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Revisiting SEO and AI – Ethics and best practices: An Interview with Danica Wolf

Curt and Katie interview Danica Wolf, COO of Simplified SEO Consulting, on the basics of SEO and how AI is being used in marketing. We look at best practices and ethics for both SEO and AI. We also talk through the potential pitfalls and cautions in the current state of AI for marketing.


Click here to scroll to the podcast transcript.

An Interview with Danica Wolf, MSW, Simplified SEO Consulting

Photo ID: Danica WolfDanica is a not-so-secret strategy nerd who loves coffee and conversations about all things entrepreneurial. Especially when helping professionals are ready to dive into the world of ethical marketing strategies that actually work. As COO of Simplified SEO Consulting, Danica gets to spend most of her time helping therapists and other mental health professionals build the business of their dreams with dream clients who are already searching for them. As a birth business owner, former trauma advocate, University instructor, and single mom, Danica knows how important it is for busy practice owners to get the info they need quickly with action steps to implement right away.

In this podcast episode, we return to our discussions about SEO and AI

We’ve talked with caution about AI for your therapy practice but thought it would be helpful to talk to a marketing pro about effective ways to consider AI for your practice marketing. We also look at SEO best practices.

What is SEO? What are best practices for on-page optimization?

“Take a look at [your] content, and determine if it is specific enough…speaking to [your] most ideal clients about the topics that you actually want to see people for.” – Danica Wolf, MSW, Simplified SEO Consulting

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Using keywords and content to get better ranked on Google
  • Content needs to be specific and aligned to ideal client
  • It is important to use ethical practices in your SEO

What are the best practices for making marketing activities more efficient?

“I don’t want to see…copy and paste content from therapists completely generated by ChatGPT.”  – Danica Wolf, MSW, Simplified SEO Consulting

  • We talk about ways that AI is being used for marketing, including cautions and best practices
  • Google wants to see original content and wants folks to identify that AI has been used
  • There may be a google penalty for using AI generated content
  • When using AI for writing, make sure it actually sounds like you, you are editing it, and is accurate information
  • A better strategy with AI is using thoughtful prompts, your own examples, etc. as well as re-prompting and iterating on the content
  • Always check and read through things before putting anything on your website
  • Accessibility and simpler language (e.g., 3 am trauma brain)

What are some good resources for writing content?

What are concerns with using AI for your business at this point?

  • There is a shift in how AI content is being viewed, so initial dopamine hits may be leading you down the wrong path
  • You will need to be able to keep up with the evolution of AI, not just use it as a shortcut
  • It needs to be done strategically, intentionally, and ethically

Resources for Modern Therapists mentioned in this Podcast Episode:

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Simplified SEO Consulting

Instagram @SimplifiedSEO

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Relevant Episodes of MTSG Podcast:

SEO Guide for Therapists: An interview with Dr. Rachna Jain

The Brand Called You

Is AI Smart for Your Therapy Practice? The ethics of artificial intelligence in therapy


Who we are:

Picture of Curt Widhalm, LMFT, co-host of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide podcast; a nice young man with a glorious beard.Curt Widhalm, LMFT

Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University and CSUN, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, former CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at:

Picture of Katie Vernoy, LMFT, co-host of the Modern Therapist's Survival Guide podcastKatie Vernoy, LMFT

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also a former President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at:

A Quick Note:

Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.

Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.

Stay in Touch with Curt, Katie, and the whole Therapy Reimagined #TherapyMovement:


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Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide Creative Credits:

Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano

Transcript for this episode of the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide podcast (Autogenerated):

Transcripts do not include advertisements just a reference to the advertising break (as such timing does not account for advertisements).

… 0:00
(Opening Advertisement)

Announcer 0:00
You’re listening to the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide, where therapists live, breathe, and practice as human beings. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, here are your hosts, Curt Widhalm, and Katie Vernoy.

