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SEO Showdown: Manitoba Counselling Companies

June 7th 2024

SEO Showdown: Manitoba Counselling Companies

Welcome back to the SEO Showdown, where we dissect the online visibility of businesses in various sectors. This time, we’re focusing on counselling companies in Manitoba. As the demand for mental health services grows, so does the importance of an effective online presence for small counselling businesses. We'll be playing the role of SEO therapists, offering a friendly ear and some tough love to help these companies navigate their growth in search results. Let’s see which counselling companies are making breakthroughs and which might need a few more sessions.

Crowning the Counselling King of Manitoba SEO

Therapy isn’t a competition, but here in the SEO Showdown there has to be a winner. Out of the 5 companies in our Manitoba SEO review, the winner is Thrive Counselling from Winnipeg. They demonstrated a great start to their SEO strategy that has given them a solid foundation of rankings in search engines. Their website is far from perfect though, and although they had the strongest base to stand on, their strategies shared many of the same weaknesses as their competitors.

Who Was Tested in The Showdown?

As with most of our SEO Showdown editions, we picked Manitoba counselling companies using a simple process:

  1. Picked a city in Manitoba from a list of the province’s biggest cities.
  2. Performed a Google search for “counselling [city]”.
  3. If a local counselling company ranked in first place, we added them to our list, otherwise, we moved on to the next city.

Most of the biggest cities in Manitoba had a local counselling company show up in first place. Find a list below of the 5 companies’ websites we analyzed for their value in Manitoba SEO:

Counselling CompanyLocationSEO Showdown Score
Thrive CounsellingWinnipeg166
Willow’s Bend CounsellingPortage la Prairie157
Life Story CounsellingSelkirk140
The Counselling CentreBrandon136
Liberty Counselling CentreSteinbach128

Each website was analyzed by four of our team’s SEO experts, with each analysis focusing on a different aspect of SEO. Read on for comments about the winner and a summarized list of tips for counselling SEO.

Technical Health and Quality

Chris BrockWith a strong technical foundation, a company can be fairly certain that their other SEO efforts have a good probability of being effective. Chris, the head of web development at SilverServers, shared a few comments about his technical analysis of Thrive Winnipeg:

Thrive Winnipeg boasts impressive technical quality scores across various metrics, setting a solid foundation for a smooth user experience. With a lightning-fast load time of 0.9 seconds, visitors will have almost immediate access to Thrive’s services and support. Its mobile quality further underscores its commitment to accessibility, ensuring seamless browsing experiences across various devices. Thrive’s website has a healthy, smaller filesize, and ranked quite well with Google’s Core Web Vitals tests.

Despite its strong performance in many areas, there's always room for improvement. Enhancing the schema markup across the domain could improve search engine understanding and boost visibility even further. More detailed and keyword-focused meta and headings would go a long way to helping Google understand exactly what Thrive is here for. With some fine-tuning in these areas, I’d expect to see Thrive’s domain authority and organic search rankings heading in a positive direction.

Content Health and Quality

Andrew LambHealthy content provides a great user experience, informs Google about what you want to rank for, and demonstrates your expertise for every visitor. Read what Andrew - who leads the SEO and content writing efforts at SilverServers - had to say about Thrive Counselling:

Although I initially found Thrive Counselling’s home page design disorienting (it was unclear what could be clicked),I generally liked what I saw once I discovered the content. Thrive Counselling’s content is well written with great headings and a good use of lists. The accordion-style dropdowns on many pages are a nice touch for keeping content visually short and allowing visitors to see the content they want. It also allowed for a good number of important topics to be covered without looking like a wall of text.

As much as there is to like about Thrive Counselling’s existing content, here are three content suggestions for further improving the website’s SEO potential:

  1. The services mentioned on the ‘All Services’ page don’t align with the Services listed in the menu. This means search engines may misunderstand the focus of Thrive Counselling’s services and rank them for fewer keywords than the team might like. Mention the same service offerings in the menu and on the Services page.
  2. Creating individual pages for each service listed on the ‘All Services’ page would give the website more opportunities to rank for each type of service. Currently, the site’s content seems designed to rank for general keywords that only use the term “counselling” - like “counselling winnipeg”. However, it’s not set up well to rank for something more specific like “family therapy winnipeg”. A page about each service would provide more opportunities to rank for these more specific keywords.
  3. The addition of a blog would provide significant SEO value to the website. Articles could be written about services and link back to the Service pages where those services are offered. These articles could show expertise, authority, and trustworthiness as a counselling company. A few example types of articles are FAQ, explanations of service details that would be too wordy for a Services page, case studies, company news, and more.

