Search Engines Rank Webpages Not Websites

Search engines rank webpages not websites.Search engines rank webpages, not websites.

Think of a reference manual;  dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauraus.  The title of the book refers to a collection of pages bound together.  Unlike a novel, reading each page in order serves no purpose.

A website is composed of webpages.  A collection of webpages constitutes a website and as in our manual example, each webpage of a website contains useful information.

Search engines, such as Google, rank individual pages of each site and not the whole site collectively.

Overall, with good SEO, most of your pages will rank well.

The URL or Domain

Think of a website as a place (i.e. your Domain) where webpages of a common theme reside.  In this way, you may better understand how a “website” may rank for dozens of keywords.  In actuality, a successful website contains many pages allowing for the excellent SERP rankings.

When establishing a PageRank, an overall score is assigned to your domain, or website.  A PageRank is different than index rankings on a SERP.  It gives you an overall score of the relevance of a website.


Each article you write for publish for your site will have a separate and unique URL. The root URL remains the same, but the extension, or filename, is unique to everypage of the site.  For instance;

This points to the home page and is the “root” URL.

This URL is the address of my “About” page.  It is indexed separately from the home page and all other pages on this site.  This extension signifies that it is completely separate file, or page, on my site.

Each of these pages is read and indexed separately by Google.  One page may rank better for “medical search engine optimization” and the other for “randall wong md.”

This website has almost 300 pages “indexed” with the search engines.  In theory, this means this site could rank for at least 300 different keywords or subjects!

Do you have 300 areas of your practice for which you’d like to rank Number 1?

What Can You Do?

This emphasizes the importance of relevance.  Each and every article should be relevant to one subject, or keyword.  The more specific your article, or post, is to one keyword, the more relevant.  Try to write an article “concentrating” on too many keywords and you lose specificity, i.e. relevance.

To your success!


Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization

How to Create Value on Your Medical Website

Creating Value for Your Medical Website

Every website must provide value.  A medical website easily creates value by providing answers their patients health related questions.  We do it every day.

To effectively market your medical practice on the Internet, your website should provide trusted, optimized medical information so it can rank high on search engine result pages (SERPS).

It all starts with providing value… and at no cost. You can’t generate traffic to your website if your website does not provide value to your visitors.

Click through ads (e.g. Adwords), social media platforms, and email blasts draw attention; however, it’s pointless to employ these tactics if your website can’t keep the attention of your visitors.

Why not try creating real value by providing credible information instead of buying them? I have found my time is much better spent creating value through content, rather than devising the next best click through ad.

Value is the key to driving traffic to your website. With time, value creates trust. For a medical practice, this is key to converting website visitors into paying patients. By building trust you are also increasing the value of your medical practice.

How do You Create Value

Our patients are desperate for information. They have lots of questions and want answers. The digital age has broadened their ability to access information, but what information is credible and relevant?

As health experts, we have the ability to create value by providing credible, relevant answers to the questions patients are asking. Rather than relying on advice from less credible sources on the Internet it is imperative that we provide information so patients can make informed decisions.

There is an easy way to do this. Everyday we use the same rehearsed speeches over and over again to educate our patients. A great way to create content is to write these canned speeches/answers down.

Taken one step further, you can also incorporate a Q & A section within your article. To do this, simply include the questions your patients typically ask and provide the answers.

For me, this content method has proved to be a great source of “value” not only for my practice, but also for my patients, prospective patients and their families. Writing down “answers” to my most frequently asked questions (e.g. How do you put the eye back in after surgery?) has been a huge resource for my “content” and provides tremendous value to my site.

If you regularly post to your website, your traffic will increase because search engines will increase your relative position on their search engine results page.

That is, you are providing timely, relevant, credible content that is aligned with the corresponding searches. This the crux of search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing.

3 Tips to Create Great Content:

•write about what you know;
•don’t give advice; and
•don’t make a diagnosis


If you do this everybody wins.

Give Away Your Knowledge, Not Your Expertise

Critics are concerned that we are discounting our profession and ourselves by “giving away” what we know. We aren’t.

