For many years now, efforts have been underway to destigmatize mental health issues. Advertising designed to inform and educate the public about the realities of mental illness and addiction has appeared over a variety of media, allowing valuable discussions to take place and encouraging those who need help to seek it out without fear of judgment.
Each year in Canada, addiction and mental health problems are experienced by 1 in 5 people, and approximately 8% of adults will deal with major depression during their lifetime. Mental illness can affect anyone, with no restrictions based on age, culture, education, or income. In fact, almost 50% of the population will have experienced mental illness by the time they reach the age of 40.
Work remains to be done, however, as many still perceive those with addiction or mental illness as dangerous and unpredictable. According to Patrick W Corrigan, PsyD, the stigma of mental illness remains and is “in the same category as racism and sexism. It permeates all of society and affects people at all levels.”
All of this means that as a mental health professional, there are many people who could benefit from your service, but are they finding you? Are your services easily accessible to those who need them? Digital marketing is the best means of ensuring that they are.
As A Mental Health Professional Why Should You Choose Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing offers a variety of benefits to your practice. While traditional marketing is still very much in use, digital marketing brings your advertising efforts to the next level. It is an efficient, cost-effective, and measurable means of reaching potential clients and growing your business.
The average Canadian spent 3- 4 hours online each day in 2019, engaged in shopping, using social media, or searching for topics that interested them. With current world events, that number has surely risen as people have been forced to remain at home and connect with one another and businesses in new ways. From the Google Trend chart below you can see that people searching for a “Mental Health Professional” has increased over the last five years.
Those experiencing mental health issues make extensive use of the internet to research and seek help for their concerns. For example, the word “depression” is searched for in Google every two seconds. When someone is seeking help or information, they will almost invariably click on the top three search engine results. The further down in the search results your link appears, the less likely it is for someone to click, so it is important that your business rank at the top of the search results in order to have the greatest visibility.
Search Engine Optimization for Mental Health Professionals
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a continual process that aims to improve your online profile, allowing your business to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERP). It is possible to have a highly informative, well-constructed webpage for your business, and never have it be seen simply because you rank outside of the top three search results.
The keyword “Psychiatrist” is searched over 495,000 times globally every month, 20,000 times a month in Canada, and 274,000 times a month in the USA. That’s a lot of people looking for mental health professionals.
Having your webpage be attractive to Google and other search engines will help your ranking improve, and accomplishing this is what Search Engine Optimization is all about. The more highly Google thinks of your site, the higher it will be rated. The question then becomes how to get Google to like your website. For Google, just like your practice, the emphasis is on the user or client.
A quick, responsive website is important for ranking well in Google, particularly when it comes to mobile devices. A page that takes more than 3 seconds to load can lose up to 53% of users as they bounce away to other sites. Other considerations for ranking well include your site’s ease-of-use and of course, the quality of your content.
Digital marketing goes beyond just your website, however.
Google Ads for Mental Health Professionals
Making use of good Search Engine Optimization allows you to constantly improve your website’s rankings on Google, but the process does take time and effort and is an ongoing process. What can you do if you are seeking more immediate results?
Google Ads is a pay-per-click (PPC) platform that gives you the opportunity to jump directly to the top of Google’s SERPs. Targeting words that people are searching for, such as “depression” will put you right in front of them. Given that those who are actively researching such topics are typically in need and ready to take some sort of action, this is the best time to connect with them. To give another example the cost per click on the keyword “psychiatrist” in Canada is $1.65 and in the USA is $1.86 per click.
While traditional marketing still has its uses, Google Ads allows you to not only reach a targeted audience in need of your service, it makes it easier for them to find you and allows you to start building important rapport before you even meet.