Approximately 2500 years ago a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus expounded the doctrine that the only constant is change. He could easily have been forecasting the constant change that is occurring today in digital marketing.
Your search engine optimization efforts (SEO) should be evolving to reflect the indexing changes that Google and other search engines have adopted. These changes do affect your website ranking, which means they can affect your revenue potential.
Fortunately some aspects of this science remain unchanged, however there are a few new ‘best practices’ that you will need to adopt to maintain / increase your website presence and rankings. Let’s list some of the more important factors that are most likely to have a positive impact on your website traffic.
CONTENT IS STILL KING
Achieving the highest return on the time and money invested into your website is as simple as adopting relevant page content that frequently references the search terms you wish to be ranked highly for on search results. Simply put, when you have good quality, informative content on each page that directly relates to the services you provide and the geographical area that you serve, you will do well.
UPDATE CONTENT REGULARLY
Stale websites are defined as those whose content has not been updated for some time – this can be measured in months, not years. Search engines place a higher value on sites whose content is regularly updated, as it is believed that this activity attracts new and return visitors. Remember to keep your updates on-point with respect to their subject matter.
INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL LINKS
Sites offering visitors with value-added, related services are considered to have a higher degree of importance verses content only sites. Pages linking to other internal pages offering additional services, such as your online “appointment book”, are encouraged.
Appropriate usage of external links means, ensuring that the links point to high-quality websites with content that is relevant to your service – search engines such as Bing, Google, Yahoo and others will consider this favorably when ranking your website. Suitable, high quality websites that ‘backlink’ to your site will also be viewed positively and will contribute strongly to search engine placement.
OPTIMIZE SOCIAL MEDIA
Your social media presence on Facebook, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and the like, can also have a synergistic effect on your website’s ranking. For example, search engines will increase the importance of your website in accordance with the number of appropriate, high-quality social media pages that are back-linking to your clinic’s website.
OPTIMIZE TITLE AND DESCRIPTION META TAGS
Your website title tag typically contains the name of your wellness practice and appears in blue letters on the search result page your site is ranked on. It is a competitive advantage to have your main keywords (such as massage therapy) referenced in it.
It is also important that you include pertinent information, such as the regular and specialty services offered at your clinic and your geographical location in your site’s description tag. This will help your ranking when potential clients search ‘massage therapist in xyz city’.
BE MOBILE FRIENDLY
Search engines are processing more searches on mobile devices than on desktop devices. To ensure mobile users have a positive experience, search engines now place a higher degree of importance on websites that are properly displayed on and are user-friendly when using mobile devices. It is worth mentioning that this is the case only when the search originates from a mobile device.
Being mobile friendly requires your site to recognize mobile devices and to ensure the page content is displayed correctly on various-sized mobile screens – providing site visitors with an overall positive mobile experience. Suffice it to say, the use of mobile devices for online browsing is a growing trend that isn’t going away any time soon.
INTEGRATED E-COMMERCE INCREASES RANKING
Having a professional service that seamlessly integrates your website with services such as appointment booking, online gift certificate purchases and classes registration are extremely valuable for enhancing the quality of your MT website and increasing your search engine ranking.
Some practitioners use e-commerce and website services from a variety of providers, which often do not work seamlessly together. Tightly integrated solutions from one provider will offer the best user experience. Search engines are becoming very good at detecting when a website is stitched together.
In closing, it is still true that massage therapy, chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture and other healthcare professionals, should understand the basic elements of SEO and pay attention to the fact that regular “maintenance of website content” needs to occur to ensure their website is optimized to attract new and return clients in their geographical area.
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Until next time, be well…