Content creation and search engine optimization (SEO) used to be entirely separate. You’d have one person write your blog posts and website copy, and then another person, probably an SEO provider, would optimize the content for search engines – usually just by adding in keywords and purchasing some backlinks.
You would hit publish and suddenly you’re ranking on the first page of Google.
Since Google’s algorithms have caught on to these tactics, it’s now a much different story. Combine this with rising competition for search engine results, and it means SEO requires more work, creativity, and determination.
But there is hope! It lies in quality content that is properly optimized according to today’s best practices to be the hero of your chiropractic SEO strategy (thus getting you more new patients!)
SEO Best Practices
SEO doesn’t have to be the overly-complicated process many providers would have you believe, but there are some key guidelines to follow for success.
These best practices will not only help your website climb in the rankings, but they will also prevent your site from getting blacklisted from the Google search results – And yes, that does happen.
Google does not like to be manipulated. The tactics that used to be considered common and effective are now not only out of date but also dangerous for your website’s reputation. Here are a few of these chiropractic SEO strategies to avoid:
- Including an excessive number of keywords on a page (“keyword stuffing”)
How much is too much? When the content on the page doesn’t feel like a natural conversation, then you’ve probably gone too far.
- Getting backlinks on irrelevant and low authority websites or paying an SEO company to acquire links for you
Backlinks for the sake of backlinks is no longer effective. Work on creating relationships with reputable websites and create content they will want to share.
- Spamming blogs with comments that include links to your site
Google has gotten smart about detecting these types of unsolicited spam posts. Instead, try creating blog posts that other people will want to share in comments themselves.
Before 2012, these tactics would have worked and gotten your website to page one. However, they are no longer beneficial and actually quite harmful to your site.
So what’s the alternative? Here are some “Google-approved” strategies to build into your chiropractic SEO plan:
- Create high quality website content
- Have an active social media presence
- Build a positive online reputation by encouraging five-star reviews
- Add your practice to appropriate directory listings and review sites
- Include the right keywords in your title tags and meta descriptions
- Make sure your content contains a natural amount of relevant keywords
All of these points lead to the most crucial facet of a modern chiropractic SEO strategy: quality content.
SEO Without Content is Pointless
Don’t get us wrong – keywords and backlinks are still significant factors in Google’s algorithm but they are no longer the only point on the board that matters. Often, if you have quality content, then you’ll also get better backlinks and more natural opportunities to rank for search keywords. It’s quality content that is at the heart of every successful chiropractic SEO campaign.
Think of it this way: Google wants to satisfy its customers searching the web by providing them with the best solutions quickly and efficiently. If your website uses one of the SEO strategies to be avoided, like stuffing a single page with the keyword “Minneapolis chiropractor” 12 times, then the user is going to see right through this false narrative very quickly. They will go straight back to the search results page sending Google the message that your website did not answer their question.
If, however, the user finds your content valuable and authentic – while still including a natural selection of targeted keywords – they will stay on the page longer and Google will reward you with higher rankings.
Google identifies quality content through multiple signals, including relevant backlinks and social “likeability”. However, we’ve found website engagement to be increasingly important. Engagement is determined by several factors including how long the users stay on your site and how many pages they visit.
Most users stay on a website for less than a minute, so to capitalize on those precious seconds, here are several culprits of poor engagement to avoid:
- Uninspiring content: Basic content filled with jargon they’ve seen on several other chiropractors’ websites doesn’t keep visitors engaged.
- A website that isn’t mobile-friendly: Your website should display perfectly across desktops, tablets, and mobile devices.
- Content that isn’t skim-able: Headings, bullets, and short paragraphs keep visitors on the page.
- Website design that isn’t visually appealing: Stock photos certainly have their place, but custom professional photography adds personality to your website.
Tell Your Unique Story
The value of quality content extends beyond the SEO benefits. If prospective patients are looking at two other chiropractors in your area (all ranked well on Google) what will make them choose you? Give your answer through your content and tell your story.
In order to convert digital visitors in to actual patients, you must show them your personality and “wow” them the second they land on your website.
A good chiropractic SEO strategy will bring visitors to your site, but it is your content that compels them to action. The purpose should be to make your practice stand out from the competition by making it clear why prospective patients should choose you.
How do you accomplish this? Simply address the most common concerns of your ideal patients and illustrate what it’s like to be your patient through your website content.
In the end, new patients will choose you because they have gotten to know you, what you do, and how you stand apart from the other chiropractors in your area.