Are You Tired Of Going Invisible On Google?
Having a website that is beautiful and captures the attention of visitors is great - but if it doesn't speak to Google as well and get recognized for the keywords people are searching for, the business is invisible online.
This article will help you with the principles you need to rank higher on Google.
Is This You?
In a moment of curiosity, you Google your business trying to find out why the phone isn't ringing.
A sick feeling enters your stomach as you see your competitors (who you know deliver an inferior product) out-ranking you.
“I need to improve my Google ranking today,” you think to yourself as you start to feel the adrenaline.
A quick search of “How to improve my ranking on Google” brings up hundreds of thousands of sites to visit.
You feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. This is where some people get desperate. They hire an “SEO Expert” who promises to boost their ranking for a couple hundred dollars. The result: Their website gets caught up in some shady weblink network. While it may provide a quick boost in ranking, such sites get punished eventually.
The Tough Part About Getting Ranked High
Let’s be honest: We all want to be on the first page of a search. That is precious real estate. The problem is that not everyone gets it and to get there and last takes some real work.
Today’s quick fix is tomorrow’s tanking.
Think about the last Google search you did. There were only 15 spots available on that coveted first page. You have 2-3 ads to start. That cost someone money to be there. Then a map comes up as you scroll. That also has a paid position at the top - more money. Then there are three more map listings for those who are blessed and highly favoured by the Google gods. Then you have 6-8 organic listings. Those are the ones most of us would be most happy with. The problem is that 3 of them are enormous domains like Yelp, or MyBestRated, or RateMyMd or other Goliaths that like that which are hard to defeat.
The truth is that even those four spots are likely run by an SEO manager charging $500 - $700 a month to get their client there.
Is it worth it to even try to play Google’s game?
While I must confess that I have been in and out when it comes to playing the SEO game, I always land back in it.
Because I have compassion for the person who is doing the Google search. They are someone’s dearly loved daughter, son, friend, coworker. They have a real problem that has disrupted their dream. They are searching for answers. They are looking for someone to help. They do not know some of the traps that are awaiting them masquerading as “chiropractor”.
I don’t want innocent getting caught up in some doctors forever treatment plan that never works because it is based on pseudo-science.
I am driven each day to help the best people leverage the best tools to reach more people. Because of this, we must outrank competitors.
Here Are The Best Ways To Improve Your SEO When You Partner With Google:
Create Excellent Content
There are no secrets with Google. Content is always king. It’s been that way for over a decade. People are looking for answers to questions and Google is trying to find the best possible resource for them.
The algorithm has changed many times over the years, but this principle never changes: Content is king.
When you partner with Google to help people, your website becomes that resource.
To be a great partner, your site has to be a great resource.
To be a resource, you need to provide value. This means you have to be valuable to other people who are searching. You need to know what they are searching for so you can meet the need.
This means figuring out the keywords that you want to rank for. Works like “chiropractor in (your city/town), back pain, massage therapy, sports injury, and all the variations of those words are the searches you want to show up for.
Write For People, Not Robots
This is important to remember: You are not writing for Google. You are writing for people. Don’t just repeat variations of your keywords throughout a page. Keyword jamming is a dated SEO strategy and these days it could do more harm than good. You’ll certainly be penalized, especially when your content doesn’t make any sense and people stop reading.
What YOU Should Write About
Keep your content fresh and relevant to what you know your patients will want to read. You’re doing the writing, correct? Does a freelance copywriter from Fiverr or Upwork know your patients? Not likely. They could learn, but no one knows better how to talk with them like you and your staff. I’m amazed by how many people are wasting time and money, thinking that they can produce content that no one they know will ever read.
Here Are Some Blogs That You Should Write Which Would Give Your SEO A Boost:
- How do I choose the best chiropractor in (your city) for me and my family?
- What are the benefits of having a family chiropractor?
- What is chiropractic care?
- 5 questions you should ask your chiropractor in (your city)?
- How do I choose a chiropractor in (your city)?
Remember that the goal is not to hack Google’s algorithm or gain the system in some way. The goal is to partner with Google to provide the help people are looking for.