None of the competitors in this SEO Showdown used a blog on their websites. Adding a blog is a recommendation I would share with any company looking to improve their website’s SEO.

Design and Social Media

Emma MaddisonAlthough Google can’t see or appreciate a website’s design or a company’s social media strategy, they use their metrics to figure out if visitors do. Emma - the social media manager at SilverServers - analyzed each competitor’s website design and social media efforts to determine if they’re helping users interact positively. Read her comments below:

While Thrive Counselling scored well in other areas, it struggled in the design category, particularly for usability and ease of navigation.

The negatives: The homepage takes quite a while to load, and the menu is the last thing to appear. It’s not clear immediately that you can scroll down the page to see more content, and once you do scroll, it’s not clear that you can click on the content areas to visit more pages.

The positives: An entirely different menu appears when you visit the inner pages. This one is much more prominent and contains more pages at the top level, as well as several pages in submenus. The inner pages are well designed, with simple, straightforward layouts, a clear menu, and lots of content.

I think that if the home page were more similar to the other pages of the site, I would be writing a very different review. The Thrive Counselling website is a great example of both the good and bad of many modern website designs and templates. My recommendation is to redesign the homepage with the same menu that the inner pages use. I would also like to see more Calls To Action (CTAs) to bring visitors onto the contact page. Easy navigation and a clear, simple flow are critical to providing website visitors with a good experience. Thrive Counselling is halfway there.

Keywords and Search Engine Presence

Mickael MaddisonIf SEO efforts aren’t resulting in growing rankings, then the strategy needs to change. Mickael tests how broadly a company ranks in search results as well as the growth of those rankings in a particular location. He took a snapshot of Thrive Counselling’s current rankings for keywords they should rank for. Read his comments below:

In our latest SEO Showdown, the competition among the websites was fierce, yet Thrive Winnipeg emerged as the winner from my perspective. The overall performance across various metrics showed that most websites struggled to achieve a broad range of general search engine ranking positions (SERPs).

Thrive Winnipeg stood out with a slightly stronger combined search engine ranking presence and impressive Lighthouse performance metrics. Specifically, Thrive Winnipeg scored higher than the other sites in this showdown.

Counselling Centre had notable rankings but lagged behind Thrive Winnipeg. Liberty Counselling Centre also performed well in accessibility and best practices but didn't quite match the overall scores. LifeStory Counselling, while having strong accessibility and SEO scores, had a lower overall performance.

One of the key strengths of Thrive Winnipeg is their balanced approach to SEO with high performance across all key metrics. This helps them with their search engine rankings and also enhances user experience, leading to better organic traffic. The fast loading times and adherence to best practices set the standard across these competitors.

In conclusion, Thrive Winnipeg’s performance in this SEO Showdown underscores the importance of a well-rounded, meticulously optimized website in achieving top search engine rankings and driving organic traffic.

Summary: SEO Tips for Therapy and Counselling Companies

Every counselling company has room for improvement in its SEO strategy. Whether you’re looking to improve SEO in Manitoba or Minnesota, take away some tips from our suggestions in this SEO Showdown.

  • Enhance schema markup. Learn what schema is, then implement its structured data to improve Google’s ability to understand your site’s pages and services.
  • Improve meta titles and descriptions. These are your opportunities to directly tell Google the main focus of your pages and who your target audience is.
  • Clarify what’s clickable. If visitors don’t know something can be clicked, they won’t click it, and Google may assume that it’s not a valuable link.
  • Align the Services page offerings with menu offerings. Not every service you offer needs to be represented in the menu, but if offerings in the menu and the services page seem to be from two different lists of services, Google may get confused about your focus.
  • Create individual Services pages. This will increase ranking opportunities for more specific search terms like “family therapy winnipeg”.
  • Actively use a Blog. Answer frequent or more nuanced questions, demonstrate your expertise, and connect with your visitors in a way you can’t on a main page.
  • Keep the design easy to navigate. Different types of navigation on different pages make for a confusing user experience.
  • Balance SEO efforts across all metrics. Focus efforts on a variety of aspects of SEO. Instead of focusing on only content or social media backlinks, work on every aspect - or ask for help in keeping that balance.

Review Your SEO Strategy

For related analysis of other industries, visit the SEO Showdown section of our blog!

Find more SEO Tips and Case Studies throughout our articles as well.

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