Curt Widhalm 0:15
Welcome back modern therapists, this is the Modern Therapist’s Survival Guide. I’m Curt Widhalm, with Katie Vernoy. And this is the podcast for therapists about the things that we do with our businesses, the ways that we operate in our field. And we’re kind of revisiting a couple of old topics here that, not even that old things that we’ve talked about somewhat recently, and some of the things that we tend to revisit about every year or so ago. And this is SEO and AI, and all of that kind of stuff. And we are joined today by Danica Wolf, she’s the Chief Operating Officer at Simplified SEO consulting. And can help us kind of continue to expand the conversation? So thank you so much for joining us.

Danica Wolf 0:59
Thank you so much for having me. I’m thrilled to get to talk about maybe some old topics in a new way, or at least with my little flavor and spin on it.

Katie Vernoy 1:08
So the first question we ask everyone is, who are you? And what are you putting out into the world?

Danica Wolf 1:14
Great question. So Danika Wolf, I get to work through lots of things at Simplified SEO Consulting. Kind of worked my way from very part time SEO specialist, through now I get to run our day to day operations and primarily spend my time training therapists from all over the world on how to optimize their website, and then working with our staff who runs our ‘Done for You’ program as well. But I’m also a trauma specialist, and a full spectrum doula and business owner myself. So I come to all of this from a lot of different lenses. And it definitely informs the way I think about all of these things.

Curt Widhalm 1:58
For people who are new to this kind of space, briefly, what is SEO?

Danica Wolf 2:04
SEO, most basically, search engine optimization. So what we’re looking at doing is meeting your ideal clients, where they are searching for you on the web. We can do that with lots of different types of techniques with the website, and related services. But what we do specifically is on page SEO, and we are really trying to boost credibility with Google called expertise, authority, trust, in a way that meets what your ideal clients are looking for, in order to build the know, like and trust factor with them. So we believe that Google and your ideal clients are looking for the same thing. We just need to be strategic in how we present that in one lovely package through your website.

Katie Vernoy 2:59
So we have a whole other episode on SEO. Well, we’ll link to that in the show notes. But for folks who are listening right now, what are some high level tips that you would recommend to improve SEO?

Danica Wolf 3:11
So again, keeping in mind our lens, every SEO, every company is going to approach this from a different lens. And that’s great. Google has over 200 different ranking factors that it considers when determining how to order someone in the search results. So what we do, like I said, is the on page optimization. So we’re really looking at the content on your website, how you’re representing yourself, we do so through the lens of ethics as well. We want to make sure that the information that is out there, front and center is you know, the most ethical, we’re not doing any Blackhat kind of techniques or anything like that, not keyword stuffing or hiding things. In order to do that most productively for therapists, most strategically, efficiently, I would recommend that folks take a look at their content, and determine if it is specific enough to the speaking to their most ideal clients about the topics that you actually want to see people for. So would you want to have a full caseload of clients whose issues are represented on your website? And if the answer is no, I want you to take a look at that content and determine what needs to be there. So practically speaking, often one of the things that I see is an our services page or my services page, and it has a long list of topics: anxiety, depression, trauma, couples, life transitions, stress, burnout, overwhelm, right we’ve got this whole laundry list because you’re amazing, right.

Katie Vernoy 4:58
When people don’t want to have Have don’t want to miss anything.

Danica Wolf 5:01
We don’t want to miss anything, we don’t want to leave anyone out. And you can absolutely, you have the ability to serve all of those folks, right? But who do you work best with, that’s when we’re talking about how to ethically represent yourself on your website, we need to really be honest with ourselves about who we love to see. And quite frankly, who we don’t, and who we maybe don’t do our best work with, because that is only going to help serve those clients, including the ones who you probably don’t need to hear from, right. They can kind of self select out, they’re not going to see themselves in your website. And it’s going to be more fulfilling for you as a practitioner as well. So taking a look at your content, kind of doing a content audit, is where I would start and then beefing up the content. Most therapists do not have enough on their website about what they actually do, who they actually see, who they actually help. We’ve got beautiful about pages with all of your credentials, and all the hard work you’ve done. But what does that mean to the client visiting your website or potential client visiting your website, with their 3am trauma brain looking for help and an answer to their problem, a solution?