Our ability to combine our knowledge and experience to make a diagnosis and to recommend a treatment plan is the value we provide to our patients.

There is an inherent difference between educating and treating. By no means would I advocate treating or diagnosing on the Internet. By providing content we increase our value not only to our patients, but also to society.

Creating valuable content raises awareness of your medical practice, increases your profile, and provides valuable information to those are searching. Start writing today and see the difference it can make for your practice and, more importantly, your patients.

How do you generate content for your medical website? Please share your ideas in the comment section below.

BTW – We never remove the eye because we don’t know how to put it back!


To Your Growth And Success!


Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization


The 3 Rs of Great SEO

SEO Tips for Medical Office.  Medical Marketing Enterprises. LLCFollow these 3 basic rules to SEO (search engine optimization) to get your webpages to rank highly.

My “3 R’s” to great SEO:

  1. Relevant:  Your content must be relevant
  2. Refreshed:  Your site should be continuously refreshed with new “fresh” articles
  3. Regular:  You should publish at a regular rate

SEO (search engine optimization) is the process by which your great content, the articles written on your website, become indexed and then ranked by the search engines.

Relevant Content

Your content must be relevant to the reader.  Your future patients are surfing looking for an answer to a specific problem.  Your articles should be providing the answers, hence, your articles must be relevant.  Write articles on topics interesting to your readers.

Choosing a subject neither too broad nor too narrow can be tricky.  I started out writing articles on the most commonly asked questions I’d get in the office.

You’ve rehearsed this subject thousands of times (because you’ve told the same story patient after patient) and know it by heart.  Simply writing it down will be easy.

NOTE:  These types of articles are naturally interesting and informative.  I now refer patients to my website for “further explanation.”

Good SEO:  Use keywords in your article that will match the keywords used in the Google search.

Refreshed Website

Ever visit a stale website?  Will you ever go back?

Google ranks pages with fresh content higher than pages with stale content.  Google wants to provide the reader with the most relevant content and from a site with fresh, new content….just as you’d like.

NOTE:  I have a few tips on writing great blog posts.   For instance, write 1 topic per article.  Don’t feel compelled to write exhaustive reviews every time .  In this way, you’ll be less likely to suffer writer’s block and your articles will be more targeted.

Good SEO:   The search engine bots visit refreshed sites more often than those sites with older content.  If the bots find and index new content every visit…they’ll return that much sooner!

Regular Publications

It is better to publish your articles at a regular rate than all at once.

NOTE:  I personally try and publish the same day of the week, for the sake of my readership.  It’s easier for your readers to know your pattern…if you have one.

Good SEO:  Let’s say you have 10 articles.  From an SEO standpoint, it’s smarter to publish the articles once a week for 10 weeks, than all at once.

To Your Growth And Success!


Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization


Using Titles and Subtitles

Choosing effective titles and subtitles make your articles interesting and easy to read for your readers, but did you know that creating titles (headings) and subtitles (subheadings) correctly is also a powerful way to optimize the SEO for your articles?

Well written and SEO optimized articles get the highest rankings, as your copy-write will appeal to both readers and the search engines.

People Read Titles, Bots Read Header Tags

Essentially, titles and headings are synonymous.

Text Title:  ”Using Titles and Subtitles…”

Same Title with Tags: <h2>”Using Titles and Subtitles</h2>

Titles are what we write.  Titles get marked/coded for the search engines to understand.  This translation takes place automatically as you are writing in WordPress and most other CMS or HTML generators.

Headings are simply the text title marked by code called header tags.  There are technically 6 header tags.  We only care about H1 and H2 tags.  3-6 are not very practicle to use.

H1 is the title and is the most important SEO element of your article.  This is the same as the title of your article.  Subtitles are designated as H2 tags and are the second most important SEO value in your article.

Use a Keyword in the Title

Your title, and therefore your header (H1) should contain your keyword.  Your keyword is basically the main subject of the blog post.  For instance, if I am writing an article about bicycles, my title should contain the keyword bicycles.

“Why I love Bicylces” is much better than “Why I Love My New Gift.”

In this case, the computer will look for text bracketed by the H1 tags.  The H1 tag, or title tag, alerts the bots that this article is about bicycles.   Google will then index my article under “bicycles.”

