When it comes to your practice’s website, there is a lot more to consider beyond the design and features. Think about your site as a classic car—flawless bodywork, a flashy paint job, and custom interior look fantastic, but if the engine doesn’t work it’s not going to take you anywhere! Websites are very similar—a trendy design and professional photos can give the appearance of a great site, but if the content, function, and SEO aren’t top-notch then the site will not generate stellar results.
Now comes the challenging part- how do you know what to “behind the screen” to make your website a rock star? Check out the below SEO tips, and we also recommend saving this handy infographic from HubSpot.
6 SEO Components for PT Websites
- Content: all the page assets (headlines, copy, images, links, forms etc.) that make up a webpage within the site.
- Keywords: the single most important word or phrase that describes the webpage, its content, and its purpose.
- Page Title: the title that will appear when users search for your webpage in a search engine.
- Meta Description: a 150 character description of your webpage that appears below the page title in a search engine query.
- Page URL: the webpage address that appears in the URL bar at the top of your browser.
- Mobile Optimization: a responsive website designed to perform seamlessly between desktop and mobile use.
There is more going on behind the screen that you might think! To be truly successful across all components, we recommend investing in a professional web design and development company (click here). Additionally, you need a high-quality CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress that allows you to integrate various plugins for even better performance. Here are some tips to get you started:
SEO Best Practices
- Choose a direct, specific headline
- Make sure to include your page keyword in the headline
- Include at least 500 words of copy on each page (the average front page result in 2016 had as much as 1800 words! That may only be necessary if your competition is tough, but it proves a strong point)
- Use sub-headlines to break up the copy
- Include links to other pages within your website to drive additional traffic
- For more information check out this article
4 Components for Web Page SEO
- Keyword: example “back pain” should be included in the page title, URL, and meta description. The slight bolding of the words back and pain indicate that the keyword is present.
- Page Title: includes the keyword, name of the practice, and geographic location. These are called long tail titles and help with location-specific searches.
- URL: the URL is the page domain (example: tetontherapypc.com) plus the services section and specific condition/treatment
- Meta Description: the meta should always include the practice name, keywords, and a descriptive sentence. Try to promote how your physical therapy services can relieve pain, reduce injury, or restore movement.
Ultimately, the SEO algorithm is the technical calculation that contributes to your web page’s ranking in search engine results. Most importantly, Google bases its SEO algorithm partly on the mobile optimization of the site. For more info read this article.
How do you know if your website is mobile optimized?
When you view your website on a smartphone- what do you see? Is it just a smaller scale version of how your site looks on a desktop? Or does the site’s design tailor specifically to a mobile view? Your ideal scene for your website should be one design that tailors to mobile AND responsively scales up to a desktop view. Huh?
Navigating the mobile and responsive web design world can be a challenge even for an experienced web developer. That is why we recommend that you always consider a professional when redesigning or rebuilding your website. An industry pro will know the tools, functional capabilities, and tricks of the trade to get your site up to par. A web developer should also be able to consult on content and SEO to ensure you get the maximum results from your website.
How Long Until I See Results?
This is one of the biggest pain points for many practices looking to increase their online presence. Because search engines maintain high-quality standards and use a secret system of bots and algorithms, it’s not uncommon for a new or newly-optimized website to take 6-12 months to begin ranking.
The amount of time also depends on local competition. And during that time, it’s hard to test your adjustment without a significant amount of waiting. So, how do you know your SEO strategy is working if it takes that long?
This is where it helps to either have professional help or at least professional tools. The right keyword software can keep track of every improvement in your rankings even if it’s on page 27. This allows you to make sure your rankings improve steadily, even if it takes time to reach the first few pages. Most keyword tools can also show you what search terms your pages are ranking for – even ones you didn’t know about.
SEO is the marathon of the “Marketing Olympics.” It’s ok to be patient, but never stop running at a steady pace. If your site is new or newly-optimized, consider budgeting for Search Engine Marketing (SEM) like Google Ads to supplement your traffic until your rankings improve.
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