To make sure you’re doing this, at the end of every piece of content you write, ask:
- Will this actually help anyone?
- WouId I read this?
- Would my patients find it interesting?
If the answer is “No” to any of the above, the content you post may actually do more harm than good. There are many stories out there of sites that used to have a great ranking take a nosedive when people clicked on a page but then bounced once they realized the page was not helpful at all.
2. Include Videos
Video is powerful. It keeps people engaged. When they are engaged, they stay on your site longer. When they are on your site longer, Google takes note that you have a helpful site and then improves your ranking for the next person to find you.
You can do a lot with limited time and budget. Take out your phone (which has a better camera on it than most Hollywood films in the late 90s), get a $65 in gear (tripod, light, and lapel mic) from Amazon and talk about what you just told your last patient. It was likely great advice and they are not the only one struggling with it.
What kind of videos should you make?
Stretches and Exercises
Set up a tripod with a wireless microphone (attach it to your phone and use the voice memo app for a nice hack) and talk through some helpful stretches and exercises.
You can use these videos to show patients as part of their rehab. They also work well for building your authority and trust.
Highlight a product you like to use or that patients are asking about. Shoot a 3-minute explanation of what you always tell them. It won’t be tough to think of what to say. You’re already the expert.
What kind of health tips, recommendations, or ideas do you offer your patients over and over again? Others can benefit from this help as well. Put it on video because you know that’s the thing people will pay attention to.
Bring your most successful (and thankful) patients back to the office and have them answer three questions on camera. Not many people will be willing to do a monologue but not many resist an interview with you there beside them (you can stay off-camera). Ask these three questions:
- What was it like struggling with your condition before you came in?
- What was it like getting treatment here?
- What has it been like since you got better?
This is your “commercial” video for your practice. Talk about your passion to help patients, techniques you use, give a tour of the building or whatever you want to do to show off the practice.
Just be warned: While we default to this type of video, it is the least interesting.
My Advice For Making Engaging Videos
I'll always remember this bit of advice (it doesn't come naturally to me either but it's critical if you want to make an engaging video):
Think of the natural amount of energy you'd give in a conversation and then double it on video.
And then double it again.
And remember that if you can't hit pause and catch yourself making an awful face, you're still not putting enough energy into it.
Even marketing guru, Gary Vaynerchuk, confesses he looked like he was in a hostage situation in his early videos.
Just start. You’ll get better as you go.
3. Do Some Local SEO
Every chiropractor can grow their business and attract more patients using local SEO strategies. According to Google, 46% of searches have a ‘local intent’. That means, people are searching not for some universal principle or “best cookie recipe”, they are looking for an expert “near me.”
This short section highlights some of the most important principles about getting found by the people searching near you.
Create And Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
- When it comes to ranking well on Google, there has been a clear move by the search engine giant to favor those who have optimized their Google My Business listing (that’s what Google calls your business listing that shows up when people search for you). If you have not set up and optimized your listing, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.
- Your listing must include information such as:
- Correct website, address, phone number, and hours as it is given on your website (make sure they are EXACTLY the same)
- Plenty of photos
- Service categories (chiropractic, massage, physical therapy, etc).
Get Lots of Reviews
You know that before making a purchase online you are going to do some digging around to see if it is a worthwhile product. While it’s interesting to find out what companies are saying about themselves, what really interests you is what customers are saying about the product.
It’s the same as finding a chiropractor. Your marketing message is important, but having an outstanding reputation as a doctor who gets results for his patients while treating them well in the process - that’s the gold standard.
Find a system that delivers you a steady stream of outstanding Google Reviews. There’s helpful software out there that can follow up with patients and link to your Google account. But if you’re not interested in paying another subscription, there’s always the cheap way of printing off a piece of paper to put beside your reception desk. And of course, if you hear a patient raving about their experience just memorize this line:
“That’s so encouraging. I’m glad to hear about it. You know what is so helpful to both our staff and others? If you go online and leave a Google Review. We know there are a lot of people reading those and your story could benefit a lot of people.”
Why Are Reviews So Important?
