May 2019 DSM Insider 32 - Page 22

MARC FOWLER WHERE THE PATIENTS ARE Y ou’ve no doubt heard the saying that in retail, location is everything. Every retailer from the gas station to Starbucks wants to be on the busiest corner in town. The more traffic going by, the better. Location is equally important online. There are certain websites that receive a disproportionate share of the digital “traffic”. According to SimilarWeb, the three most visited websites in the U.S. are Google, Facebook and YouTube. While you can’t improve your physical location without the cost and hassle of moving, you can easily improve your online location. Here are some tips for being found by prospective patients on these high traffic websites. As a local business, there are two primary ways to gain organic visibility on Google. First is the Local Pack (red box). In order to show up in this section, your Google My Business (GMB) Listing must be better optimized than those of competing practices. That means completing every possible section and selecting the proper category for your listing, uploading photos and videos, gathering Google patient reviews, and having a comprehensive description. You’ll find more GMB optimization tips here. The second way to show up in Google is the section below the Local Pack (black box), often referred to as the organic section. Google has over 200 ranking factors that they evaluate when determining which websites to list and where to list them. Reviewing all of those factors is beyond the scope of this article. However, we will touch on a few factors that have been shown to have an immediate impact on your organic rankings. Two of the most critical factors include content on your website (within the code as well as the text used) and off-site factors such as inbound links (other websites pointing to your website). When generating results for search queries, Google attempts to provide the most relevant data it can find related to the search topic the user enters. Having content that matches the search query on your page is a major factor in how your site appears. If someone searches for “sleep apnea treatment” and your website content reflects that term consistently, then there is a higher likelihood your site will appear in the results for that query. Inbound links reinforce to Google that your site contains valuable content. Basically, Google’s thinking is that if other sites refer to your site with a link, they are endorsing your content as having value. The more valuable the content, the higher your site will rank in search results. This is a gross oversimplification, but it gets the point across - quality copy and inbound links have a major impact on how your site appears in search results.