What We Learned From an SEO Audit of Selling The Couch

When it comes to SEO and increasing organic traffic to a website, many therapists don’t know where to begin.

I often hear the phrase, “I don’t know what I don’t know”.

And in those cases, the perfect place to start is with an SEO audit of a current website.

If you don’t know where you currently stand in search engines, how potential clients are (or are not) finding you and issues blocking your SEO success, you’re just going to be throwing stuff at the SEO wall hoping it sticks.

We recently began working with Melvin Varghese from Selling the Couch to help him understand and improve the SEO for the website for his popular podcast.

In this post, we’re going to share some of our findings to help you understand what an SEO audit is and how it can help you with your own SEO strategy for your private practice.

Fair warning: there’s a lot of geeky detail below. But if you want a more digestible (and fun!) way to learn what we uncovered in our SEO audit of Melvin’s website, watch the video below:

Looking At The Current Website for SEO Issues

 

You never want to build a house on a bad foundation and we certainly don’t want to begin an SEO campaign if the current website structure is faulty.

That’s why we always start an SEO audit with a scan of the current website.

We do this before we even start talking about keywords or content optimization.

There may be things that you didn’t even know are hindering your search rankings hiding behind the code of your website.

And we want to fix as many of those issues as we can and make sure you don’t repeat any mistakes you’re currently making when it comes to SEO.

SEO Keywords & Intentional Content Creation

 

As I mentioned, it’s hard to reach any goal unless you currently understand where you are right now. The same is true for your search engine strategy. Creating random content and blog posts, putting a few keywords on some pages and hoping for the best is not going to be enough. SEO strategy is a longterm strategy that takes time and a focus on content writing and link-building. But at the heart of the content and link-building comes an intentional focus on the right keywords. You want to make sure that your efforts are all pointed toward getting your website to rank for the keywords that your potential clients are using. When we begin working with new SEO clients, we usually see one of two things when it comes to their keyword rankings:

  1. They are ranking for some keywords, but not many of the keywords that their potential clients are using
  2. They are not ranking for many keywords at all

If you land in the first camp, this means you probably have a lot of content on your website across many different topics. I like this the best because it means that your website is ranking for some keywords and it gives us a foundation to build upon. The second camp just means that there isn’t enough optimized content on the website for Google to understand what the website is about. It’s not a bad place to be, it just means that it may take a little longer as you create more content around your ideal keywords.

So What’s Working with Selling The Couch’s SEO?:

 

When we did a ranking analysis we found that Melvin’s website is ranking for a whopping 775 different keywords! Melvin has done a great job producing content that is actually ranking for keywords. That may sound great on the surface (and does give us some great data to work with), but if we dig further into those keywords and which ones are actually bringing in traffic, we can see that quality over quantity is what’s needed.

Melvin describes his audience this way:
“A mental health private practitioner/therapist who is or wants to be in private practice but thinks differently about what private practice is. They feel called to serve in bigger ways and share a message. For example, sharing a message through an email list, a podcast, an online course, building an online community, membership site, webinars, etc.”
Now if we look closely at the keywords that are bringing Melvin traffic to the Selling the Couch Podcast website, we can see that not everyone that’s showing up fits that description. For starters, each month the website is getting 79 visits from people who want to sell a couch! This is just an unfortunate consequence due to the name of his podcast, so not much can be done about that. Next, we see that he’s ranking for “selling the couch podcast”, “melvin varghese”, and “stc directory”. These terms are what’s called, “branded keywords”. While it’s great that people are searching for him, his podcast and the online directory he’s created, these represent people who are already familiar with Selling The Couch in some way. So what we’re really interested in the terms that people are using in search engines that represent someone who could benefit from Selling The Couch but maybe isn’t already a follower. That’s the type of traffic that can impact Melvin’s business goals and the reach of his message. In that case, we see terms like these:

  • Therapy business (ranking position 6)
  • How to build a private therapy practice (ranking 7)
  • Launch a podcast (ranking 15)

What This Means for Selling The Couch:

 

It’s keywords like the above that represent the low-hanging fruit for future SEO efforts. We can seek to optimize the current content and then amplify it with related content and link-building.

We always start here with our ongoing SEO work because it will give us the quickest wins and possibility to boost rankings and, in turn, traffic to the website.

So as we get into Melvin’s ongoing SEO strategy in the months to come, we will first focus our search engine optimization around the term “launch a podcast”.

That term gets a decent search volume each month, is directly connected with Melvin’s message and products (his Healthcasters online course) and he’s already ranking number 15 in search results for that term.

What’s Missing From The STC Website?

 

Melvin mentioned a handful of other keywords related to his message and his ideal audience that he would like to get more traffic from.

Some of them he ranked low in the results for and others he didn’t rank at all for.

This means that there should be a focus in the coming months on content that specifically addresses those topics/keywords.

As mentioned above, we want to produce quality content over quantity to show Google that the website is an authority on a few key topics.

For Melvin, the missing element that will help him get more traffic from search engines in the future is that specific content related to the specific challenges he helps his customers and followers with.

The great thing about SEO is that it’s ongoing and you can use the data over time to adjust your strategy.

We’ll be focusing on the keywords he’s already ranking relatively high for and boosting them higher for a quicker win.

Then once those rankings are established, we’ll focus on the next term and begin doing the same.

Because it can often take 3 months to see the results of any SEO work you do, I recommend taking a slow approach and focus on one keyword at a time.

Think of ways you can create content related to one keyword. Go deep and go wide.

It’s this type of content that will help Google view your website as an authority on the topics you help your clients with.

Conclusion

 

Melvin has done a great job of creating consistent content over a long period of time that has helped him rank for many keywords. But many of those keywords are either not bringing traffic to the website or not the keywords he wants to be known for. But once you know what you’re ranking for, you can use the data to find the quick-wins to help focus content creation and search engine optimization strategy to really start moving the needle. We’re super excited to be working with Melvin and look forward to reporting on the results after a few months of carrying out his SEO strategy! We always start here with our ongoing SEO work because it will give us the quickest wins and possibility to boost rankings and, in turn, traffic to the website. So as we get into Melvin’s ongoing SEO strategy in the months to come, we will first focus our search engine optimization around the term “launch a podcast”. That term gets a decent search volume each month, is directly connected with Melvin’s message and products (his Healthcasters online course) and he’s already ranking number 15 in search results for that term.

About Daniel Fava

 

Daniel Fava is a father, husband, podcaster, website consultant and founder of Create My Therapist Website and Private Practice Elevation. After building a website for his wife’s private practice and seeing the impact it had on her business, he became passionate about helping others achieve the same. Daniel offers custom web design services, SEO services, consultations, and online training to help therapists grow their business through online marketing. Click here to download a free SEO guide 7 Simple Things Any Therapist Can Do To Improve Their SEO and Get More Website