Is SEO Dead?
It is for your website if you make these mistakes!
The phrase “SEO is Dead” has been bandied about recently, with the implication that it’s no longer relevant. Some Internet companies are using (and in some cases promoting) this phrase to convince their clients that they should stop working on their SEO (SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization). This makes no sense.
Rankings on Google and the other search engines are more important now than ever – ask anyone who is stuck on the third page. Furthermore, Google’s business model remains unchanged and they still use an algorithm to rank websites (albeit, an ever-changing algorithm). This means that it’s still critical that you ensure that your website strategy has the elements that appeal to Google’s and the other search engines’ current algorithms – otherwise your website won’t get top rankings. In other words, you still need SEO.
That SEO is alive and well is supported by data:
- According to PEW Research Center, 77% of online health care seekers start their research on a search engine.
- A recent CareCredit survey showed that 72% of purchasers of cash-pay treatments relied on the search engines when making the buying decision.
- A variety of research has shown that between 85% and 92% of people searching never click on the second page.
What does this mean to you? SEO is not dead, it’s just gotten harder. A lot harder. Because Google’s algorithm has become so sophisticated, the old “easy” methods no longer work and most companies simply don’t know how to get better rankings for your website. Below are common mistakes that inexperienced, or inept, SEO companies make. If your team is making these mistakes, then Your SEO May Be Dead, but not because Google isn’t important!
Confusing Fresh Content with Evergreen Content
Google likes two kinds of content: fresh and evergreen.
Fresh content is timely or situational; and typically, more casual. Examples would be a Valentine’s Day article about how chocolate is good for the skin or a late-August write-up about why dental check-ups are important during back-to-school time. Fresh content is best used in your social media strategy or your blog.
Evergreen content is permanent and rarely changes. Procedure content or content about your background are examples of evergreen content. Evergreen content goes on your website.
If your Internet company is confusing evergreen and fresh, Google will likely penalize the rankings of your site. It’s easy to check for this problem. Does evergreen content about your procedures appear on your blog or social media in addition to your website? If so, you have a problem. Companies often use evergreen content in a blog or Facebook because it’s easy – they just take your website content and use it in your blog posts.
Continued Use of Linking Schemes
The day Google put the kibosh on linking schemes was a sad one for the myriad of amateurs whose business “success” was entirely dependent on the fact that Google’s algorithm was formulaic and fairly simple. Many of these amateurs are now attempting to shift their clients’ focus away from their failed SEO to other activities that are ineffective at best, but imply action. Some companies promise to build links through gimmicks like press releases, guest blogging or article submissions. Or they promise that they will add a certain number of links per month. At best, these techniques are very, very old news… At worst (and Google is very clear about this) these tactics will get your site penalized. Ouch!
Overuse of Plug-Ins
With the extensive use of WordPress to build sites, many plug-ins have been developed for a variety of purposes, from email to galleries, security, mobile, search functionality and so on. Plug-ins are good tools when implemented judiciously. However, many companies rely too heavily on them for site functionality, using a plethora of plug-ins as a replacement for good website development.
The problem is that plug-ins are developed independently, and often don’t work well together. Think about it this way: What if, instead of building a house with a single, well-coordinated design, you purchased independent “plug-ins” for the kitchen, living room, bedrooms and foyer? Now imagine that Google is a potential buyer, and it discovers that the kitchen doorway doesn’t match up with the living room entrance or the foyer. To make matters worse, when Google enters the kitchen, it can’t get to the rest of the house.
The search giant has millions of sites to evaluate, and if your site isn’t easily “crawled,” Google loses interest and your rankings fall.
Ineffective Management of Citations (good citations take a lot of work)
Google provides high ranking-value for citations, which are places online that show your Name, Address and Phone numbers (NAP). Why? Because Google wants to be able to accurately display your location(s) on Google Maps and provide accurate directions. If your NAP varies in different citations across the Internet, then Google doesn’t know which NAP is correct, and your rankings fall. Elective health care doctors have literally hundreds of these citations online and it takes a lot of work to identify incorrect citations. Because of this time commitment, some digital marketing agencies do little, or in some cases, nothing, to help their clients’ citation accuracy.
Lack of Focus on Reviews – A Huge Conversion Factor
SEO is not just about rankings; it’s also about conversion. That is, what does a potential patient do when he/she visits your website? Do they leave and go on to another doctor’s website or do they convert to a lead? Studies show that reviews, when used properly, can be a powerful practice marketing and converting tool. To be effective, your Internet company needs to provide three services as part of your strategy: monitoring reviews, soliciting reviews and publishing reviews on your website. If your Internet company does not provide all three of these services, look elsewhere for a new Internet marketing company.
