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Google Local SEO Strategies for Medical Professionals

Search Engine Optimization is one of the most effective and fruitful strategies to attract more traffic to your website and generate more leads. Most marketing-proactive medical professionals have realized the significance of Google local SEO. However, when it comes to ever-changing practice of search engine optimization, there are always new techniques, resources, and strategies made available.

In this post, we discuss a few unique SEO strategies, elements, and resources that will help set course for successful Google local SEO strategy for your medical practice.

Google SEO surgeons

Clean-up Citations

Conducting a citation audit is extremely important for your medical website. You need to focus on ensuring your business' citation profile (mentions of contact details on other websites) is completely accurate and consistent. The name, address, and phone number (NAP, or "citation") of your business, on all listings throughout the web (Yelp, Facebook, Yahoo, etc.) must be aligned.

This a Google ranking signal for the local listings associated with Google Maps. So if you're a plastic surgeon in San Francisco, you'll want to ensure your citations are clean and plentiful. An easy way to check is to scan your business at Yext.com. If find the services of Yext to be of value, here at OIC Group we are a Yext reseller and can offer you an affordable monthly subscription, so hit us up!

Invest in Local Directories 

When it comes to local SEO for surgeons and medical practices, getting listed on local directories is one of the most important steps you can take to jump start your efforts. While you could use Yext, you can also go out and find opportunities to build trusted directory listings on the web. A great place to start is the Moz Local tool.

In addition to getting a citation from local directory listings, you business also often times gets a backlink to your website. If you don't already know, backlinks are vital to determining

a site's authority, keyword relevancy, and overall ranking potential. Although most local directories provide a NoFollow backlink (which is less powerful than a DoFollow,) having a number of NoFollow backlinks helps to naturalize your backlink profile (particularly if you're engaged in more aggressive link building strategies.)

Also scout for health and medical directories for high quality listings. Sometimes paying for a listing or membership (which gets you a great listing) is well worth it, especially if the site is closely aligned with your practice (i.e. plastic surgery or chiropractic). Generating citations and backlinks from more trusted and exclusive directories will work magic for you local SEO program.

Produce Long-form Content

Medical Practice SEO Google ListingsTo truly position your medical practice as an authority brand in the surgical services it offers, producing completely original content that's valuable to your target patients. Informative, educational, evergreen content (particularly long-from copy) defines your credibility and expertise, all while serving as a powerful marketing tool for both SEO and social media.

Choose topics or think of common questions that patients ask you about certain surgical procedures. Perhaps if specialize in breast surgery, you could share your opinion about some of the better types of breast implants that are available. Likewise, a rhinoplasty surgeon could educate curious readers on the entire surgical procedure and how to properly prepare.

There's a lot that goes into a successful SEO program, especially if you're a medical practitioner located in a competitive metro market. Certainly there are more things you can invest in, such as link building, but these are few strategies that your competitors may or may not be employing. For surgery specialists, be sure to check out our exclusive solutions in Google local SEO for plastic surgeons at the website OptimizedSurgeons.com.

The Essentials of On-Page SEO for Ecommerce Sites

The competitive nature of ecommerce search marketing makes SEO a daunting endeavor for most online retailer. There's a lot that goes into optimizing an ecommerce site. But if you can handle the on-page SEO essentials in-house, you'll have a good jump on the competition before unleashing your off-page SEO strategy. ecommerce seo tips

To help you on your way to optimizing your ecommerce site, below are the essential practices of on-page SEO. The term "optimization" can mean a lot of things. But in this context, optimization is simple making use of keywords in the right places, respectively.

1. Make URLs SEO-Friendly

Depending on whether or not you use a CMS (content management system) for your ecommerce website, you may or may not have control over your page's URL structure. In essence, and like other forms of on-page SEO mentioned below, you'll want to include only the core keywords in your URLs (no need to include throw-away terms like "the" or "and.")

Your keywords for ecommerce SEO will most likely be the product name (brand/model,) type of product, and/or general category of products, depending on the URL or page. Having keywords in the URL helps to define the semantic relevancy of the page. A good tip is to keep your URLs as short as possible, and avoid lengthy URL names.

2. Keyword Optimize the Title Tag & Meta Description

The HTML title tag (or "Meta Title") is one of the most influential elements for on-page SEO and establishing keyword relevancy. It's recommended by most trusted SEO service providers that you keep the title under 60-70 characters. This will enable you to keep your pages tight and focal with respect to your keyword targets. That is, you'll only want to optimize pages for 1 or 2 closely related terms.

The Meta description is a short summary of the page that only is seen on the search engine results page, just below the title tag (or main link headline in Google.) While it's debated over whether or not the Meta description actually plays in a role in on-page SEO, the content will certainly be read if your page is ranking highly in the search results. For this reason, tailor a Meta description that is both incentivizing and keyword optimized.

3. Name Images and Alt Tags with Keywords in Mind

Images not only make your pages more appealing (and help with conversion optimization,) but images can also be optimized for ecommerce SEO. A sound tip in optimizing images for on-page SEO is name or labels your images with respect to your keyword targets. Furthermore, you can keyword optimize images' description and tags (found under the image properties) before uploading to your website.

