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Learn about different techniques to improve your websites search performance.

August 2022

4 Tips For SEO Optimization of Blog Posts

2022-08-29T19:09:26+00:00Get Your Business Moving!, marketing, SEO|

Since most therapists have what is called a static website (there are not often changes or new content added) we have to add fresh content in different ways. The blog post is one of those ways. Frequent blog posting can engage your potential clients and help your SEO. First, I must say, the most important, tip in content writing is ALWAYS writing content your reader will be interested in. If you write boring content, it does not matter how many people come to your pages because they won’t engage. 

Many of us are also trying to market in multiple locations, which is quite hard. I market in both PA and CA for my counseling services. I have intentionally optimized different pages for different states. However, that won’t necessarily be enough for many of my keywords. My Bay Area optimization has decreased since I moved and tried optimizing in PA. In order to get Google reminded about my Bay Area work, I recently wrote a blog post called Bay Area EMDR Intensives. My keywords were location (Bay Area, EMDR, and EMDR Intensives. Sometimes it can help us rank by working with less competitive keywords. EMDR Intensive is going to be less competitive than counseling will be. I may not rank for counseling but I am ranking for EMDR intensives. 

4 SEO Tips for Blog Posts

  1. Develop a strong headline. This headline should use one or more keywords. A title with a number in it gets clicked more often. 
  2. Google is suspected to be rewarding longer posts. Write a minimum of 300 words and strive for 1,000 words.
  3. Use headings to break up content. You can see how I did it in this post. There is a heading that says Writing Good Content for SEO Optimization and then a second one that is in a small heading font that says 4 SEO Tips for Blog Posts
  4. Have strong page titles and page descriptions. Do this on all pages and posts. You do this behind the scenes of your website. Below you can see a screen shot of a google search for EMDR intensives in PA. One of the counseling pages I targeted for those keywords did show up. I am indicating what the title is and what the description is.

Keeping fresh content on your website is an ongoing task. It is easy to forget and then a year goes by without posting. (2020 anyone?) However, it is important to keep up this work, and if you get off schedule, just start up again. 

Making Video Content for Your Website-You Need a Video!

2022-08-29T19:17:45+00:00Get Your Business Moving!, marketing, SEO|

Making Video Content for Your Website-You Need a Video!

Video content on your website is a great way of connecting to your potential clients. Over the years, I have done several videos for my counseling website. The first was made with an actual video camera. Subsequent ones have been made using my computer or iPhone. Today I just made a new video using my iPhone and using a tripod selfie stick with a remote. This means no awkward lean-in and lean-out to turn off the video.

Since we can make videos about ourselves now there is NO EXCUSE for not doing it! I know you will come up with some like I don’t want to see myself! I get that for sure. I hate watching videos of myself. As I recorded today’s video I must have done 10 takes. My shirt was the wrong color. My shirt had lint on it that showed up dramatically in the video. I said UM too much. But it is important to persevere. Clients need to make a connection with you and if you are not seeing people in person your website is how you are going to make that connection.

Once you create the video you may or may not want to edit it. I put my video into Imovie and was able to clip the end a bit. It took a second for me to turn off the video (even using that remote) and it seemed awkward so I just clipped the video two seconds.

When you are done you upload the video to YouTube. You should create a business account there for this purpose if you don’t have one already. You upload your video, put in a good title and description using your keywords, and publish it.


YouTube will give you a link that you can then post on social media or on your website to showcase your video. Look how I did it here.

Having videos on your website will both help engage potential new clients and help with your SEO. It is a win-win.

April 2022

Make sure your website is indexed by Google

2022-08-29T19:23:53+00:00Get Your Business Moving!, SEO|

It doesn’t matter how hard you work on your website and how much you pay for Search Engine Optimization if Google has not found your website. To check type in “site:”followed by your website URL. So for my counseling website it was “site:”www.cathyhanville.com.

Below is what showed up when I did that.


Cathy Hanville website indexedYou can see that that website has over 200 pages that are indexed which is great. Shows that posting those blogs has paid off.

If your website is not indexed then you need to go to Google Search Console to get it indexed. If you don’t have an account there I have a link at the end of this post on how to set up the account.

Once at Search Console you navigate to URL inspection which you will see on the left. Then at the top you type in the page you want to see is indexed or added to the index. If it is not indexed you will see a message (like shown below) where you can click the button to request indexing.

This is a simple thing to check and fix if it is not done.

Article on getting Google Search Console Account set up.

December 2021

Can You Do a Google My Business Listing for an Online Business?