Ranking on Google is more important now than ever to drive new patient acquisition and to retain current clients. SEO is the key to improved rankings. It isn’t true that SEO is dead, but if your team is making the mistakes outlined in this article, then it is dead for you.
CEATUS Case Study of the Month
Crazy Yelper on the Loose?
Ceatus has got you covered
Ceatus offers a comprehensive strategy for online reviews which includes monitoring reviews, tools to help solicit positive reviews and a method to publish reviews onto your practice website(s). Offering this comprehensive package has put our staff members in the mix of dealing with client reviews and has created an in-depth understanding of the reviews landscape. This expertise has come in handy on numerous occasions.
This month’s case study focuses on an Eye Surgery clinic in the western U.S. Last month, our client happened to be traveling to San Diego and planned to visit our offices to review their SEO performance and practice growth, and to discuss the steps of their strategy for the next 12 months. One day before arriving at our office, a “crazy” reviewer placed a highly negative and untrue review about the clinic’s eye surgeon on Yelp. By the time our client arrived, her sole focus was this crazy Yelper and the impact of these negative reviews.
(This part is amazing.) Our staff had, as part of our regular service, been monitoring the client’s reviews and so we were aware of the issue. The client was en route to San Diego, so we had not yet discussed it with her. When she arrived, our SEO expert had already evaluated the review and had developed a plan for how to respond. In just minutes, while our client sat in the conference room, the response was finalized, based on the Yelp guidelines. Within 15 minutes, the review was taken down by Yelp, right in front of our eyes. Of course, these “crazy” reviewers are often relentless and will continue their activities. So, it was no surprise that this Yelper submitted another review the next day. On it! Our staff immediately responded, again citing the Yelp quality guidelines, and the new review was also removed.
Ceatus’ combination of expertise and customer service immediately solved the client’s issue and protected her online footprint. Obviously, rating sites operate independently, and removing a Yelp review cannot be guaranteed in every situation. However, in order to perform at the highest level in the ultra-competitive markets we operate in, Ceatus’ superior expertise and customer focus is essential.
Ask the experts
Q: We use an iPad in the office to encourage patients to post positive reviews. Is this a good strategy?
A: No. Google, Yelp and other rating sites monitor the IP address of the device being used to post reviews. If too many reviews come from the same device, the ratings sites will block all reviews.
Maximize Your Internet Strategy
Come by the Ceatus booth for a FREE website evaluation!
New Orleans, Louisiana
May 6-10, 2016
Bring your Internet strategy into FOCUS. Come visit us at Booth 1206 and get a FREE website evaluation from one of our Digital Marketing experts.
Ceatus’ VP of Marketing, Tamara Evans, will be speaking about how to effectively measure the engagement success of a practice’s social media strategy using key metrics for the ophthalmologist. Also, Ceatus’ VP of Product Management, Devin Butler, will be speaking about the numerous updates Google has recently made to how it ranks websites, as well as “risk factors” commonly seen on ophthalmic websites. So don’t miss out!
“Google on the Attack – Is Your Patient-Generating Website Safe?”
Devin Butler, VP of Product Management
Sunday, May 8, 2016
2:15 – 3:15 PM
Morial Center, Room 352
“How Do I Measure Social Media ROI?”
Tamara Evans, VP of Marketing
Saturday, May 7, 2016
3:30 – 4:30 PM
Morial Center, Room 356-357
May 12-14, 2016
Give your Internet strategy a smile makeover. Visit the Ceatus team at Booth 1181 to learn how to increase your conversion and start bringing new patients to your door!
Las Vegas, Nevada
June 6-12, 2016
Join Ceatus Media Group at the upcoming Vegas Cosmetic Surgery conference in Las Vegas. Come visit us at Booth 422 and get a FREE website evaluation from one of our Digital Marketing experts.
Also, Ceatus CEO David Evans, PhD, and Ceatus VP of Marketing Tamara Evans will be presenting at VCS, so don’t miss out!
Presentations by David Evans, PhD:
“Maximizing Your Practice Internet Presence Without Spending Another Penny”
David Evans, PhD
Wednesday, June 8
“‘RealSelf’ Bridging the Digital Divide” (Panel)
David Evans, PhD
Wednesday, June 8
“Social Media: How Important is It?” (Panel)
David Evans, PhD
Saturday, June 11
Presentation by Tamara Evans:
“How Do I Measure Social Media ROI?”
