The “searcher” typically types into Google your business name, practice type, product or service and their local area - Google’s job is to match the closest results to the search query.
Search engines have one goal: to give the searcher the result they are looking for.
SEO takes time, but if you put the fundamentals in place and then maintain your SEO activities on a consistent basis, you will be rewarded with increased online visibility, website traffic and enquiries. You will also save on paid advertising activities and create a better experience for your website visitors.
For every day that you are not indexed on Google, you are missing out on opportunities where someone may have accessed your site and enquired about your services. So let’s get started today.
The (not so) secret recipeThere are some key steps involved to boost your SEO and the process is actually quite simple, especially if you get a web developer to help you with some of the technical elements.
Use the following information to implement effective SEO yourself or to oversee the activities of your outsourced service provider.
"No more being bamboozled – SEO success is within reach."
What’s involved in a winning SEO strategy?I say strategy because SEO is not set and forget. SEO is a constant process where you are regularly making ongoing changes to your website over time.
Google uses almost a thousand factors to determine the relevance of a website to a search query. The most important factors include:
- The website’s content
- The website’s structure and internal links
- The searcher’s geographical location
- Mobile optimisation
- Loading times
- Server accessibility
- Social signals (links from social networks)
You also want to put in a lot of effort into creating relevant content aimed at your website visitors and achieving success with long tail keywords (I’ll explain this below).
Content is kingStart by thinking about the questions in the visitor’s mind when they are looking for a service like yours and ensure you provide this information efficiently.
Each page of your website has a job to do as follows:
- Home page – value proposition, key messages. Optimise for generic keywords
- Products / services – separate page for each. Keywords relevant to each
- Knowledge base – page with further information about your subjects. Graphics, ebooks, white papers for example
- Blog – relevant content, ideally updated weekly on topics relevant to target visitor
Successful content includes:
- Valuable information that will help your website visitor
- Information that is written for people (not robots)
- A thorough approach with supporting graphs and / or images or videos
- Information that is thorough but gets to the point quickly and saves the reader time (think short paragraphs, key headings, bullet points and images)
Your SEO strategyYour SEO strategy involves two main parts – on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO is everything you can do on your own site to make it easier for search engines to find your website, index it, understand and classify your content.
Off-page SEO involves high-quality inbound links.
Both are equally important to achieve online visibility. And GONE are the days of buying back-links or stuffing keywords into your site to achieve rankings. These “black hat” tactics will result in your site being penalised.
On-page SEO success factors
- Site is indexed
- URL structure
- Page titles
- Meta description
- Internal links
- Loading speed
- Mobile optimisation
Click here to download the SEO Guide for Private Practices and on-page SEO checklist to guide your implementation.
Off-page SEO actions
Quantity is not the goal for links to your website as links bought from other sites, from online catalogues and mass-created links are regarded as spam. These SEO methods contravene best practices and are likely to attract penalties in the form of lost ranking or exclusion from the index.
Links should not be created artificially and must be sent from one website to great content on another in order to be effective.
Ethical ways to build back-links
The best strategy for achieving quality back-links is to firstly commit to creating regular, high quality content. This can be a fortnightly or monthly blog, podcast or video series that serves the needs of your target audiences.
Include social media buttons on your content which allows people to easily share your information.
Send regular, highly useful emails to your contacts that include a clear call to action. Make these emails easy to share on social media and with the reader’s contacts as well.
Look for opportunities with reputable publications and your peak body where you can promote your content. The publication can link to your articles, or you can guest write for the third party site with a bio linking back to your own site from theirs.
Promote your content on your own social platforms and encourage your followers to share your information as well.
Identifying long-tail keywords
Identifying, optimising and amplifying your long-tail keywords is the key to SEO success. And while long-tails may generate less traffic than short-tails, they are easier to harness and typically deliver better quality traffic is the searcher is in research mode and more likely to take action.
An example of a short-tail keyword is “physio Sydney” whereas a long-tail version would be “post knee reconstruction physio Bondi”.
Here are the actions to develop your long-tail keyword strategy:
- Take some time to think about 20 long-tail keywords that you want to rank for on Google in the coming 12 months
- Check your Google Analytics and the Google Search Console (install these for free if not already installed or ask your web developer to do this for you) and see which keywords are already driving traffic to your website
- Then use the Google Keyword Planner to conduct your keyword research
- You can also use Google Trends to search for regional search terms of interest
- Then test your top 20 long-tail keywords in Google and see what results are generated. The level of competition will help you decide if this long-tail keyword is worth focussing on
- You can also use the Google auto-search feature to see popular search options when you start typing a long-tail keyword into the search bar
Putting your long-tail keywords to use
Once you have identified the long-tail keywords that you would like to be associated with, you can use this list to plan out your content calendar. For example:
- Write a blog focussed on each of your long-tail keywords
- Include the long-tail keyword in the heading and (naturally) throughout the text of the blog and in the page title, meta description and alt image title
- Use your chosen keywords throughout your website
- Once your keywords are refined, create a dedicated web page focussed on each long-tail keyword. For example – ACL Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy. On this page you would talk about what is involved, include relevant images, diagrams and videos with a strong call to action
- You might also consider creating ebooks, checklists and infographics that support your priority long-tail keywords
Keep in mind that you will want half of your keywords to be informative and the other half sales related to appeal to people in both the “research” phase and the “ready now” phase.
Analysing the results
Each week, check your Google Analytics to see:
- Where your website traffic is coming from
- What keywords people are using to find your site
- Which pages have been indexed on Google. Use Hubspot’s free website grader or enter [site:your website URL] into Google and see how many pages are indexed
- Which sites are linking to your website (Hubspot website grader)
Plus check your website’s technical status regularly. Consider engaging a web company or reputable SEO provider to analyse your site (at least quarterly) to check for source code errors, server accessibility and the ability for your site to be crawled by search bots.
For more information and a step-by-step guide on implementing effective SEO for your website, sign up to the Allied Health Marketing Academy where I will coach you through implementing the best practice SEO process for your business.
Or contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.