This is the second deep dive into my 10 tips on how to get more clients from your website, showing how you can get more clients to call and come in without your having to spend a lot of time and money on Google AdWords, FB ads, etc.
To get the best sense of this one, imagine you’re walking along a familiar city street. You’re approaching a bakery you know and like. Still, you’re in a bit of a rush so you’re planning to keep walking past it. Suddenly, your nose gets tickled by the amazing scent of freshly baked bread. You can’t resist and go in. What just happened? The combination of knowing and liking the bakery, and knowing and experiencing the scent of fresh bread overrode your initial intention to walk by.
If your website can emulate that experience for your prospective clients, they’ll spend time there. Over time, assuming your fresh content is valuable to them, they will:
- Accept you as an authoritative resource;
- Keep you top-of-mind and recommend you when someone they know needs services like those you offer; and
- Be more likely to reach out when they themselves need those services.
Even more importantly, search engines like Google reward websites that offer fresh content that’s relevant to the website’s overall content, and that generate engagement such as comments and back-links. That reward takes the shape of higher ranking in search results, which translates to more potential clients finding your site, and thus the potential for more people calling you and setting appointments, which obviously is the main reason to have a website in the first place.
What Constitutes Fresh, Relevant, and Valuable Content?
The best examples are new blog posts, new videos, and new pages, as long as these match your site’s other content. For example, adding to a therapy site a post about your dog can be a good thing in terms of making you seem approachable to site visitors, but that sort of content will not likely improve your Google rank by much if any. On the other hand, a post about treating depression, or couples issues, etc. is a much better match, and will do more to improve your website’s Google rank.
Beyond being fresh (i.e., new) and relevant, the content needs to be valuable to your site visitors. This means the new content has to answer their questions (e.g., “How effective is therapy in treating anxiety?”), or solve their problems (e.g., a self-assessment questionnaire that tells them whether their current funk is normal or a sign of a clinical issue).
Such valuable content is more likely to generate engagement and longer time spent on your site, which sends Google signals that your site would be of interest to other people engaged in similar searches. Another good signal for Google is if you cite authoritative sites in support of points you make in your content.
Should You Update Random Stuff Regularly?
In a word, no. Google’s algorithms evolve more every day, and their developers always look at how people try to game the system, then block those tricks. That’s why you’re not likely to get positive results by simply moving things around and/or changing the occasional word to a synonym (though simpler language is generally better for your readers, so changing e.g. “utilize” to “use” is not a bad idea). Google calculates a “freshness score” that looks at many variables, and will likely consider fresher a completely new page, or a page where a significant fraction of the body text was changed, rather than changing a link on the side or bottom of the page.
Having said all that, regularly going through your better-performing content from more than a year ago, and updating at least a full paragraph is a good idea, especially if the update is a valuable one such as correcting anything that's no longer accurate (after all, laws change, best practices improve, etc.). Then, you can end the revised piece with something like, "This post was originally published on June 1st, 2018, and revised on June 1st 2019 to capture new developments since its original publication." An extra benefit is that such updates take a lot less time and effort than writing brand new posts.
What Sort of Blog Posts Perform Best?
As I mentioned above, the best content is that which answers questions or solves problems for your readers. As for length, these days Google favors long-form content of at least 1000-2000 words. However, website visitors prefer posts of 1000-1500 words, so that length seems to be the sweet spot. Make it easier for your readers to consume your content by using headers, quotes, graphics, and boldface emphases as appropriate, like I’ve done here.
Personally, I’ve found that my posts sometimes run longer (yeah, I can get a bit verbose in case you hadn’t noticed), but other times my message comes out short and sweet.
How Frequently Should You Add Fresh Content?
In a perfect world, you’d add fresh, valuable, engaging, and unique content every day. However, to paraphrase an old Walgreen’s TV ad, we live nowhere near Perfect, so figure out a schedule that works for you and your audience. Weekly is still great, and depending on your situation, at least bi-weekly is often good enough.
In my Tips and Tools page, I try to post something new every other week. Sometimes life gets in the way and an extra week does go by before I get back to posting. On occasion, I have enough time to write several posts on similar topics or addressing a single topic from several directions. When that happens, I set reminders for myself and post the series of posts bi-weekly (until they run out and I have to go back to writing).
If even bi-weekly is beyond what you can do personally, whether because you’re too busy or simply don’t like writing, consider hiring someone to ghost-write your blogs. However, you need to find someone who isn't bottom-of-the-barrel, and who won't simply Google a few other therapy blogs on a topic and paraphrase the same content everyone else has. Instead, record your thoughts on the topic, use an app like rev.com or something similar to transcribe your words, quickly scan through to correct any transcription errors, and provide the transcript to your ghost writer. This is a quick and relatively painless way to turn your expert knowledge, thoughts, and "voice" into a well-written piece of content that will be valuable for your readers, and make them more likely to come back for more, and gradually realize that when they need a therapist, you're the person they want to call.
The Bottom Line
In general, the best content goes beyond answering questions or solving problems (which is itself crucial). It is unique compared to what your audience can find on other websites, and is interesting and engaging (e.g., using stories like my bakery story above). That sort of content, regularly added to, builds loyalty that brings your audience back again and again, and generates engagement through sharing and linking to your site. Adding great content on a regular schedule (preferably weekly or bi-weekly) gets your readers used to visiting regularly.
Your Google rank will improve due to higher “freshness score” as well as shares, links, and organically improving your search engine optimization (SEO) by adding relevant keywords. Higher Google rank will in turn bring in more prospective clients who may have never heard of you before your site came up in their Google searches.
To get the most benefit from adding content, make that content fresh, relevant, and most importantly, valuable to your ideal client.
Learn More About How to Get More Clients from Your Website
As stated above, this was the in-depth look into the second of my 10 tips on how to get more clients from your website. The first tip was to show up. If you’re not already on my mailing list and want to read my upcoming posts, including where I continue to dive deep into more website tips, join my list now by filling out my super-short sign-up form and get my free rate-setting worksheet too.