Search Engine Optimization is a snazzy, newfangled piece of technology that has all sorts of medical practices reeling, from psychiatrists to plastic surgeons. How to utilize this online marketing to the fullest is a constant arms race. There are many marketing services to get, many things you can do. Here’s a short list of SEO mistakes to not do:
Having A Slow Loading Website
People are one of two things: very impatient or short on time. “40% of all people will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. (McHenry)” . Find SEO experts in website speed optimization to help with this. It’s one of those things that’s very much ‘minimum effort, maximum payoff’, right up there with making your website mobile friendly.
Pushing Voice Search Capabilities to the Back Burner
Please do not ignore what Voice Search can do for your plastic surgery website. This is another ‘minimum effort, maximum payoff’ thing on the IT’s list of things that can really help your plastic surgery business.
So many people that get annoyed with slow loads also tend to use voice search like Siri or Alexa when pushing keys is a hindrance.
This, however, also means that people who find it far simpler to just talk into a mobile device, like the elderly or those with sight disabilities, and even those multitasking will appreciate if your plastic surgery website can be navigated with Voice Search.
If you want local SEO to work for you, you need information for the locals, by the locals. This includes a number of things, from the usual checking and correcting of all phone numbers to make sure they’re active and local, to using maps and neighborhoods or landmarks to make it easier to find your location (I.e. Find us two spots down from Mercado de la Raza!)
It also majorly helps to give and get help locally. This includes:
- Turning the tables and leaving a review or testimonial on local business, partner, association, etc.
- Asking local partners to link your website to their business
- Putting up a relevant interview (video would be most effective)
- Releasing press releases about your businesses’ staff members
- Participating in local events
- Getting involved in local association(s), business chamber, etc.
- Looking into participating in student discount programs
- Trying to get links from local bloggers writing about events, news, issues, etc.
- Sponsoring local events, activities, organizations, etc.
- Funding scholarships for students studying to be cosmetic surgeons or any sort of medical profession
- Being creative!
Leaving Spam and Empty Local Pages
These are the bad apples that will spoil the bunch. The higher ranked you are, the closer you are to Spot #1 in the Google search results – in turn, the more spam and empty/inactive duplicate page your surgery practice will have.
Remove any duplicate or inactive page on your site, rid yourself of spammy content to clear both the search engines and clear your business’ good name. This also includes claiming any pages, like a Yelp, YellowPages, Manta, or other directories with your business on them and either fixing them or deleting them.
Forgetting These Important Online Building Blocks
- Getting quality backlinks
- Securing an SSL(Secure Sockets Layer)/Transport Layer Security
- Content for All Services, Procedures, and Products
- Optimizing the content of your practice’s page (URLs, meta tags, title tags, schema(s), etc.)
- Checking for the Domain Authority and Page Rank
- Discouraging use of the practice’s equipment and Wi-Fi signal to leave reviews (this will definitely be seen as spam-y/potential for bribery/generally suspicious, etc.)
- Responding to negative feedback ASAP
Shirking Social Media
Too many older folks, and older groups and businesses by extension, either turn their noses up at social media, demeaning it a tool of the younger generation obsessed with memes and ‘attention’, or simply treating it like a checkbox on the list of “Things To Help Your Business,” and not keeping information current or interacting with customers.
Social Media isn’t just a way to obtain positive reviews or handle negative ones, but it also provides you with things like pictures and video clips that you can add to your website to legitimize your business and improve the online visibility of your practice.
Stuffing Keywords into Everything
When consumers look online regarding a business, they tend to look for very specific things, such as who runs a business, who the business is geared towards, how flexible is a certain service, and so forth.
Their keywords and phrases in the search bar are long and incredibly specific at times. The more likely a consumer is to find the exact thing they’re searching for, the more likely they will be drawn to the business, which benefits the brand’s presence on the Web.
That being said, stuffing keywords into everything, from business name fields, descriptions, even HTML tags are not only irritating but overload on the tired mind of the average working person.
Long tail keywords, which are two to three words put together and used to nicely separate the niche from the mass-made, are less competitive, less general, and more helpful to you.
Also, try to keep certain keywords and phrases from repeating over and over too much in your website content. Try to space out the occurrences. ‘plastic surgeon los angeles’ will hurt your page and its ranking if used too often
Forgetting Google is a Help, not a Hinder
Google is the leader in Search Engine Optimization for several reasons, not the least of which is that they provide necessary services for reasonable rates.
The biggest thing they’ve got is Google My Business, which is just as it sounds: a place to list your business. Many of what goes wrong include:
- Not submitting the business to the Google My Business directory (it happens)
- Forgetting to connect the website to the listing (this happens too, nobody’s perfect)
- Listing in the wrong category/categories (see what your top competitors categorize their business(es) as then squeeze your business in accordingly)
- Not obtaining reviews or content like pictures (very important for Google’s ranking algorithm)
- Name of business in keywords and not in the title (Google may see this as spam, so try to steer clear)
- Using words that do not pass the filter for Google’s local listings (I.e. ‘bad words’ like beer, pill, mob, etc.)
- Lagging on checking rankings, website traffic, warnings from Google (all are alert systems for when a penalty could be affecting your ranking so keep an eye on that)
- Forgetting to embed a Google Map into the listing
Making, Bribing, and/or Begging for Content
Don’t. Don’t do it. Do not make or bribe for false reviews, citations, identities, profiles, etc. Not falsifying content goes without saying, but the temptation to beg for it is higher and usually what tends to get people into actual trouble. Do not send to anyone a link to your website and a request for a review; keep that to encouraging patients to leave a review on the site. That’s it.
Plastic Surgery SEO is less a minefield and more like a maze: confusing, sometimes frustrating, but getting there won’t cost you your livelihood, you’ve learned and you know better when you come out of it, and there are far fewer explosions. And, it’s far easier to find and get the help of people that got out of a maze than out of a minefield.
Having an SEO strategy is always a good idea, but even if you’re pulling things together little by little with no plan or the faintest idea of a blueprint, hopefully, this list gave you some kind of direction. Or, at least, kept you away from dead ends, pitfalls, and run-ins with the Google 5-0.