Here's why your coaching business needs SEO... like now.
We're here to show you how Google works and to make a case for why SEO for coaches (aka search engine optimization) is the next best investment for your coaching business.
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Let's dive in!
If you're here, your primary question is likely "is SEO for coaches something I should invest in?"
We're biased 😉 but yes, we wholeheartedly believe that more coaches should be investing in SEO.
Most coaches solely rely on social media like Instagram for their coaching businesses, but that's a dangerous strategy.
You've likely heard this before, but you don't own your Instagram profile, and you certainly don't have anything to say when it comes to algorithm updates.
Social media sites are all in competition with one another, so if you continue to use social media, you'll also be in the constant process of chasing the next best feature and creating the next "best" type of content.
Additionally, social media sites wax and wane in popularity.
Instagram was all the rage back in the early 2010s, but now, TikTok is taking over.
Social media posts and groups can bring a massive ROI, but investing your entire marketing budget on finicky platforms is risky.
Plus, with SEO for coaches, we can consistently bring in tens of thousands of potential coaching clients every month.
Do you get tens of thousands of Instagram or TikTok followers every month?
For most coaches, the answer is no.
Unlike social media profiles, you own your website.
So anytime you invest money into website content or backlinks, for example, you are funding money right back into your coaching business.
Is it really worth spending tons of time and money on content that disappears in 24 hours (like an Instagram story?). If you're holding out for a viral IG Reel or TikTok, you may be disappointed.
By investing in SEO for coaches, you're investing in long-term sustainable growth for your coaching business that will serve you for years to come.
The content we create for your website can bring in website visitors for YEARS. That's right--years.
One thing we love about SEO is how predictable it is.
If one blog post brings in 2,000 visitors per month, you can expect roughly that in perpetuity (as long as someone doesn't create better content than you).
When we can expect a certain amount of site visitors per month, we can confidently invest in other forms of marketing like email marketing to round out a self-sustaining marketing funnel.
Here's an example.
Let's say that every month 10,000 people visit your website. We know that upon completing your marketing funnel, you will sign 10 new coaching clients every month.
Can you confidently predict numbers like that with other forms of organic marketing?
It's tough to do.
Everyone loves to talk about ✨ passive income ✨ but we have a little secret for you.
In most cases, passive income is a myth.
All income streams require some marketing upkeep. Just because you reached 50,000 followers on Instagram doesn't mean that you stop nurturing your audience, right?
Many clients we work with (we work with therapists and coaches) hold on to the hope of selling a course.
If you create an epic course, that means people will buy it... right?
According to an episode from the podcast Duped: The Dark Side of Online Business, the average course converts on an average of 1% to 3%.
That means that for most of us, the promise of passive course sales isn't a reality for our coaching business unless we pour thousands of dollars into Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads every month.
However, if you can funnel tens of thousands of people visiting your site from search engines every month, that paired with a robust sales funnel can lead to more passive income.
As you can see, SEO is an opportunity for exponential growth, which is what all business owners want to see!
Like all forms of marketing, search engine optimization requires some upkeep. But other forms of marketing like social media marketing or Google Ads involve a consistent investment of either your time, finances, or both.
Once you make an initial investment in SEO, the upkeep is minimal and the work you do continues to build on itself.
When we do keyword research, we have access to data that shows us exactly what our ideal clients are thinking.
Because of this, we can precisely target ideal clients on Google.
We can target not only people’s questions, like “am I bad at sales?” but people’s thoughts, emotions, and symptoms that they may have not even articulated elsewhere!
When you do SEO, there is long-term reliance on any person, platform, or company.
In fact, at TherapieSEO, we take extra measures to ensure that our clients are totally independent after our work together!
Remember that after your initial investment in SEO, depending on your goals, you may not have to invest again.
In the long term, this helps you keep your marketing costs waaaaay down.
The content you create once can serve you for years to come. It's pretty amazing 😁
When we look for a professional on Google, we're ready to make a hiring decision very soon. The intent to buy or hire is high.
On other platforms, people who encounter your content are on their lunch break or checking social media when their friend takes a call at dinner.
