In a recent USA Today interview Matt Cutts, who works for the Search Quality group in Google, specializing in search engine optimization issues, gave his top 5 easy tips on how to “optimize” your site so Google and the rest of the world can find it.
Matt gives an example of a San Diego chiropractor who lamented that his site was not listed at the top of the Google search engine results. A quick peek at the site revealed that nowhere on the site was the term “San Diego Chiropractor” spelled out.
This would seem like an obvious oversight, until you consider that even after deducing what word or phrase (AKA search term) Internet users will be searching on to find you, you must then decide how many times to repeat the search term on the page, whether to include the term in the “title tag”, in what order, and at what “density”. Should they be repeated in the “H1” and “H2” tags as well?
Once that has been worked out, go out and get some high quality “backlinks”, create a “blog” for your practice, get some traffic to your blog, hopefully resulting in some additional incoming links. Create interesting and fresh “content” for your blog and employ the latest strategies to get your blog found.
Next, go out and begin to “bookmark” your site on some popular social media sites such as Digg and Stumbleupon. Participate in the the discussion, get to know the etiquette necessary to successfully engage in these social media communities and you should, in time, have some limited success.
You are now ready to develop an “XML sitemap” for your site. If you create a search engine friendly “URL” structure, hopefully in a neat “silo structure”, factor in some “latent semantic indexing” terms that are appropriate for your site, and voila, your site will be found, indexed, and if you are really lucky, you may appear in the top 50 or so results of the current 283,000 results Google has indexed for the term “San Diego Chiropractor”. Change the search to “Chiropractor San Diego” and Google has 460,000 results indexed.
Now if all this is Greek to you, rest assured you are not alone. The fact is, trying to get an individual practice website to appear at the top of the search engines is a daunting, if not impossible task.
In fact, one of the largest Chiropractor web site companies in the country sent out an email very recently that stated ” we had neglected the whole search engine thing”. He went on to exclaim, after several years of charging nearly one thousand doctors a monthly fee for chiropractic websites, “We need to figure out this search engine thing”. This self inspection occurred only after being berated by a potential customer.
If the president of a company that has collected millions of dollars from chiropractors for web site services had to be taunted into investigating how this stuff works, should you feel bad if you need an Internet to English dictionary to make sense of all of this?
You are, after all a chiropractor, not a web site developer. And at the end of the day, having a top placement for a term such as San Diego chiropractor doesn’t mean much these days anyway.
Why? Because the “local” search results now appear over top of the “natural” search results for searches that contain a city name. So all of the aforementioned work and effort still will not put your practice information in front of consumers, at the top of the search engine results page (SERP).
And even if you could achieve top placement in your town for a term like “San Diego chiropractor”, this still only reaches the 5% of the population that are already looking for a chiropractor. This does nothing to reach the 10 million Americans who are searching the Internet for health information each and every day. They have no idea that chiropractic care can help them.
Do yourself a favor. Join together with the thousands of other chiropractors who had decided to let the computer geeks handle this web stuff and stick to making sick people well.
Together, we have developed a comprehensive program to not only put you in front of the Americans that regularly seek chiropractic care, but also put positive, accurate information about chiropractic in the hands of all Americans that can benefit from your care. And we reach them at the exact moment they are deciding what form that care should take.
You owe it to yourself to check out what is possible, by working together, rather than against one another. There is great power in numbers. Power to change the world. Get on board with other like minded chiropractors. Get involved with something big.
Let us worry about the complexities of search engine placement, local search optimization, keyword density, title tags, heading tags, blog posts, content creation, optimization, directory structure, etc, etc.
Do what you do best: improve the quality of life of your practice members. Let us handle getting them in the door.