2022-08-29T20:19:42+00:00Get Your Business Moving!, SEO|

Can You Do a Google My Business Listing for an Online Business?

Like many of us, I no longer have an office or see clients in person. I also moved to another state as a result I now have two states to market to.

I took a journey to figure things out. First, I set up a Cathy Hanville, LCSW PA page. I was asked the areas served and I put in some local areas because for online work I can see someone throughout PA. Google’s policy is that if you can enter a Service Area then you can have a listing without a specific address.

Google did require a NON-PO Box address to send me a verification code to enter.

However, I later realized I could edit my existing profile by clearing the address by going to Info on the left and then hitting clear this address on the bottom of the page as shown below.

I then edited the service areas. I put in areas for both PA and CA. As you can see, I put in both states and added a few more local areas.

As I have said before, having a Google My Business Listing is one of the best things you can do for your Search Optimization and your overall marketing plan.

October 2018

The Fun of Collaborating with Colleagues

2018-10-01T21:09:31+00:00Get Your Business Moving!, networking, SEO|

Many therapists are introverts. It can make our marketing a bit anguishing as we have to step out of our comfort zones and sell ourselves. I often tell people that other therapists are one of my main source of referrals. I try to get out there and meet other therapists in the community to both learn about their practices and talk about mine. I don’t do it as often as I would like partially because recently other therapists can be very hard to get out of the office for coffee/tea.

I was super lucky when earlier this year Annie Schuessler reached out to me. Annie and I are both on a listserv. So we had seen each other’s names before. Annie both has a private practice and also does business consultation for therapists.  You may be asking why am I promoting a competitor on my blog? Because after Annie and chatted online we began to discuss ways in which we could work together. Annie has a program called The Superpower Method For Therapists® Program. It is an extensive program which is much different from what I offer. Annie asked me if I would like to teach an SEO class as bonus material in her program. WHAT!! Of course, I did. So I did that and we also recorded a podcast episode called SEO is Not Scary which is found here.

So because Annie took the time to reach out to me and we connected so well I was on her podcast, developed some SEO materials for her course, and then also further developed those materials for my own online SEO Course. It was a definite win for me and I am hoping it is a definite win for Annie and her clients too.

I know other therapists that reached out to colleagues and have started different groups and other projects. It can be scary doing those things yourself but finding a person with whom you can collaborate with can change everything.

September 2018

Seven Simple Tips to Boost Your SEO

2019-10-09T21:21:28+00:00Get Your Business Moving!, SEO|

Since I am running my SEO workshop this week I thought I might do an updated post on some simple tips to help improve your websites search engine optimization performance.

  1. Make sure you have good page titles and descriptions utilizing your keywords.
  2. Make sure your website has an SSL certificate. That means your login will have an HTTPS rather than an HTTP. It also means you will not be risking someone’s browser saying your site is unsafe if they want to view it. There will be a little lock next to your URL. This is something done with your hosting company.
  3. Make sure you have a good Google My Business Listing. Check to make sure it is accurate and has many details and pictures on it.
  4. Make sure your home page is user-friendly and readable. This is both for SEO and marketing purposes. You don’t want to do all the work to get someone to your homepage and then have them not engage with you.
  5. Make sure your website is mobile friendly You can check that here If your site is not mobile friendly Google has said it will be lowered in ranking, 
  6. Add fresh content regularly. This can be done by keeping up a regular blog.
  7. Make sure your page loads quickly. You can check that here.

To learn more I have an online SEO workshop available here. I am also always available for individual consultations on SEO and Marketing issues. 

November 2016

5 Tips for Keyword Research

2016-12-30T20:52:18+00:00Get Your Business Moving!, SEO|

5 Tips for Keyword Research

What is keyword research? It is the technique for finding and researching the keywords that people use when searching for you type of business. Here I will give you 5 tips to help guide your research. 

1. First start with what words come up when people are thinking about your business?

For many of us it is counseling. However, there are many other words people might use. Anxiety, depressession, grief, parenting etc. Develop a list of the words that are related to your specialties.

Want to get some easy additional ideas? Go to google.com and type in your keywords. Below it you will see other suggested keywords that you can add to your list.

2. Designate your regular keywords, also known as head terms, versus your long-tailed keywords which are more descriptive and generally have three or more words in them. EMDR therapy for PTSD, for example, versus EMDR. When you are working on your website SEO you may be able to rank higher for your long-tailed keywords than you will for the head term EMDR.

