After the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, many therapists we speak with have asked about how to build a strategy for marketing an online therapy practice. Mental health professionals (and many other industries) have realized the importance a strong digital presence has on their business. Companies like Zoom and others have enabled easy remote counseling sessions for you to connect with patients from almost anywhere in the country.
In addition, Covid-19 has changed the game in terms of serving clients online in different locations than your current state. According to telehealth.org:
Formal permission for inter-jurisdictional practice depends on where you hold a license and how much your profession has done to get an inter-jurisdictional practice model put into effect across states. Practicing across state, provincial and/or international borders is possible.
Traditionally the process involved getting records from your academic institutions, supervisors, licensing board and in some cases, paying fees. Then, waiting for weeks or months for it all to come together before submitting to a foreign licensing board for review. That final review process would often require yet more weeks or months, and more fees before approval to practice telehealth across state lines.
Due to Covid-19, we are now seeing dramatic changes in the number of states expediting their old processes for serving patients in a different state thanks to PSYPACT.
States Participating in PSYPACT
Let’s start this post by reviewing the states currently participating in PSYPACT, or Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (as of 1/22/2021.
PSYPACT Participating States
- Arizona – AZ HB 2503 (Enacted on 5/17/2016)
- Colorado – CO HB 1017 (Enacted 4/12/2018)
- Delaware – DE HB 172 (Enacted 6/27/2019)
- Georgia – GA HB 26 (Enacted 4/23/2019)
- Illinois – IL HB 1853 (Enacted 8/22/2018)
- Missouri – MO HB 1719/MO SB 660 (Enacted 6/1/2018)
- Nebraska – NE L 1034 (Enacted 4/23/2018)
- Nevada – NV AB 429 (Enacted on 5/26/2017)
- New Hampshire- NH SB 232 (Enacted 7/10/2019)
- Oklahoma – OK HB 1057 (Enacted 4/29/2019)
- Pennsylvania – PA SB 67 (Enacted 5/8/2020)
- Texas – TX HB 1501 (Enacted 6/10/2019)
- Utah – UT SB 106 (Enacted on 3/17/2017)
- Virginia – VA SB 760 (Enacted 4/11/2020)
- North Carolina – NC 361 (Effective 3/1/2021)
Pending PSYPACT Legislation
The following states have introduced PSYPACT legislation but have not yet enacted PSYPACT.
- District of Columbia- DC B145 (Click HERE for additional information)
- Indiana – IN S 36 (Click HERE for additional information)
- Kentucky – KY H 38 (Click HERE for additional information)
- New Jersey – NJ A 4205 (Click HERE for additional information)
- New Jersey – NJ S 2506 (Click HERE for additional information)
- Iowa – IA S 78 (Click HERE for additional information)
- Tennessee – TN S 161 (Click HERE for additional information)
- Washington – WA H 1286 (Click HERE for additional information)
- Minnesota – MN S 193 (Click HERE for additional information)
- Ohio – OH S 2 (Click HERE for additional information)
Data according to: psypact.org/
Building a Strategy to Market Your Online Practice
Now that we’ve listed out the states participating in PSYPACT, I’m going to lay out the process you should take when building a strategy to market your online practice.
1) Choose the State(s) You Want to Target
The first step of your strategy is to figure out which states you’d like to serve patients in. I’d recommend creating a list like this:
Next, add the major cities below each state in your outline. It’s best to not target suburbs of major cities
- Colorado Springs
- San Antonio
2) Align Your Major Service Keyword with Each City
Many clients we work with assume that the best strategy to target a state would be to simply list out the states you want to work with. This will to little to nothing in regards to allowing your patients to find you in those states.
Instead, I’d recommend identifying your main keyword + with cities in each state. For example, “Psychologist Atlanta” would be highly searched in the city of Atlanta.
3) Create Website Pages for Each Service City
After you’ve aligned your main service keyword with each city in the state(s) you are targeting, you’ll want to create a page on your website for each. I typically label these as “service locations.”
Your domain structure should look something like this for each city: mywebsite.com/service-locations/city-name/
4) Write Unique Copy
After you’ve created a page for each city, you’ll need to write copy on each page. I highly recommend at least 1000 words on each page. Here are some key factors to include for our psychologist example:
- Your main title (h1) should include your keyword: “Psychologist in Atlanta, GA”
- You should write at least 1000 words that are unique (not copied)
- You can include several subtitles (h2) in your copy, like this: “Why work with a Psychologist?”, “What Conditions Can a Psychologist Treat?”, “Contact a Top Psychologist Serving Atlanta, GA”
- Add imagery and colloquial phrases from each city
- Make sure there is at least 2 call to action buttons (one at the top, one at the bottom
You can take it a step further by building out service pages underneath each city. For example: mywebsite.com/service-locations/atlanta-ga/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/
5) Search Engine Optimization
In steps 1 through 4, we laid out the ground work for SEO, which stands for search engine optimization. This is one of our top marketing strategies to grow a private practice. SEO creates opportunities for patients to find your business by creating new pieces of content. Each piece of content (a blog post, a new page, etc.) should target a search term (or keyword) that your patients search for on Google. The idea is, the more content you create, the more opportunities to be found you create. Over the course of 12+ months, you continually create new opportunities to rank for keywords and ALSO fight to climb up so that your pages rank on the first page of Google. Learn more about SEO for therapists here.
Final Thoughts on Marketing an Online Therapy Practice
Thank you for reading our post on Marketing an Online Therapy Practice! TherapyByPro helps mental health professionals grow their practices and serve their clients better. We offer free membership to list your practice and also have an extensive library of mental health forms that can help you streamline your practice.