Do you get those random emails from strangers offering to get you on page 1 of Google?
I think we can all acknowledge the benefit of being on page 1 of Google and there are many companies who will offer their services to optimise your website with the promise to get you there (this is known as search engine optimisation or SEO).
I have used those companies and I have to say that from my personal experience, it has been a frustrating and unprofitable endeavour.
They promise the earth and then as soon as you start working with them, they tell you it will takes many months to see any benefit (they charge monthly) and if you try to end your contract, they tell you that things are just starting to get better and you will lose all that good work if you stop now!
I have learnt a couple of things about SEO
1. Search Engines Don’t Want You To Pay For SEO
The goal of search engines is to deliver the most relevant and helpful pages for a particular search.
They don’t want people employing tech wizards who use strategies and tactics to boost your page up the rankings if it is not relevant and helpful.
So you should be concentrating on making your page relevant and helpful first before thinking about some ninja tactics to get the <H1> and <H2> tags in the right place or whatever.
For this reason, Google will regularly change the way that it ranks webpages so that those who rely on the tactics rather than the style and content, will suffer.
2. Search Engines Rank Pages For Specific Keywords, Not Websites
You need to focus on specific keywords or phrases when you are trying to rank highly on Google.
You cannot just say, ‘I want to be on page 1 on Google’.
You need to think about what specific keywords you want to rank for.
My advice is that the lowest hanging fruit and the place you focus your efforts is the people who are googling your name.
they are googling you already
Whether you have an online presence or not, everybody (well most of them) who has come to see you in clinic has googled you before they came to see you.
You need to think about these people and control what they are seeing.
Try to rank for the keywords around your name
The keywords that you need to rank highly on google for are:
- Your name (eg JJ Staiano)
- Dr your name (eg Dr JJ Staiano)
- Your name your speciality (eg JJ Staiano plastic surgeon)
- Your name reviews (eg. JJ Staiano reviews)
When you start to realise this, you can see that it should not be too hard to get on the first page of google (ideally the first position) when people are typing your name in the search.
Your efforts need to be focused on the people who already know about you.
Too many doctors think the problem is that not enough people know about them, but this is not the way to grow your private practice.
You don’t need to be position 1 on Google for ‘plastic surgeon in Birmingham’, but you should be working to get position 1 for ‘JJ Staiano plastic surgeon’.
It is a lot easier to rank for the keyword of ‘your name‘ rather than a generic term like ‘is my chest pain serious‘ or ‘best orthopaedic surgeon near me‘
If you have not started to try to claim your spot on Google, then you will probably find that it is taken by your local Spire or BMI hospital that you are registered with. Either that or Doctify or I Want Great Care.
These sites have a lot of traffic and a healthy Google ranking, so will always come up high, but you should be able to outrank them if you focus on optimising your site for your name.
Optimise Your Website For Your Name
You can utilise the traffic from the websites you are already featured on, like Spire and Doctify, by making sure that they link back to your website. The more inbound links that you have going to your website from good quality sources, the better.
Make sure that you have bought the domain name of ‘yourname.com’ and .co.uk as well as any other permutation of your name and relevant extension (e.g. .clinic) that you can find.
Then think about how you want to be known as:
- JJ Staiano
- Dr JJ Staiano
- Mr JJ Staiano
- Dr JJ
- Jonathan Staiano
Think about how you want people to refer to you when they are talking to their friends about you.
Then make this your primary domain and redirect all the other domains to it.
Make sure that you refer to yourself as this throughout your website and make your website helpful and informative.
Focus On Content, Not Strategy, To Future Proof Your Website
Once you have got a website on your own domain name, you can set about making it a useful resource keeping in mind the need to optimise it for your name.
My advice is to focus more about serving your patients with relevant content rather than worrying about the latest Google algorithm. This way, you are more likely to weather any storms if Google decide to change their algorithm.
If You Have A Compelling Message And A Clear Call To Action, The Rest Is Gravy
It is better to have a clear and compelling message on a website that is visited by a few engaged people, rather than having a bland and generic site that ranks no.1 around the world.
A call to action is an essential part of any website, and I don’t mean ‘contact us’.
The whole point of having a website is to generate leads – you need patients to take action when they land on your website and to get in touch, you will then have the opportunity to continue the conversation with them.
Start today, there is no excuse
If you haven’t bought your domain name(s) yet and launched at least a basic website,
You are missing a huge opportunity to engage with your patients and potential patients.
Don’t worry about the fact that you are unlikely to rank highly for generic terms, just concentrate on ranking highly for your own name as this is what your patients will be searching for.
It is easier than ever these days to build your own professional looking website.
I have an online course ‘How To Build A Website’, which is available for immediate download and will get you live in a couple of days.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free strategy call with me, click here to book online, or fill in the form below and I will be in touch to because I love talking about this stuff.