Introduction – What does Ranking on Google mean?
How do patients find doctors? Not that long ago, patients looking for a new doctor often relied on word-of-mouth referrals from family and friends. Today, patients have countless online avenues to research potential doctors. Now, patients search on Google, browse the internet, read articles, check out reviews, and watch videos to make an informed decision about whom to choose. If you want your patients to find you, you need to show up on Google search results.
Why should doctors read this? Are you facing one or more of these challenges to run and grow your practice?
- Website traffic is declining
- Search rankings (on Google) have dropped to 2nd page and beyond.
- New competitors in the market are ranking better on Search Engines.
- Cost of acquiring new patients is going up.
- Advertising is not producing enough results.
If you’re seeking answers to these questions and more, you should read about why ranking on Google’s first page is important.
Google’s 1st page is all that matters
There is a joke under which it is asked that where should you hide anything that you want people to never get? The answer is Google’s 2nd page. If your blogs, articles, product or website is on any other page of the Google search results than the first, then it’s the equivalent of it not ranking at all. Although it’s strange, but true that only 5.6% of people will click beyond the first page of search results. This means you will never want to come on Google’s 2nd or 3rd page. The biggest thing is that more than 1 trillion searches are done every single month. By strengthening the search engine optimization (SEO), you can get a lot of traffic to your website from which your business can run for years. SEO is your free gateway to more inquiries, customers, and ultimately more sales.
How do you rank on Google?
Getting your website ranked on Google is a process called search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is the art and science of ranking your website on Google’s 1st page. It is a technique used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high ranking in search results.
SEO Definition: According to Wikipedia, SEO is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural“, “organic“, or “earned” results”.
If you’re a medical practice, it is likely that at least one person has suggested that you learn SEO (search engine optimization) and implement an online strategy for your business. After all, most people first search on the internet – either on their smartphones or computers – to find any business or service.
You understand that you need a website and that it requires some work for it to show up on the search engines. And so you spend some time – maybe outsource the process – spend some money and build a basic website for your business.
Then, not much happened! It turns out that, despite your best efforts, the website isn’t “optimized” enough.
How do Search Engine Results look like?
Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) are the pages displayed by search engines in response to a query by a searcher. The three main components of the SERP are the organic search results, query, and advertisements. However, SERP may also include many different types of enhanced results such as rich snippets, images, maps, definitions, answer boxes, videos or suggested search refinements.
Google AdWords Results – Google Ads (or Google AdWords) is the paid online advertising platform owned and operated by Google. It is the most widely used online advertising network in the world, and millions of businesses advertise online using Google advertising to reach new customers and grow their business.
Local Search Results – A search that references a product or service that is typically consumed locally, such as “restaurant” or “salon”, is an implicit local search. Local searches typically trigger Google to return organic results and a local 3-pack.
Organic Search Results – Organic search, also known as natural search, refers to unpaid search results. Organic search results are based on relevance to the user’s search query, links and domain authority and other organic ranking factors.
SEO = FREE/ UNPAID ADVERTISING ON GOOGLE
The right way to do SEO
Page speed is a critical factor in SEO. Is your website slick, fast, secure and mobile optimized? According to eConsultancy, “40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.” Can the speed of your website really have that much of an effect on your sales? The answer is yes, it does. Google and other search engines penalize sites that load slowly—but more importantly, so do users. They stop visiting, bounce, and don’t buy. You’ll lose out on sales and traffic if your site loads slowly.
Create top-notch content which is engaging and valuable for the users. Create content that will help someone. When you put users first, you’ll actually write helpful content that search engines will reward, because search engines follow users. It’s not the other way round. At the same time, you’ll be enhancing the user experience and building trust with your audience.
The simple goal of keyword research is to find out what your target audience is searching and what it will take to actually rank for those keywords. Identifying high volume, high value keywords that are typed in search queries by target customers and that match the business value proposition is of the utmost importance in SEO.
The title and meta description is the first section that people see when Google serves up your page to search users. According to Google, “The general assumption under such an approach is that searching users are often the best judges of relevance, so that if they select a particular search result, it is likely to be relevant, or at least more relevant than the presented alternatives.” Try to be unique and interesting. Not including a keyword in the title and meta description could be a fatal mistake.
When link building, think quality, not quantity. Backlinks are like “votes” (You just need enough to beat the competition). Earn good backlinks from reputed websites.
‘SEO is tricky. One minute you think you have nailed it and the next everything has changed. The only constant in SEO is change. This creates a never-ending pursuit of the most desired number one ranking.’