SEO Is Not What You Think It Is

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SEO is a funny concept. Everyone knows that they have to do it, but what it is can vary depending on who you ask. A common thread in SEO for eye care marketing is the notion that if you're not ranked #1, or even on the first page, you won't get any clicks. And that's simply not true


It's nice to be ranked #1, but success in SEO is far more complex than that. The more you understand it, the more likely you are to work within the algorithm to get more clicks, and ultimately, book more appointments.

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What is SEO?

Let's back it up for those unaware: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO consists of a growing number of marketing and web development strategies designed to improve your website's ranking in search engine results.

Things that affect your search ranking include how well your site loads, the number of users it receives, the usefulness of the info on it and the number of external links that point back to it.

It's important because it offers something that marketing previously couldn't: the opportunity to reach and motivate prospective patients when they're deep in the "sales journey." For example, an ad on a bus bench is nice if somebody seeing it needs a LASIK consultation but it's even better if your website is what that prospective patient finds when they're actively searching Google for help with their eyes.

Google Knows Everything

Let's say a prospective local patient is searching for an optometrist. Google knows where they live, where they work, where their kids go to school, and the types of businesses they usually patronize. Long story short, when they search Google for an ophthalmologist, it may not show them the website that has the most unique visitors, or the site that has the most SEO-optimized keywords.

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The algorithm will show them the website that is most likely to get THEIR click. Maybe the MD options Google shows are near the prospect's office, or maybe it'll show the closest MDs to where they made the search with the best Google Reviews.

The search results Google shows you when you perform a search are influenced by where you're searching from, the keywords you used to make the search, and YOU- your search habits and trends. Understanding that means you can employ as many SEO tactics as possible to get more clicks.

The Key to Better Results


So how can you improve SEO? The focus of your strategies shouldn't just be ranking, but the keywords and activities needed to book appointments. There are multiple (read: endless) combinations of keywords that your practice can rank for. In some cases, a big chain with big pockets has cornered the market on some common 'short-tail' keywords (i.e. 'ophthalmologist' or 'eye surgeon'). Their ranking may not even come from an outstanding SEO plan, but by virtue of being the oldest site with the most clicks.

SEO takes time, especially if you're new to it and in a city with many MDs. A website refresh and eye care content strategy using long-tail and specialty keywords can help attract new patients using strategies the competition hasn't even thought about.

For example, in your case, if a short-tail keyword would be "ophthalmologist," then a mid-tail keyword phrase would be "ophthalmologist near me." While you're working to rank for those terms, a blog and landing page campaign of long-tail keywords like "Where to book a droopy eye exam" or "how to know if I need IOLs," or specialty keywords like "help with glaucoma" may be able to bring your practice the same business the competition gets, even if you're not #1 for "ophthalmologist near me."

(Hint: You can also ask one of EyeMDPro's experts what patients are actually searching for).

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How EyeMDPro Can Help

We're not saying short-tail keywords or search rankings aren't important. But rather, there are many factors that affect ranking, and there are countless keywords and phrases for you to rank in. On top of that, there are countless algorithms in place depending on who's searching for what, and where.

What is important, is having an eye care expert SEO manager who knows the keywords and strategies to reach your practice's ideal specialty patients above the competition. Booking Oculoplastics patients requires a different strategy than LASIK patients, and the content strategy for Cataracts is different yet still.

Does your website and its content speak to the patients of your specific services? Is the content useful to your patients and posted frequently? Is your page mobile-friendly and does it load quickly? If the answer to those questions is yes, and your appointment calendar is full, you deserve a break. If it's no, EyeMDPro has a no-contract plan to help.

Want to start boosting your SEO without the plan? Our Directory Listings & Google Business Profile and Google Reviews add-on marketing Optimizers were designed to improve your online reputation and let Google know your page is worth visiting.

Want to know more? Choose a time to talk to our team of eye care experts, and they'll let you know the best way to grow your practice based on your specialites.