Curt Widhalm 6:18
Part of what you’re speaking about here is about getting the clients to you in the most efficient way possible. And this can be daunting to some people. There’s a lot of shortcuts that people can take, what do you seeas using your websites kind of in the most efficient way? Kind of Alright, blog more, right? So Katie and I are hearing a lot of rumblings around, you know, there’s a lot of some AI tools out there that people can just like, type in create a blog for my ideal clients. Tell me about…

Katie Vernoy 6:53
I’ve also, well, I’ve also heard people putting like, I’ve and I actually did this, I have to admit, I didn’t use it, but I did it. I put into chat GPT write a website for Katie Vernoy, LMFT. And it was so general it was hilarious. But but there’s good efficiency, ethical efficiency. And then there’s also stuff that’s a whole bunch of crap. So what are your thoughts on doing these these activities, whether it’s copywriting, or blogging or other marketing activities efficiently?

Danica Wolf 7:22
Yes, y’all AI is a thing, it is not going away. And it is arguably getting more prolific, you know, every day, I get an email from some service that I’ve been using for a while. And now they’re saying and now integrate AI, try our AI beta for whatever it is. I mean, even Loom the other day had an AI and I thought why do I need an AI for Loom? What are you doing here? Okay.

Katie Vernoy 7:55
Oh, my goodness.

Danica Wolf 7:56
So lots of different, you know, uses and you know, everyone’s jumping on the AI bandwagon, including therapists. Something that I want folks to maybe think about, I said it the other day, and Jessica Tapana, the owner of Simplified SEO, you may have heard from her as well, it made sense to her and she does AI a little differently than I do, she uses it a little bit more. I’m kind of old school. I’m a you know, I was a university professor for 15 years teaching writing intensive courses. So I might be coming into this kicking and screaming a little bit, admittedly. Right? So I have a little bit of a bias.

Katie Vernoy 8:35
Curt’s like, no, don’t use it ever. And I was like, Wait, Curt, we can’t be like these old folks.

Curt Widhalm 8:39
No, that’s not what my point was. My point was, people reading your stuff should know that it’s not fully by you. That if you’re going to ethically use it, people need to know like, Hey, this is this is a co-author sort of thing, that this is not just effort that I put into this.

Katie Vernoy 9:01
And that that conversation is over on one of our podcourses The Ethics of AI. So we’ll link to that in our show notes for folks that want to go deeper into Curt’s thoughts around AI usage.

Danica Wolf 9:13
Absolutely. And quite frankly, Google wants that, too. So Google wants to see original content. So going, you know, kind of going back to that SEO piece of things. Google wants to see original content. And if you are going to use AI, which Google acknowledges that will happen, giving credit where credit’s due, saying that this is, you know, partially AI generated or AI assisted. That is fine to say. And you’re less likely to get penalized from Google for something like that. if it can tell that you are using AI tools. We don’t know what the Google penalty is. Google doesn’t tell us those things, of course. We just know that while they’ve changed their community guidelines, their expectations to allow for more AI than ever before, it is still something that they want searchers to know what they’re getting. They don’t want to think that this is original content when it’s not. So that’s absolutely in line ethically. The way that I’ve thought about it recently is, as a therapist, would you want me to ask chat GPT to diagnose me? Or provide me therapy? Right? It’s read so many things. It’s read so much literature, it’s read so much content, arguably more than any of us could. But is it going to have that expertise, that experience and actual knowledge to provide me the highest quality care?

… 10:47
(Advertisement Break)

Curt Widhalm 10:48
So I’m going to put on my sarcastic every therapist wise here. As long as I’m not doing it in sessions, when it comes to, you know, putting blogs out there to, you know, I put enough of my blogs into chat GPT, and it writes something that sounds exactly like my voice. And that should be okay, right?