When people are scrolling, it's tough to get them to stop scrolling.
When people are investigating and searching on Google, they know what they're in for, and they're ready to put in the time and effort to find the professional that's right for them.
Not everyone trusts ads! It's estimated that ads have a CTR (click-through rate, or the ratio of people who see a website and click, as opposed to seeing a website and not clicking) of about 1%-6%, which is way lower than that of the organic search results.
By ranking on Google, potential coaching clients will tacitly (or consciously) trust your website more, and you'll notice higher CTRs.
You made it :)
Are you convinced about the magic 🪄 of search engine optimization for coaches?
If so, it's time to get into the nuts and bolts of what SEO is and the main components of SEO.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of ranking a website on the first page of search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing for specific keywords like "mindset coach."
Compared to other forms of marketing, SEO can get pretty technical pretty fast. But at TherapieSEO, we like to make SEO as approachable as possible.
To make things a bit more digestible, let's go into the four components of SEO.
Google, like other search engines, is a machine powered by an algorithm.
Here's how it works.
When someone enters a search term [i.e., a keyword] into Google, Google deploys “bots” or “spiders” to crawl its massive index of content to find the best web page result for that search term.
The bots crawl the text and code of pages, assessing the pages on hundreds of factors to determine which web page is the best.
These are known as ranking factors. So when doing SEO, we optimize for these search engine ranking factors.
Although professional search engine optimization specialists estimate that there are hundreds of ranking factors, we can break these down into the four main components of SEO.
To optimize your coaching website for search engines, you need to optimize for the following: content, authority, and technical things on your website.
Why do coaches need content for SEO?
Because content is the bread and butter of any good SEO strategy.
Plus, content is literally the name of the game: the internet is just a giant index of content!
When we create content, it's our goal to make the best page on the web for a certain keyword (no pressure 😉). If you can confidently say that your content is the best thing out there for a certain keyword, eventually, we think that you'll rank on page one for that keyword.
So what is "good" content in Google's and other search engines' eyes?
In our opinion, top-notch website content...
Let's break these categories down.
This will likely come naturally to you!
Google likes to rank subject matter experts. The more unique and expert-sounding your content, the better!
Note that expert-sounding does NOT mean jargony. Instead, give advice and inform potential clients in a way that only a therapist could.
Write in your own unique voice, too. When in doubt, just be yourself.
We know that sounds cheesy, but Google can sense when an expert vs. a non-expert is writing.
Be informative, but speak your truth--as long as you understand the impact of what you're saying (this is especially important for coaches who work with more fragile populations).
When we do keyword research, there are a lot of keywords out there that sound good to us, but our clients may not actually be using them. That’s why understanding search intent is crucial.
For example, when we enter the keyword “chocolate chip cookie” into Google, we're looking for a recipe, not the culinary history of chocolate chip cookies. A recipe is my search intent.
Write content that potential clients want to see.
Lucky for us, checking for search intent is easy. Enter the keyword into Google and check what’s ranking.
Then ask yourself...
Here's an example.
One of our therapist clients specializes in working with ADHD.
When doing keyword research, he thought a great keyword would be "tension and release," which is a grounding tool for people with ADHD.
When we entered the keyword into Google, we found that "tension and release" was a technique in music; people with ADHD weren't using this keyword!
Before you write a piece of content, always check search intent on Google first.
Google likes long-form content. A study by Backlinko found that the average Google first page result contains 1,447 words.
Because the more comprehensive you are, the better Google thinks that your content is.
For example, let's say there are three blog posts talking about the Kardashians.
Blog post one writes about Kim Kardashian.
Blog post two writes about Kim AND Kourtney Kardashian.
Meanwhile, blog post three writes about Kim AND Kourtney AND Khloe.
Google, therefore, thinks that the third blog post must be the most informative, so it's ranked above blog posts one and two.
Try to aim for at least 1,500 words. This sounds like a lot, but this piece you're reading right now is almost 4,000 words! Once you get started and know what you want to say, it's not that bad :)
When writing content, include quotes from experts, link to studies, embed videos, use infographics, maybe add data of your own... you get the point.
