First impressions matter – and your website is no exception. Your practice’s website is the first glimpse into your business for several of your future patients. That being said, for every patient who logs on to your site and fills out the contact form, many others don’t.
Turning those who don’t into those who do is essentially the goal in running and maintaining a website for any business, and implementing a sound and consistent SEO strategy is integral to that process. Unfortunately, we see a few avoidable trends and mistakes in SEO every day.
One mistake many dental practices – and web writers in general – make is trying to “maximize their SEO” at the expense of delivering the user a comfortable and intuitive browsing experience. Many of the ways in which they attempt to do this would fall into the category of blackhat SEO. In short, blackhat SEO tactics refer to aggressive and unethical strategies used to try and expedite or improve your site’s web presence in a disingenuous way.
Content is or will be a major asset in your SEO arsenal.
As some like to say, “content is king.” Producing content to add to your site keeps people engaged and coming back for more. High quality content can positively affect your site’s rank in a wide range of ways. But here’s the catch: it must be high quality.
The first step to writing high-quality content is, well, actually writing the content. Using duplicate content is a bad idea for a number of reasons. First off, it’s obvious plagiarism. Plagiarism, be it with text or images, can get you into a whole other world of problems. It’s theft, and there are legal and ethical ramifications. Duplicate content also doesn’t help your rank. Google looks for high quality and unique content. If unique, high-quality content is what you’re providing, Google is going to try and rank that content higher so more people see it. This is the goal of adding content.
The more unique content you have – the more people will see your site.
The more people who see your site, the more conversions you can potentially garner. Google isn’t going to rank sites and pages using recycled content very highly. They’re going to find the original creator of said content and rank that the highest, thus defeating the purpose of you adding the content in the first place.
Another outdated and poor method many people still employ in their copy is keyword stuffing. When a lot of people hear “SEO,” the first thing they think might be, “Oh, you mean keywords?” Ten years ago, this might have been the case, but now more than ever, Google is able to parse through keyword-stuffed pages and content to find unique information that’s genuine and formatted in a user-friendly manner.
Keywords are still relevant, but writing content that either sounds unnatural or is just plain unreadable for the sake of fitting in your keywords can negatively affect your rank.
As we just alluded to, Google is an amorphous beast. People at Google are figuring out new ways to update their algorithms every single day. They do this to ensure users are getting the best search results whenever possible.
This typically involves developing new ways to combat blackhat SEO tactics (like the aforementioned keyword stuffing and using duplicate content). Staying on top of Google and their seemingly constant updates is the best way to ensure you’re using the best SEO practices at that given moment. What worked two years ago, or even last year, may be completely irrelevant now!
One thing that’s difficult to understand about SEO is that it’s never really “done.” There isn’t a point where you say, “Okay, my SEO is completed, time to never look at that again.”
SEO is an ongoing process that requires effort. The thing about high-quality content is that it’s only really effective if you’re consistently creating high-quality content. You can’t just toss up a ton of content on your site at the onset, not touch it for a year, and then expect your rankings to see constant improvement.
That is why things like a frequently updated blog or a smile gallery of some kind can be so useful. They are the perfect avenue to provide your site with a steady stream of original content
Some of this may seem obvious. For example, you don’t have to tell everyone that it’s not okay to steal other people’s content. However, in the ever-changing and technological world,we live in, these things can sometimes be easy to forget or gloss over for a business owner with bigger fish to fry. What’s important to remember is that blackhat tactics can often do your site more harm than good, thus limiting your conversions. Focus on these three steps for success:
At the end of the day, your website is here to get you more patients, so why not treat it that way?
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