Most likely, you’ve heard the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but you might be uncertain about exactly what it is. And that’s not surprising, because SEO changes every week as Google changes their algorithm of how they index pages.
SEO is things that you can do to get your site to rank better in the search engines.
Just a few years ago, SEO was a pretty simple thing. You could upload a website, toss in some keywords and your site would jump to the top of the search results. But, because it was so easy, people cheated the system to get their site to #1. Google had to change the way they ranked sites, and now Google uses over 200 different “signals” to figure out where to place your (and your competitor’s) website. Today, SEO is just a few of those signals, as content marketing and social media gain prominence.
What we’re going to talk about here are the things that you need to do on your actual site pages to help Google index your website.
One of the most important of the meta tags, the Title Tag is what appears in search results for a particular page. The Title Tag doesn’t show up on your website page. For example, this page’s title tag is:
Chiropractic SEO and Search Optimization – ChiroHosting Marketing
The Title Tag is important, because it tells Google what your web page is about. We see far too many chiropractic sites that will have a Title Tag like, “Services.” When you have a weak tag like that, Google is going to have a very difficult time indexing your site page.
A much more powerful Title Tag would be, “Houston Chiropractic Services – Family Chiropractic Center.” This tells Google where your practice is located and mentions your practice name.
The Description Tags don’t show up on your site page directly, either. They’re part of the HTML code that builds your page. They do appear, however, in the Google search results, as the text below the link. For instance, the Description Tag for this page is:
What is SEO and how can search optimization help improve your site ranking on your chiropractic website?
The Description Tag is useful, because it also tells Google what your site page is about and it provides an opportunity to encourage patients to click your link in the search results. Include a good “call-to-action” in your description tag, such as your phone number, and you can increase the chances of a patient clicking on your site. Also, make sure your description tag is unique for each and every page on your site, as Google will demote your site pages if they’re just copies of other pages or if they have too many keywords in them.
I’m going to include this here just to let you know that these are useless. In 2008, Google stopped paying attention to keyword tags completely, because people were cheating by jamming tons of spammy keywords in this tag.
But here’s an important thing to note: if a chiropractic “SEO expert” tries to sell you their service, ask them about keyword tags. If they talk about how important they are, they are lying to you and you should not waste your money with them!
We include keyword tags on our N8 Site Builder, simply because we got tired of people asking for them. But they serve no purpose and you should’t waste your time with them.
This is one of the most important SEO components, but as Google gets smarter about indexing site pages, on-page optimization is changing. Five years ago, Google would look at how often a particular keyword was being used and then use that to rank the page. Again, people were abusing the system, and now Google looks at how useful the page is to your site visitors. They determine this by looking at how long a site visitor stays on the page and whether they bounce from your site back to the search results. Therefore, it’s important to make sure the content on each of your site pages is compelling and informative to the patient.
Video is one fantastic way to make your site sticky and adding links to your site pages also make it more likely that people will click and visit other pages on your site.
As we can see, SEO still plays a role in getting good ranking for your site. When choosing a chiropractic website host, make sure that your Content Management System (CMS) gives you have complete control over your title tags. Our N8 Site Builder does, but some don’t. Ask before you sign up with any chiropractic website company.
Go back to our Beginner’s Guide to Chiropractic Websites and SEO