Their ads talk about the style of work they specialize in. So do their websites. And their profiles on Social Media. And yes, they do their best to educate people–about that specific system they are certified in. By giving talks at libraries, community centers, maybe even networking groups. Let’s say those are well-prepared, entertaining presentations that get people out of their chairs to experience their bodies like they never have before. Kudos! It’s important to get the word out. It’s just a frustratingly slow way to build a clientele.
SEO gets you booked much faster.
That’s what you get countless spam emails about: “After a thorough analysis of your company’s website,….” and then they tell you they will get you on page one on Google. Don’t hire the one who spams you!
The process to improve your ranking on Google is called Search Engine Optimization, SEO. It’s a big market, and can get expensive… but here’s how you get started for absolutely free.
SEO optimizes your website for keyword searches. The keyword is what you type into Google’s search window. I’m saying Google, but of course SEO also optimizes your website for Yahoo and Bing searches.
Those search engines use a ranking system to figure out what to show on top of the list. You know from your own searches that you hardly ever go to the second page of search results. So you have to make sure your site shows up on page one.
A high rank in search results is given to pages that explain the keyword, and focus on the keyword. There’s a lot more that influences ranking, and that’s what SEO experts work with (or claim to). Fortunately Google gets smarter all the time, and SEO tricks and scams get penalized with low ranks. That’s good news for us, since we’re not experts–all we have to do is write good content.
Now you’ll probably say what I said three years ago: “My website IS optimized! If I search for my modality, I’m right there, on page one!” That’s great, and that will get you found by people who know about your specialty.
You’ll miss out on the majority who never heard the term–and they miss out on the treatment that could change their lives.
My new clients come in after typing keywords like “assisted stretching”, “neuromuscular therapy”, and “acupuncture for back pain”. The first time they ever hear about Rolfing® is on my website.
If you have a massage license and you are in an area that doesn’t have many massage therapists you should be able to rank well for “massage <your town>”. In areas like mine, with 4000 massage therapists competing for “massage orlando” I have to be a little more creative.
But don’t hesitate to use the general term “massage”!
Your future clients don’t know what they want. They’ve never heard about your kind of work, so they type “deep massage”, “assisted stretching”, “acupressure” or something else that was recommended to them.
Here’s what I’d like you to do:
1. Make sure you can make changes to your website and add new pages easily.
If you don’t have a website, or it’s one that you can’t change without paying your webmaster, make a blog. It’s easy!
You can do it yourself, or you can pay somebody set it up for a few hundred dollars.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need help. I’m happy to refer you to my designers or give you a few pointers myself.
2. Ask your friends and family what they would look for
a) if they had acute or chronic muscle pain,
b) if they wanted to improve their performance as athletes,
c) if they were concerned about aging gracefully.
d) if they just felt sluggish with no apparent reason.
The words they would type in a search window are your keywords; you want to make sure you get found when somebody uses them.
3. Add pages to your site or write blog posts for those keywords. The title of the page/post should include the keywords, and they should show up again in the first few sentences.
Don’t copy and paste. At least rephrase. Search Engines are looking for original content, so if the same paragraph shows up on different sites, the ranking goes down.
Feel free to look around blog.balanceorlando.com and use what you like–just make sure you reword it, and please link to my site as the source.
If one of your friends mentioned “myofascial release” as a keyword, but you don’t do anything like that, you can still write about it.
An easy blog post would be an interview with your friend about her experience with myofascial release–and tadaah! your page gets found by people who typed “myofascial release”. If you wrote a good, informative article about it, or a funny interview, they start looking around some more, and that’s how they learn about your style of work.
If you do a bunch of posts like that, you don’t only get potential clients to look at your site, you also show your own expertise on holistic healing in general.
That’s a start. If you look for SEO and SEM blogs, you’ll find a lot more information about what you can do yourself–or about the experts you might want to hire.
Please let me know how you’re doing, I love getting feedback–and please comment here with a link to your site or your blog.