A lot of people also find SEO kind of a boring topic, but it’s super, super powerful for a brick-and-mortar practice like you have. Because when we talk about SEO (search engine optimization) we’re really talking about how to rank higher in Google searches to make it easier to get found, increase your web traffic and bookings!
It is said that 55% of people don’t look past the top three search results. So, if you’re ranking at the bottom of page one or on page two, most people are not going to be clicking on you or even seeing you (and you’re losing out on AWESOME potential clients).
But SEO is something that a lot of practitioners are clueless about and this is actually really, really common. I see some who avoid it like the plague and others who think that SEO is the answer to filling their schedule and end up wasting a lot of time and money hiring companies that don’t deliver.
I want to open your eyes to the realities of SEO because it can be an amazing tool when done right.
Today, I’m going to be starting with the basics and also covering a few truths about SEO so that you can decide really if it’s the right strategy for you. Then I’ll cover a few ways to get started building your Google presence properly so you can boost your rankings!
Three SEO Considerations:
1. The process of improving your ranking is a long term and passive strategy. This is something you want to be starting today, getting the ball rolling, while also realizing you may not see bookings from it directly for quite some time. It’s also not something you can just “do” and then just sit back and wait for bookings. You could be waiting a long time.
2. Consider how competitive is your city. If you are in a really big city and are just starting out, it’s likely going to be harder or take you longer to rank within the top 3.
Spending a ton of time on SEO is probably not the best strategy if it’s going to be very competitive. It’s not to say don’t do any of the basics, but just be realistic about the timeframe. If you are in a smaller town, you can actually get ranked much higher if there’s not a lot of competition. But again, SEO is still going to be a slightly longer strategy.
3. Finally (and this is a BIG one), people actually have to be searching for your modality or what you do. If you are in a more obscure or unknown modality that people aren’t necessarily searching for in your local area, you might not want to put a lot of emphasis on traditional SEO.
Two Ways to Rank as a Practitioner
Most don’t realize but there are actually 2 ways you can rank on Google.
1. The first is where people search for you and you come up in the first few search results. This is how we typically think of it.
2. The second way is through local searches. This is when someone is searching for a business or service near them and it gives them local results (with the map). Now you can actually rank really high in the local searches and maybe not in the search results or vice versa.
They’re tied, but not directly. So you’ve got two ways that you can be ranking.
The thing that’s really cool with local search results is 72% of people who search for something locally actually go to one of the results. So you know that if people are searching for what you do and you rank well, you’re going to get business from it!
What Google Considers for Local Search Rankings
This is how similar or how closely you match with what a person is looking for. You want to start thinking of keywords that people might be searching for alongside your traditional modality and location so that you are highly relevant.
For example, if you’re a chiropractor in Toronto and people use the phrase “chiropractors in Toronto” to search for you, you’re directly relevant.
But let’s say they put in “motor vehicle accident best chiropractor in Toronto”, and you don’t have anything about motor vehicle accidents, you probably are not going to be as relevant as someone who in all of their titles and all of their SEO work has “chiropractor specializing in motor vehicle accidents”. They’re the one who becomes highly relevant.
Google also considers how close you are to people. And this cannot really be manipulated. But know that if you’re in a downtown location and a lot of people are searching for you, you are likely going to rank a little bit higher than if you’re out in the country.
Also if the distance is a little bit further out but you are highly relevant, Google will still rank you because of your relevance. Distance will often rank below relevance.
This is basically how well known you are. Google will look at the following:
• How prominent is this company/person? • How many people are talking about them? • How many reviews do they have? • How big a brand are they?
This is why you’ll often see big brands ranking higher because they have that prominence.
But you can have prominence too. Like every other platform, Google has an algorithm and you can beat that algorithm by making it seem like you are very well known and have people who are talking about you.
Having articles written about you, doing cross promotion with other practitioners, any type of cross promotion – being on different websites and directories and then having reviews on Google. All of these things show Google that you are a prominent brand and people are talking about you.
The 5 Actions That You Can be Taking Right Now to Start Boosting Your SEO
1. Be Searchable
Firstly, people have to be able to find you which means you need show up in the rankings! A really good exercise is to start doing a little bit of behind the scenes re-con into what people are searching and how you’re feeling ranking currently.
– Google yourself and what people might be searching to see where you show up. And if you don’t who does.
– Go behind the scenes with Google Keywords Planner to search keywords and phrases to see which have highest search volumes in your area (DM me on Instagram for a free resource to walk you through using GKP). This way you can change up your keywords throughout your website and page titles to become more relevant to the keywords people are using.
2. Set Up a Google My Business Profile
If you do not have a Google My Business profile, get one today! It’s super easy and is absolutely necessary if you want to show up in the Google local search rankings. This is the listing that shows up when someone searches for you or something similar in your area (you know the one with the map, your logo, reviews etc). Again – DM me on Instagram and I have a free resource to walk you through setting this up.
3. Google Reviews
Ideally you want to be directing your past clients to Google to leave a review (vs asking for a testimonial for your website). Focusing on your Google reviews is such a great, easy way to be boosting your prominence score (and your credibility with potential clients) so that you will rank higher in the local Google searches.
4. Get Yourself in Directories
Get yourself on Yelp, RateMD, or any of the local directories. They’re usually free and it’s really easy to set them up! This again will give you more ways to be found when people search for you but also improve your prominence score within Google.
Simply copy and paste what you put on your Google My Business Profile to these other directories so that when someone searches for you, Google sees your SAME information in multiple places (it’s key that you name, address and phone number are listed identically across all.
5. Have a Mobile-Friendly Websi
Google wants to make sure that they’re sending people to websites that makes sense and that deliver a really good customer experience. They don’t want to send people to crappy websites.
Google rewards people that have really strong, mobile-friendly websites so make sure to optimize it for mobile. Check yours out from your phone. Run through each page, check the links all work and the images aren’t looking won mobile.
You can probably do all this work in a few hours and you definitely want to do it. Google factors all of these things into how it ranks you. You can be doing little things like this here and there, to get the basics in place so you can be growing from there.
If you want to learn the 4 steps my clients are using to build fully booked practices (without having the marketing take over their life) check out the free training below. And as always, feel free to comment below or DM me on Instagram if you have any questions.