by Bob Main - Web Presence Coach/Consultant
know the old saying, “There’s no free lunch”? Well, that isn’t necessarily always the case.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, in theory, is free traffic to your website,
Facebook Page or Blog.
Wikipedia defines SEO as the process of improving the
visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the
"natural" or un-paid (also referred to a organic) search results. You
could also pay to show up in search results, called PPC – Pay Per Click, but
what fun is that if you can get it for free.
So how does a website (or other web content) show up on
search engine results pages without paying for it? Basically, Google and all
other search engines routinely send out a program called a "spider"
to "crawl" all websites (or other web content), to look for specific
content (keywords). All of that information about the website content is returned
to the search engine server so it can be “indexed” or categorized. The search
engines use sophisticated algorithms (and often secret classification rules) to
prioritize each site for specific content. The purpose is to make sure that
when the search results are presented to the user, the links are the most
relevant to the word/phrase that was searched on.
So what can a person do to make sure the search engines find
(and crawl/index) their site and rank them high for specific keywords?
Determine what keywords you believe your patients
will search on to find you or your website content. Select about 25 keywords
and make sure the content on your website, blog or social media page contains
these words. Go to
to get information and help picking your top 25 keywords.
Note – The temptation is to write website content or social media posts to be
“keyword rich” so search engines will rank your website/web content higher to show up on
the first page of search results. Don’t overdo it. Content needs to be easy to
read and make sense to the reader. Using keywords too many times on the same
webpage will be viewed as “keyword stuffing” by search engines and your site
will be ranked lower.
Check your website’s SEO by running a free
to see how you score. The program will even make suggestions on how to improve
Get links to your site. One thing the search
engines will look for (when determining priority of how search results are
presented) is how many other credible websites have links to yours. One way to
get links is to write articles that get published (in blogs or even Facebook)
and have a link back to your website. There are companies that sell their
service of getting links to your site. I would stay away from them as the
search engines have a way of penalizing your raking if you use these services.
Submit your website’s “sitemap” to the search
engines. You probably want to get your web company or webmaster to do this for
you. It helps the search engines in the process of crawling your site and
insures they find your content. Each time you make significant changes to your
website or add a lot of new content, be sure to re-submit the revised sitemap. Eventually, the search engines will crawl your site, but submitting a site map can speed things up.
Make sure your webmaster has included relevant
keywords in the meta tags for each webpage. Each webpage’s meta tags need to be
relevant to each pages content. Also make sure they are adding “alt tag”
keywords to photos/graphics and any videos you might have on the site. Since search
engines can’t “see” what is on photos or videos when they crawl your site,
these descriptions help insure you get keyword credit.
So if your motto is “free is me”, then use the above
suggestions to optimize your website content to show up for free in search
engine results. These are not the only things you can do to rank higher in search results, but they are a good start.