Much of what you’ve heard about SEO has become obsolete. Now, I’m not one of those strategists walking around city streets wearing a sandwich board proclaiming SEO is dead.
Ironically, you can do an online search for “Is SEO dead?” and you’ll find dozens of articles about the demise of SEO like this one.
If you’re not in marketing, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it’s the process of making websites more accessible and understandable to search engines. For years, this meant the more keywords you placed into your website, the more often the search engines found you. Unfortunately, this is still the tactic employed by many marketers. However, over the past few years, search engine algorithms have become more and more sophisticated, making it more difficult to manipulate search results.
So yes…if you define SEO as manipulating search engines to raise an undeserving website above those of competitors in the search engine results pages (SERPs), you will suffer lower and lower rankings and in worse-case scenarios, sanctions by search engines like Google.
It is important to create keywords that capture what is known in marketing parlance as “high commercial intent.” There are certain keywords customers are prone to enter into searches when they have their wallets out. It’s vital for customer experience to be there when they are ready to “buy.”
However, employing this strategy alone is short-sighted.
Smart marketers now approach SEO as a branding tactic: becoming the source of information customers need and want to share with friends, family, co-workers and peers.
You can leverage the Internet this same way. Provide content your patients are interested in and they will tell two friends. And so on and so on.
No one knows for sure how the search engine algorithms work, however, experienced SEO strategists note that there are hints that Google’s Panda algorithm punishes “low-quality” websites. Most believe this is due to what is affectionately referred to as “pogosticking” where the visitor returns to the SERPs because they did not find what they were looking for.
Please note, there is no direct evidence that this is a Google algorithm criteria, but we’ve seen enough evidence to believe it may contribute.
If you produce content with higher relevancy for your customers, you will be rewarded with higher customer engagement and less pogosticking.
Multiply that patient satisfaction by the power of the Internet, you can not only drive those rankings higher when patients have an immediate need, but also build a more memorable and engaging brand.
Check back soon and we’ll provide more ideas on how you can improve the digital impact of your marketing efforts.
ST. LOUIS • KANSAS CITY • TUCSON
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