Why Inclusive Language is the Key to Better Mental Health SEO

Reach more patients with inclusive mental health marketing

Inclusivity is at the forefront of national conversations and has been for several years. Younger generations are more diverse and more socially aware than generations before them.1 The world is adjusting and learning to recognize the harm past speech trends have done to marginalized people. So by now, you’re probably aware of the growing push for inclusive language. 

As these conversations come to the forefront, mental health organizations need to stay informed on the best language to use. But why? Because using inclusive language helps your patients feel more comfortable—and may also benefit your mental health SEO efforts. 

The Importance of Inclusive Language for Mental Health Care

Using inclusive language fosters a better relationship between you and the prospective patients you’re trying to help. When you use inclusive language, you’re being intentional about where your words come from. You consider whether your words have derogatory implications or biased origins and how they could hurt the person you’re speaking to. 

When you use inclusive language in your mental health digital marketing, you’re telling your prospective patients, who may be very vulnerable, they will be welcomed and valued at your center. 

Inclusive language is a core value many patients and their families look for when researching behavioral health treatment centers. Surveys show 62% of U.S. adults say their perception of a brand is impacted by inclusivity.2 Using inclusive messaging can help you make a great first impression!

Inclusive Language Improves Mental Health SEO 

Digital marketers must also consider how inclusive language affects mental health SEO campaigns. You want your website to rank highly so your ideal audience can find valuable information about the care they need. 

Part of Google’s ranking system measures how long web visitors stay on your page. This indicates whether they found the information they need—and whether Google decides your page is a good answer to their query. 

If users are jumping off your page quickly, Google assumes your page is not useful to them. And since 93% of global traffic comes from Google, knowing how their system works and making sure your strategy fits with their algorithm is essential.3 

If non-inclusive language leads a visitor away from your site because they feel excluded or offended, Google won’t suggest your page for similar queries from other visitors in the future. But if you prioritize inclusive language as part of your mental health SEO plan, users are more likely to stick around. And you’ll start seeing more visitors as your rankings rise.

Inclusive Language for Mental Health 

You’re probably wondering what terms to use when crafting your mental health SEO strategy. Welcoming visitors to your page and reaching your target audience is an ongoing process. Inclusive terms are always changing, so stay up-to-date as these conversations evolve. 

Person-first language is currently preferred in many communities. Saying “a person struggling with addiction” or “a person with substance use disorder” is more empowering than referring to someone as an “addict” or “alcoholic.” 

Similarly, “a person with schizophrenia” feels more welcoming than “schizophrenic.” In this way, you can honor the humanity of the person you’re talking to and separate them from their condition. This powerful technique helps you avoid defining someone by the mental health issues with which they’re living. And, after all, isn’t your goal to empower patients to live their life not defined by a diagnosis? 

You can also make shifts in judgment-carrying language. For example, while it should go without saying that the term “crazy” should no longer be used on your website, this loaded descriptor can still be found in some mental healthcare content. You can also place the emphasis on objective language, such as “tested negative” rather than “clean,” or “tested positive for ____” rather than “dirty.” This separates the results of a specific drug test from a value statement about a person’s cleanliness or worth. 

Strengthen Your Digital Marketing Strategy

When working to incorporate inclusive language in your mental healthcare center’s SEO, having professionals in your corner is helpful. Dreamscape Marketing’s digital strategy experts can help. Contact us at 888.307.7304 to schedule a strategy session today.



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