With hundreds of potential patients searching the web every month, it’s important to make sure that your website is found easily and delivering exactly what internet users expect when they type in your keywords, Jason Borody says Search Engine Optimisation isn’t as complicated as many SEO experts claim.
Every month, hundreds of your potential patients are using the internet to search for trustworthy medical professionals. Will they find your website first, or will they find your competitor’s website?
Many Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) experts claim that getting found in the search results requires a complex knowledge of search engine algorithms; algorithms which change frequently and which are nearly impossible to understand or predict.
However, while SEO is far from easy, it’s far less complex and far less brainy than many business owners believe it to be. You simply have to understand and deliver exactly what Internet users expect when they type your keywords into the search bar.
So what do Internet users really want, and how can you deliver it so that you can beat your competitors to the top of Google?
Priority #1: Specific Content
The most important thing you can do to rank highly in the search results is have a clear and specific theme for your company website. When online marketing experts say that you need quality content in order to rank high, what they’re really talking about is content which focuses on a very specific topic.
According to Harris interactive, more than 70% of internet users are frustrated because the content which comes up in the search results isn’t relevant to their current interests. You’ve probably had this happen when you searched for something online. You search for an answer to a specific problem, and you find a bunch of content and articles that aren’t related to the subject.
The search engines are working hard to solve this problem, which is causing a lot of business websites to lose their ranking. For example, if the owner of a pet shop offers dog training services, but they also sell dog beds, cat toys, dog food, cat food, bird food and, they’re going to have a very hard time ranking high for any of those keywords.
If someone in their local area specialises in dog training services and creates a site which is focused only on that theme, they will rank higher than the pet store owner.
If someone else in their local area specialises in selling pet food, that business’s site will rank above the pet store owner’s website.
Rather than trying to rank high for several services, pick your most important service and build your keyword strategy around that. Otherwise, in trying to rank high for multiple keywords, you’ll end up
ranking very poorly for all of them.
Priority #2: Consistent Publishing
Don’t feel pressured to post a lot of content just so that you can outrank your competitors. It’s better to consistently post one blog or article a month than to try and post one a week and be inconsistent. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, find a few good articles in trusted magazines or medical journals and write your
own commentary about them.
If you don’t have time to write at all, record yourself giving the commentary verbally. Then, hand the recording to a transcriptionist or web-based transcription service such as www.rev.com and edit the finished product before posting it on your site. Dictated content is often more reader-friendly than written content because it’s more conversational and easier to understand and digest.
Priority #3: Optimise the user experience
We need to look at what people do once they get to your site, and we need to optimise their experience, not just because Google demands a speedy site, user-friendly layout, and onsite engagement, but because both Bing and Google say the users experience, their bounce back to the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page), their consistent times of engagement and their behaviour during a site session matter.
SEO doesn’t stop at the visit, thinking beyond the click has become the norm, inspiring shares, mentions, interactions and satisfaction is what helps your site rank better and your patients returning to your
website and referring others.
Priority #4: Build a Brand
Whether it’s online or offline, any associations, connections, citations and engagement you have makes an impact to your practice.
An entity that inspires, creates or demonstrates an expertise in certain topics so that other trusted entities quote them, link to them, discuss them, interact with them and show trust in their topic expertise will climb the Google ladder faster than those who keep to themselves.
Priority #5: Be Social
Your online brand doesn’t stop at your website. Your social footprint consists of a few important components which include, claiming your relevant social profiles, optimising your profiles for your topic expertise and location, posting interesting content or relevant information, connecting with your optimal audience, interacting with
your audience and amplifying interactions.
Social interaction and amplification has progressively become more important for SEO given the ability to deploy or promote sharable content to both “connected” and “potential” audiences, empowering both groups to engage and generate trust and topic association signals, links, citations and mentions that search engines can recognise, catalogue and leverage to improve both the personalisation and relevance of results.
Priority #6: Patience
Earning high search engine rankings is like building a reputable practice. It takes patience, and those in a hurry will often end up going nowhere or being penalised by the search engines. If your content theme is specific and if you’re consistent in publishing content which is interesting and easy to read, you will see good and lasting results.
The smart way to grow your practice.
There are many more tips to help get your practice to the top of the Google search results that Vividus can help you with. We recommend speaking to us about how you can grow your practice by increasing traffic to your website, strengthening your profile and building value through targeted and strategic marketing strategies. If you want to attract more walk in business using the Internet or offline marketing channels, call Vividus on 07 3282 2233 or visit www.vividus.com.au.
The content in this article was published in The Private Practice Winter 2014 edition.