Danica Wolf 11:07
Does it sound exactly like your voice? Are you reading it? Did you look through it? Is it accurate? We see a lot of misinformation. I can get fancy and call it a hallucination or whatever the technical folks want to call it. But is it accurate? Or is it simply predictive? Is it a tool to help you write a nice outline or get some blog post ideas? Or are you relying it to create all of your content. That’s what I don’t want to see, I don’t want to see, you know, copy and paste content from therapists completely generated by a ChatGPT. I want to see thoughtful prompts, maybe an example. Although actually the examples, I’d actually prefer that those be things that have come from your brain or your experience, because that’s going to resonate with your ideal client that much more. Using AI for pieces can be useful, it can be a shortcut. For me, quite frankly, it takes way longer. I am a person who I will dictate to my phone and a voice note, a voice memo, and then transcribe it later, a blog post or even a full service page, that works way better for me. That’s just my style. For folks who need to get over some type of writer’s block or can’t stare at a blank page, sometimes, you know, having a prompt to work from or what we’ve called a blog post starter, something like that can be okay. But I really want to see folks edit, and re prompt the AI, say, you know, perhaps rewrite this paragraph with a warmer or more engaging tone, use this specific example. Things like that, that are going to infuse more of that therapists knowledge and expertise and voice in there as well, if necessary, if they’re going to use it.

Katie Vernoy 13:18
One of the things that I was seeing was kind of recommendations on how you teach ChatGPT to right, like you and so I tried putting in several samples of my content, and kind of just kept going and added more and more samples and then had it write a summary of a book that I recommend all the time in my style. And it was reasonably close. My assumption is that it’s reasonably accurate, I would have to check it more. I wasn’t going to publish it. So I didn’t do it. But I feel like there’s there’s more and more we can do to have AI get us further along. But I like what you’re saying around being able to use it as a launch pad versus using it to write all your content.

Danica Wolf 14:06
Absolutely, there are so I know we’re talking a lot about ChatGPT there are other writing specific AI tools like or, that do that, do exactly what you described, Katie, really well. They will analyze your site or analyze writing and come up with your tone and then you can tweak it and it can kind of get to know you a little bit more. Because it is taking all of that into consideration. And then what it spits out in that first draft will be closer to something that you might write yourself. I still want folks to edit it. I still want you to use very specific prompts, and keep infusing more of your own examples, thoughts, stories, anecdotes in there as well. so that you’ve got completely original content, even nested within some type of AI generated content.

Curt Widhalm 15:10
So this sounds kind of like, alright, if people would just get better at using AI, like, there’s some people who are better at Googling things than other people. There people who are better able to, you know, use the, you know, EBSCOs, and those kinds of things for researching.Part of what you’re describing is being better at using AI. And you’re still making the recommendation that people should still end up writing their own stuff at the end of this.

Danica Wolf 15:37
I really am. Yes.

Curt Widhalm 15:41
I’m trying to help clarify here. Like, okay, why, why, if if, you know, I’m really good at AI. And I can follow all of these prompts, and it makes things. So something 98% of what I would write normally. Why are you still recommending like, Okay, go and still write down exactly what it put out? But, you know, change a few things.

Danica Wolf 16:07
Great question. So I think that where I’m currently sitting and again, these things change all the time, where I’m currently sitting with AI is using it is using it and using it well, is better than being stuck in writer’s block, and refusing to put out any content on your website, if you are trying to improve your SEO. So for the folks who will not write, unless they have something that they’ve started, or something, someone else or something else has started for them, then AI can be a really great tool as a jumping off point. If you get really good at using this, and again, we I work with folks who are very good at using AI. I still have some concerns around what that can look like moving forward. But I think that strategically and intentionally prompting AI with more detail, potentially more keywords, more about your tone, you can get a product that is, again, better than nothing for your website.

Katie Vernoy 17:35
So I think I’ve heard you talk about this elsewhere. There are other tools that can check on this content, right, to make sure that it doesn’t sound like too much like a bot or that there’s you know, enough original content, stuff like that, how can someone either on their own or with additional tools, make sure that they’re not getting too much duplicate content, that it’s accurate, that it’s not overly general? Like, besides just writing it, if somebody’s getting to that 98%? Like, what can they do to make sure that they’ve done a good job there?

Danica Wolf 18:08
So this is a really great question. And I wish I had a better answer. There are tools that will check for originality. One that we used up until very recently was And there was an update made and our completely human authored content was getting a lower originality score, then the AI written content.

