Keeping up with good search engine optimization practices can be a dizzying endeavor. With near-constant changes to Google’s algorithm, conflicting ideas from the experts as to what marketers should be doing, and the ever-evolving face of the Internet all at play, things get complicated pretty quickly. Avoid confusion by keeping your SEO simple. It’s possible to distill your SEO efforts to just a few areas of concentration.
Those new to the SEO world likely paused at that heading. How can an internet marketing practice have an alignment? The story of good vs. evil (at least in the search engine optimization realm) began long ago, when search engines first began crawling the burgeoning Internet. Those hoping to get their sites noticed took to practices that were eventually deemed obnoxious. At the time, this wasn’t “bad,” it was just what was done, and it showed results. Today, we call those practices black hat SEO, and our site rankings are ultimately penalized if we choose to employ them.
Part of the reason search engines continue to evolve is to kick those practices to the curb. As search engines become more sophisticated, they’re able to punish webmasters/marketers that choose to keyword stuff, link farm, or hide content. Suspect sites’ PageRanks lower, and they fall in search engine listings. Those using good SEO (aka “white hat” SEO) avoid these flash-in-the-pan practices and take more substantial courses of action.
Quality content has become more and more important as search engines have become more discerning. High-octane content is recognized and handled differently by web users, and search engines pick up on these signs. Writing quality content is as simple as taking the time to put it together. Ensure that you’re writing for someone, rather than just writing for your own marketing purposes. Consider your patients and their needs to determine what they would like to gain from your website and its blog. Oh, did we mention blogging? It’s absolutely necessary. Creating new content and producing it consistently will help your site rise in the rankings.
Search engines monitor the way other websites interact with your own. When another site contains a link to your site, this improves your PageRank and authority. If that website is topically similar your own, even better – establishing relevancy with your keywords and links is a must. Gradually, carefully build these links to ensure that you’re rewarded.
This is the newest tenet of basic SEO. Social media marketing continues to boom, with each new platform changing the way users perceive and are exposed to marketing efforts. While only some social media links are “follow” (i.e. they count in building PageRank), all social media efforts help you connect with patients and prospective visitors. Your dental practice should take advantage of this – most of your patients are likely already on at least one of these platforms, and ready to engage.
That’s SEO in 2014, in a nutshell. Need a hand with your web marketing? Contact us for some ideas.