And then there is the Alt tag for images (which stands of "alternative text.") This is text that should reflect what the image is about for users who do not have a compatible browser to actually show the image. Try to be ethical when keyword optimizing the Alt tag for SEO. That is, write an Alt tag that does indeed represent the image, but is also SEO-friendly in that it includes the page's keyword targets.

4. Tailor Unique and Compelling Page Copy

Whether for product descriptions or just general page copy for your homepage or product category pages, it's critical that the content of your ecommerce site is unique. Too often, ecommerce webmasters or site owners will use the same copy provided by product manufactures (this is particularly the case with individual product descriptions.) Instead, get creative and write unique, compelling content.

The fact of the matter is, when duplicate content gets crawled on numerous sites trying to sell the same thing, the ecommerce SEO value is significantly diminished. In short, Google will find less value in a page that has the same content on various other pages throughout the web.

Other Considerations for Ecommerce SEO

The above on-page SEO tips are essential to ensure your ecommerce site is well-optimized for search. This, however, is only the tip of the iceberg. In addition to off-page SEO (that focuses on link popularity, content marketing, and social engagement,) other considerations for ecommerce SEO include:

  • Making use of videos for product reviews and other ways to engage your target market
  • Building a complete HTML sitemap on your ecommerce site
  • Analyzing and optimizing the steps in your check-out process
  • Establishing an authoritative social following, emphasizing Google+ and Facebook as primary platforms for engagement

Ecommerce SEO can be a tough playing field. Be sure to build your foundation by implementing the tips above. For more information, tips, and resources, visit Click Centric SEO, OIC's ecommerce SEO and marketing branch.

5 AdWords Tips to Empower Your PPC Campaigns

PPC Campaign Management Without some degree of know-how, Google AdWords can be a confusing platform to operate. In short, there's a number of little intricacies, that without the proper understanding, can become big nuances.

In this article, I share with your five empowering tips that will help you overcome this common nuances.

Create Focal Ad Groups That Contain Only a Few Keywords

One of the most popular PPC mistakes is including too many keywords in one ad group. Trying to cover a laundry list of keywords in one ad group makes it challenging to write a highly targeted ad. In addition, your keyword quality scores may not reach their highest potential.

When developing or optimizing a PPC campaign, be mindful to ensure your ad groups contain only a handful of highly relevant keyword groupings (a max of 4-5 is ideal.) Not only does allow you to write targeted ad copy while helping to improve quality scores, but having highly focused ad groups enables you leverage better landing pages.

Split-Test the Verbiage of Your Ad Copy

A powerful way to continuously improve your ads' click-through rate (CTR) is to split-test the verbiage of your ad copy. The process is actually quite easy. Create 3-4 ads with slight variations of ad copy, and run all of the ads at the same time (be sure to select the option to "Rotate to show ads evenly" in the Settings tab of AdWords.).

Tracking your split-tests is very important to ensure that you're progressing and improving your ad copy. You'll want to take note of the CTR% of each ad, as well as the modifications you make to the verbiage and structure of the ad. Equally important is to avoid making too drastic of adjustments to the point when you lose track of the perfect wording that offered the highest CTR.

Take Full Advantage of Ad Extensions

The ad extensions feature of Google AdWords can enhance the appearance of an ad while expanding the coverage of its real estate. Ad extensions are also free to implement, so they're definitely worth taking full advantage of.

Before jumping into ad extensions in AdWords, it's important to understand what each extension does and how to set it up properly. There are five main ad extensions that you can leverage for you PPC campaigns. These include:

  • Sitelinks Extensions
  • Social Extensions
  • Location Extensions
  • Product Extensions
  • Call Extensions

To learn more about what each of these extensions do, and how to activate them, visit this page by Google AdWords support.

Leverage Geo-Targeted PPC Campaigns

Geo-targeting allows you create PPC campaign to target specific locations. In the initial phases of creating an Adwords campaign, you can set geo-parameters to target searchers in a specific state, zip code, or radius of a certain address. This is very important for any local PPC campaign where the advertiser has a confined service area.

National and state-wide brands can take this practice a bit deeper. Segmenting campaigns per state or city can help you tailor ads using a local approach.

Google searchers are drawn to PPC ads that emphasize geographic relevancy to their residence. This can help improve the CTR of your ads, so long as you do this in a creative and ethical manner.

Use Modified Broad Match Bidding

A great bidding technique to help make your PPC advertising more efficient is using modified broad match. Unlike broad, "phrase," or [exact] match, modified broad match uses a "+" symbol directly in front of keywords that must be included in a user's search query for your ad to be triggered.

To give you an example, if we bid on the phrase '+access +control +systems', those three words must be included in a user's search query for our ad to be displayed. (So the keyword phrase "door access security systems" would not trigger our ad, but "access control security systems" would.)

Unlike exact match, using modified broad match can help ensure that your PPC ads are being triggered when users search more detailed long-tail keywords.