Katie Vernoy 18:37
How funny. Oh, that’s not good.

Danica Wolf 18:42
It’s not good. And it doesn’t to me, it doesn’t bode well, for anyone trying to do this well, right. So we were we had a score that we were trying to get to, to feel like okay, this is what we would want, you know, at a minimum, as far as you know, what, what it was scoring is original. And then we’re getting these odd scores, and you know, one was 100% original, but it was an AI generated post. And so we thought, okay, that’s not okay. That’s not right. I don’t expect that to be the case. And so I think that the overall takeaway there is, we’re in a point at the time of this recording, if you will, of the pendulum swinging. And at least with that tool, in that moment, it swung way too far.

Katie Vernoy 19:36

Danica Wolf 19:38
So that’s where I get concerned about how we can rely on those checkers, and even Google to determine what’s appropriate and what isn’t. So, to not be all doom and gloom, to give folks an actionable step, I would say, you know, make sure, especially if you’re serving it up content that you’ve written elsewhere on your site, do do your read through, always do your read through, always check it, never put something on your site that you haven’t at least read. I wish I didn’t have to say that, but it’s true. So, always do a read through, always check and make sure that it both sounds like you, it is factually correct, and it doesn’t mimic what you’ve already put on your site. One use that I think could be helpful for for content creators, for therapists using AI is, if you have, for example, like an online therapy in Oklahoma page, and you want a similar page for Texas, it can be difficult for folks to come up with different ways of phrasing each piece of things, right, the overall information is going to be about the same most of the time. Now, here’s where I can tell you to be more specific. If you’ve got other therapists in, you know, if you’ve got therapists in each state that specialize in different things, then you’re going to add a paragraph about those specialties on each one, that’s going to make it a little bit different, a little more relevant to the folks who are searching. But say that everything’s the same. You’re solo practitioner, you were just recently licensed, or recently moved, then serving up each paragraph to the AI. And saying, rephrase this focus on, you know, this, say it’s a paragraph about the convenience of online therapy. So you might have talked about traffic in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, you know, in other areas, or the commute. But now you’re gonna say rephrase this paragraph, rework this paragraph with the same tone to focus on these three cities in Texas instead. Right, so it can do that much faster.

Curt Widhalm 22:09
So the prompt is just basically write, write this more Texan?

Danica Wolf 22:15
Yeah, if your AI will understand that great, it probably won’t. And then you’re gonna have to reread, feed it promts six times. But yeah, right.

Katie Vernoy 22:24
This is why Curt doesn’t like AI, because he makes jokes, and the AI just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t like when things don’t get his jokes.

Curt Widhalm 22:31
No, but I mean, this is this is where, like, I guess, to maybe give examples of this, that this is the opportunities for you to go in and rewrite this in your own tone. So I cycle around Los Angeles. So I would add things in like, alright, you know, if you’re in Los Angeles, you have to open your car door, like the inside of your car is on fire, like, you know, just fling that thing right out into traffic. That’s the way people open their car doors here. So that’s what you’re talking about. It’s very specific to the market that you’re working in?

Danica Wolf 23:06
Yes, exactly. So you want to use use those examples and get your tone in there. Because the AI, you know, that’s going to resonate with someone in a way that the AI can’t create, they can’t duplicate that. And I want that, you know, I want that voice in your copy in your content in your website, because that is what is going to either convert or repel your potential clients, right? I want that I want your website to do some of that work for you. So that you’re not getting calls from folks who aren’t a good fit, and you’re increasing the calls from folks who are. Meeting them where they are, where they’re searching. And an authentically written, voiced website can do that.

… 23:49
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Katie Vernoy 23:50
One thing that I’m thinking about though, is a lot of therapists are pretty academic in how they write. They are not necessarily meeting their client where they are, can can ChatGPT or some AI help with that? Because I think that there are there are websites that are pretty unreadable, because it’s, it’s in the therapists voice.

Danica Wolf 24:13

Katie Vernoy 24:14
But it’s written for an academic audience.

