SEO for Your Practice: Organic and Paid Search Marketing


Blog post taken from the Eyemaginations Premium Webinar Series with presenter Michael Dobkowski, Founder of Glacial Multimedia Inc

Paid Search vs. Organic SEO

Features are the same as they’ve always been.

Organic SEO is great because it attracts visits with a low bounce. It’s considered to be the natural search and therefore unpaid, so it’s where everyone wants to be found. It also involves the three C’s: code, content and connectivity or link building. It’s the science of getting your website indexed, understanding what the page rank algorithm is, and how it all factors together.

So what’s your link policy and what are you doing with outbound linking?

Learn how to interpret the best linking policy and don’t distribute too many outbound links. Be very thoughtful so that you’re not distributing all the equity that you’ve been building. What are my link building options and whose job is that? First, figure out what your options are before you hire an SEO company. Maybe your internal tech team can handle it or your LASIK coordinator— but you need to establish whose responsibility it is first.

Do we have a content development strategy?

I think one of the more interesting things happening this year is that websites are being rewarded for regular content updating and a blog is a great way to do that. Your blog should be integrated with a core URL such as your website so that you’re adding pages where page rank already exists versus a separate blog URL that has no page rank—big difference there.

So what’s new?

Google Panda update offers new filters for duplicate content, excessive reciprocal links, over-optimization, and excessive keywords in title tags. You want a very focused title tag for your website and simply pushing your SEO company to do more is not the answer. You want things to be streamlined and focused, not over-optimized.

What these changes have essentially done is devalue low-quality spam links. If you have utilized too many links that are just not relevant, unrelated, or even purchased, then you may already be in a situation where your website’s been hit with the panel. I’ve probably had ten calls so far this year about that very subject, whereas last year I might have gotten one or two.

The search algorithm has definitely gotten more sophisticated in terms of understanding who might be cheating. I often tell people that “I’d rather be number three and play by the rules than to be number one and cheating.” As a medical practice, you must have standards. It’s really not that difficult for me to research a competitor right now to see if they are engaged in this practice. And if it’s that easy for me, then it’s just as easy for your patients.

So in conclusion, remember that the three C’s of a successful SEO campaign involve: code, content and connectivity or link building. Understand link building and what your page rank is. In the end, all of this makes a big difference in the success of your website.

Search Engine Optimization – Paid Search

OK so I used to be a non-fan of paid search, but over the years, I’ve definitely become a proponent because it really does do a do good job generating leads. Paid search is a form of online advertising. Basically, you pay the search engines to run ads. A lot of companies compete in this space because unlike organic SEO, there’s not much labor involved.

Landing pages versus proxy sites is definitely a debatable topic. However, I am a landing page fan as I like to serve a very specific piece of content to my targeted ad. For example, if I’m advertising glaucoma then I’m going to have a landing page all about glaucoma. I’m not going to send them to a comprehensive ophthalmology homepage on my website where there’s no direction on what to do. They can get all the information they need from my dedicated landing page. This is critical if you want to get an accurate assessment on how well your paid search is working.

Page search display ads can also work well. They get a bit more graphic versus it just being a text ad so people tend to respond to them more often.

Search Engine Optimization – Local Search

Obviously, getting the best reviews is important, but your location to a city’s center is also important. If you’re in the middle of a city for example such as Boston, then you’re going to have an advantage over someone in the outskirts of Boston as when someone searches for something specifically in Boston, your proximity to the center of Boston will rank you higher than those on the outskirts.

Citations are also important. These are mentions of you or your practice on other websites that usually include the address and phone number. The more that exist, the higher your rank.

How do reviews impact your position?

Here are some of the best practices for getting reviews:

  • Create a “review us” page online and encourage reviews via word of mouth.
  • Use real people for reviews.
  • Keep the reviews honest and do not hire services that employ fakes.
  • Utilize e-mail campaigns.
  • Obtain citations mentioned earlier.

However, please note that you want to be careful about having people write reviews in the office on tablets. You don’t want too many reviews from the same IP!

Do you have a tip to share on how your practice is using SEO? Let us know below!

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