The effect of your Google ranking. If someone searches “Best Chiropractor near me”, I doubt Google has it in the algorithm to promote a practice that consistently gets lousy reviews.
The effect of whether or not people click through to your website. Great reviews generate interest to lose more. Poor reviews encourage them to keep scrolling.
They affect how many new patients come in. If you can get amazing reviews, people will be more inclined to book themselves in.
Own The Keywords
If you haven’t already, make a list of words that you would like to show up for when someone is searching.
Let’s use the example of how to rank well when someone is searching for “Chiropractor/Massage/Physical Therapy in _______(Your City).”
Put variations of the words “Chiropractor” and “Your City” in:
- the title tag of the site
- the heading or subheading of your home page
- the URL (www.yourdomain.com/yourcity)
- your content
- alt tags
- The site’s meta description
Warning: Don’t overuse the exact phrase: “Chiropractor In _______ (City)” over and over again. You will be punished for keyword jamming. Use variations and get creative.
Optimize Your Contact Page
Make sure the information on your contact page matches the information on your Google My Business Listing. Google doesn’t want to look bad so make sure that when they tell someone your phone number and address, that’s the real number and address!
Finally, it is best practice to include an embedded Google Map on your contact page or in your footer. Don’t think too much about why this is so, just do it.
4. How Your Website Helps Or Hinders Your SEO
Your website is a factor for how well you do on your Google ranking. The best websites include the following characteristics:
They Are Fast-Loading
Have you ever Googled something, clicked on one of the listings and then hit “Back” because you stared at a blank screen for three seconds? That slow page load resulted in lost business for the company. The quick “bounce” hurt its Google ranking as well. Google will not be as quick to send people there in the future.
If you’re not sure if your site is fast there are several free site speed tests that can be found with a simple search. Google offers one, including recommendations to improve your speed.
They Have Site Security
Web encryption has been around for years but it wasn’t until 2018 that it became obvious which sites were secured and which ones weren’t. While an explanation exceeds the scope of this book, the difference between an unsecured site (HTTP://www...) and an unsecured site (HTTPS://www…) make a difference in your score.
Google announced in 2015 that it would favor sites that use HTTPS over those that don't. While site security is most critical for e-commerce and has little benefit for a chiropractic site, no member of the public wants to be warned that a chiropractor’s site is “Not Secure” when they are browsing.
They Are Mobile-friendly
Every year people spend more and more time on their mobile devices and tablets. The problem is that many websites still aren't designed to account for different screen sizes and load times. A mobile-friendly site changes its layout from desktop to tablet and phone. The design moves to a vertical configuration, bringing on a different display of content and pictures.
When Can You Expect To See Results?
“How long until I can expect to see results?” is the great SEO question of our time.
The truth is that the timeframe is entirely out of our control. As my SEO expert friend says, “Sometimes you just have to throw your hands in the air and confess that you are entirely at the mercy of Google.”
Google seldom skyrockets newcomers to the top. It wouldn’t be fair if they did. Someone could set up a fake business with an SEO-perfect website today and dominate the market instantly, causing all kinds of fraud charges, upset users, and a disrupted industry. This would be a disaster for Google as it would make headline news and cause people to lose trust in Google.
It is reasonable to expect results in 4-6 months depending on these factors:
How your site is doing already. Are you ranking well or are you being penalized for some shady link-building campaign that has your site grouped with gambling and porn sites in Eastern Russia?
What your competition is doing. You are not competing for page one with every chiropractor in North America or even in your state. You’re really just up against the other local doctors around you. Are they doing well with SEO? If they are, they will be tougher to outrank. If there’s not a lot of competition, you’ll see better results.
Your execution. How well you apply the principles recommended in this booklet will affect how you rank. If people start responding to the changes you make, you will be rewarded accordingly.
You're On Your Way Up!
We know how to talk to Google. We use the best SEO tools and do the research to find out what people are searching in your area so that Google puts you on top of the ranking. Our clients love watching their site climb higher and higher in Google's ranking.
If you put these principles into practice, you will have a great site that engages your clients (and future clients) and is rewarded on Google.