what is SEO? image

What is SEO?

They (whoever they are) say you “need to improve your SEO.”

…and they are right!

However, much like onions (and ogres), SEO has many layers. We at Hi5 Practice are here to help you peel away these layers and get you on track with a solid SEO foundation, when we build your website, so that a specialized SEO Marketing company has the resources they need to take your search engine optimization to the next level!

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

Search engines, such as Google and Bing, reward websites that help them effectively answer search queries, like “how do I improve my SEO?” and “patient retention marketing for dentists.” They crawl the web in search of the most relevant responses, based on information found throughout different websites.

The more accurate their results, the more often their search engine is used by the public, and the happier they are.

“search engines reward helpful websites with better search rankings”

Therefore, SEO is the process of making search engines happy! In return, search engines reward helpful websites with better search rankings. As a business owner, your ultimate SEO goal is to achieve high search rankings on the first page of Google and Bing for search queries relevant to your practice.

How Search Engines Work

When search engines were first introduced in the 1990s, they relied on “keywords” to help navigate the content of each website. Back then, there were only a few hundred websites, so the process was pretty simple. However, marketers eventually realized the power of search engines and manipulated the system by “keyword stuffing” throughout website copy and in website code to achieve higher search rankings, even if the page wasn’t really about those keywords.

As technology evolved, the use of keywords by search engines has become obsolete. Search engines are now able to “read” website copy the same way humans do, and can recognize synonyms (like mouth, teeth, and smile). Google, for example, will punish websites for keyword stuffing by means of lower search rankings when the same word is used too many times in an “unnatural” way.

“Search engines are now able to “read” website copy the same way humans do.”

Despite the fact that search engines have evolved over the years, they are still artificial intelligence, and use algorithms to establish rankings. They will read Dr. Kevin Barnett, Kevin T. Barnett, and Kevin Barnett DDS as different people and will interpret Hi5 Practice on Music Square East and Hi5 Practice on Marriott Drive as different businesses. This is why it’s so important to streamline your information throughout online listings and on your own website.

When your business information is consistent across different listings and pages, it verifies for both search engines and patients that you are who you say you are. Additionally, when your practice has an ample amount of online reviews, it means other people are confirming that you are who you say you are.

How Does Optimization Happen?

The O in SEO (optimization) is where the different layers come in.

In a nutshell, the above-mentioned algorithms factor in how many other websites link to your website, including pages shared through social posts, pages mentioned in blogs, pages referenced in online news articles and digital magazines, plus pages linked as online resources, including online listings and reviews.

The following pie chart, provided by Moz | SEO Software, shows just how many factors affect your SEO!

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Optimization happens by:

  1. updating website copy to answer online search queries in human-voiced content
  2. claiming online listings and making sure they have consistent information with positive reviews
  3. updating your H1-H2-H3 headers, meta descriptions and image file names with words and phrases that explain your website page content
  4. advertising through online marketing efforts, such as pay-per-clicks and adwords
  5. getting other websites, especially blogs and online news and magazines, to link to your content

To have a well-rounded online marketing plan, your practice should be thinking about all five layers. At Hi5 Practice, we help with #1 and #2 (and get things started with #3), which together we call “Foundational SEO.”

Once you have a solid SEO foundation, we encourage you to continue improving your SEO by hiring other marketers for your ranking goals. Marketing companies that specialize in Outbound Marketing, Inbound Marketing or Public Relations will each contribute to your “SEO Rankings” in different ways.

To learn more about the different types of marketing and how they affect your practice at different stages of your practice lifecycle, read our blog “Which Marketing Strategy is Right for My Practice?”

Foundational SEO

Your practice can spend all the money you have on digital advertising, but if your website content doesn’t paint a clear picture of who you are, your money and rankings will go down the drain as soon as your advertising ends.

“your money and rankings will go down the drain as soon as your advertising ends”

With Foundational SEO you earn your online stature organically each time someone clicks on your name as the answer to their search query. It may take longer to get to the top search rankings, but once you’ve built up that authority and landed on the first page of Google and Bing search results, you’re on solid ground!

What Hi5 Practice Does

Hi5 Practice is a Patient Retention Marketing agency. We emphasize the importance of understanding the patient experience, and making sure our clients have positive interactions at every touch-point throughout the Patient Journey, especially online! To learn more about the Patient Journey, register for our FREE Patient Journey Online Learning Course at hi5practice.academy.

We make sure all online content for our clients is easy to find and easy to understand, so that SEO companies can seamlessly optimize the websites we’ve built, with the foundation already in place.

To learn more about how Hi5 Practice sets a solid foundation for your online presence, give us a call at 615-656-8551 or email us as ask@hi5practice.com.