Read time: 7 minutes
Understanding SEO and using it to your business’ advantage is a massive topic and one that many study for years to become experts - but we are by no means SEO experts. What we’re covering here are the very basics of SEO to whet your appetite - but each website, practice, and business will be different, so do a little research and spend a little time figuring out what’s best for you.
This article is just scratching the very tip of a giant iceberg - but if it helps ignite a burning interest in the world of SEO, then check out the resources section at the end to find out more.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.
It’s the process of improving the quantity and quality of the traffic that your website receives, by increasing how visible your website is to users on a search engine.
SEO is related to organic searches - the non-paid for results displayed when someone searches on Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. It helps a search engine to ensure that relevant content is shown to users when searching for particular keywords.
Why is SEO important?
The majority of online traffic to your website is driven by the keyword searches made by billions of users, world-wide, across all search engines.
Ensuring that your website ranks highly in relevant searches is essential to ensuring that your website is visible to new and existing patients alike, and can help generate new leads as well as build trust and loyalty with your existing patients.
Google rules the world
As of the start of 2020, Google dominates the search engine marketing worldwide with a staggering 73.34% of the market share, so most of the focus on SEO looks at how to improve your website’s rankings on Google - the same principals can be applied to others, like Bing and Yahoo, too.
How does Google work?
Before we can start to understand SEO, we need to first understand how Google works - or, at least, what Google tells us about how it works.
As this video neatly shows, what you’re shown when you search for something on Google is all based on a top secret and very complicated algorithm that determines which of the billions of webpages out there are most relevant to your search - and to you personally.
So, where your practice website/pages rank for individual searches, will come down to how relevant Google thinks your content is to a particular search.
So, how can I improve my Google rankings?
There are a couple of key factors that contribute to your Google rankings and which sit under the umbrella of SEO:
How well is your website built? Google looks at a number of factors around the set-up and build of your site; from how quickly the page loads, to the number of broken links and error pages across the site.
Google ‘crawls’ each page to check the code, the design, the user experience and judges how trustworthy it is.
2. Content and relevancy
Google focuses on the user experience (UX) of its searchers - and a key aspect of that UX is making sure that the results it returns for each search is relevant to that search. As such, Google puts a lot of emphasis on the relevancy of content on a webpage, when judging where that page ranks in the search.
So, filling your pages with keywords in the hopes of boosting your rankings isn’t going to work - you need to make sure that content is legible, useful, and relevant to the keywords your aiming for.
3. Trust and authority
There’s a lot of spam out there and a lot of paid-for schemes aimed at making it look like you’re a trusted authority of the genetic make-up of the Borneo orangutan - when actually, you’re a dentist in the Midlands.
So Google also looks at who trusts you to supply relevant content and whether people have searched for you in conjunction with specific topics before. This is where backlinking and internal links becomes a thing.
What do keywords have to do with it?
Keywords are an essential way for Google to pick-up on relevant content for different search terms - but it’s important to make sure that you’re not just filling content with keywords and ignoring relevancy and subject to get Google’s attention. It can see straight through you.
It is important, though, to keep keywords in mind when creating new content (blogs, articles, treatment pages) for the site. Think about what searches your prospects might make if they want to find out about a certain treatment, then match the content and a couple of main keywords to that.
Answer the Public is a great resource for finding out the types of searches linked to certain keywords. Otherwise, check out Google Trends to see the popularity of keywords and this Verblio blog for guidance on how to find your practice’s keywords.
Should I get some help?
That depends on what you’re wanting to achieve with SEO and how much time you have to invest in SEO yourself. There are some great agencies and companies out there who can help you develop a strong SEO strategy and maintain it.
As with anything though, do your due diligence first - make sure you know the basics of SEO, how it could help your business, and what your goals are for investing more in it. Then, make sure you pick the right partner to help you with it.
Where does DenGro come in?
Connecting your website enquiry forms to DenGro not only means that you can capture lead data directly in to your DenGro account, but it also means that DenGro can capture any attribution and source data for each lead that submits their details - including whether that lead came through from organic search.
In this way, DenGro can help you easily and effectively track whether your leads are finding you through organic searches or paid searches as well as being able to pick up specific marketing campaign tags through the use of UTM parameters.
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