Danica Wolf 24:17
Absolutely, yes. So this was I have to laugh because this was my biggest hang up when I started. Again, I was teaching writing intensive classes when I started doing this work. And then I was told, Google wants readability at a six to ninth grade reading level, and I thought, why would I dumb this down?

Katie Vernoy 24:39
Why indeed.

Danica Wolf 24:40
Right? Well, again, we’re looking at the 3am trauma brain, you know, you don’t have dumb clients. It’s not that. It’s that accessibility is important as well. And trying to you know, have simpler phrasing, simpler language does help with that accessibility and that’s why Google rewards it. So we have done this, or tried this, where we’ll serve up something, a whole page or paragraph of content that is written at, you know, a 12, or postgraduate reading level, and asked it to simplify the language, you will usually give it a reading level. But one of the tools that I like way better because it is more of a manual tool is Hemingway dot app. So Hemingway dot app is just a website that I will copy and paste a whole page of content into, and then it goes through and it highlights everything and it says, you know, this word, or this sentence has a is difficult to read, it’s, you know, bright red, this can have a simpler word, and it’ll give me some examples. But I’m going through and doing that manually on the computer. You know, I can reject any suggestions, I can, you know, rework them myself. But I would recommend somebody start there if they’ve already got written content that feels academic. And then if you see that, a whole paragraph is red readability, as we would call it, then work that paragraph through ChatTPT, or another AI tool, and ask it to simplify it, then put it back in Hemingway, right. So you can see where I feel like to do this really well, it kind of takes more time than just writing original content. I know that’s unpopular opinion. But that’s that is kind of where I land on it. As somebody who is happy to write.

Curt Widhalm 26:43
I just get the feeling that the majority of people who do things, well understand the point that you’re talking about, and the people who want to be first doing things are not necessarily those same people. And this is maybe more prognosticating than it is things that have already happened. But what do you see as the potential issues coming up for the people who are just kind of jumping full on into letting AI do everything for their business.

Danica Wolf 27:14
I feel like we’re at a point where some folks might be getting a sort of that initial dopamine hit, if you will, or that initial reward, because it feels really good to be able to create a lot of content quickly, and get it out there. And it might be working, or it might have worked to a point. I actually do feel like we’re starting to see with, you know, different algorithm updates. And, again, more AI tools coming out. I I feel like we’re already starting to see the shift in the way that the content, AI generated content, or even AI assisted content is being viewed by the public and by Google. So I think that the conversations that we’re having now, in fact, I was I was on a training yesterday, where they were talking a lot about AI, and kind of the future of AI. We now know that these prompts have to be written better, there are even tools to assist you in writing better prompts for AI. And so you’ve got to, to keep up with all of that, or work with somebody who is going to. Otherwise, this AI is only getting smarter, and everything that is using AI or rewarding it like Google is also only getting smarter. And so I think what it comes down to is the folks who see it as a shortcut, and use it just for that, and have now in the last six months started relying on it to create all of its all of their content. They’re not doing the editing, they’re not running it through all those funnels and filters we’re talking about. I think they’re going to be left in the dust. Quite frankly, I think it’s going to be you know, they got the initial reward. They might have seen some of their rankings, you know, do well. They might have seen an increase in calls for a while. But those of us who are doing this very strategically, intentionally, and I would argue ethically are going to keep up with these tools in a different way. So that it is more sustainable long term. Does that make sense?

Katie Vernoy 29:52
I think it does. I want to know, kind of how do we keep up or what are we keeping up with, I guess is a question I have.