Choosing Subtitles

It’s a great idea to break up your post into different sections.  Each section should have a subtitle.  Use either the same keyword or phrases in the subtitle that relate to the title!

This is not always easy, but let’s try these subheadings for our imaginary article on bicycles;

  • “Bicycles Last Forever”
  • “Environmentally Friendly Transportation”
  • “Low Cost Commuting”

These might be poorer choices because they say nothing inherent about bicycles.  While they may have nuances about bicycles, computers don’t understand nuances (neither does a reader skimming vertically through your article);

  • “It’s the Best Value for the Money!”
  • “Saves the Planet”
  • “Easy on the Wallet!”
By the way, my subtitles are not just a larger font, they are indeed enlarged, but they are also tagged with the  H2 tag.  As I write, I highlight the subtitle and change to “heading 2″ in WordPress.  Your own program will have a similar function to code your subtitles.

Where to Place the H1 and H2 Tags?

Translating to HTML tags is done automatically by most programs as we write.

Depending upon the program, you may need to manually install the H1 information, that is, you may need to type the actual title you want used as the Title.

Too many websites and too many webpages are missing Titles!

Make sure each and every article has a title!

Where to Check the HTML?

Right click your mouse on any webpage and choose “view source.”  This is the HTML.  This is the version of your article the search engines read and understand!

You may also try a free analytics program, such as to search your site for a title.

To Your Growth And Success!


Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization




Starting to Understand SEO, Include a Title with Every Article

There are two versions of every article I write.  One version is written in English for you, my readers.  A second version is generated (automatically) for the computers and is written in a computer language called HTML.

Search engine optimization is the process of fine-tuning the HTML version so the search engines may easily index and rank your webpage.  “Optimizing” this process gets your pages ranked as high as possible.  The result is high rankings for your webpage.

Where is the HTML?

Every page you read on the Internet has an HTML version.  Right click on a page and choose “view page source.”  This is the computer coded version of the article you are reading.  These are the instructions for your computer and web-browser to generate all the visible and audible parts of your webpage.

Within the HTML lies the information needed to index your webpage with the search engines.  The process of completing or “optimizing” this information is called SEO (search engine optimization).

You Don’t Know HTML?

Almost all website programs (aka HTML generators), blogging software (aka content management systems) and word processors automatically generate an HTML version of your webpage, blog post or simple text document.  You don’t need to do it.

Most successful bloggers do not know HTML.  You don’t either.

Fortunatley, converting your text to HTML is standare.  In fact, there’s no variation between systems and is very uniform regardless of the system you are using.

Header (Title), Subheader, Keywords, Meta Tags and Anchor Text

Completing all the necessary elements for the SEO; however, varies greatly.  The method to complete the basic SEO elements such as;

  • the header (telling the bots what your article is about),
  • sub-headers (phrases that augment the header),
  • keywords (main subject of the article, should be one or two words only),
  • meta tags (additional descriptors) and
  • anchor text (a hyperlink using descriptive words),

all differ from system to sytem.  Most systems require you to manually complete these items (there are special boxes to fill in for every article…usually) to allow insertion into the HTML.

In many cases, the authors ignore the SEO and the search engine is left to it’s own devices to figure out the most important elements of your work to index and rank.

What Can You Do?

1.  Don’t ignore the SEO.  It’s the key to content marketing and the only way to get your webpage ranked highly.

2.  Install SEO Plugins on your WordPress site.  These plugins will help you easily complete the necessary SEO fields to get you started to optimize your own articles.  Highly reputable plugins include;

3.  Make sure each of your articles has a correct title, keywords and meta tags.  While the use of keywords and meta tags is no longer used by Google, it is a helpful exercise to start using these descriptors to index your article on your own.  Other search engines may still index your site using these criteria.

To Your Growth And Success!


Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization


3 Keys to Writing Successful Posts

Great medical copywright, should be written with 3 goals in mind.  Your next post should provide value, be tailored to an individual “patient” and, most importantly, evoke a response.

