In addition to consistently perfecting your craft, growing your practice is your primary goal. Knowing how to market your practice, both on- and offline must, therefore, be a secondary goal as, without patients, your primary goal cannot be realized. Understanding how the internet works, since it is proven to be a major source of new patients, is a must for every cosmetic practitioner. This blog post speaks to the issue of SEO to help you understand what it is, how it works, and how your website can be enhanced to attract more patients to the practice.
What is SEO?
SEO is short for search engine optimization, the process of increasing both the volume and quality of traffic to a website and/or a single webpage. It is primarily influenced by these three factors:
- High Quality, Keyword-Rich Content
- Website and Webpage Loading Speed
- Strategic Backlinking
What is High Quality, Keyword-Rich Content?
Relevant keyword content vastly affects your rank on Google and the other search engines. The goal of every search engine is to deliver the best “match” to an internet searcher based on the words and/or phrases used by the searcher. Someone searching for “Kona coffee beans” does not want to see websites about baseballs or tennis shoes. For this reason, the search engines send out “bots” to scan websites for particular search terms. The more accurate the match, the higher that website will rank on that search engine’s page in response to the term(s) posted in the search box. For this reason, the procedures, treatments, and products on your website must be keyword-rich, so that the bots are absolutely clear about what you offer.
Content is King, Especially New Content
Imagine that 10 cosmetic surgery websites within the same geographic area equally utilize the correct keywords and keyword phrases within their content and that they possess approximately the same number of pages. How would the search engines differentiate among these 10 in order to deliver the best results to those searching for a cosmetic surgeon in that geographical area? This is how: by content age. The newest, freshest, unduplicated content wins the day.
Therefore, it isn’t enough for your website to contain keywords that are relevant to your practice, such as liposuction, breast augmentation, for example. It is also important that new, original content be added to your website on a regular basis. Doing so “shows” the search engine bots that you are actively involved in the business that is represented by that URL. Again, the goal of each search engine is to deliver the best results to the customer—otherwise that customer will use another search engine.
When was the last time you updated your existing webpages? How frequently do you add new or rewrite existing content or add content, such as a blog post? At minimum, one blog post or procedure rewrite should be done every month for your highest value keywords. Length of your articles matters: at least 1000 words per article or you will not be picked up by Google. Yes, this is onerous, which is why we provide this service to our clients.
Website and Webpage Speed
Website speed reflects the length of time it takes for a website (and/or a page on a website) to load.
The internet has contributed to a very impatient public. We want (and expect) instant results. Even if your website is a fabulous repository of beautiful graphics, recent and meticulous before and after photos, keyword-driven descriptions of your procedures, if it doesn’t instantly load your prospects will go elsewhere. According to research, just a simple one-second delay in page load time can cost you a 7% reduction in conversions from website to a request for a consultation. Furthermore, as more people search on mobile devices, it’s imperative that your website is optimized for mobile speed.
Do you know your website load speed? We can tell you what it is, and we can tell you what is needed to improve it.
A backlink is an inbound link. In other words, a link from another website to yours. They are important for SEO because Google and all the other search engines consider them indicative of your website’s authority, popularity, and relevance. So, the more quality backlinks you have, the higher you will rank in the search engine pages (called SERPS).
Not all backlinks are of equal value, however. They must come from authoritative websites that are relevant to your business. For example, if you sold hamburgers, you’d want an incoming (backlink) from a well-known chef, or a French fry website, as examples. There is synergy there.
Obviously, you aren’t selling hamburgers, so where do you get relevant backlinks? From other surgeons, from your associations (local, state-wide, and national) about specific topics that relate to your practice. Contributing articles to the websites of the above entities can also provide a backlink for you.
Another way to garner backlinks is by writing guest posts for other websites with a link back to your website (inserted either in the author bio or inside the content). And don’t discount online communities where people talk about cosmetic surgery, fillers, and treatments. These sites often allow you to contribute content by answering questions, which can link back to your website.
Backlinking isn’t a one-time endeavor but an ongoing process. We can help you with this.
The Bottom Line
Do you know how your SEO is doing? Can you track results? As you can see, tracking your SEO results is time-consuming. Because this is so important to your practice growth, it cannot be ignored. You’re busy. We’re busy too, but we are busy doing the things that you’re too busy to do, like knowing how your SEO is doing and tracking your results to get improved ranking on Google! Contact us today for a free consultation.