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The Practice of Therapy Podcast ( helps therapists, counselors, and other mental health clinicians start, build and grow in their private practices.  Whether you are just starting into private practice or have been in it a while, The Practice of Therapy Podcast will give you information to help you grow and succeed!

Jan 13, 2019

In this episode, Gordon speaks with Jessica Tappana about her superpower, search engine optimization. She highly suggests using Yoast to boost your SEO and advises how to improve your Google ranking. Jessica also explains the importance of flexibility, keywords, and blogging. She recently had a client struggle with their ranking and found how their competitors had hundreds and hundreds of bank links. Backlinks can be something that needs your entire attention to improve Google rankings.

Meet Jessica Tappana

Jessica Tappana started her private practice on her maternity leave about 20 months ago. After filling up in only a matter of months, she decided to bring on other therapists as 1099s and transitioned Aspire Counseling into a group practice. Worried about how she would fill the caseloads of these new therapists, Jessica tried several different marketing strategies.  Ultimately, she decided to focus on getting her website to the first page of Google and began teaching herself SEO at nights after her kids were in bed. Slowly after gathering a couple of tips here and there, she got her website to the first page for nearly every keyword she targets.  Aspire Counseling has grown to now include five therapists and a virtual assistant! In fact, all of the therapists are nearly full, and Jessica hopes to find a few more quality team members in the months to come.

Meanwhile, Jessica has discovered a passion for teaching other private practice owners what she has learned about website Search Engine Optimization.  As a private practice SEO Consultant, she has had the opportunity to work with therapists from around the country sharing her SEO secrets.  She’s both optimized websites for private practices AND has taught therapists how to do the SEO work themselves through Zoom meetings and enjoyed watching their sites begin to climb to the first page of Google even in larger metropolitan areas like Atlanta or Houston.  Recently Jessica released a FREE 7-day e-mail series that teaches therapists all the necessary information they need to know and has received positive feedback across the board from other practice owners who are raving about the vast amount of information covered in only seven e-mails.


Jessica’s dream was only to work three days a week to stay at home with her children. Her office was low cost, and she did not even have a website. Her hours filled up, and she kept adding hours and clients. Eventually, this turned into a full-time gig, so she needed to add more people to her business. By marketing herself, Jessica’s favorite activity is going to coffee with others. Coffee hour took up a lot of time, so it is no longer her primary marketing tool. Jessica learned how to use search engine optimization to utilize her website.

Search Engine Optimization

Should you try to do your SEO or hire someone else to do it? If you have a competitive area or need to get to the first page and rank quickly, then you may want to pay someone. If you have limited funds, are a DIY type, or have more time then you may want to learn how to do it yourself. Where do you even start if you’re going to improve the SEO yourself? One great place to start is by changing the meta descriptions on your site.


A keyword is something you would type into Google to find what you are looking for. Jessica asked her friends what they would type into Google if they were looking for a therapist. You can also try simply typing in your search. At the bottom, Google will offer similar searches that other people have used. How do you choose what keywords to target? Is it worth it to target more general “short tail” keywords like “counseling near me”? The answer is it depends on location but frequently yes.


Blogging is one of Jessica’s favorite things to talk about; it is essential for SEO. New content will alert Google that this website has fresh and relevant information. With updated content, Google will bump you up on the rankings. For someone who doesn’t like writing, Jessica says there are ways around it.  If you’re thinking of your ideal content, start considering the type of things your clients would want to read. Jessica even pays people to write blog content. It is essential to ensure the blogs posts are unique and not copied from other websites.

Resources Mentioned

Brighter Vision
Therapy Notes
Mastermind Group

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Jessica’s Resources

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Meet Gordon Brewer, MEd, LMFT

L Gordon Brewer

Gordon is the person behind The Practice of Therapy Podcast & Blog.He is also President and Founder of Kingsport Counseling Associates, PLLC. He is a therapist, consultant, business mentor, trainer and writer.  PLEASE Subscribe to The Practice of Therapy Podcast on iTunesStitcher and Google Play. Follow us on Twitter @therapistlearn and Pinterest “Like” us on Facebook.