3. Use tools to further research your keywords. Google has a free keyword planner you can use found here. The only catch is you do need to sign up for an Ad Words account, though you don’t need to actually run an ad. UberSuggest also has a free tool.

4. Rank your keywords by their level of importance to you. Your most important keywords will be used on on your home page and your other keywords can be used on other pages. Don’t forget to designate a page where your name is a keyword or to use you location as part of your keywords.

5. Use your keywords in your site, while still writing good content. If you are blogging it is also a great idea to write blog posts based on your long tailed keywords.

Check out my post on 5 tips to improve your SEO for more on where to place your keywords.

Below are a few more resources on keyword research.

Moz Has a great guide to keyword research.

Another resource from Hubspot

Photo Copyright: nk2549 / 123RF Stock Photo

5 Tips To Improve Your SEO

2017-01-13T17:21:09+00:00Get Your Business Moving!, SEO|

5 Tips To Improve Your SEO

The most excellent Melvin Varghese invited me to speak on his Selling the Couch Podcast. I actually struggled with a topic until he suggested SEO. Duh of course this is something I consult on along with helping those getting started in private practice. I wrote this blog post so that those listening to the podcast could have easy access to the resources I mentioned after the show. The podcast is now live and the link above takes you to the podcast and also links to things we talked about it the podcast. Very exciting.

1. Define Your Niche

I know this sounds unrelated to SEO but until you define your niche you won’t be able to develop your keywords. Your keywords are the basis of your SEO work. I do a lot of workshops and this is what therapists’ struggle the most with. “But if I say I work with anxiety, no one else will call me!” This is simply not true. You need to define the issue or client you want to work with and then write your content directly to engage them. Your website is there to bring in your ideal clients and if you can’t engage them then any SEO work you do is for naught. Once your niche is defined then you can define your keywords. Keywords should always include your name (on your about page), your location, and your niche specialty. Each page on your website should have its own keywords. (update 11/28-check out my new post on keyword research here)

 

2. Use your keywords effectively.

Notice I put this after mentioning good content. Google emphasizes that good content is the most important aspect of SEO. You want your content to engage your ideal client. Once you have that you can then make sure your identified keywords are in some specific places. You want to have your keywords in your page titles, alt tags when appropriate (these are tags for your pictures), page description, headings on pages, and in your content. Google does not need to see a word 25 times on a page to recognize its relevance. If you have it there it will be seen. The old days of putting a long list of words on the bottom of the page are over. Google will identify that as keyword stuffing and may penalize your site. (update 11/28-check out my new post on keyword research here)

 

3. Optimize your Page Speed.

How many times have you clicked off of a page because it took to long to load? Google’s algorithms recognize this as an issue and want your pages to load quickly. There are several places you can test this. If you have WordPress there are many plugins you can use to improve your page loading speed. The most important is to have a cache plugin. I currently use W3 Total Cache. For any website you want to make sure any images are optimized because large images will ruin your page load speed. Here is an article about optimizing images for more details. If you have built your site on a platform other then WordPress you should direct page speed questions to them.

While speaking with Melvin he recommended a free website where you can size your images. It is called PicResize.

Here is where you can test your page speed on Google. You can also test here. A desirable result is a green result on desktop and a high yellow result on mobile (in the 70’s).

4 Have a Mobile Friendly Site

As of April 2015 Google has said it will penalize websites that are not mobile friendly. Most new themes are made as responsive, which means they are mobile friendly, however I have added it here because I recently worked with someone that had a new website built and it was not mobile friendly. If you hire a web designer be sure to ask them what they know about SEO because many designers are not familiar with SEO and this can cause you issues later.

Here is where you can test and see if your site is mobile friendly in Google. This is a yes or no test result.

 

5.  Be active on social media.

I know many therapists are resistant to this one. However, it is important to be active on social media for several factors including SEO. Your business having and using social media accounts is a factor in SEO ranking. If you write blogs (bonus for using keywords in them) and post those blogs on social media you will drive traffic to your site, which also is a factor in SEO ranking. In addition, some social media accounts can show up in search on their own. My Facebook Business Page shows up as a search results when my keywords are searched. If your name is showing up more then once in the results then it gives an appearance of expertise. I have also known therapists that have gotten clients from social media posts; Facebook in particular has worked effectively for this.

 

Here are some additional great free SEO resources.

 

The MOZ Guide to SEO is a great beginners guide to learning SEO.

 

Yoast has a WordPress Guide for SEO. Yoast is the go to plugin for SEO for a WordPress site.

