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IDOC actively shares industry-focused articles, blog posts, podcasts, videos and other thought leadership with our members and other optometric practitioners. Below, you will find links to our growing library of educational materials and multi-media assets written and created by IDOC's team of seasoned industry experts.
Steven Festa | 1/24/2022
WHAT IS SEO & WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Does hearing SEO make your eyes glaze over a bit and cause your mind to wander? If you answered yes, then you are not alone. While tough to grasp initially, SEO is important for your practice, and as providers of SEO services for optometrists, we want to help you not only understand what SEO is but also how to use it for your practice.

 

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it involves taking steps to help you increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your website. Showing up high in search results helps you get found online, generates interest in your practice, allows you to beat out local competitors, and helps you gain new patients. For an independent optometry practice owner, SEO is especially important because 45% of daily searches on Google have local intent.

 

Today, let’s focus on two areas of SEO to help improve the traffic hitting your practice's website: on-site SEO and off-site SEO.  

 

What is On-Site SEO?

On-site SEO or on-page SEO refers to optimizing your own website. Having good on-site SEO is accomplished by enhancing various components of your website so that search engines can find and rank it in search results. On-site SEO can be improved in many ways. A few good tips to improve on-site SEO include:

 

  1. Include keywords in your URLs.
    URLs should include keywords that describe the main subject of the page. Is the URL for comprehensive eye exams on your site descriptive and effective in explaining the service? A poor example of a URL for this service would be acmeeyecare.com/eyes/. A proper URL structure for this service should be acmeeyecare.com/comprehensive-eye-exam/.

    An optimized URL structure is descriptive of the service you offer, and Google will likely reward you for it with higher rankings. Poor URL structure will keep both Google and sometimes users from understanding what the page is about.

     
  2. Use keyword-rich copy on your website.
    Like the URL structure mentioned above, having clear and concise content with keywords that describe the subject on the page allows Google to not only understand what the page is about but also rank that page for searches related to those keywords.

 

New copy like blogs with relevant keywords can also be great for on-page SEO for several reasons. They can assist your practice in demonstrating authority on your industry. Blogs can also link to related service pages and give those pages a boost in authority. Even better, patients will flock to this blog content to help answer their search queries and then be connected to your services.

 

What is Off-Site SEO?

Off-site SEO or off-page SEO includes actions taken outside of your practice website to drive searchers to your website. As with on-site SEO, there are many actions you can take to improve your off-site SEO. A few key parts of off-site SEO include:

 

  1. Backlinking
    A backlink is simply a link that connects one website to another. Backlinks to your website are crucial and essentially tell Google that those other websites are vouching for your content. Proper backlinks from authoritative sites that link to your website will increase your website’s trustworthiness in Google's eyes as well as provide a good experience for the person searching for content.  

     
  2. Correct NAP Citations
    NAP stands for name, address, and phone number and is an important part of local SEO. This information on your practice is included in many different online directories, such as well-known site like Yelp and Facebook. This information is also found in directories that you may not be familiar with, such as CitySearch or HotFrog. These unfamiliar directories may not seem significant, but they are important to Google and should have the correct NAP listed within the directory.

 

Accurate NAP information across all online directories (and there are many) can assist tremendously in ranking results, including Google maps listings. Consistent NAP listings give Google the confidence to show your practice in search results because there is no question on the office location or how a searcher can contact your office.  

 

Clarify Your SEO Strategy

If you feel that your website is not getting enough traffic or quality traffic, then it may be time to schedule a meeting with your website provider to explain what SEO work they are doing for your practice to rank high in search results. If they can't articulate the SEO strategy they have mapped out for your practice, looking for a new website provider is always an option.

 

If you are running into roadblocks with your website or online marketing, contact IDOC to see how we may be able to help. We offer a variety of digital marketing services for optometrists just like you to help your online presence skyrocket.

 

Steven Festa
Marketing Services Consultant
Steven Festa has a background in strategic marketing with key focus on creating multi-channel campaigns. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Albertus Magnus College. Steven started his career managing client partnerships, before moving on to digital and print membership marketing, where he worked for companies such as Webloyalty and Affinion Group. Throughout his 20-year career, Steven has created and managed hundreds of campaigns for marketing partners increasing lead acquisition, brand loyalty, and revenue.

Steven enjoys spending time with his family, following the New York Rangers and listening to music. Fun fact – Steven has seen over 400 live concerts beginning with his first show in 1983.
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