Search engine optimization is a science. Each website requires creating a hypothesis about which keywords and strategy will create the highest rankings and most traffic. Then, the hypothesis is tested, the results analyzed, and the keywords and strategy altered as necessary to yield even better results. This is an ongoing process, primarily because contributing factors constantly change. Google alters its indexing algorithm regularly. In addition, competing businesses change their strategies, so their rankings change, and that alters how your site ranks. While educated guessing and strategy tweaks will always play a role in SEO, three specific tactics will deliver reliable improvements. According to Google, the SEO tactics that consistently prove most valuable are: original text, solid metadata, and incoming links.
What does “original text” mean? From what the experts at Google tell us, this term covers an entire website. “Original text” means that all copywriting on a website is original. Nothing is cut and pasted from another website or resource. No patient education articles can be found on multiple websites. Every page of the site is written uniquely for that website. Some dentists have asked, how can a crown be explained a million different ways? The answer is, a professional copywriter could write about a crown ten million different ways. Professional writers, particularly copywriters, are trained to look at a subject from infinite directions. Sentences are not made of merely words; they are ideas at the core, and ideas are endless.
In addition to being original, website copy should be composed with SEO keywords in mind. A copywriter well versed in SEO will first research a list of keywords, tweak the phrasing based on which combinations are most popular, then work the keyword phrases into a website’s body copy. Headings and links should include solidly researched keyword phrases, and each page needs unique metadata, written expressly for search engine results pages.
Metadata is a term that describes four text-based elements placed into a web page’s code. This information greatly influences search rankings.
- Title tag: This is a small set of words (10-70 characters is ideal) that describes the text on a page. For dentists, including location is imperative.
- Description: This is a sentence (70-160 characters is ideal) that shows up in search results. The meta-description tells searchers what to expect when visiting a particular web page.
- Keywords: Many SEO tools have dropped meta-keywords because Google, by far the largest search engine on the planet, no longer considers meta-keywords when indexing a web page. As of the time this blog was written, Bing and Yahoo still consider keywords from metadata. Google, however, relies on what we call on-page SEO, which involves strategically working keywords into a page’s body text, including links and headings.
- Alt-Image tags: While some don’t count alt0image tags as metadata, I believe they should be grouped in this category, if only not to be forgotten. Alt-image tags in your code, behind images and art elements, will tell search engines what your image represents. These tags are important for search engines to index photos, which means you need alt-image tags for optimal SEO. Videos, too, can have text behind them, since search engines do not “read” video clips. Google owns YouTube, so the best way to get videos indexed is to provide an optimized script on YouTube.
Links to a webpage are important. The links should be embedded on keywords that describe the destination page. Links may be placed in body copy on the same website as the destination links. In addition, links coming in from external, yet related sites are valuable for SEO rankings. Doctors listed on the Invisalign website, for instance, get “credit” for links from that site to their own Invisalign web page. Likewise, if you guest blog for a dental specialist or other healthcare provider, be sure to include a link embedded on keywords back to your own site.
Dentist Website Success with SEO
If your website needs an SEO analysis, or if you’re ready to leverage website SEO to rank higher on Google, call MDPM Consulting today at 972-781-8861, or email us at [email protected]. Our dental copywriters, graphic designers, programmers, and technicians are ready to help you achieve success with online marketing.