burninglights

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I am currently the top result in the local 3-pack for my two main keywords. Meanwhile, my organic results for these keywords have completely tanked over the past 6 months to a year (I hadn't tracked them closely for awhile). I used to be the top local result in organic, too (behind a national franchise).

For example, for my primary keyword, the 3-pack is:

1. Me
2. Competitor 1
3. Competitor 2

The organic results are:

1. National franchise
2. Competitor 1
3. Competitor 2
...
15. Me (mid-second page)

For my secondary keyword, all results are the same except I'm nowhere to be found on the first 10 pages of organic results.

Is this normal? It's a concern because I plan to transition to SAB soon and expect that this will cause my pack results to plummet, but I'm banking on my organic results rebounding when that happens. Anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Being in the 3-pack should not impact organic results. The other way around does have an impact though. Tough to say without seeing the live examples. Is that something you can share?
 

burninglights

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Thanks for the response. Here are the specific keywords and site information (I think this is what you meant by sharing the live example?):

The website is vacounseling.com, and the keywords I referenced are "therapist near me" and "counselor near me". In my immediate area, I have the top 3-pack result for both keywords, yet for "therapist near me" I am at the bottom of page 7 for organic results (note: different from a few days ago when I originally posted, and wasn't in the first 10 pages), and for the "counselor near me" term I am on the third page.

Then, I am on the first page of organic results for city-specific search "therapist in midlothian, virginia" but not on the first page of local pack results for that keyword. This one makes a bit more sense, I suppose, because I am somewhat on the outskirts of the city.
 
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djbaxter

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Some thoughts...

There is a difference between a counselor and a therapist legally. Which title is your client entitled to use? And which is used on the website?
 

burninglights

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Some thoughts...

There is a difference between a counselor and a therapist legally. Which title is your client entitled to use? And which is used on the website?
Thanks for the thoughts. I am a psychotherapist, and as such I provide both counseling and therapy services. The client may call me either one. Both terms are used on the website, though "counseling" is used more often in headings.
 

djbaxter

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Looking at your website — and indeed the name of your business — counseling and counselor seem to be much more apparent and emphasized than therapist (therapist isn't even mentioned on your home page except for one word in the footer). I also notice that your LCSW isn't emphasized much at all. Are you not trying rank for social worker at all, either in Local or in organic? I would think that might resonate with some clients more than counselor or therapist.

It wouldn't hurt to flesh out the content of that home page a bit too, in ways which allow some repetition of your search terms without being too repetitive.
 

burninglights

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Looking at your website — and indeed the name of your business — counseling and counselor seem to be much more apparent and emphasized than therapist (therapist isn't even mentioned on your home page except for one word in the footer). I also notice that your LCSW isn't emphasized much at all. Are you not trying rank for social worker at all, either in Local or in organic? I would think that might resonate with some clients more than counselor or therapist.

It wouldn't hurt to flesh out the content of that home page a bit too, in ways which allow some repetition of your search terms without being too repetitive.
Thank you for the in-depth response. I hadn't realized how little I had emphasized the degree itself. But yes, I don't attempt to rank for either social worker or LCSW because social work is a really broad field and most people who are looking for a social worker are not looking for psychotherapy at all. Also, I have assumed, but don't really know for sure, that most people don't know the meanings of all the various licenses a psychotherapist may have: in my state there's LCSW, LPC, MFT, PsyD, and several others. But people know (based on keyword research) that they either want a therapist or a counselor. Google seems to treat therapist/counselor as interchangeable.

But you've given me some good feedback. At the very least, I should emphasize my particular license more as a way to build trust and authority.
 

cfazio

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Being in the 3-pack should not impact organic results. The other way around does have an impact though. Tough to say without seeing the live examples. Is that something you can share?
Are you saying that top spot organic rankings will mean lower rankings in on GMB? Or that having a strong organic rank positively effects your GMB rank?
 

cfazio

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having a strong organic rank positively effects your GMB rank. But, not always.
Ok, I was confused for a sec. I have seen some very strong local ranking gains from topical relevance organic SEO strategy for all of my businesses so far. Not even a single backlink and starting to overtake huge competitors with hundreds of thousands of backlinks!
 

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