The search engines are essential to your plastic surgeon website promotion. Many, if not most, of the visitors coming to your site will find you after conducting a search in a search engine. They may type in plastic surgery’ on Google, rhinoplasty’ on Yahoo, cosmetic surgery’ on MSN Search or liposuction’ on Ask Jeeves. Either way, the better optimized your site is to perform well in search engine rankings, the more potential patients you’ll get to your site.
It’s clear that search engine optimization, or SEO, is essential to getting traffic to your site. However, many of the same optimization tips that can help you rank well in search engine results also have the added benefit of increasing your website’s usability for your visitors. The include the following:
- 200 word minimum. Because the search engines love content, it’s a good rule to have no less than 200 words on a page. The more content that a page has, the easier it is for the search engines to determine what that page is about. A page containing less than 200 words can be difficult for the search engines to index and may ultimately rank poorly. For your visitors, a page containing 200 words at a minimum is more likely to provide them with the important, detailed information that they’re looking for.
- 100kb maximum. In terms of HTML file size, it’s generally a good idea to have a maximum of 100kb per page. Larger pages typically don’t get fully indexed by the search engines. For your visitors, this will ensure that download times are kept to a minimum.
- CSS. Using CSS for layout can improve search engine rankings because the code is cleaner and more accessible to search engines, it allows important content to be placed near the top, and there is a greater amount of content in relation to coding. CSS also allows your pages to download faster, which is very important for your visitors.
- Page titles. Relevant, meaningful page titles are important for the search engines, helping them to better determine what your pages are about. Further, you can improve your search engine results by including targeted keywords in your page titles. Descriptive, accurate page titles are also very useful for your visitors, allowing them to see where they are and what your page is about.
- Headings and sub- headings. The text found in headings and sub-headings is often given greater importance by the search engines. These can include your targeted keywords to help you rank better in results. Headings and sub-headings can also greatly benefit your visitors. Because people tend to scan text on the Internet rather than read every sentence and paragraph, headings and sub-headings can help them to find and pick out the information they’re looking for.
- Intros. Like headings and sub-headings, search engines generally assign greater importance to the first 25 or so words on a page. Your opening paragraph should describe the content on the rest of the page or, for your homepage, the rest of your site. By including targeted keywords, you can rank better in search engine results. This same paragraph can greatly aid your visitors, immediately telling them what the page is about and if it contains the information they’re looking for.
- Link text. Search engines also give importance to link text. Descriptive link text, something other than click here’, allows the search engines to determine what the link and page are about. Again, they can also include keywords. Descriptive link text also help your visitors, allowing them to know exactly what a link is for and to scan through pages for the information they’re looking for. Link text also makes your site more accessible.
- No frames. Frames are best avoided if you want good rankings with the search engines. They make it hard for the search engines to index your pages, but they can also cause usability issues for your visitors, creating problems with the back button, bookmarking, history and printing.
- Content. Quality content is essential to good rankings in the search engines, and that same quality content can satisfy your visitors.