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6 Ways Doctors Can Influence their Site’s Listing in Search

Google search is the most common way for current and potential patients to find information about your practice. Research shows that less than 10 percent of searchers look beyond the first page of SERP (Search Engine Results Page). That's why it is important that the most valuable content on your website feature on the first page of Google or Bing search results. Content that should appear on the first page of SERP Your Website - This should be the first thing a patient sees because it has everything they need to know about what you practice. Plus you have control over the content you want them to see so that’s an added advantage. Your Bio Pages - Every organization, association, hospital or medical practice that you have an affiliation with should have a biography of your background, experience and current specialties. If … [Read more...]

Google Updates Give Doctors More Reason to Blog

Recent updates made to Google's search algorithm have put website owners on alert for misuse of keywords and unnatural links to their websites. Google Penguin, which made its debut in April 2012, is aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that use 'black-hat' SEO techniques i.e. the use of shortcuts and loopholes to rank web pages higher than they deserve to be ranked. Such tactics do not benefit users since they worsen the search experience by introducing unrelated links and overused keywords that have no real context to the rest of the content. What does this have to do with doctors? Image Credit: 'Hat tip' to my 4-yr old for the 6:00am photo shoot :) The Blogging Doctor These days patients naturally use search engines to ask questions about their health issues. Medical blogs and healthcare sites provide a … [Read more...]

SEO Basics for SEO-challenged health professionals – Part 2

SEO is such a highly technical strategy within Internet marketing that many times healthcare marketers get easily discouraged to the point of writing it off altogether. But that shouldn't be the case. Healthcare marketers have the advantage of optimizing for local search, which is easier to learn and implement because there is (usually) less competition for key phrases. Image credit: Shashi Bellamkonda In the first part of this series I outlined some SEO basics such as optimizing the header of your page, optimizing the copy (body), and using internal links in your content. Keep in mind that these are tactics to be used every time you create fresh content on your website page. In other words for each new page of content, you should optimize the header, the copy, use internal links and so on. My hope (and assumption) is that … [Read more...]

SEO Basics for SEO-challenged health professionals – Part 1

I asked a doctor friend what she thought SEO meant. She quickly responded, “I’m a physician, not a financial advisor.”  (I think she got it confused with ROI!). If you're in the health profession and have recently started 'doing' content marketing, then SEO might be a new term that you've come across as well. SEO means search engine optimization and the idea is to make sure that when someone searches for “sore throat doctor” (or whatever key words that describe what you do) on Google or Bing, your website appears at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Image Credit: Shashi Bellamkonda SEO may seem too technical to health professionals and can easily get written off. But the important thing to remember is that search engines reward content that is clear and user-friendly and optimization is about making your … [Read more...]

7 Tips for Boosting SEO of Your Facebook Page

More brands and businesses are moving away from their websites and relying more on their Facebook pages. This is great from a customer service and an interaction point of view, but certainly muddies the waters from an SEO perspective. It used to be that with the right mix of key-word laden text, reciprocal links and clever use of heading text, a crafty SEO expert could push a website up in the rankings. But now the focus is on your Facebook page, and you still need to get your brand or business in the top of the rankings. Here’s seven tips to help you do just that. Read full article here. … [Read more...]

3 Reasons To Use Long-Tail Keywords to Optimize Your Web Content

Last Friday my son turned three. We ordered Mexican. We also received a check from his grandmother in New York, who wanted to buy a pair of lego shoes for the boy. So I said to my husband, "They probably have a lego store at the mall in Columbia - you should go check it out." But he wanted to go online and look around first (because that's what people do these days before they make a purchase). So anyway, he found the perfect pair of shoes at Arundell Mills Mall - two counties and thirteen miles away. His search terms were, "lego shoes for kids" not "shoes". Elementary, right? Long-tail keyword search is not a new concept. It's just gaining more respect as marketers (and search engines) realize that people have long been using more specific words (or phrases) to find their solution. Think about that regarding your own web … [Read more...]

Social Media or SEO: Where’s The Biggest Bang for Your Buck?

It's an interesting conversation - one that's not about to go away anytime soon. For instance, I came across a great article on written by guest blogger Gary Arndt in which he argues that social media yields a better return on investment than SEO. No doubt a controversial allegation. The purpose of SEO is to drive traffic to your website, while the purpose of social media is to engage people and get them excited about your brand. Is it an "Either-Or" issue? I think the important question to ask yourself is, "What is the outcome that I am looking for?" In my opinion, traffic is only a means to an end. The end is to convert visitors into subscribers or paying clients. In other words, the end is the bottom line.  Having a million visitors whose conversion rate is zero is entirely a waste of time and effort. Also, consider … [Read more...]

Google’s Place Search Overhaul: Small Business Is the Big Winner

Guest post by Thomas Doane - Content Manager & SEO Consultant at SmallBox Web Design Last week, Google revamped the way that they "organize the world's information," giving 'place' a new centrality in how they rank websites.  What that means, in SEO speak, is that they've merged place results with organic search results. This has a number of important implications, but the long-story-short is that this is good news for small local businesses. Most searches used to look like this: At the top of the page, the website with the highest organic ranking would appear.  Then, further down the first page, 'Places' would appear. Appearing at the top of the place list could be important, but without a tagline describing your business in your place-listing, your business had no chance to win traffic by distinguishing itself. The website … [Read more...]

Optimize Your Writing, Not Your Search Engine

I like Seth Godin because he gives me plenty to think about, something of a reality check. Take writing for example .  It's not what it used to be.  Once upon a time, writers wrote what was on their mind for the purpose of sharing experiences - either information or entertainment. Today, writers have to figure out how to please search engines, while still sounding coherent enough for a human reader to stay interested.  In one of his recent articles, 'The non-optimized life,' Seth Godin puts it plainly: "At some point you realize you're spending your best energy on optimization, not on creation." This is important.  But it is not to say that optimizing is over-rated. Quite the opposite - if you can measure it, then you can certainly improve it and manage it.  Without Google Analytics for example, we wouldn't be able to measure the … [Read more...]