 

 

updated January 2017 with the link to the podcast.

 

 

May 2016

Resources for your website and SEO

2019-10-09T21:26:53+00:00Get Your Business Moving!, SEO, Websites|

Resources for your website and SEO

I am in a Facebook group that focuses on Online Marketing for therapists. It is a great group of supportive therapists who want to learn the ins and outs of marketing on the internet. One of the questions that comes up rather frequently is how to best build a strong website for your practice. So here are a few resources that I have put together to help you build your website and learn how to improve your SEO.

Most experts  recommend going with a self hosted WordPress site. That means developing a site where you obtain hosting from another company such as Bluehost. It is different from building a site on WordPress.com. If you use Bluehost you can also get your domain name there also. I have found it is better to get everything from one site since it makes for a easier set up.

Now some people want to go another route. They find that WordPress has a learning curve that they do not want to deal with. For the Drag and Drop type of website builders Squarespace is considered the best. There are other drag and drop site builders out there but they have different challenges for SEO and if you ever want to transfer your site. Thoroughly research any company before you use them.

If you decide to go with WordPress you will have to pick a theme.  Theme Forest is a great place to search for themes. I use the Avada theme which I love and got from Theme Forest. They are constantly updating it and have excellent support. I have emailed them many a question and gotten excellent help. They never act as if a question is dumb. Theme Forest allows you to research a theme and check out the reviews and how many times a theme has been downloaded.

SEO resources

I am a big proponent of do it yourself SEO. There are many free resources so that you can educate yourself about SEO. Yoast has lots of free information on their site and they also have a free plugin for WordPress that is the best way to optimize your WordPress site.

Moz Guide to SEO is another great free resource with some downloadable books where you can get lots of information about SEO for free.

Here is another article that is a bit more advance that discusses internal linking strategies.

This is a great infographic for SEO.

Other Plugins for WordPress

Updraft Plus-I love this plugin! When I first started out I  used another back up plugin and when I needed it I couldn’t get it to work. It was complicated to use. Updraft is super easy to use. I even bought the paid version which is a great resource if you are moving a site or want to set up some automated back ups. For example my site backs up before anything is updated so that if something goes wrong I can immediately restore back to the prior version.

WordFence Security is a great Plugin that I used to provide security for my WordPress site, which is essential. It also has a cache aspect to it that I use in order to improve the page speed of my site.

Photo Copyright: hristianin / 123RF Stock Photo

Full Affiliate disclosures: I only recommend companies/articles  that I am currently using or have thoroughly researched. I do receive compensation if you click through an affiliate link and sign up. My detailed Affiliate Statement is found here. In this post Bluehost, Updraft, and Theme Forest are affiliate links and the other links are not.

 

 

March 2015

Addressing Your Page Speed Insights Report For a WordPress Site

2016-10-13T17:14:24+00:00Get Your Business Moving!, SEO, wordpress|

Addressing Your Page Speed Insights Report For a WordPress Site

I recently posted about how Google is going to use page speed and mobile optimization as big factors for SEO.  Elegant Themes Blog had a excellent article on ways to address the issues that come up in these reports. So I began to try some different things on my two different sites. Interestingly enough what worked on one site did not work on the other.

The first thing you should address is making sure you have a cache plugin. I actually use WordFence. It is a security plugin but it also has a caching aspect to it. It is always good practice to minimize the number of plugins you use overall so having one plugin do two important things is great. WP Super Cache also seems pretty reputable though I will confess to never having used it myself.

So when I started my Google Page Speed Insights were 73 on Mobile and 82 on Desktop. Both actually decent scores. If you type in some well know websites as I did I saw two very well known sites have scores in the red for mobile. I haven’t yet seen someone that has been able to get their mobile score into the green, though I suspect someone has done it. So don’t panic. Make the goal to get a green score for desktop and a yellow score for mobile.

Since I already had the caching plugin I tried a few of the recommended other plug ins to improve my speed. The one that worked for my counseling site was Better WordPress Minify. That plugin brought my site scores to 76 and 86.

With this website I also tried several plugins including Better WordPress Minify. The one that worked was WP Performance Score Booster which got me to a 73 and 86. So I feel good that I used only one additional plugin for each site. This site has more plugins and I would actually expect the performance to be a bit slower.

The lesson is to try different things and to do them one at a time. I also had one plugin I tried crash my site so as always be sure to do a complete back up before you start changing things.

Please comment and let us know what plugins worked for you.

 

 

 

Photo Copyright: Copyright : johan2011

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