Is Your Digital Marketing Falling Flat? Call in a Mental Health Marketing Agency

mental health marketing agency

Does your treatment center use a mental health marketing agency to connect with patients? If not, it’s time to consider working with one.

As you know, mental health treatment is all about trust. A mental health marketing agency’s goal is to build your reputation as an ethical, capable provider of mental health services. These agencies specialize in demonstrating your competence to patients and their caregivers so your center is top-of-mind when they need care.

The need for mental health services right now is greater than ever before and reaching prospective patients to help them get the treatment they need is so important. With the assistance of a mental health marketing agency, you can effectively market your center and become the local provider of choice.

How? A mental health marketing agency will build your brand, develop an effective SEO strategy, design a top-notch website, create quality content, run PPC campaigns, and deploy a lead generation strategy that works. Here’s how.

Mental Health Branding 101

mental health brandingYou may think branding is only for consumer-based businesses. Think again. Every organization needs a brand identity, from the largest Fortune 500 company to the smallest non-profit. Why? Because brands, not businesses, are what audiences remember.

So what’s in a brand? Of course, the name of your treatment center, your logo, and your slogan are all part of your mental health center’s identity. But this only scratches the surface of what creating a brand really means.

A mental health marketing agency digs deep to determine what brand elements your ideal patients favor. They also use in-depth market research to inform every component of your brand. Here are a few branding elements agencies work on:

  • Name: Your center already has a name, but is it the right one? A mental health marketing agency assesses the public perception of your brand name and, if necessary, creates a new one that resonates with the most patients.
  • Slogan: If you don’t have a slogan, you need one. Slogans give your prospective patients insight into your center’s mission and vision—both defining features of your brand.
  • Mission and Vision: What is the purpose of your treatment center? What do you value and how do you help patients with their mental health needs? Your mission and vision statements must answer these questions.
  • Story: Mental health is all about storytelling. So what’s yours? A mental health marketing agency compellingly tells your story while promoting your center as a provider of behavioral health services.
  • Personality and Voice: Do you want your center to come off as casual and approachable, or more professional and patient-focused? Honing in on this aspect of your brand is essential because it informs every other part of your marketing strategy.
  • Look and Logo: The visual elements of your brand are how your audience remembers you. For example, did you know that blue is among the most popular brand colors?1 This color is used often in logos because it’s associated with confidence, security, and trust. 

Think of your mental health brand as a puzzle. Each piece needs to fit together and complement one another for your audience to see the whole picture. When the pieces come together, the effect is memorable.

Mental Health SEO Strategies

Your overall marketing plan is a puzzle, too. Branding is a piece, as is search engine optimization (SEO). Every part of your strategy has a purpose and, once complete, works together to promote your mental health center.

mental health seoThe quality of your SEO determines where your website’s pages appear on the search engine results page (SERP). Think about doing a Google search. When the results appear, where do you usually click? Near the top, right?

A mental health marketing agency uses SEO best practices to get your pages to the top of the SERP for your targeted search terms. They tweak keywords, site speed, URLs, and tags to increase the likelihood of your pages appearing. The better these ranking factors are optimized, the higher your pages rank.

And rank is significant. Studies show that users click one of the top three search results about half the time, and the first result out of five times.2 And you won’t be surprised to learn that searches related to mental health were among the most common healthcare queries in 2022.3 

Here are four key SEO strategies the best mental health marketing agencies use to maximize your page rank.

1. Pick the Right Keywords

Some ranking factors are here today and gone tomorrow. But keywords are always essential if you want to rank highly. Your SEO efforts start here. 

In the past, keywords were abused and overused, all in the name of ranking high on the SERP. But those days are long gone. Today, Google’s crawlers still look for keywords, but they also evaluate context and intent.

For the best results, thoughtfully select keywords uniquely related to your business. Broad keywords are generic and often too difficult to rank for, whereas more specific keywords and phrases designed to mimic the searches of patients and their families work the best.

Incorporate your keywords and phrases into all of your digital content. Of course, your website pages are an obvious starting point for SEO. But also include keywords in your blog articles, social media content, meta descriptions, and videos to maximize their SEO value as well.

2. Pay Attention to Core Web Vitals

Core web vitals are how Google measures page experience–or how users experience your site. Page speeds, loading times, interactivity, and visual stability are all considered. The better your site performs these functions, the bigger the SEO payoff. Core web vitals include:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Your site needs to load completely within 2.5 seconds.4 Any longer and users click away, lowering your ranking in the process. 
  • First Input Delay (FID): Your site must react to a click within 100 milliseconds. Find ways to improve this metric with Google’s Page Speed Insights.5 
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Once your site loads, make sure the page remains unchanged until the user clicks on a new page or widget. Unexpected page layout changes hurt SEO.

Core web vitals can be a challenging concept to grasp, especially without technical SEO know-how. Working with a mental health marketing agency ensures these and other complex SEO elements are managed properly.

