Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will continue to be an ultra-powerful tool in for 2017 and the foreseeable future.  If you thought that SEO is the old, antiquated approach to driving traffic to your business, you’ll have certainly been missing out on a significant amount of growth and profit potential for your practice.  These 10 advanced SEO tactics your practice must implement now will play a critical role in achieving consistent revenue growth for your business, especially if implemented before your competition does.

Many business owners have come to the conclusion, either through looking at the effort needed to implement successful SEO campaigns or through bad experiences, that SEO success is not worth the hunt.

Other businesses prioritize marketing tactics that provide short-term gain or work on campaigns that are just simpler to execute.  It’s an easy mistake to make, but costly in the long run, not to work on SEO in parallel to your social media, video, and mobile marketing strategies.

Not only is SEO alive and well – it’s been evolving in terms of what it takes (inter-page, on-page and off-page optimization tactics) to successfully rank at the top of the search engine results page (SERPs).

What you apply SEO to have also broadened.  Years ago, all you had to worry about was getting backlinks.  With today’s social media landscape and diverse content distribution platforms, true success required advanced SEO tactics.

Apart from your website, think LinkedIn Profiles Optimization, Mobile Apps Optimization, eCommerce product optimization within and across platforms, Video Optimization, your company citation listing, etc..  Imagine the traffic that can be achieved if you implement and optimize across more diverse digital landscapes?

To get your medical or legal practice additional leads and traffic, we’ve compiled a list of 10 advanced SEO tactics your competition is probably unaware of.

1.0 Landing Page Optimization

LandingPageOptimizationA landing page, from a pure internet perspective, is any webpage that a visitor can “land” on or arrive at for your website.

It could be your homepage or other inner-pages on your site but from a marketing and advertising perspective, these are dedicated pages crafted with specific visitor intent.

Capturing a lead, signing up a customer for a webinar, setting up an appointment are some examples out of the many possibilities.

Are you thinking about search engine optimization when building your landing pages?  Have you optimized it for landing page best practices?

If you’ve neglected these critical elements of your landing page, you’re more than likely missing out hugely on lead capture or sales conversion opportunities.

Too often I see landing pages missing both these elements – on page 2 and further back within the search engine results pages. The effort and ad-spend exerted in trying to drive traffic to these pages are wasted since there is no congruence between the searchers’ specific search request and the target page.

Landing pages that perform well have the following characteristics:

  • Long-tail keywords should be the driving themes behind the specific intent of the page.  This will help you focus on the content needed to build a great landing page.  Ensure you have between one and two long-tail keywords as your starting point.
  • The copy should be at least 2000 words long on the landing page.
  • Ensure you have relevant, clear and strong content for the audience you’re looking to have visit the landing page

Crafting an effective landing page does take effort but it sure isn’t quantum physics. If you put in the effort now, you’ll certainly reap the rewards later, many folds over.

2.0 Go Wide & Deep with Your Digital Presence

The digital platforms that you have at your disposal to promote your products and/or services are powerful if leveraged correctly.  Unfortunately, many small to medium-sized businesses suffer from tunnel vision when it comes to the depth and breadth of their digital marketing strategy.

  • Between 70-80% of people research a company online BEFORE visiting the small business or making a purchase
  • 17% are investing in search engine optimization (SEO).
  • 32% of small businesses invest in social media marketing.
  • 25% of small businesses invest in online marketing.
  • 26% are investing in email marketing.
  • 50% of small business owners use 2 or fewer software platforms in their marketing.

This tactic focuses on expanding your reach across as many social/digital media platforms as possible for your brand.  Not only does it mean creating but also participating in as many platforms that make sense to grow your brand awareness and build a thriving business.Reciprocity Across Social Media PlatformsSource: PEW Research Center

There are platforms that you think are not applicable such as Blogger or Snapchat in your current marketing plan, but if you use them consistently, your audience reach will only get bigger.  As you grow your marketing territory through various communication channels, your SEO will improve organically as your presence increase.  Digital strength through a deep and prolific digital presence.

3.0 Fix All Website Crawl Errors

Google BotCrawl errors can be at either a (web) site level or at a URL level, and they reek havoc for Google when it’s bots are trying to crawl your site.  Typical errors that a site can have are 404-page not found errors, server, and DNS errors.  If you’ve got them, then they could have a significant impact on your SEO score – and that impact is certainly not positive.  The simplest way to find out if you have these errors is to run a website audit report to find these errors, which I highly recommend you run.