Content Provides Value = No Value, No Patients

First and foremost, your articles must provide value.  Remember, value creates trust and trust brings loyalty.  If there is no value to your articles or website, you will never create traffic.  Think about every website you enjoy visiting….it provides for a need, whether it is a sports schedule, the weather or the latest recipe.

So, too, your medical website must create value.

The value you provide is your medical knowledge.  Your patients have questions, and you, as the authority, provide the answers.  Your answers to their problems solves their needs.

Write to Your “Ideal” Patient

Close your eyes and pretend you are talking one person.  This one person should be your “ideal” patient for this discussion.  The dialogue or explanation you have with this indidual is your next post.

By making this “personal” you will be speaking directly to your reader…your next patient.

You are not talking to a large group, you are speaking one-on-one.

By writing in this manner, you have a greater chance of engaging your readers, i.e. patients.  They will hear you speak to them through your article…one on one.  The greatest effect is that you will engage them, causing them to read more.

Don’t Please Everyone

You want to evoke a response.  You want your reader to leave a comment.

Your article is ideally delivering one message.  It should not be an exhaustive review, it should cover one topic.  It should cover the most salient details.  Resist the temptation to showoff by knowing all the answers (your readers know you do).  Leave something to be questioned.

A great article is informative (provides value), is written personally and evokes a response…or in social media terms, should start a conversation.  The most powerful article is written to invite the reader to leave a comment.

Making a comment or asking a question on your website is the most powerful element of social media.

What have you done?

You have written an article solving your reader’s question (providing value),  you have engaged them by writing personally and have evoked a response (they have left a comment).

This conversation allows subsequent readers to identify with your original reader.  You have created an opportunity for others with similar problems to identify with one another.  This is the power of your website and why you will stand out above your competition.

Care to leave a comment? :)

To Your Growth And Success!


Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization


The Anatomy of a SERP Page

Good medical SEO will get your pages ranked highly on SERP.

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page.  There are 3 basic areas to a results page; the organic section and two are paid advertising.  Good content marketing, optimization or SEO (search engine optimization) is focused on getting your pages ranked highly in the “organic section” as opposed to the paid advertising areas.

I created this search engine results page using the following search terms:  Medical Marketing Enterprises.

SERP or search engine results page. Medical website SEO and website optimization.


A – Banner Advertising (PAID)

This section has the colored background and is always in the top left position.  These are “banner” ads and are paid advertising.   The keywords used and amount of competition will determine the price.  In general, these ads rotate and are related to specific search terms used to generate the search.

For instance, the 3 results in section A all paid Google to place these ads and are related to my search keywords “Medical Marketing Enterprises.”

C – “Adwords” PPC Advertising (PAID)

The section on the right are also paid advertising.  These are the famous Google “Adwords” PPC (pay-per-click) advertising whereby an advertiser pays Google to place these small 4 lined ads on the side of your SERP when you are searching for related terms.  See how they all “relate” to Medical Marketing?

You’ll see these ads pop up all over the place;  email, and other websites are common places.  Advertisers only pay Google when a serfer actually clicks on the ad (hence, “pay per click”).  For a medical practice, these PPC ads are very affordable, but do nothing to increase your page ranking.

B – Organic Search: The Target for Your SEO Goals

You want your pages to rank highly here.

This is the listing of true, legitimate search.  Pages listed here appear based on their relevance to the search terms used to create the search and are not paid advertising (such as the banner ads and Adwords).

Pages ranked here are the most relevant to your search terms, have the best SEO and pagerank.

It is in this area where we want your pages to rank in the “Top 10″ or “Above the Fold” (newspaper term used to connote the “most important).

The goal of every medical practice is to get their webpages ranked highly in the organic section.  Using content marketing strategies and good SEO, your pages will attract the most traffic due to the high visibility.  Content marketing (i.e. getting your pages ranked highly on the organic search) is the only way a practice can attain and maintain high SERP rankings.

Compared to the paid advertising, the organic search is free, and thus, has the best ROI (return on investment).  It is how my website increased my surgical volume over 30% last year….all through content marketing.

To Your Growth And Success!


Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization



What is Your PageRank?

