Blogging is an incredible content marketing strategy for therapists that can bring new and returning traffic to your website and create trust with potential clients by providing helpful information. But don’t rush to publish your blog post before you understand the blog elements that make them easy to read and favored by search engines. Using these strategies will give you the best return on your investment of resources spent creating or commissioning blog content!
While each of the elements below is important, your content is the most crucial factor and is what will ultimately attract and keep leads on your website. Sometimes coming up with a relevant topic is the most difficult part of the entire process. We are all familiar with the feeling of staring at a blank document without a clue of what to begin writing about. When brainstorming what to focus on in your blog post, think about the following questions:
Keep a running list of blog topic ideas relevant to your brand. Then, whenever you get inspired and think of a post idea, you can jot them down future use.
Blog posts can range from 400 to 2,500+ words, so what’s the best strategy? According to search engines, the longer, the better! And the longer the post, the more time readers will spend on your website to read it through. Blogs with over 1,000 words are more likely to be ranked higher in search results than shorter posts, and 2,250-2,500 word count blogs perform even more successfully.
However, there can certainly be value in shorter posts. If you provide valuable content and implement the elements outlined below, your post can still be a successful marketing piece.
Blogging is an exciting way for therapists to reach potential clients. To reach the most viewers, every blog post should contain the following components. It may seem unnatural to format your content in this way, but it has become the standard for a reason. Each of these elements helps search engines index the information and or helps the reader gain understanding of the topic.
Including keywords in your blog content helps search engines categorize your web pages so the intended audience can more easily find them. When you decide on your blog post topic, you should also establish related keywords to use throughout the blog. If you haven’t already, you should do some keyword research for your company and determine what terms your ideal client is searching. Keywords can be anywhere from one to five or more words, but your primary keyword should fit into your title tag which should be around 60-70 characters total.
For best results, you should include one primary keyword and a couple of secondary keywords to further shape your narrative. Your primary keyword should appear throughout your blog, within the title, first paragraph, in at least one header, and an additional time for every 750 words.
We all know what the function of a title is, but sometimes it seems to be the most difficult piece to create. Your title needs to attract your ideal client and communicate the value of the blog content to them. To do this, try popular headline formulas or format the title as a question to ignite interest. Your title should be around 60 characters to avoid being cut off when displayed in search engine results or social media shares. According to Hubspot, titles between 12 and 14 words are “liked” most often on Facebook.
Written to grab and keep readers’ attention, the introduction is the short paragraph before the first heading of your post. Keep your introduction between 100 and 200 words, and try using statistics or a compelling anecdote to hook your reader.
Highlighting main ideas with a larger font, headers break up your content into digestible pieces so that your reader isn’t overwhelmed by a wall of text. They bring focus to main ideas and lead readers through the post. As a general rule, aim for 3-7 sections with about 150-300 words each.
A subheader is simply a headline under a main header. Subheaders separate out ideas that are significant enough to be called out but are still directly related to the larger heading.
Numbered or bulleted lists can be used as headers or subheaders if it’s a better fit or if you have many shorter points to make. They help to further organize information and increase scannability for readers.
Including outbound sources in your blog post increases your credibility, similar to the way references would in an academic paper. To include an outbound source, link a related word or phrase and make sure that the link is set to open in a new tab so traffic stays on your website. Never link a competing practice or company, but rather known credible sources such as peer-reviewed articles, .org or .gov websites.
Inbound links keep traffic exploring your website, and the longer users stay on your site, the better! Take the opportunity to link words or phrases in your blog to related blog posts or other resources on your website.
Adding media is an easy way to make your post more engaging and increase readability.
Images are not only important to include in each post to keep readers’ attention, but the title and alt tags of your image can help further boost your SEO. Before uploading an image to your blog, update the image name to reflect your keywords. In most blog hosting websites, you can also add alt tags to the image. Add your blog keywords here along with local keywords if you have an in-person practice (i.e., “Houston couples counselor”).
Embedding media from external sources can make your post more engaging, add credibility and show examples to help you make your points. You can embed Youtube videos, Tweets, Instagram or Facebook feeds, presentations, and more.
This is it - your reader has made it onto your website and to the end of your blog post, which means they are most likely interested in the services you offer. Emphasize how you can help them improve their lives or ease a pain point, and then take the opportunity to call them to action. If you want them to set up a consultation or onboarding evaluation, include the link where they can schedule it or the phone number they can call. If you want them to download an e-book or resource, include an embedded form on the page where they can do so.
Meta descriptions should be added to every page of your website, including each blog post. They help search engines and readers more easily figure out what the page is offering. Think of it as an introduction and conclusion in one sentence. Your Meta Description should be less than 160 characters and include the primary keyword and one of the following:
Once you have utilized each of these important blog post elements and hit publish, the work isn’t over yet.
If you’re putting in the time and resources to create quality content, you should also be doing all you can to make sure that content is found by your ideal client. This is where Search Engine Optimization comes in. While including all of the elements previously mentioned will help the chances of your post appearing in search results, there are more steps you can take to ensure that this content is working for you, such as:
If your practice or treatment center has a social media presence, make sure you are regularly sharing your blogs on those channels to garner new traffic back to your website. While you might feel like you are sharing too much of the same content, chances are that most of your audience has not yet read your blog post. Recycle blog content into social media content by taking one of the main points or headers of the blog and reformatting it as a caption with a link to the blog to learn more.
If you send a newsletter or mass email to potential clients, consider using your blog content there as well. Engaging and helpful articles might be just what’s needed to entice readers to click and visit your website.
If you plan to start showing up online through your blog, plan on being consistent and make sure blogging integrates with the rest of your content strategy. Choose a schedule that’s sustainable for you, whether that means posting twice a week or twice a month. If you post a new blog every Wednesday, for example, followers will begin to expect and even look forward to your content being posted on that day. Consider planning a series of posts that address related topics.
Would like some help creating a content marketing strategy for your practice? The team at Theory About That works specifically with therapists and counseling centers to do just that! Our team is uniquely qualified in both the mental health and marketing industries. For more information about how we can assist you with a winning strategy, contact us today!