Here is my Top Ten List to optimize your SEO (search engine optimization) for your website. Whether or not you’ve built the site yourself, regardless of the type of website, your marketing goals or even your type of medical practice, these are the basic steps to getting your website optimized, indexed and working well.
Start a GMail Account
There are several Google tools available (and for free!). All you need to do is create a GMail Account. With a Google account, you can then set up;
- Google Analytics
- Webmasters Tools
Every website should have an analytics tool setup. Analytics will give you vital information about the popularity of your blog, how many visitors and what they read. Search engines, such as Google, actually expect you to have analytics installed on your site. In fact, not having analytics installed has a negative impact on your Pagerank and SEO.
Sign in to Google Analytics with your GMail userid and password.
Webmasters Tools tests your site for “dead” links and other internal errors which may decrease your SEO. Making sure your have proper 301 redirects and 404 errors handled properly are also important factors of your SEO.
It is here that you will register your website with Google and/or by submitting a sitemap of your site.
Claim FaceBook and Google Plus Pages
Though you know I don’t recommend engaging in social media until you’ve set-up a website, I am changing my recommendation for Facebook and Google Plus (now integrated with Google Places).
In both instances, FaceBook and Google have already created pages for local businesses. Hence, you have a “page” waiting to be claimed. Both will be influential in the local search market and you want to make sure the information available to the public is accurate. At the very least, make sure the phone number and address on these pre-fabbed pages is correct.
An unclaimed page may contain erroneous information about your business and also sends a message to your potential patients that you just don’t care to engage.
Add Title to WebSite
A common SEO “mistake” is a missing Title Tag. The title tag appears in the tab of your browser and is as important for your search engine optimization as your content and inbound links. Take some time to create your title.
Your site can contain your name, but more importantly, we suggest adding your location and type of medical specialty. For instance, Randall Wong, M.D., Retina Specialist of Northern Virginia. Use keywords commonly used by your patients.
The sitemap is used by the search engines as a “Table of Contents” of all the pages comprising your site. It is an easy way for the search engines to ensure that all pages have been crawled and then indexed.
Having and submitting a sitemap signifies to the search engines that you are a legitimate website owner. The search engines regard the sitemap as an efficient way to index all the pages in your site and is an expected component of any “legitimate” website.
I use Google XML Sitemaps on all my sites.
Submit your site to the Open Directory. Websites on the Open Directory are less likely to be black hat or poor quality sites.
From an SEO standpoint, Google, Bing and Yahoo give a higher value to those sites that contain robots.txt….another expected component of a good website.
Length of Domain Registration
Purchase your URL for at least 2 years, but 5-7 years is better. This increases the “trustworthiness” of your site and improves Pagerank and your SEO. The search engines rank older, more trusted sites, too (i.e. the age of your URL is important).
If you’ve purchased the URL for only a year, you might consider renewing now, but for multiple years.
Choose either a mobile friendly (aka mobile responsive) theme if you have yet to build a site or change your present site to become mobile responsive. We recommend themes by Studiopress as inexpensive, SEO maximized and now mobile friendly.
These days, most wordpress themes are automatically mobile responsive. Don’t get snookered into paying separately for a mobile site!
These are my top ten! I invite you to share your suggestions!
To Your Growth And Success!
Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Medical Website Optimization