It's kind of like citing your source when writing a research paper.
Google can tell when you improve your content in this way, and they LOVE it.
But enriching your content is good for users, too.
If we add more things for potential coaching clients to interact with, we boost what is referred to as user engagement signals.
User engagement signals are signs from users that show Google they're staying on the page and interacting with the content. There are different examples of this, but clicks and the time spent on a page are the primary user engagement signals.
The longer someone spends on and interacts with your piece of content, the more Google thinks that the content is worth ranking.
At the end of the day, Google is a business. They make money by people staying on their platform! If your content keeps users on Google's platform, they'll reward you.
Keep in mind that we don't always have to create new content for our websites--sometimes updating old content is just as powerful.
But if you're creating new content, here are the main types of website pages.
But like I mentioned, you don't always have to create new content for your website. That's when you optimize existing content!
Optimizing existing content for Google is referred to as on-page SEO.
On-page SEO is going through existing content and making sure that the content is up to Google's standards. The most common things to optimize for are...
... and more.
When it comes to an SEO content strategy, the first thing we do is check for existing content's potential.
This can save you a lot of time and hassle!
Building authority with SEO for coaches is primarily done through link building.
Establishing your reputation as a coach online is crucial to your SEO strategy.
Because people lie on the internet all the time.
There's a burden of proof that we must establish with Google for them to trust us and rank our coaching website higher in the search engine rankings.
The fastest way to establish trust with Google is through link building.
There are two types of links to think about when it comes to SEO.
For ranking higher on search engines, external links are the most important.
These are called backlinks, and they're links from other websites back to ours.
You can think of links as endorsements from other sites saying that a) yes, this person is a coach and b) they're really good at being a coach.
Since Google can't actually ask your clients and peers what they think of you, they use backlinks to ascertain that information as best they can.
In our experience, content is the most important component of SEO, but links expedite your progress. We think of them as caffeine you sprinkle on your website to kick things up a notch.
But in some cases, link building is absolutely necessary for getting clients for your coaching services. If you are in a particularly competitive niche or location, you need backlinks to outrank your competitors.
There are two types of links you should know about.
When either of these tags are added to the code of a link block in HTML, that tells search engines whether or not to follow that link to the website that it's linked to.
You can think of dofollow and nofollow links like an open or closed door, respectively.
If the link is a dofollow link, the door is open to the linked website. That means the authority that is passed between the two websites via the link can pass through the doorway.
If the link is a nofollow link, that means the door to the linked website is closed. So, unfortunately, the authority that flows between the two websites cannot pass through.
When link buidling, try to get dofollow links. These will help your search engine rankings more than nofollow links.
There are tons of other link-building strategies out there, but we keep these secret so only our clients can benefit from them 🤫
Another form of linking is internal linking. This is linking to pages within your own website, for example, linking to your contact page from a button on your homepage.
You can think of links as a series of roads and highways within your website.
The combination of many links that point to a certain page form a highway. When Google detects a highway, they assume that the destination page is more important than other pages on your website.
If a website page only gets one or two internal links, Google detects a dusty backroad, so they assume that the destination page isn't as important compared to your "highway" pages.
Link to important pages many times. And when linking, make sure you use keyword-rich anchor text. Anchor text is the highlighted text that houses a link. Keywords provide context for Google, which also helps with search engine rankings!
When linking within your website, be intentional about the pages you link to. They tell Google more than you think.
You can't compete in a NASCAR race with a 1999 Toyota Camry. So why would you try to compete on Google with a slow website jam-packed with errors?
That's why your website's technical SEO is so important.
Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your website for technical elements. There are many things that go into this, but we'll explain the top common concerns for most coaching websites.
If your site loads too slowly, potential clients will leave your coaching website.
But not only is a slow website bad for losing clients, it's also bad for the Google algorithm.
Remember user engagement signals? Some of the newer and very important ranking signals are related to user experience, or UX. Based on certain behavior metrics, like the average time spent on website pages by a visitor, Google ascertains whether or not users find that your website matches their search intent.
Remember that at the end of the day, Google is a business. Whichever website helps users maximize their time spent on Google also helps Google make more money.
