How Directories Help Your Private Practice to grow

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Directories work 2 ways to improve your online presence: 

? Backlinks from Connect help tell search engines what your site is about and verifies your expertise.

? Larger pool of potential clients curated and directed to contact you.

Let me explain….

You use onpage SEO strategies and keywords, external links, and backlinks (both the web addresses and the wording in the links) to tell Google what your site is about.  Google uses these keywords to show your site to people who are looking for what your site is about.

For example,

if your website is linked to by an ice-fishing brand, then Google will think your website is related to ice-fishing.  If your website is linked to by reputable Speech Therapy websites, then Google understands you are a legitimate website, and have the authority to answer people’s questions about speech therapy.

Google’s priority…

is keeping users happy – to send users to authoritative sites that answer the users question.  A potential client puts keywords into Google ⇒ Google gives them answers (hopefully on your website).

How to choose directories for a speech therapy private practice

Should you submit your business to every directory you can find?

No! That practice looks spammy to search engines. Are you a local B & M or in-home service? Get yourself on local directories showcasing local businesses, including the local chamber of commerce, any organizations that target the same demographic as your ideal clients. If you treat fluency, then do not list your business on an aphasia-focused or Parkinson’s directory – it will not lead you to the right clients and you’ll likely field a lot of calls from the wrong clients.

What types of speech therapy practices should be on directories?

All of them. Okay, 99% of them. Large corporations, hospitals, outpatient clinics have enough advertising and visibility where they probably don’t need the boost of directories. Local Brick and mortor, in-home, and especially online speech therapy services all need to be found online. And directories are a cost-effective way to do it. Customers research their options before choosing service provider. Make it easy for potential clients to find you, compare you to your competitors, and contact YOU instead of them.

Which Directories do I choose?

Here’s a list of some options.

DirectoryAudience Benefits / ConsiderationsInvestment
ASHA Profindall– Professional resource
– Lists all professionals, not just private practices.
– Can be difficult to search
– Not as well known / used by the public
Speech Therapy Connectall– Filter by niche
– Filter for online services / multiple states
– Contact form allows clients to contact you directly
$6-10/ month
Speech Therapy nextall– Can list for free (but you won’t receive referrals)
– Gives visibility, but potential clients can only contact you on paid listings – may cause delays and frustration
– Current listings are internet scraped – personal SLPs are listed as well as companies; information may not be accurate.
– Encourages clients to contact all SLPs in the region (e.g. your competitors) simultaneously
$6-15/ month
Speech Buddiesartic– Free listing, but can be delays / missed messages if a client attempts to contact you, you might not be
Niche-specificyour nicheExamples:
– Fluency expertise? The Stuttering Foundation
– Professional organizations for private practice include AAPPSPA and ASLTIP
– Aphasia focus? – National Aphasia Association If you pay particular attention to the Life Participation Approach, also join AphasiaAccess.
– Orofacial Myofunctional Therapists
– Work with Parkinson’s? LSVT providers and SPEAK OUT! providers
– Specialize in apraxia?
– Is your specialty corporate America? -CORSPAN
free – varies
Many require specialized training / memberships
— Chamber of Commerce
–Local business organizations
local– Very important for local SEO.
– Effectiveness may depend on your area, choices, and how much time you invest in additional local networking.
Google My Businesslocal– Highly recommended for all private practices
– Tells Google directly about you – this shows up when you appear in a google search
Yelplocal– Only valuable if your particular target area uses Yelp regularly.
– Has many negative reviews re: forced advertising, chronic sales calls, fake negative reviews, etc. Use with caution.
varies free – $$$

How to add your speech therapy practice to directories and increase your online findability

Step 1: Create a folder in your gdrive – include at least 2 things: A DOCUMENT with your business name, contact info and a quick blurb about your business. Also include a couple PHOTOS – these can be uploaded to your listings – consider a variety including a logo, headshot, photos of your office, anything that adds to your branding and helps your practice stand out. This folder will make it easy to share info about your business online. Doing the prep work now means you can usually create a directory listing in less than 5 minutes each.

Step 2: Brainstorm a list of directories you want to be included in (use our list as a starting point). While you are doing this, check out your competitor’s listings. You want to follow their example while standing out. e.g. if everyone uses a headshot as their featured image, you may want to reconsider just throwing in a logo.

Step 3: Create your directory listings. Copy and Paste your business name and contact information. Copy and Paste is important to keep consistency across your listings and decreases risk of confusing the search engines. Take your quick blurb and tweak it to customize your listings. Add your photos. Move on to the next.

Connect directory listings…

as well as being linked to from relevant websites, provides that authority to signal to Google who you are, which will increase your rankings.  How difficult it is to rank is highly dependant  on your competition as well.  Many SLPs do not have the time to take SEO courses– so let me do that FOR you.  

IF the user doesn’t find your website (which can be difficult to do among your competitors), you want them to land on Speech Therapy Connect – From Connect’s website, potential clients will find you, get to know you, and go to your website, hopefully to hire you to provide speech therapy services.  

Connect has the power to be a much larger website and draw more traffic than individual speech therapy sites – both through SEO and through ads. 

It puts your business in a much larger pond of potential clients, including some clients that don’t quite know what they are looking for, or clients in another town within your state.  Instead of 100 speech therapy practices EACH spending several hours/week and $$ investing in SEO training and website changes to draw traffic to them, they can pay a small fee to be on Connect.  

I invest time and advertising dollars to…. 

Step 1 – Draw a large pool of traffic of potential clients.

Step 2 – Filter the clients into YOUR ideal clients (the ones most likely to contact you) and let them get to know you a bit. Don’t waste your valuable time filtering contacts from other states or from outside of your niche.

Step 3- Direct those curated clients to YOUR website / email you directly via contact form.

All this, for less than $10/month. Make your adversing dollars go further….

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Thrive Speech Pathology

We believe in individualized solutions and work hard outside the therapy room to make our work effective. We work collaboratively with families to communicate honestly about what’s important to them and what’s feasible for them. — Kelsey Thompson

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