VP of Marketing
Saturday, June 11, 2016
July 14-17, 2016
Give your Digital Strategy a smile makeover at AGD in Boston. Our Digital Marketing experts will be standing by to offer FREE digital and brand evaluations at booth 1013. We hope to see you there!
Not attending any of these shows? Give us a call (858-454-5505) for a FREE Digital Strategy Evaluation!
Start Me Up
The world’s top 10 car shows
- Frankfurt Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (FIAA)
FIAA, the biggest car show in the world, is held every other year (on odd numbered years so the next one is in 2017) towards the end of September. What makes this show different from most car shows is the sheer number of cars on display. The show houses 10 exhibit halls that can take up to 15 minutes to cross. Each exhibit hall is themed, and the car companies participating go all out with lighting and tech to make the displays not just displays but a show and a work of art.
- Woodward Dream Cruise
Detroit, MI, USA
With a whopping 1.5 million attendees and over 30,000 muscle cars, street rods and custom collector cars, the Woodward Dream Cruise is without a doubt the biggest car show in the U.S. This event is held annually on the third Saturday of August in Metropolitan Detroit, along Woodward Avenue. The Woodward Dream cruise comes from humble beginnings, having started as a small fundraiser to raise money for a soccer field in Ferndale, Michigan. Judging by the attendance now, they could probably fund soccer fields all over the country!
- The Detroit Auto Show (The North American International Auto Show)
Detroit, MI, USA
Detroit Auto Show (The North American International Auto Show) is the top car show in the U.S., showcasing elite cars and trucks from North America and abroad. This weeklong exhibition, which takes place in January each year, includes days for the media, industry, charities and the general public. From concept cars to car debuts, the Detroit Auto Show covers it all.
- Tokyo Motor Show
Japan is host to several of the world’s largest auto makers, so it makes sense to have a show in Tokyo where producers can show off innovative and cutting-edge concepts and ideas in auto engineering and design. Don’t expect a ton of traditional production models due to its high concentration of concept vehicles. Join car buffs, engineers and futurists alike at this one-of-a-kind biennial show. The show takes place at the end of October and early November.
- Pebble Beach Car Week
Monterey, CA, USA
If you think Pebble Beach is only home to the nation’s No. 1 golf course, think again. Grab your vintage car and head over to one of the most high-profile car events of the year. Frequented by the rich and famous alike, Monterey Car Week features the best and the rarest cars money can buy. Cars are often auctioned off for millions of dollars over the course of the week. Also, the famed Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (this year it falls on Sunday, August 21) is a competition that judges prewar and postwar collector cars with the proceeds given to charity.
- Goodwood Festival of Speed
West Sussex, England
The Goodwood Festival of Speed festival is held on the Goodwood estate grounds, which has strong ties to British motor racing history, making it the perfect setting for this car show and race. Held in the summer months of June and July, the festival attracts over 100,000 people each of the three days it is held. Get ready to see fast cars doing what they do best – burning rubber!
Boasting four classic car auctions – yes four – Rétromobile is the place to be to see the world’s finest auto classics. Held in early February, the show attracts enthusiasts in search of classic automotive gems. But even if you’re not into the oldies, there may be something for you, as Rétromobile also includes new car concepts and examples of the latest in automotive design.
- Chicago Auto Show
Chicago, IL, USA
When it comes to North American car shows, The Chicago Auto Show leads the pack in terms of size, scope and attendance. With over 1,000 vehicles to gawk at and dream about, we think this is the show you want to be at the second week of February. Is there enough time to see it all? It’s worth a try!
- The Beijing International Automotive Exhibition
Also known as Auto China, this recent arrival to the auto show scene is all the rage, with auto enthusiasts clamoring to get tickets. With China expanding its domestic car market, major car brands are looking to compete for sales and get a piece of the pie. While most car manufacturers are busy with Beijing Motor show, Auto China is busy wowing the aficionados. Held in April and early May.
- Back To The ’50s
St. Paul, MN, USA
Travel back to the good ole days at St. Paul’s Back To The ’50s show. With over 14,000 pre-1965 cars, the best of the best can be found at this event. The cars displayed are some of the most iconic cars of the era. The show takes place in the middle of June – no snow then, we promise, so plan your trip and be transported.