Moving to a new city can be both exciting and frightening. For a therapist, psychologist, and psychiatrist, moving to a new city can bring about a mix of emotions. One of the biggest concerns our clients moving to a new city have told us is getting new patients for their practice while losing most if not all of their current patients. In this post, we are going to discuss the steps to take to update and build your marketing strategy in a new city that will have your private therapy practice growing for years to come.
Step 1: Update Your Google My Business
When you move your practice to a new city, it’s critical to set yourself up for success. One of the best strategies a therapist can have is SEO, or search engine optimization. This strategy allows your practice to be found in search engines on the maps and in the text results.
To be found on Google Maps, it’s important to create a Google My Business if you don’t have one, or update your location. We highly recommend using a physical location rather than using a service area.
Here is how you can create a Google My Business if you don’t have one:
While it takes a considerable amount of time to optimize and climb to the top, it is well worth the investment. This strategy packs a HUGE punch by allowing your business to be found in Google maps and maps at the top of search.
The maps found at the top of search are called Google’s Local Pack and it attracts approximately 32% of clicks by users of Google locally, according Brightlocal.com.
So now that we’ve explained how important Google Maps are for your business, if you haven’t already, claim your Google My Business page for free: https://www.google.com/business/
The first step in optimizing your Google My Business is by completely fill out the following:
- Your Categories
- Your Main Phone Number
- Your Business’ Description
- Your Hours of Operation
- Your Business’ Address
- Get Reviews from Your Patients (we will discuss this more in detail below)
Now, if you were the only mental health professional in town we could stop right there. But because you’re competing against many (in some cases a multitude) of mental health professional in your city, it is critical to find ways for your Google My Business listing to rise above your competitors.
The next step we recommend is to make sure your business is listed on the major NAP citation sites. NAP stands for “Name Address Phone.” There are thousands of citation sites, but not all bring the same value. Getting a business page on Facebook and other social media sites are great places to include your practice’s name, address, and phone number consistently across the web. Consistency is key, you don’t want to confuse Google by listing different NAPs on different sites. In section 7 we will review more than 40 top mental health professional directories you should consider being a part of.
The final step is to link your Google My Business profile to your address on your website. You can also add a map to your website by embedding it.
Step 2: Update Your Website
After you’ve updated your Google My Business page, it’s time to update your website. We’ve put together a guide you can use to build your best therapist website strategy here. Not sure if you need a new website? Read our guide on 10 signs it’s time for a new therapist website.
So what needs to be updated on your website anyway? Let’s review the bare minimum:
- All mentions of your location should be changed to your new city
- All service pages should mention your new city
- Your schema should be updated to tell Google about your location. What is schema? Schema is code on the backend that is added to many different components, such as your business name, address, and phone number.
Another question to ask yourself is “Were patients finding my private practice in my old city?” If you were receiving a steady stream of new patients contacting you via Google, then the answer is probably yes. However, if not, it’s time to build a marketing strategy to get new patients. We highly recommend SEO, or search engine optimization, for therapists to grow their practice organically and long-term.
Step 3: Update All Listings of Your Private Practice Online
The next step to moving your private practice to a new city is to update all external website listings, or citations, to reflect your new address and phone if applicable. An example of a citation is psychologytoday.com
We typically build hundreds or even thousands of citations across the web for our clients. To get your map listing found and receive calls monthly from potential patients needing your services, building citations are a necessary step. Your citations should exactly match the business name, address, and phone number you used for your Google My Business.
Step 4: Reach Out to Patients In Your Old City for Virtual Sessions
If Covid-19 has taught us anything, virtual is a required part of our world now more than ever. There are many different ways you can have telesessions with patients, so if legally allowed to do so, you should try to reach out to patients in your old city to do virtual sessions with.
We recommend organizing your patients by key attributes. You can do this in an Excel sheet to start, but next level marketing will be to get a CRM, or customer relationship management tool. We work with Zoho and highly recommend it for building a robust, connected strategy.
Some things to start tracking for your patients:
- Location (such as their city)
- Type of service (such as psychotherapy)
- Start date
The more data you have, the more intelligent your future marketing campaigns, such as email, will be. Wouldn’t it be great to send a series of emails to those patients in your old city for telehealth sessions?
Other Marketing Tactics to Do in Your New City
Moving to a new city can bring about many new benefits for you personally and professionally. If you’re anything like me, moving to a new city resets your mental state and allows you to “start over” with a blank slate. This is your opportunity to do things right. Here are some tactics that will take your private practice to the next level of success:
- New brand strategy
- Professional website design
- Search engine optimization
- A customer relationship management tool
- Social media marketing
- Professional copywriting
- Advertising on Google
Grow Your Private Practice
TherapyByPro is an online mental health directory that connects mental health pros with clients in need. If you’re a mental health professional, you can Join our community and add your practice listing here. We have assessments, practice forms, and worksheet templates mental health professionals can use to streamline their practice. View all of our mental health forms, worksheet, and assessments here.