves. However, blogging gives you a whole new outlet to show your personality on your website. This allows your potential clients to see what type of counselor you are before they ever meet you, and it can allow them to feel like they already know you before they send that initial contact email.
Blogging helps you connect and build trust with your ideal customer
Going hand in hand with the points above, having a consistent blog will help build trust with your ideal client. When they first visit your website and are wondering if you are a good fit, reading through your collection of blog posts will help them know for sure that you are an expert and someone they can trust. It can lay a great foundation for your relationship from the very start.
Blogging helps boost your SEO
Finally, blogging is an excellent way to boost your Search Engine Optimization (SEO.) The topics you blog about will be the things your ideal client is searching for in Google. That means when they ask those questions or search those terms, you will be the expert they find. Apart from helping your ideal client find you better, posting consistently to your blog will keep your website fresh, which is a big part of any SEO strategy. Google only wants to feature websites that are active, and blogging is a great way to stay on Google’s good side.
How to Start Blogging
When you decide to start a blog to promote your private practice, it is important to go in with a plan. A good blog strategy should always start with a content schedule with plenty of ideas and topics for you to choose from, so you are not simply sitting down and writing about whatever comes to mind. Remember, this blog isn’t for your interests. It is for your ideal client’s interests. So it is best to be sure all of your content is enticing and relevant to them.
Phase 1: Research Your Topics
Step 1: Find Three Keywords for Your Niche
To make sure you are creating a blog that will be appealing to your ideal client, start by thinking of three keywords that your ideal client might Google to find you.
Example: If you are a play therapist in Atlanta, your three keywords could be “Play Therapy Atlanta”, “Play Therapist Atlanta”, and even just “Play Therapy.”
Step 2: Put Your Keywords in Answer the Public
Once you have your three keywords, it’s time to put them to work. A great place to start is Answer The Public. Answer the Public is a free tool that can show you what real people are searching for around your target keywords.
Start by entering your keyword on the homepage, selecting your country and language, and hitting “Search.”
You will then be presented with tons of data about searches featuring your keyword. You can see the questions people ask, the prepositions they Google, and much more.
For example, when we searched for “play therapy,” we got questions like “How does play therapy work?” and “Who benefits from play therapy?” These two questions are great jumping points for quality blog posts.
Take some time to read through this data, and make note of all of the topics that meet these two criteria:
- They are something that would be beneficial to your ideal client.
- They are something you are an authority on.
For instance, when we searched “Play Therapy” in Answer The Public, the question, “Why study play therapy” also came up. This is something someone who is considering becoming a play therapist might Google, not someone looking for a play therapist for their child. And while you might be an authority on that topic (as a play therapist, you might know a thing or two about becoming one), this topic is not a good choice for your blog.
Step 3: Google Your Keywords
Another great way to see what your ideal client is searching for, is to search for it yourself. When you Google your chosen keywords, you will not just see the basic search results, you will see a few other features of Google that will help you come up with even more blog topics.
Be sure to check out the “People Also Ask” section to see what questions are being asked around your topic.
Then, at the bottom of your Google search results, you will also see the “Related Searches” section.
While not all of these topics would be good candidates for blog posts, there might be a few ideas to write down.
Step 4: Keep All of Your Blog Post Ideas in a Doc or Spreadsheet
After doing some digging in Answer The Public and Google, you should have a list of at least 10 blog post topics to get you started. Be sure to keep these something safe, like a doc or spreadsheet, so you can access them later when it’s time to start writing.
Phase 2: Write Your Blog
How to Write Your Blog Posts
You’ve done your research, now it’s time to take a topic and run with it. However, the work isn’t over yet. Here is how to make sure you get the most out of each blog post you write.
Step 5: Google Your Topic
Once you have your topic picked out, it is time to head back to Google for one more search. This search is to see what type of content already exists around your topic.
Example: If your topic is “How does play therapy work?” your search results will look something like this.
This step will help you get ideas for what you should write and see what type of content is already available.
Step 6: See How You Can Beat The Top Blog Post
Now that you see what type of content is ranking well for your chosen topic, it’s time to figure out how you can write something even better. This is the best way to compete for the top spot in Google, which is where you want to be.
Example: If the top blog post is “5 Ways Play Therapy Can Help Your Child.” You should read that blog post and think of all the great things you could add to make it even better. Then write your own blog post titled something like, “7 Ways Play Therapy Can Help Your Child.”
Pro Tip: Do not plagiarize
Of course, do not plagiarize from the original blog post. Not only is plagiarism unprofessional and unfair to your competition, Google will also not promote your website if it suspects plagiarism. Be sure all of your ideas and words are your own.
Step 7: Outline and Write
Now that you know your topic and who you are competing with, it’s time to outline your blog post and get to writing. While you are writing, be sure to keep your ideal client in the front of your mind. Write something that is easy for them to understand, engaging, and full of your personality. Blogging is all about connecting and building trust with someone who is considering having you as their therapist, so be sure to represent yourself well!
Step 8: Optimize Your Blog Post For SEO
Second to your readers, be sure to consider what Google likes. Here are a few quick tips to make sure your blog post is optimized for SEO.
– Google looks at headings first when inspecting your page. Use H1 for your title, H2 for section headings, and H3 for subheadings.
– Ideally, the best blog posts are 3,000 words. However, 1,000 good words are better than 3,000 words of filler and fluff. So be concise!
– If you use photos, be sure to add Alt Text. This makes your photos more accessible to readers and to Google
– Make sure your target keyword is written within the first three sentences of your blog (bonus point if it’s in the title!)
– For the sake of Google and your users, be sure to link your new blog post to your other existing blog posts wherever possible. This helps your readers easily navigate your content, and it looks great to Google.
Step 9: Once it’s Published, Share Your Content!
Once your blog post is published, you’re still not off the hook. Now it is time to share your blog post wherever you can. Be sure to share your content on your social media accounts and to your email subscribers to give it a nice traffic boost.
Step 10: Reach Out for Backlinks
Backlinks are simply links that lead people back to your website. They are a huge part of SEO and getting your name out there. This is because they basically work as referrals. If another trusted website is linking back to your site, it shows readers and Google that you are a trusted source.
But how do you get backlinks? It might take a bit of creativity and even some networking. If you have colleagues, friends, or other connections in your field, you can offer to write guest posts on their website or even trade backlinks, so you can both enjoy a traffic and SEO boost.
You can also simply reach out to other people and websites who might be interested in linking to your content. You can do so by writing a friendly email with a personal touch that simply asks for a backlink. Here is an example.
Step 11: Keep It Current
Your blog post does not have to be a time capsule. In fact, keeping your blog posts up to date is a great way to make sure your old posts are still working for you in the present. And as a big bonus, Google loves fresh content.
If there are parts of old blog posts that need updating due to changes in policy, new research, or other reasons, be sure to make those.
Step 12: Stay consistent
Finally, be sure to schedule consistent time to work on your blog. It could be every week or every month, but be sure to stay consistent to your content creation. This is another thing that is good for both your readers and Google. It’s a win win!
Those are my 12 steps for creating blog posts that work for you.
Did you learn anything new from reading this post?
What steps are you going to add to your blogging routine?
Let me know!
If you have questions about any part of the blogging process or would like some help researching, writing, or optimizing your content, be sure to reach out to me, Jade Pruett, at Mind Over Marketing. I look forward to hearing from you!
Jade Pruett is an SEO Strategist who specializes in marketing for therapists and counselors. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her therapist husband and corgi, Loaf. You can find her at www.mindover.marketing.