As machine learning and artificial intelligence improves, search engines are getting better at providing the most informative answers to ambiguous queries. Whether you’re looking for a new dentist or the best dumpling place within fifteen minutes of your office, a business with a strong SEO presence will always have the advantage of standing out online. And while search engine optimization can be a great tool, it can also be a breeding ground for frustration and misconceptions.
A big part of that confusion is due to the fact that Google is constantly changing, and it doesn’t always give you a heads up. In 2015, Google made over 600 changes to their algorithm, meaning that within those 600 updates your SEO strategy required adjustments to keep up with this technological evolution. Our Sesame SEO team works diligently through continued education and research to stay up-to-date on which strategies are still viable for your practice and which are ready for retirement. In order to continue to promote the best SEO methods for your business, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to shed some much needed light on some of the most popular myths of 2016.
“Exact-match domains will bring my site to #1!”
False: Once upon a time, exact-match domain was a popular practice. So popular, in fact, that due to its effectiveness, spammers capitalized on the concept of using exact-match domain names to flood the system with ads. Naturally, search engines identified this attempt to outmaneuver their algorithms and set out to make improvements to continue to provide the most relevant information. As a result, algorithms now prioritize domains by seniority vs keyword placement. This new method is referred to as “domain authority”, meaning that the domain has been used for years and has a well-marketed brand strategy. If you have been online with an established website for a while, it’s likely you have built domain authority.
“All I need for a great link building campaign is social media and directories.”
False: While Google does expect you to build a social media campaign and submit your business information to directories for SEO success, quality will always trump quantity. Having one link from a trusted and established website within your community is worth five inbound directory links. You can help search engines make your practice more visible by building these inbound links to your website with other trusted sites. Try to be thoughtful when you go about doing this so that your practice can stand out as more than just a name on a list of professionals in your area.
“Google wants to see even more keywords on the page?!”
False: Many SEO tools still perpetuate the misconception that keyword density is an important metric. However, Google has publicly announced its dedication to providing quality content, and keyword density is no longer something they consider part of an effective SEO strategy. Instead, you should target patients in a more meaningful way. This can be done by spending more time creating personalized content to yield informative results to their query. Ultimately, you and Google have the same goal in mind. What makes your patients happy, makes Google happy.
So, how do I keep my website up to date?
Work on building a brand that will outlast the trials of Google. Having quality, personalized content will make your brand stronger, give you more online visibility, and makes for a better patient experience. By spending time creating quality links, you’ll be able to reach your community more effectively to offer your services. The goal should always be for prospective patients to find you as quickly and easily as possible on Google with just a few clicks.
Want more information on SEO trends? Check out this article on local search ranking factors.