 PageRank compares websites based on relevance and qualtiy backlinks.  Medical marketing Enterprises.  Medical SEO


PageRank (PR) is an SEO valuation method, used by Google, to compare websites.  It is a grading system and is different from SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

PR is a numerical grade from 0-10 used to establish the relative “worth” or importance compared to other, similar webpages.  0 is a poor grade and 10 is the best.  I believe only two sites are “10′s”;  Google and Facebook.

A Man Named Page

The PageRank algorithm was actually created by an individual named Larry Page.  It is patented by Stanford University and licensed by Google. (This was news to me!)

The algorithm used to establish ranking uses several variables, but is essentially based upon the number, and quality, of inbound and outbound links to and from your website.

Links Are Votes

Inbound links are hyperlinks from other sources leading TO your webpage.  Outbound links are hyperlinks FROM your site to another page.

In this context, links are viewed as votes, or endorsements, for another site.  For instance, if  your page has multiple links arriving from other sites and those sites have a higher PR than yours, your site PageRank will improve.

On the other hand, if  your page has multiple links from other sources of inferior grade, your pagerank may actually drop.  Also, if your outbound links are to real duds…your PR may drop, so choose your links carefully.  Link to known, reputable sources.

Reputation and Relevance

Google’s quest is to find the best websites relevant to a keyword search (i.e. your question or phrase you are “Googling?).  The algorithm values incoming links from reputable websites, that is, incoming links from websites of similar relevance (subject matter) are weighted heavily.


My website on retinal diseases is a health related site (BTW, this is actually a backlink from this site to my retina site).  While I may claim (using health related keywords, meta tags, titles, etc.) to be a health related site, a better endorsement of my site is when other health related sites, especially of higher PR, link to mine.  These are quality links:  similar type of site and of higher PR.

As a consequence, this cuts down on the spammers and makes it harder for poor quality sites to get your attention when using link farms (mass quantity links of little relevance or quality).

What Can You Do?

Most likely, it will take  6 months to a year to gain a PR of 1.  One other criteria for PR is age of the site (and also the duration for which you purchased your URL – 5 years is great).  This “trust” variable is used to combat spammers (those trying to get high rankings but only for a short, short time).

As a small business (i.e your medical practice), a PR of 2 is more than adequate.

I use a free plug-in called SEOquake to check pageranks.  It also gives me my Alexa ranking and the number pages indexed by Google.  It’s free.  Many others exist.

A good PR improves your ability to rank well on SERP (your ultimate goal).  Your page should rank higher than pages with similar content if the PR is higher.  It’s that simple.

Often, I will “guest post” as a method of building links.  Within my post, I’ll have a few links back to my own site, yet this post will be published on a site … with a higher PR than mine!

To Your Growth And Success!


Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization

Website Grows Practice 30%

My website on retinal diseases grew my surgical volume by 31% last year.

I have been in practice for 19 years and presently work for two separate ophthalmic groups.  Neither does any marketing.  Both have webpages that should be parked (the websites are stale and have been ignored and do not reflect positively on the groups).  Their websites do not rank well.

My websites are the only marketing tool I have.  The “non-retina” volume (e.g. cataract surgey) has remained “flat” at best for each group.

12,000 “uniques”

I attract over 12,000 visitors per 3o days (this is the standard metric by which website traffic can be measured, the number of unique visitors per 30 days) to my website about retinal disease.

Over 25,000 pages were viewed.  Most visitors read about 2.5 articles and spend about almost 1.5 minutes “looking.”

82% are new visitors.

Most of my readers are from the U.S.

International and Interstate Patients

In the last year, however, I have had several international patients and several dozen patients traveling interstate.  Most come for surgery.

Local Patients

The growth of my retina sub-specialty practice is not due to the numbers of international nor interstate patients I attract.  Those numbers are relatively lean, but they do grab your attention.

In fact, the core of my growth is due to the tremendous local exposure my website generates.  I rank higher on SERP, and more often, when patients are performing a search for a retinal specialist than any of my competitors.

I own my local zip codes.

I have become my own, single largest referral source.  Patients come from two major sources.

