Have to be #1
June 25, 2015 5:29 PM   Subscribe

I want/need to be on page one of google for "City name occupation" search for my business website.

I am a healthcare professional (don't want to be more specific since this is a personal alias). Here is what I have done within the past 2-3 weeks:

I've built my website in wordpress and turned the little button green on Yoast for most of the pages. I've submitted my name to professional directories & "Find a (occupation)" website.
I've gotten facebook, google+ accounts, etc.
I've written two entries on my website's blog.

This effort has yielded me the #2 spot on the second page of search results, which isn't very good. What are my next steps to take me to the top of page one? Limits- I have time, but not very much money, to work on this. Given that the other practitioners who are top of page 1 seem to be doing and spending very little on their websites, I hope this won't be a problem.
posted by long haired child to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I do local SEO marketing for healthcare providers such as chiropractors, sports therapists, physios, naturopaths and acupuncturists.

First of all, this space is very competitive for SEO and for paid search. The better thing to do is to try to figure out long tail keywords your competition is not optimized for, and build pages and content around them. You can use the Google Keyword Planner to get some ideas.

The long tail is important too because often the Search results for key terms (like Austin Texas Chiropractor) will be snagged by old, established sites that have what is called "Domain Authority" (this is a MOZ term). They may have more links than you, it may be an old domain, whatever, but if they have a DA of 30 and your site has a DA of 12, Google will always show their Search results first.

However, nobody really does a good job at SEO, except for clinics that hire an online marketing firm. This means that if you start writing about niche topics including keywords that have good volume, you may not show on the first page for the terms with a ton of volume, but you will for the niche long tail keywords that still have volume, and you'll have potential customers coming to your site.

Something else to consider is whether or not you are optimized for local search. Does your website have your business address on it? Have you implemented schema markup with your location information? Have you listed yourself in key NAP (name, address, postal code) directories? Do you have a verified G+ Business Page? Are you listed on Bing Maps? Do you have a verified Yelp profile?

This is important because Google relies on a variety of "signals" to triangulate your actual physical location. And, believe it or not, different parts of the city will get different search results, because Google will serve Search results for healthcare practitioners according to their neighbourhood.

You also have to keep blogging. The Google algorithm looks for and rewards sites with "fresh content." On top of that the algorithm can also recognize high-quality content. So, no "keyword stuffing", or cramming focus keywords into your blog post.

Instead write an awesome article that is a comprehensive overview of the focused keywords. Make it so that someone might want to share with their friends. Not only does the algorithm actually recognize quality, you will actually be spending your time creating something of value. Instead of writing four, short, kinda crappy articles each month, write one long excellent article.

Besides NAP, schema markup and some site architecture considerations, the only really technical aspect of SEO that remains from the "old days" is that you need to ensure all pages are optimized with at least a title, a metadescription, an H1 with keywords in it, and photos that are optimized and so on. This does not mean cramming keywords into the title and H1. You need to write a page title that is engaging so that people will want to click on it.
posted by Nevin at 5:52 PM on June 25, 2015 [24 favorites]

It also takes a couple of months to show results in Search starting from ground zero.
posted by Nevin at 5:55 PM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Sign up for Google Webmaster tools so you can submit your site to search. It's a good idea to do your SEO research and apply your SEO in your title tags, links, etc before you submit it so it doesn't have to reindex.

I use the All In One SEO Pack plugin and I like it a lot.

Also, set up Google Analytics so you see where links and traffic are coming from, which is helpful to tweak things or take advantage of places that are starting to bring traffic (Facebook versus Twitter for example.)

It also does take time to build your tracking through traffic and SEO. So even if you have "better" SEO and traffic it may not be reflected for a while in Google searches.
posted by Crystalinne at 6:06 PM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

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