SEO Basics and How You Can Get Started

If you’re a business owner with a website, you have probably heard about SEO, and that it’s essential for gaining visibility for your site. This sentiment is very true, but it’s still important to make sure you know what SEO is and how it works before your team decides to add SEO to your practice's marketing plan.

SEO Defined

SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation,’ and it affects how businesses and users find your healthcare practice online. What SEO means to you depends on who you are in the process of locating a business:

  • For digital marketers, SEO is the process of getting traffic to a website through organic tactics, building prominent business citations, and staying up to date with Google algorithmic changes.
  • For businesses, it’s the art of guiding users who are searching for certain goods or services to the products and services you offer on your website.
  • For the user, it’s simply the experience of searching for information and the ease of finding a website that matches what you are looking for.

Google’s Relationship to SEO

Google’s mission is to be the ultimate interface of the internet, doing their best to deliver the most accurate results for the user. Depending on how you phrase your search or searches, there is almost always a website out there that is ‘optimised’ to accommodate that search and match you with the best possible information.

This relationship with Google is what makes SEO necessary and possible. Google’s goal is to provide the most accurate user experience by best predicting the ‘user intent’ behind each search. Simply put, Google sets and drives the standards for the web. 

Year after year, Google improves and becomes more sophisticated through algorithmic updates that are rolled out several times a year. Although we, as SEOs and users, will never know what Google’s algorithm is, Google will sometimes provide some context as to what the change pertained to, and from these changes, SEO best practices emerge and shift to accommodate them.

How SEO Works

SEO, at its core, is the implementation of various best practices and tactics to help a website rank as high on a Google Search page as it possibly can.

To achieve results that best benefit dental clinics, our SEO specialists pay close attention to how Google evolves and grows. Even though Google is ever-changing, there have been a few constants.

Websites are generally rewarded for quality design, good user experience (UX), strong reviews, original content, and no penalties against unethical tactics. As of 2018, through tried-and-true research, there are several accepted established major rank factors that SEO specialists prioritise.

Moz, a leader in SEO research, lists major rank factors as follows:

  • Business Signals: Proximity to searcher, correct business categories, keyword present in the business title, etc.
  • Link Signals: Inbound anchor text, linking domain authority, linking domain quantity, etc.
  • On-Page Signals: Presence of an accurate name, address and phone number (NAP), keywords present in titles, high domain authority, etc.
  • Citation (Business Listing) Signals: NAP consistency, the volume of business listings, citations organically created
  • Review Signals: Review quantity, review consistency, review diversity, etc.
  • Behavioural Signals: Click-through rate, mobile clicks, user activities
  • Social Signals: Engagement, user actions on social media: Review quantity, review consistency, review diversity, etc.

Getting Started in SEO for Medical Practices

SEO is complex and ever-changing; however, depending on your bandwidth, there are a few things you can do to improve your practice's SEO on your own.

1.     First, you want to show up. Make sure that Googlebots and crawlers can find your website to index it for ranking. Make sure your site navigation is user-friendly, that your site is set up for both mobile and desk-top users and have a clear site map.

2.     Content is king. Make sure that your website is full of compelling information that is interesting and relevant for your patients. Content can include blogs, the text throughout your website, videos, charts or graphs, or images. Ideally, you should be updating your website regularly with new original content to maintain rankings.

3.     Optimise keywords to attract both searchers and search engines. Tap into what your visitors are looking for by including keywords they might be using to search for your business. Combine keywords with geo-modifiers for even more specificity. For example, ‘veterinarian in West Perth’ includes the business your clients are looking for combined with a geo-modifier to help them find your location.

4.     Provide good UX. Make sure your website is fast to load and easy to navigate on any device. User experience can contribute to how long someone spends on your website and how often they visit.

5.    Create share-worthy content. The more interesting, original, and relevant your content is, the more people will want to share it with others. This means you may earn valuable links and backlinks to your website that will improve your ranking. 

Should I Hire an SEO Professional or Agency?

If you find that you’re too busy or unable to keep up with the SEO needs of your website, you might consider hiring a professional to help you maintain content flow and ranking.

Investing in the right SEO services should organically bring traffic to your website and new clients through your doors. But do be aware that not all SEO professionals are created equal, and it’s essential to find the right fit for your business.

At PractiPro, we offer website design services as well as marketing and SEO strategies for after your website is up and running. We’d be happy to create a personalized SEO plan for your business. Contact our team today to learn more.  

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