Quick Steps to Grow Your Clientele With Online Keywords

What to Do After Determining Keywords

After you select a keyword, you want to start optimizing your website toward that keyword.

Improve Your Meta Description

A meta description is the text that pops up when someone searches. So for example, you Google “Counseling Traverse City” and then you get a list of possibilities. A meta description is 156 characters to describe the page or blog post. Meta descriptions give the reader an opportunity to quickly scan what they are looking for. A meta description is a really quick summary of the article, blog post, or page.

For those of you with WordPress websites (which I recommend) WordPress SEO by Yoast is a great plug-in to help WordPress users. Here’s an article about transitioning your website to WordPress.

Improve Your Tags

Tags are like a highlighter for specific topics. If you have a WordPress website, you’ll see an opportunity for “tags.” It’s a way that websites sort related articles. At this time, Google does not use them for searching. However, they do help the reader to find things that they are looking for within the website. Anything that improves the user’s experience will help site ranking in the long run.

Reduce Your Bounce Rate

A bounce rate is the rate at which people leave your site from the front page. Imagine the earlier example where someone is searching for a private practice, but they get a Thai restaurant. They will quickly hit the back button and search again.

Not all traffic is good traffic. Google wants to know that you are what you say you are. A bounce rate of 60% means that 60% of people that come to your counseling website leave because they think that they are not in the right place.

Improve Your Site Ranking

Site ranking is a way that search engines determine the authority of a website. For example, CNN, Huffington Post, or NPR will have a very high site ranking. They are known and people trust them. Site rank is determined in a number of different ways. When high ranking websites link to lower ranking websites, this can help. It’s sort of like a bunch of famous people saying, “Donate to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.” Their individual famousness gives authority to St. Jude’s.

 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Your Website

The following are some things that used to work, some that still work, and others that are a waste of time when it comes to SEO.

Here’s what not to do with SEO for your private practice:

  • Don’t pack keywords to make it annoying. For example, if you list all of your specialties on the front page, it may help drive people to your private practice website, but people won’t stick around.
  • Don’t use the same keywords. When Google sees that you always use a specific term, they know that you are trying to pack in keywords. So if you want to rank for How to Become a Consultant, which I am trying to do, use other terms like Becoming a Consultant or How to Become a Business Consultant.
  • Don’t buy comments or links. Google knows. They are watching. Don’t do it. They have figured it out. Also, using websites that have articles and huge backlinks don’t work anymore!

 Quick Steps to Build SEO in Private Practice

Step #1: Create Great Content

Write content that people care about. Think about what people are going to search for. Instead of writing an article about depression, write an article about women with new babies that experience depression in winter. By specializing, you make sure that your article is really focused.

Step #2: Optimize the Article

Within the headings, make it easy to read. Use headings, bullets, and numbers to make the article easy to consume.

Step #3: Optimize Meta Description

Use the free plug-in WordPress SEO by Yoast to write a meta description for each article and see how it ranks. It will rank how you are doing based on your stated keywords.

So remember these important guiding principles to get the outcomes you want using keywords on your website:

  •  We want users to stay on the website as long as possible.
  • We want to reduce bounce rate and increase engagement.
  • We know that great content will always drive up great traffic.
  • We know that optimizing a website should always reflect what the website is all about.
  • We know what not to do in terms of SEO.

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at

Quick Steps to Grow Your Clientele With Online Keywords

Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC

Joseph Sanok

Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC teaches consultants how to become better consultants through his website Joe also helps counselors with growing private practices through his website He also loves sailing and playing with his two daughters.


APA Reference
Sanok, J. (2015). Quick Steps to Grow Your Clientele With Online Keywords. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 22, 2020, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 15 Apr 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Apr 2015
Published on All rights reserved.