Local SEO helps prospective clients who are looking for your psychotherapy services find you online. Taking the time to do local search engine optimization can help bring new clients and referral sources to your practice.
Two crucial ingredients of any local SEO approach are listings and citations. A local psychotherapy practice listing is an online profile that lists your name, address, phone number, and sometimes your website URL too.
There are so many places to get local business listings, and many places that you can get listed for free.
Citations are similar to listings but it’s taking into account the times where your information may appear on a website or directory even without that backlink to your website. The website crawlers of search engines like google also factor in citations to inform if you are a local business worthy of appearing in a search results page.
In this post, we’ll go through how to get listings and citations step-by-step, and specifically for psychotherapy practices.
Getting Listings and Citations Step-by-Step
Step 1: Make Sure Your Practice Meets All Three of These Criteria
- Have a business name
- Have a local phone number
- Have a dedicated street address
And I’m assuming that you’re not an online counselor and that you meet all (or most) of your clients face-to-face for sessions. If you have an outside-of town phone number, a shared address, or do most of your therapy online, the listings aspect of local SEO may not be for you at this time.
Step 2: Prepare Consistent Information to Use Across All Listings, Citations, and Your Website
Be sure to use the same business title, address (down to the capitalization and suite number inclusion), and phone number that is on your website in your listings and citations. And when it comes to listings and citations, use the same types of categories, choosing the “Psychotherapist” “Psychotherapy” or “Mental Health” categories consistently too.
Step 3: Prepare Photos
Professional photos will help increase the clicks that a listing gets and can help you stand out even in a competitive market. Using consistent photos across all listings will help your practice be a coherent presence on the web as well. You may want to use a photo of yourself, your office, or your logo or all three depending on where the listing or citation is being placed.
Step 4: Get Local Business Listings
Local business listings are online profiles that have your business information. Many of these are free.
Step 5: Get Citations
Citations are mentions of your business name and address, and these are very valuable even without a link back to your website. For the best results, you should focus on getting citations from quality websites: websites with authority and relevance to mental health when possible. Here are some ideas:
- Local blogs. Especially ones that have to do with mental health, wellness, or something to do with your local niche (ex: get a citation on the local Parent’s blog if you are a practice that serves parents).
- Local chamber of commerce website.
- Local business directories. Search for “[your city] directory” to find directories in your area.
- The top citation sources for psychologists in the USA, listed from best to worst, are:
This is a list primarily for the USA. If you are not in the USA, click on a few of these to understand if they are international and if not, check out what might be the equivalent in your country. Actually, you can search here for top local citation sources in your country for even more ideas.
With each listing and citation you create, your chances of being found increase. Many of these directories and indexes will share information between them, meaning that the more you get listed, the more visible you are, the stronger your chances of ranking will become.
Listings and Citations: A Numbers Game
There are a lot of factors that go into how a page will get ranked, but one thing is clear when it comes to local SEO: it is a bit of a numbers game.
The purpose of these local listings and citations is to increase your practice’s visibility on the web. Your chances of being found increases with the number of listings and citations you have.
The quantity and quality of listings and citations matter because search engines are evaluating the accuracy of your business data. It’s about trusting that you are a legitimate local business and offering what you say you offer.
Taking the time to getting a large number of listings and citations is worthwhile when it comes to local SEO.
You Can Only Help People If You Are Found
Local SEO is one way to get yourself out there. So I hope that it helps get you out there, get you seen, and get you found by your ideal clients.
I’d love to hear from you and know how it goes. What do you think of these ideas? Are you already listed and citation-ed everywhere I mentioned? Do you have a free afternoon to surf and find places and get listed?