Date: February 23, 2016
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SEO – The Benefits and Dangers of SEO
Hello Folks, this is Mike Green from doctordemographics.com with another Professional Practice Marketing Moment.
In modern times, Search Engine Optimization (or SEO), has become a common marketing expense for all types of business. Professional practice is no exception. The providers of SEO promise that among all the competing practices near your office, they are going to help you get “found.” It is a good goal. Unfortunately, like that greasy haired kid who wants to go on a date with your daughter, their intentions may not be as honorable as you might like. In the end, they only want ONE THING! No, not that! They want your money.
Sure, they use fancy terms and sweet songs to gain your trust. They make promises that sound great at the beginning but turn out to be as false as they bad teenage mustache they are sporting. You have been hurt before by sales people and you have heard it before. But this time, my throw around terms that may be unfamiliar but they sound sincere:
- Social Media
- Review Sites
- Strategic community linking
And the truth is, you really do need these things but how do you know that this fast talker isn’t just trying to get the goodies through questionable information. Hey, we are talking about money so get your mind out of the gutter! They may mean well but in the end, they are as trustworthy as the Nigerian prince who just needs your bank account to share his untold millions.
Because SEO is a new form of marketing, there are both charlatans and incompetent boobs out there who will gladly take your money. It really isn’t important which is which because the end result is an empty wallet and a few cheap meals. Even well intentioned companies really have no idea what it takes to successfully market a website, or for that matter, market a professional practice. We have spent quite a few hours, comforting doctors who have been used and abused. Rather than spend time passing Kleenex over to them to dab their streaming eyes, we thought it might be a good idea to have a brief talk about dangers.
So, what is the worst thing these bad boyfriends do? Often times, these companies will take shortcuts and try to fool Google’s Algorithm into ranking your site. This is dangerous road that can lead to being put on Google’s naughty list, and trust me, you don’t want to be on that list. You don’t want everyone out there thinking you are THAT kind of a practice. Right?
Here are some warning signs of a charlatan SEO firm that you should look for when choosing a firm:
- They try to get you to sign a long term contract – Companies like this are built on a churn and burn model. They know that Professionals like Doctors are likely to not violate the terms of a contract. If they can get you to sign for 6, 12, or even 24 months, they know they can bleed you for many months to come. (it is important to note however that it does take 3 months or so usually to see movement on a typical SEO keyword term. With that being said, they still should be showing you their work during that time to justify the expense)
- They don’t send you a monthly report – Bad SEO companies are built on vagueness as they know that most of their clients won’t dig any deeper. They will say that they’ve built some backlinks somewhere on the internet, but they can never provide you with the link, or proof of their work. At the very least, they should be providing you with a Google Analytics report of the traffic and keyword progress of your site. If you haven’t seen a report from your SEO company in awhile, you can rest assured that they are likely taking you for a ride.
- They do everything on the “backend” – While it is true that there is work that needs to be done on the backend of each page of your website, SEO is also about the visible side of your site. Are new landing pages being built? Are they changing the message to A/B test different calls to action? In many cases they are not. The reason why is that they aren’t marketers. Be sure that those who are doing your SEO are marketers and understand the art of marketing.
- They are not creating new ON-SITE content – In the world of Google, content is king. New content, in the form of blog posts, and new pages, are what you should be paying on a long term basis. There are many firms that refuse to blog on their client’s sites because it too difficult to work with the client in order to get the content posted. This is no excuse for not doing the job right. Original, consistent content is the salesman that never sleeps for your practice. Remember, Google ranks web pages, not websites. We want to make sure the content on your website is showing Google that you are competent to be ranked for whatever your desired keyword selection happens to be. Whether that’s sedation dentistry, equine podiatry, etc.
These are just a few of the important things you need to know before engaging with an SEO company. You can find yourself spending thousands of dollars per month for something that is giving you almost no return on your investment. We’ve seen it hundreds of times with professional practices all over the country.
If you’d like to have a seasoned marketing team look at the SEO on your website, absolutely free and with no obligation, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team has many years of SEO experience, and would be happy to take a look.
We’ll see you next time on the Professional Practice Marketing Moment