Jessica Tappana on Why Improving SEO Starts with Your Ideal Client | MP 33

Jessica Tappana on Why Improving SEO Starts with Your Ideal Client MP 33

Have you identified your ideal client? How can knowing your target audience help you to improve your SEO? What can you do to optimize your website for SEO?

In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho talks to Jessica Tappana about improving your SEO by identifying your ideal client first.

Meet Jessica Tappana

Jessica Tappana is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who wears many hats including owning a 7 clinician private-pay group psychotherapy practice in Missouri and an SEO business where she helps

Jessica Tappan is the owner of Simplified SEO Consulting. Along with help from a team of SEO specialists, Jessica helps private practices get in front of more of their ideal clients by getting to the top of Search Engines.  As a group practice owner herself, Jessica understands the importance of not only getting more client calls, but getting the right calls.  In addition to using SEO to grow her own practice, she and her team have helped countless other practices grow their own businesses through SEO.  In her spare time, Jessica can be found traveling, reading or spending time with her husband and two young kids.

Visit Jessica’s websites: Aspire Counseling and Simplified SEO Consulting.

In This Podcast


  • Simplified SEO Consulting
  • Tips to improve your SEO
  • Blogging
  • Using photos on your website

Simplified SEO Consulting

When Jessica started her private practice, her two children were very young. She had developed a halfway decent website but nobody was finding it so she would work on SEO at night after the kids went to bed. This was the perfect method of marketing for her as it was something that she could do anytime on her own schedule. The practice grew and Jessica transitioned to a group practice, with people finding the practice online quite easily. The next summer, while at Slow Down School, Jessica started adding her advice when they were discussing SEO and Joe Sanok was very complimentary of her. That whole week, she helped friends work on their sites and after a lot of work managed to get one of the sites, which was in a much more dense and competitive area than she was, showing up on the first search page. Over the course of the week, people started telling her that this could be another business for her and that’s how it started. About two years later now, she has four SEO specialists and they help people all over the US, England, and Canada.

Tips to improve your SEO

It really starts with having that website that’s in good enough shape that when you get people to it, will convert people and the people that will end up calling you are the right people.

  • Who is your ideal client? – It’s more important to get in front of the right people than to get in front of the masses. Focus first on who that right person is for you and what your niche is.
  • Have a logo and website that speaks directly to that ideal client.
  • When creating a website knowing that you want to work on SEO later on:
    – Easy to navigate – people shouldn’t have to hunt for service pages
    – Free from technical errors – must flow and work well. Jessica suggests using WordPress or Squarespace as they are the easiest platforms to optimize.
  • Send your website to a couple of people who are in touch with your ideal client and get their feedback.
  • Think about your keyword research – Figure out what keywords your ideal clients are searching for.
    a) It’s going to be easier to rank for more specific keywords
    b) The people typing in these keywords are more likely to be the clients that you really want.

Some keyword research tools that Jessica recommends: KWFinder, SEMrush, Google AdWords Planner. Ask your friends in your geographic area what they would type into Google if they needed your services as they are going to be more in touch with what your ideal client might be searching for.


Blogging in and of itself gives Google the information it needs to know what to rank you well for.

Therapists should be blogging regularly but many of them are afraid to blog or are critical of their own writing. Blogging is great for SEO but again as it speaks to your ideal client. If there is a subject that you address often in therapy, write a blog post about it. You can assign that blog post as homework and you’ve also just created something that speaks directly to potential clients. Just get the content out there and don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to get it perfect.

  • Keep your ideal clients in mind – you will naturally start to use some of the phrases that they use.
  • Work some of the keywords that you’re already identified into the headings and titles – this will put you a couple of steps ahead.
  • If writing it down feels unnatural, record yourself talking and then transcribe it – you’re used to talking about this, you talk about it in sessions all of the time.

Using photos on your website

Photos can be really powerful for both SEO and branding. Have at least 500 words of content on your blog posts but a big block of text would be very boring so break it up with a few pictures. When you add the photos, give them a specific file name when you upload it, this will help you with SEO.

Some platforms also allow you to add alt text (what’s read on the screen reader to somebody needing one for whatever reason e.g. visually impaired) which is very important for accessibility purposes. Google now knows that you have that text on your website and can actually help you with SEO. You have to figure out what you can optimize on a photo on the platform that you’re using, if you can do all three of those things, or maybe just change the alt text, keeping in mind that you’re being true to the image.

Useful Links:

Meet Sam Carvalho

Samantha Carvalho DesignSam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.

She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!

Follow Sam on Instagram to see some of her work. To work with Sam, head on over to

Thanks For Listening!

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