Self-referrals are the obvious source.  As 90% of Americans first turn to the Internet when looking for answers to their health, many patients simply self-refer themselves.

The second way my practice grows is related to my referrral base.  Word of mouth from patients and referals from other doctors no LONGER are sufficient for patients to call and make an appointment.   Word of mouth and doctor ‘referals’ serve only as suggestions. 

I need to be validated on the web before a call is made to make an appointment.

This is the mechanism by which my web presence has helped boost my practice the most.  A suggestion is made to see me, and I am validated vis-a-vis my web presence.

Not Social Media Either

I do use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  I use them primarily to reach out to the few who “follow” me on these platforms.  My analytics are respectable, not due to traditional social media, but due to the efforts of content marketing.

Content Marketing is the Best for Medicine

Content marketing and optimizing your SEO (search engine optimization) is the only way a medical practice can achieve and also maintain high rankings.  Creating value on your website by providing useful, relevant health information is the key to getting your website ranked highly on SERP and attracting new patients.

While Facebook’s marketing utility is indeed growing, without a good website, you can’t develop a Facebook marketing strategy.  While this may not be true in other industries, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn should be used to draw attention to your website.

Content marketing provides value to the patients looking for answers to their health questions.  Google and the other search engines rank websites based upon relevance….i.e., the quality of the content on your site.

Good relevant content turns into high rankings.  High rankings become patients….eventually.

(I’ll be writing next about the different stages of a website and how traffic can turn into….patients.)


Have a great President’s Day Weekend!

To the Growth of You and Your Practice!

Randall V. Wong, M.D.






About Keywords

 Keywords are a best SEO Practice, Medical Marketing Enterprises

Maximize your SEO by understanding keywords.  These are the words and phrases entered in a search bar.

Keywords are terms, or words,  used to index and retrieve documents on the Internet and are the beginning of “search” and “search” is the beginning of SEO (search engine optimization).

Keywords Start Search

Keywords are index terms used to find documents, or webpages, related to that specific term or subject. When you start a “search,” you are trying to find webpages that match your keywords.

When you “Google Something,” the words you “Google” are simply keywords.

Used to Index Webpages

Google, and the other search engines, index/categorize/file every web page on the Internet.  Keywords are assigned to every webpage.

Remember, Google ranks webpages, not websites.  This means that every webpage of your website gets indexed and is assigned a “main topic.”

Every time you search, the engines try to find the best webpages that match your keywords.  (The order in which the results are listed is the science of SEO!)

How Search Engines Determine Keywords

In the old days of SEO (or maybe before SEO even started), the webmaster would supply their own  words  that should be used for each page.  These were added as ‘metatags’ which told the search engines the keywords to use for that particular webpage.

Keywords would also be overused within the content of an article.  The more times a word was used in an article, the higher the ranking!

“Keyword Stuffing” became a black hat SEO technique and quickly became an unethical way of trying to manipulate page rankings on search engines.

Nowadays, neither technique works.  In fact, metatags are ignored by Google.  Also, if a particular word represents more than 5.5% of the total words, the SEO value decreases and the page is actually penalized with lower rankings.

Google now has its own algorithm for determining keywords.  There is no longer any gamesmanship and is one of the reasons that good SEO has become so important.

Adding Your Own Keywords

In almost all website design programs, blogging software, HTML generators, etc., there are area where you can manage the SEO of your webpage.  In these areas, you can specifically add titles, descriptions, compose metatags and keywords.

What Can You Do?

In Titles:  Use your keyword within your title.  This not only catches the attention of the search engines, but your readers, too.

In the Description:  Take the extra time to compose a succinct description of your article – no more than 150 words and use your keywords.  The description is the text underneath your webpage title on a SERP (search engine results page).  It will not necessarily improve your SEO, but it will catch the attention of your readers.

Scribe SEO Tool:  I use, and we suggest, purchasing a subscription to Scribe.  Scribe is a plugin for WordPress (and other CMS applications) and makes optimization simple and easy.  It will walk you thorugh setting up your tiltes, analyzing your writing and descriptions, count your keywords and grade each publication.

To the Growth of You and Your Practice!

Randall V. Wong, M.D.