Another of these behavior metrics is bounce rate. Bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on a website and immediately leave (or "bounce") back to the main search engine results page.
A high bounce rate tells Google that your website isn't helping users, so your rankings will tank.
If you're curious about your bounce rate, you can test your site speed on one of my favorite SEO tools GT Metrix. We recommend that our clients land in the B range or higher.
Have you ever landed on a website and seen a big 404 flash across the screen?
That's a broken link.
It's a pretty bad experience, right?
404 errors happen when a page accidentally gets deleted. Luckily, they're an easy fix!
All you have to do is set up a 301 redirect. That's a little snippet of code that tells search engines to move on to another page (that you define) if a user lands on the broken page.
To check if you have any 404 errors, you can use another one of my favorite SEO tools--Ahrefs' free broken link checker tool.
Picking a domain is a bit of an art and a science.
Although your domain should match your branding first and foremost, you can also optimize your domain name for SEO.
First, we recommend using a domain that includes a keyword in it, like "coaching" or "mindset."
Next, select a domain with a trusted and accurate top-level domain. This is the extension at the end of your domain name like ".com" or ".net." You can browse a whole list of top levels domains to get inspired!
Finally, make sure that your domain protocol is secure. A domain protocol is the "http" before the rest of the domain. Make sure to use "https"--this is a secure version. Most domain hosts will offer this automatically, but always check just in case!
Hm... how do we say this... hell yes SEO works for coaches!
Because of SEO, many of our coach clients can dramatically reduce their time spent on Instagram.
Although social media apps fade, Google isn't going anywhere. It's a huge part of our culture, so by investing in SEO, you future-proof your business for an ever-changing digital marketing landscape.
Ready to get started? Page through the tabs below to learn more about which of our SEO services is best for you.
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I promise that you can do this. I've seen dozens of therapists and coaches succeed on Google using my specialized strategies. In my group coaching program Optimize Your Practice, you get access to my entire SEO curriculum, my Google My Business course, a private Slack group, and weekly FAQ calls! Subscribe to stay updated on the next enrollment period (plus claim your free SEO Starter Pack!). Want to connect sooner? Send me a message.Get updates
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We offer group coaching and full-service SEO. Group coaching is a more affordable way to gain extensive knowledge about SEO for coaches, but some coaches prefer to hire someone to do SEO for them. We are also constantly adding SEO resources to our online shop.
Along with going on seven years in the digital marketing industry, our founder Kristie Plantinga has an agency-background in SEO and content marketing, a Masters degree in Written Communication, and a degree in Psychology. She also offers and receives coaching services herself and has worked with many coaches to improve their SEO. On top of that, we work with subject matter experts to ensure clinical correctness and sensitivity in our content.
If you're ready to dip your toes into the SEO world, we have a few options for you. First, you can sign up for our email list. We send our subscribers industry updates, free resources, and first access and discounts to new services. You can also follow us on Instagram.
We offer several tailored approaches for therapists, coaches, and content creators of all budgets and specialties.
Sit back and watch your waitlist grow with SEO for therapists. I'll handle everything from writing content to managing your Google My Business to grow your online presence. Invest once and reap the rewards for years to come.
In 2019, the coaching industry was estimated to be worth $7.5 billion in the United States. If you're tired of relying on Instagram to grow your coaching practice, my SEO strategies specifically for coaches is perfect for you.
Do you dream about passive income? Harness the power of SEO on Google and Pinterest to bring in clients that are looking for courses and product from a mental health and wellness professional like you.
Consulting is perfect for DIY therapists who want to do marketing on their own but need guidance and tailored strategies. During my consulting sessions, I show you exactly what to do and offer hands-on support.
Affordably learn SEO from me with my online, video-based course. You'll gain access to lessons, tutorials, templates, and forum-based FAQs for answers to all your burning SEO questions.
Need support on your own schedule? You can message directly with me for a low, flat monthly fee. I'll personally respond to your questions, and you'll benefit from other members' questions too.
We are honored to have worked with many incredible therapists and coaches. You can hear more about their experiences with us below.