3. Add More Links

Links are one of the most important aspects of SEO, yet many mental health marketers need to do more work on their outbound, internal, and external links. Some experts believe that links account for as much as 30% of your rank on Google.6 

But not all links are created equal. Here’s what you need to know about enhancing your SEO with links on your mental health site:

  • Outbound links: These are links to other authoritative content. Include outbound links when citing statistics or supporting research in your content to demonstrate it is well-researched and trustworthy.
  • Internal links: These are links to other pages owned by your mental health center. When you cite a specific type of therapy in a blog article, link to your services page so the reader can learn more about what you do. This enhances your SEO by creating meaningful pathways for Google to better understand your site.
  • External: These are links you earn when another site includes a link to one of your pages in its content. Also called backlinks, external links provide the most SEO value.

 While external links can be more challenging to earn, anyone can add outbound and internal links to their pages and content. Simply by creating high-quality content, you’ll attract others to link back to your site.

4. Create a Quality Page Experience

Although page experience is most closely associated with web design, this critical aspect of SEO must be mentioned. Mental health marketing agencies know just how vital page experience is for SEO and focus much attention on this element.

There are a few metrics Google assesses to determine page experience. Collectively, these metrics tell Google if your page experience is good or poor. And if you don’t manage your page experience well, you’ll have a lower chance of earning a top spot on the SERP. Key page experience metrics include:

  • Bounce rate: This is when a user clicks on your site but leaves almost immediately. If your bounce rate is higher than 60%, your overall rank suffers.7 High bounce rates indicate that visitors can’t find what they’re looking for on your site.
  • Click-Through rate (CTR): This is the ratio of how many times users click on your site to how many users see your links. A good CTR for organic searches is above 3%.8 
  • Dwell time: This is the total time a user spends on your site before returning to the SERP. Google measures this as “average session duration.” Aim for a two- to four-minute dwell time for the best SEO results.

Paying attention to these metrics doesn’t just improve your SEO. Providing a great page experience improves the overall health of your website, too. Mental health marketing agencies specialize in creating a quality page experience to elevate your rank on the SERP while ensuring users enjoy visiting your site.

How to Design a Mental Health Center Website

mental health web designWhat good is an SEO strategy if you don’t have a great website to drive traffic to? Your site is the first contact point for most prospective patients and their caregivers. It’s your opportunity to make an excellent first impression and show leads why your treatment center is right for them.

And this doesn’t just affect your leads. Website design impacts your current patients, too. Since 2019, there’s been a 40% increase in patients leaving their providers because of bad digital experiences.9 

Your website is a reflection of your center. Since many prospective patients prefer to interact with your mental health center online, there’s much at stake. A poor impression could cost you a patient.

Mental health marketing agencies know this all too well. They understand what you need to create an informative, easy-to-use website that increases your conversion rate.

1. Design for Mobile First

Putting the initial effort into your mobile website is vital. When Google evaluates your site for SEO, the search engine looks at your mobile website first. This process is called crawling and is when Google’s RankBrain algorithm reviews your entire site to assess how it uses specific keywords and phrases.

This hasn’t always been the case, but Google has shifted to a mobile-first philosophy for good reason. Sixty percent of web traffic comes from smart devices.10 So since searchers are looking at mobile sites more than desktop sites, Google must do the same.

2. Add Online Booking and Chatbots

The way your audience accesses mental health services has changed, so your center‘s website and digital assets need to adapt as well. In the past, a phone call was the only way to make appointments and ask questions. But today, prospective patients have numerous ways to get in touch. 

When asked how they like to schedule medical appointments, 67% of people said they favored online booking.11 This is especially true for mental health services, which are often uncomfortable to discuss with a stranger. For the same reason, chatbots have exploded in popularity as they give leads the anonymity they want when asking personal medical questions.

Ask your mental health marketing agency to add these features to your website. Patients and leads want online booking and chatbots. And if you don’t have them, some leads will even bounce from your site to one that does offer these types of digital assistance.

Adding these features doesn’t just help you attract and convert new patients. They also remove potential roadblocks from the path of people seeking care. Providing a clear and easy path for those seeking mental health services to learn about and connect with the treatment options they need can help incentivize those hesitant to seek care due to societal stigma or fears.

3. Feature Strong Visuals

Every type of health care is personal, but mental health is even more intimate. In addition to the social stigmas surrounding these topics, patients are easily embarrassed and feel isolated. Your website’s imagery can ease their fears.

You always need consent before posting, but including photos and videos of actual patients and therapists can address some fears. Ninety percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, so the right images are the difference between a lead getting the care they need or not.12 

4. Compliance is Essential

As a provider of mental health services, your marketing strategy is subject to much legal scrutiny. The federal and state laws governing how you depict your center online are intimidating. So if you need help, work with a mental health marketing agency to ensure you remain compliant.

Importantly, you need to adhere to ADA and HIPPA rules across your website and other digital assets. But there are a few more laws you must be familiar with, including:

  • Truth in Healthcare Marketing Act of 2017: This law protects patients from deceptive or misleading marketing practices and covers communications between patients and all healthcare providers.
  • Ethics in Patient Referrals Act: This law prevents providers from exchanging referrals, including online referrals, for money.
  • Civil Monetary Penalties Law: This law prevents providers from using their websites to entice consumers with kickback offers.