Danica Wolf 30:02
I think we’re keeping up with the people who are creating content with AI all day, every day in a number of industries, not just the mental health space. But much like anything else with marketing and mental health, you know, you’re keeping up with the better health, the talkspace, the big names, and the folks who can pay for those marketing spaces. And, you know, we saw this with near me keywords, for example, this spring. So if you think about search behavior, you know, often the predictive text and Google also AI, by the way, will, you know, you’ll start typing in therapy, trauma therapy, whatever it is, and it will automatically fill in near me or near insert town here. And so people might put enter, and so you might see, we did see an increase in the search volume of quote near me keywords, so keywords that end with near me, of course, lots of the big names that have lots of dollars to pay to play with your Google ads and things like that started targeting those near me keywords. So it made organic search results, more difficult to get organic spots in the in the rankings more difficult to get. So with this latest algorithm update, one of the algorithm updates in spring of 2023, we saw the near me keywords fall off of our clients rankings. So specifically, like you know, folks who’ve been doing SEO for years, kind of dominated their market. And we were able to get, you know, therapists near me, therapy near me, in even some really large cities, and really competitive areas, they suddenly fell off the off the map like overnight for those keywords. I think Google de emphasized it, because they were trying to get rid of as much of the not the pay to play, they like people paying for Google ads. But you know, trying to reward the folks who were coming up with better content, you know, and things like that. Not that our clients weren’t. But when we see whole groups of keywords fall off like that, then you know, it feels more like Google’s trying to correct for something that they they don’t like. Now, again, that is not a whole technical way of discussing it. I’m sure somebody out there is thinking I sound ridiculous for that. But what we know, over and over again, is Google wants to meet searchers where they are. It wants to help answer questions and serve up the most relevant content, the most relevant results possible. That’s what we want our folks to do. That’s what we want your listeners to do. And do so in a way that aligns with how and who you help best.

Katie Vernoy 33:19
That makes sense to me. Thank you for clarifying that. Because what I’m hearing is that if you are just throwing ChatGPT or AI of choice, up on your website, initially, it was great. It had a ton of content, but these larger companies may just mass produce tons and tons of AI generated content, Google’s gonna say nope. And anyone using things that are too highly AI generated will probably be invisible. If…

Danica Wolf 33:51
That is my fear.

Katie Vernoy 33:53
Yeah. Okay.

Danica Wolf 33:54
That is my fear.

Katie Vernoy 33:54
I got it. I got it. I caught it. Thank you.

Danica Wolf 33:57
Sorry, I know…

Katie Vernoy 33:59
It was just it’s so complicated for that those of us who are not technical to try to capture what we’re what’s going on here, but, but to me, I just I really take from you. And thank you for coming in and talking to us about this. But I think I take from you, yes, use these tools, but use them ethically, use them responsibly, and don’t just stand with what they give you because it could be overly general, it could be inaccurate, and it’s probably not your voice. And so do the work. Let this be a helpful tool along the way, because you’re not going to get away with it.

Danica Wolf 34:34
Absolutely. Yes, so I am all about the both/and of things. Right. So I think it can be both useful and we need to consider some limitations and we shouldn’t rely on it completely. So you’ll you’ll see on on our website and even websites of folks that we work with. Sometimes there is AI generated content on there but it’s done in a really intentional way. And we’re clear about how and why.

Curt Widhalm 35:06
Where can people find out more about the work that you do?

Danica Wolf 35:11
Absolutely. So speaking of that website, that is, you can also get to it just by putting in We have so many resources on there, we strive to meet people where they are as well. So we’ve got free resources, all of our blog content is of course free, we’ve got a free seven day email series to kind of get folks a little jumpstart on things to consider for their SEO, if you’re just dipping a toe in. I like to say that SEO is an investment of time, money, or a blend of both. And so we’ve got all of those options as well, DIY courses training, selfishly, I get to do the training. So I love that. I’d love to work with folks, individually, small group. We’ve even got in person workshops coming up, which is so exciting. And then we’ve got ‘done for you’ services as well. So you know, if everything I said just sounds super overwhelming, and not like something you want to dive into, we can absolutely, you know, take your website to the next level with your help. We’re not going to just do it without you. But we can do it for you. So that’s an option as well. And of course, we’re on social media, Instagram, Facebook. We’re having some fun over there lately. And I think that’s about it.

Curt Widhalm 36:37
And we will include a link to Simplified SEO in our show notes over at Follow us on our social media, join our Facebook groups, the Modern Therapist Group to continue on this discussion and all of the other discussions affecting you as our listeners. And until next time I’m Curt Widhalm with Katie Vernoy and Danika Wolf.

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