So, most of us now have heard of search engine optimisation. This is the process by which we do everything that we can to attract as many people as possible to a website.
In this blog I’m going to talk about Google as they are the biggest search engine out there at the moment, however the principles apply to any other search engine.
Search engine optimisation is one of the services that I offer dental practices, working with them to get as many people to visit their dental practice website with a view to getting as many new patients into the practice, however things are not always as simple as they seem.
The easiest way to think about optimisation is to think like a human… And I’m guessing you are one of those aren’t you?
What would make you visit a website? What would make you go to visit a particular company? What would impress you? What signs and signals would you use to gauge whether that company were worth visiting?
Most dental practices cite referrals by existing patients as the best way of attracting new patients, and indeed it often is. The reason for this is social proof as humans we like to be recommended to something because it proves to us that it is good.
Google is exactly the same, so what does Google use as social proof?
Google looks for people talking about your website and business and when it finds those people it knows that you must be important. And the way it tracks this is by looking for links, so as people are talking about you they will be creating links back to your website from wherever it is that they are discussing you.
One of my clients has a great section on their website about the development of baby teeth, I’m finding links all the time around the Internet where mothers are talking about the development of their child’s teeth in forums and on discussion boards. They will often refer back to my clients website telling other mothers to visit it because of the great information about the development of child’s teeth.
Google sees these links, and looks at them as social proof or a referral.
The old style of search engine optimisation was deposed as many links as possible all around the Internet, all pointing back to your website. However Google has got pretty wise to this technique and is now much better able to determine if those links are good quality not. For example, I could simply set up a useless blog for free and post hundreds and hundreds of links to my clients websites, indeed they would be links but I would be very poor quality links-and Google knows this.
The best quality links or referrals are ones that are naturally generated because you have posted such fantastic content. If you post excellent content that genuinely helps the visitors to your website then they will remember you (by bookmarking the page) and go off and talk about you.
If the content you have posted is talking all about yourself and how great you are, why would anyone want to go and talk about that?
The secret to modern search engine optimisation is to generate such extremely fantastic content that people love it and then go off and talk about it on forums, blogs Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google plus and on their own websites. This is totally natural search engine optimisation and is completely perfect in its design.
Gone are the days when you can simply employ someone to create thousands of back links to your website and hope that it rises through the search engines. You need to be involved, you need to be taking photographs of cases and then talking about those cases.
You need to be explaining the dental procedures that you do, why they are useful, how they can help people and what the alternatives are.
You need to be genuinely handing out useful free and relevant health advice, this is perfect search engine optimisation and will ensure that your website raises through the rankings.
I’m not just saying all of this for fun, I followed this procedure myself and have seen traffic rise from an average of 500 hits a month to my own website to over 16,000 hits per month. This massive increase in traffic has been achieved in only three months!
Of course when you employ a search engine optimisation expert, such as myself, you are getting the knowledge that we have about how to get your fantastic content out there… And we will work with you to help you generate that fantastic content… But don’t think that employing someone and doing nothing yourself is going to work!
The new type of search engine optimisation is more personal than anything that’s gone on before and the key is to get people talking about you. So what content you have on your website that is worth talking about?