This list is by no means exhaustive. Mental health marketing agencies have comprehensive processes to ensure compliance with these and other legal guidelines when developing your mental health center’s website.

Mental Health Content Marketing Tools

mental health content strategyContent marketing is the next piece of the marketing puzzle. There are many ways to use content to generate more leads and new patients, but for mental health centers, the most important factor is making your content relatable.

Those seeking your services may be in a difficult headspace. They may be ashamed of their mental state, fear the judgment of others, or feel worried for the mental wellbeing of a loved one. Even though mental health services are much more accepted in society today than they were even five years ago, patients’ fears persist. Here are a few ways you can use impactful content marketing to relate to your leads.

1. Useful Articles

Blog articles are one of the best ways to reach your leads, but only if they’re helpful. Prospective patients always have questions, and articles are an excellent, approachable way to address their concerns.

Articles pack a powerful SEO punch, too. Websites with blogs have 97% more backlinks than those without.13 Don’t forget, backlinks are a dominant SEO ranking factor. But you’ll only get those backlinks from other websites if your articles are well-written, researched, and useful.

A mental health marketing agency adds fresh, engaging content to your existing blog or sets up a new one for your center.

2. Storytelling Videos

Once again, content for mental health is all about using relatability to tear down walls. Testimonials of past and current patients, treatment information, and virtual tours are all wonderful topics for video content. Storytelling videos with powerful imagery and memorable takeaways are the most effective.

What’s more, nine out of ten marketers say videos increase your traffic and generate new leads all while benefiting your SEO.14

3. Therapist Bios

Prospective patients want to know who’s treating them. Many patients are apprehensive about therapy. So, getting to know their provider before their first visit makes them feel more at ease. 

Written bios are the most common, but a video bio can make an even more significant impact. Ask your mental health marketing agency to film segments with each provider and augment the videos with HIPAA-compliant patient success stories!

4. Social Media

In addition to using a search engine, patients and leads will certainly search out your center on social media. But when they do, what do they find? A clinical page with uninspired information and few visuals? Or are they drawn into a community driven by meaningful content?

Use social media to get to know your patients and leads personally. Create content that demonstrates the value of your center while showing them how much you care.

Why Mental Health PPC is Still Relevant

mental health ppc

The more leads search for mental health services online, the more likely they’ll become patients. Studies show that leads who book appointments typically conduct three times more searches than those who don’t.15 But when your leads search for mental health services, what makes them want to take the next step, a paid ad or an organic search result? 

The answer is actually both! You need PPC to connect with highly-motivated prospects and for short-term lead generation. SEO supports long-term brand awareness and authority.

Paid advertising has the capability to deliver highly-qualified leads in a short period of time because they speak to a very specific audience. When creating PPC campaigns, you’ll select exactly which users your ad will be shown to. In addition to your keywords, paid ad campaigns can be refined by the searcher’s location, language used, and even the day of the week and time the search was performed. This specificity brings your messaging quickly to the exact audience most likely to be searching for the mental health services you provide.

Of course, this time-efficient and targeted strategy comes at a cost (per click). This is paid advertising, after all. So when balancing marketing budget against business goals, the best strategies incorporate both PPC and SEO campaigns. Both result in new patients, and both strategies are needed for success.

Lead Generation for Mental Health Centers

mental health lead generationThe primary goal for most mental health marketers is to drive lead generation. This is for a simple reason: the more leads you have, the more new patients you’ll be able to help.

But lead generation isn’t simple. Understanding your target audience, determining the best keywords, and creating great content is just one piece of the puzzle. You also need to know how to connect with and convert them once they arrive.

So here are some strategies a mental health marketing agency uses to attract more leads for your treatment center.

1. Include CTAs

Calls to action (CTAs) are an easy yet frequently overlooked part of lead generation. If you want something, ask for it. So if you want a lead, ask for one!

Include CTAs on every web page and in every piece of content. Since graphics boost lead generation by 45% make your CTAs into a button.16 Also ask for each visitor’s name, phone number, and email at the very least. If you don’t request the user’s information, you’ll never get it!

2. Encourage Phone Calls

You might be surprised to learn that phone calls are having a moment. Studies show that about 75% of leads call healthcare providers at some point before making an appointment.17 And when they do, they make an appointment 30% sooner than leads using a website alone.

Make phone calls part of your call to action and emphasize your availability over the phone. You may have more leads calling, and conversions, than you expect!

3. Personalize Communications

Personalization is one of the biggest trends in marketing. In today’s competitive, crowded world, tailored content rises above the noise. Your audience expects more personalization on the phone than any other marketing medium.

When you personalize your CTAs, lead generation jumps by 42%.18 Those seeking mental health services want to feel like a valued person, not another lead in your Google Analytics window. Making an effort to personalize their inquiry converts more leads while building your brand as a thoughtful mental health center.

Need a mental health marketing agency to take your digital marketing plan to the next level? Dreamscape Marketing can help. Schedule a discovery call with us by calling 888.307.7304.



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