Another advantage is that the cost per click (CPC) for some keyword combinations is significantly lower that exact or broad match bidding.

Managing a PPC campaign takes a some experience and know-how to find success in AdWords. I hope these tips will help you create a strong and profitable paid search campaign. To learn more, check out this Google Ads training course by Yisoo, a great program to help you learn more about this internet advertising platform.

6 Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

The capacity to plan and execute a social media marketing strategy is sometimes limited for small business. Because small businesses lack having a the resources and manpower to consistently manage social media marketing, some local companies tend to fall behind on this powerful medium.

This is a big deal, because local businesses that build cohesive social marketing campaigns can get a significant jump over their competitors. And because social media promotes customer interaction, credibility, and loyalty, small businesses in particular can greatly capitalize on these marketing opportunities.

So if you're seeking ways to promote your small business and have yet to delve into social media marketing, below we offers six solid tips to get you started.

1. Start Blogging

Okay, so blogging was probably not what you expected as the first tip to build your social media strategy. However, the blog content you produce (whether that be an article, video, or infographic) is the foundation for what you share via social media. In a sense, you can be as active as ever on Google+ or Facebook, but if you're not sharing quality, audience-relevant content, you're social media strategy will not reach its fullest potential.

The idea is to use the content of your blog to inbound traffic from social media sites to your small business website. This can be immensely powerful for a local business, because local social media followers often have see more trust and respect in supporting a business in their area. That said, not only should you be producing and sharing content about your business, but also sharing content about the area (when relevant to your market or product/service offering.)

2. Spruce Up Your Profile Pages

Most social media platforms allow businesses to get creative with their profile pages. Both Facebook and Google+ alike offer tremendous customization, enabling businesses to show-off the goods and funnel users down a conversion path.

An example of this is using custom tabs on your business's Facebook page. With custom tabs, you can add image galleries, videos, or an incentivizing freebie. You can also include a link to your email opt-in to build your company's email list.

To start using custom tabs on Facebook, you'll need to install an iFrame applications. Here is a solid list of iFrame apps that can be used for various purposes.

3. Create a Plan & Keep on It

It's common for us to hear the question "How many times per day should I post on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook?”

Unfortunately, there isn't an ideal number of daily posts. However, research does suggest that posting 2-3 times a day is a good baseline.

Anyone can manage a consistent posting schedule for a couple weeks, yet the real champs of social media marketing are the businesses that keep at it every day of the week. Because your followers check social media sites at different times throughout the day, only posting once every 24 hours is simply not enough - for most followers won't see it.

In short, consistency wins. Make an effort to post various types of content throughout the day. Additionally, stagger your social media posts at different times in order to reach more fans. Also, always remember to include a call-to-action statements (or verbs) like 'check-out,' 'click' or 'share.' This will help increase the level of engagement users have with your content.

4. Maintain Brand Integrity

It's easy to let personal interests mingle with a company's social media presence, especially if the business is small and local. We see this all the time, and in more contexts that social media.

For instance, the owner of a local brewery wanted all of his logo's designed around fish, purely because he loved fishing. However, nothing about his brand or beer had anything to do with fishing.

Like my favorite yoga teacher always said, "keep the ego out of it." That same idea can be applied to social media marketing. Avoid making posts about your business that center on you.

The fact of the matter is: nobody cares.

Okay, so maybe friends and fellow employees of the company care, but keep your personal life out the business's social media front. A good tip to avoid being tempted into doing this is always speaking in-terms of the business as a whole. Use "we," not "I" - because as we all know, there is no "i" in team.

5. Be Empathic & Engaging

Think of social media marketing as storytelling. Furthermore, think of your target audience or customers as the characters of the story. Be empathic: put yourself in shoes of the audience and think about what motivates them.

This concept is paramount in almost any form of marketing. Empathy drives engagement, and when you have engagement, the ability develop relationships (and drive leads) is limitless. Analyze and measure what patterns and reactions your followers display. In essence, let their actions, needs, and desires drive the story.

6. Reach Out

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of building a strong social media presence is proactively reaching out to individuals and other local businesses. Don't hesitate to tag people or other companies in your posts. Not only will tagged recipients find it awesome that your singled them out, but their friends and colleagues can catch on too.

The cool thing about Facebook and Google+ is that users get notified (typically through the social newsfeed) when their friends get tagged. Although this is not always the case, the concept of reaching out is imperative to generate more awareness.

Another easy way to reach out is to start following other related businesses, especially those within your local area. This shows that you’re engaged in your local economy and care about what other companies are doing in the area. It's also a great way to build relationships with other businesses.

Most of the social media marketing tips can be applied to any business model. We appreciate your reading our post, and if you'd like to learn more, visit our page about social media marketing.

This blog post was contributed by Internet marketing specialists Tyler Tafelsky. You can connect with Tyler on Google+.

 

Peoria Web Design Company Offices:
OIC Group, Inc.
Phone: (309) 680-5600

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1111
Peoria, IL 61653