It seems that as soon as you get lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that you are up-to-date on the latest Google algorithm or Facebook conspiracy, there is always something unexpected coming around the corner to throw you off. Google changes its search algorithm over 500 times every year. While most of these changes are minor, every few months Google rolls out a major algorithmic update that affects search results in significant ways.
If you are not paying attention to these updates 24/7, it is easy to get confused and frustrated. As search engines update and change their algorithms, some tactics you may have adopted a few years ago, may no longer be relevant today, and could potentially be hurting you and your website. This is why it is best to enlist the services of a web marketing team you can trust to stay on top of it all for your clinic’s web strategy.
However, there are some basic principles about optimising content that are unlikely to fade away.
Originality and quality
Lifting content from the sites of professional organisations and vendors, whose equipment or products you offer, is a risky business. Similarly, adopting content you find online from random informational sites (e.g. Wikipedia, About.com) should be discouraged at all costs. If search engines find the same text on your blog, press releases or website that appears everywhere else, it will most likely be ignored. If your content is unique, interesting and high quality, however, you have a better chance of ranking higher among leading search engines. In addition, better content attracts more traffic and incoming links, which in turn, also helps your ranking with search engines.
The flipside is that the more generic and uninspired your content is, the less readable it will be to visitors, and therefore, less likely to be seen by the audiences you are targeting — search engines as well as customers. Good content never falls out of favour, and can be converted into new and interesting formats to keep up with the times.
It is important to think the way consumers think when going online. What questions would a potential patient have about your clinic, or the services and products you offer? You need to know this and use this information to your advantage so that your content will be ranked well in relevant search engine indices.
Keyword research is a vital element of optimisation. To improve your search visibility, you need to identify which relevant phrases are used often and incorporate phrases that viewers are searching for regularly. Input the keywords that your target audience might be searching for to find out which keyword phrase is searched most frequently. Look at different phrases or variations that Google lists as additional options. For example, find out which are the most commonly used terms for the energy-based devices or dermal fillers you offer. Expand your list further by including brand and product names, and your geographical area.
So, if you are determined to increase the amount of people who come to the clinic for acne scar therapies, look at keywords such as; acne scar correction, acne scar revision, lasers for acne scars, acne scar treatments, laser scar removal, acne scar correction with lasers, best acne scar treatments, acne scar injections, chemical peels for acne scars, microdermabrasion for acne.
To optimise the titles of blog posts directly for the search engines, include a keyword in your title, preferably near
the beginning. But don’t stop there: optimising titles for readers is also important. Titles should attract the reader’s attention and let them know what your post is all about and how they will benefit from reading it.
However, like hashtags, too many keywords can defeat this exercise. Avoid overusing or abusing keywords. Stick with a main keyword in the introductory paragraph and use another keyword at the end of the post. The rest of the content should be readable and make sense. If you fill your blog posts with ‘Cheshire Cosmetic Clinic’ or ‘Top Revision Rhinoplasty Surgeon’, you have lost the plot. You should include — but not overuse — keywords throughout your website, landing page, inside pages, blog post titles, image text, Facebook posts, Twitter profiles, and more.
Search engines are getting wise to this methodology and you may be surprised to learn that they can even identify synonyms faster than you can say ‘ROGET’. Consumers just find it monotonous and you may end up with a high bounce rate for your posts. If your plan is to get more likes and shares, the content has to say something worthwhile and be presented in a clever, engaging way.
Creating useful content
The focus of search engines on the actual content of a page makes the job of the person entrusted with creating the content even more important. Arguably, the content itself plays the most significant role in generating good results. As Google states, ‘Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines’.
The most popular content that gets to the top of the search engine results page has a number of qualities worth noting. Generally, it has been deemed to be more useful and interesting than other content. Another Google proviso is to ask yourself, ‘Does this help my users?’ and ‘Would I do this if search engines did not exist?’ Perhaps if we all followed this mantra, there would be a lot less white noise out there to plow through on a daily basis.
Optimising content now is harder than previously. It requires you to consider what your target audience may be interested in knowing more about. It’s not just about throwing a string of keywords into your copy and posting it. According to PRNewswire.com, ‘Today, SEO tactics focus less on technical aspects and instead are focused on user experience’. The best kind of content earns credibility when real people actually read, use and share it throughout their own social networks. Search engines really like content that gets talked about, commented on and liked, and tend to reward the original poster accordingly.