I’ve actually come to hate the term SEO. It’s a acronym that’s been tainted by dodgy dealers and con men for years now and I wish we could chuck it in the bin and find some other phrase. How about Getting Found On The Internet – GFOTI? When I talk to people about it I see them roll their eyes. They’ve been burned before. Some guy in pointy shoes promises they’ll be number one on Google for their keyword, it’s only a thousand a month. Four months in, nothing’s happened. But you’re locked into a contract for a year. And to make it worse you’re not entirely sure what they’re doing. It’s one of the reasons I got into this business. I was ripped off by a guy in Northampton who sold me the dream and delivered nothing. So I did a course which completely opened my eyes to the possibilities of digital marketing. The reality is that there isn’t some secret trick to getting found on Google that you need to pay some guy from Northampton with a cheap suit and pointy shoes to unlock for you. It’s having a plan and sticking to it.
Healthcare SEO is no different to any other kinds of SEO of course, but there are three golden rules that you should make sure you get picked up by search engines – or optimizing your site for search engines. The main thing to remember is that you should always play it straight. Any agency should be able to tell you *exactly* what they are doing – there is no mystery here. It’s just effort and consistency.
Really SEO is all about content. A regular post of at least 300 words at least twice a month is considered the minimum – the ideal is weekly, more if you can do it. Publishing your own videos and adding photographs are also invaluable. Remember images should be named something relating to your site or content and not GAVx334d as Google can read image file names. Video is very popular and since YouTube is also owned by Google and is the world second largest search engine it’s well worth investing in. An iPhone, a stand and a lapel mic should have you in business in no time. The more frequently you update your site the more Google will visit you to see what you’ve changed and the higher they’ll rate you. They’re looking for companies that engage with the internet. Talking about what you do is the way you do this.
TWO. Inward Links
Links from relevant sites such as hospitals or clinic directories are useful. Similarly links from news outlets (national media, local media, magazine sites and blogs) relating to your subject are also very valuable. Links from a cement factory in Toronto are not useful. Google is trying to find experts so it looks at who’s linking to you. If it makes sense to them then you’re onto a winner. Also getting your site on free directories such as Yell and Thompson shows you’re connected in your local environment. Google also have their own listing service which is Google my Business which is essential. If you need a list of these then drop us a line and we’ll give you a list.
THREE. A well put together site
I know this can be annoying as you’re probably already spent loads of money on a site and we’re now asking you to potentially spend more. Speak to us about getting it scored to see how your site preforms. Your site should be easy to navigate for the user, clearly marked with headings, keywords and images. It should be easy to crawl by the search engines, fast to load and work on mobile. Google is looking for the most user friendly and best informed websites and to comply isn’t usually a big job.
One final point. We’ve had clients that want to be top of Google for highly competitive keywords. How you rank on Google isn’t just about what you do. The factors that determine how Google ranks a site are complex. The above come into play, but also how long the site has been going is also a factor which clearly you can’t influence (unless you have a time machine). You’re not going to jump up above someone who has been doing the same as you for the past decade, who updates his site daily, who has links from thousands of authority websites. SEO (or GFOTI) is a long game. If you want visitors from Google right now, the only way to get it is to open up your wallet, get your credit card out and pay for traffic with Adwords. I’m saying this only because I need to manage your expectations. Everyone wants to be top of Google so naturally it’s going to be hard. In the short term concentrate on your niche as this has less competition and is easier to go for. If you want an example of this then type into Google ‘Healthcare SEO’ – you’ll see our company bouncing around at position 5. It’s taken best part of 18 months to get here. For the term SEO we don’t even factor in the top 100. Going for a niche keyword has enabled me to not only target my specific niche, but it also it’s easier to get there.
This is what any SEO agency should be doing and you can see that none of it is rocket science. Certainly none of it is a secret. If you have these bases covered you’ll see yourself picked up on search engines in no time.