This report will cover the following, in addition, to crawl errors:

  1. DNS Errors
  2. Server Errors
  3. URL Errors

4.0 Image Optimization Across Digital Platforms

Cross Platform IntegrationIf you’re asking yourself, “how do I optimize images for SEO”, there’s a good chance that it’s not done.  Start optimizing them now and you’re likely to see improvements fairly quickly.  Image optimization includes image format, size, names, and location for local SEO.  Optimize your images across your website, social media, and all other content platforms.

  • Primarily use .jpeg over .gif as they tend to have a small size and will help if you have an image-heavy page that Google will try to render
  • You should shoot for the smallest size possible without sacrificing the quality
  • When using pictures on your website, social media, and other content platforms, ensure your name is specific
  • Make sure you populate the Alt-Tag with Keywords that relate to the discuss or page the times is on but please don’t keyword stuff as there will be a point of diminishing returns
  • Tag your images with a location if you’re looking to associate your page/content with people who are searching for your product or service in a particular city.  For local businesses, ensure these location-tagged images are in your Google My Business (GMB) photo gallery (if applicable).

5.0 Create Your Mobile Application

Yes, for Real!  It will help your SEO and many other ways as well.  Google started indexing applications which allow people to click on listings in Google’s search results into apps on their Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.   If someone is searching for keywords in your niche, they could stumble upon your app listed in the search results. The app listing can be ranked as part of a bigger search results page domination strategy. It’s all part of Google’s Firebase App Indexing.

6.0 Optimize Your Digital Presence for Mobile

Google’s got the Go Mobile or Go Home game face on as of late last year.  You may not be aware of it but Google’s starting the “mobile-first indexing of the web”.

Whatcha talkin’ bout Willis? ” is what came to my mind when I heard this. Remember this?

Source: Matt McKinnon

What it means essentially is that as mobile searches continue to increase, Google is looking to create and rank its search results listings based on the mobile version of the content, even for listings that are shown to desktop users.  This could impact how you rank on both mobile and desktop.  In terms of priority, look to the following tasks to get your business well positioned for mobile algorithm changes already implemented and hedge against the ones to come:

  • Use Google’s own Mobile Friendly Test tool to test your website pages for mobile-friendliness.
  • Just as we would run a comprehensive test on our desktop version of our website, we should do the same for your mobile site as well.
  • Consider implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) pages.  It’s a Google initiative to build a faster version of the mobile Web. It utilizes a lighter version of HTML when building web content for mobile devices that allows for a simpler, much lighter version of a webpage.
  • It will provide a boost in ranking and significantly improve users experience given speeds at which pages are rendered.
    • Median load time is 0.7 seconds, while non-AMP pages have a median load time of 22 seconds

Google Micro-Moments

Research mobile keywords to get laser-focused on increasing mobile rankings and traffic. Did you know that searches on mobile devices are different from desktop queries?  When you think about the device, the location of search, urgency, and the increasing use of voice search, they are all contributing factors for success.  Google refers to search instances as micro-moments.  The following are the types of micro-moments:

  1. I-want-to-know moments
  2. I-want-to-go moments
  3. I-want-to-do moments
  4. I-want-to-buy moments

Google Micro Moments

Source: Google Micro Moments

Track mobile rankings and adjust your tactics as needed.  Keep an eye out on your desktop rankings since progress on the mobile side will likely translate to your desktop rankings as well.

7.0 Create a Review & Reputation Management Process

Are you aware of where and how frequently your company is being mentioned?   What’s your rating and how is it impacting your lead flow?  These are vitally important elements of your business that should be monitored consistently because it’s been shown that the better your review scores/reputation is the higher the chances you have of attracting customers.  Here are some interesting stats around the importance of reviews and reputation management:

  1. 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
  2. 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  3. 92% of users will use a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating

Your reputation deserves a well thought out plan and approach to ensuring customers are happy.  The right process and tools will highlight the trouble spots before it makes its way to a review site.

At a high level,  you’d need a process and system to capture feedback, remediate any issues and post delighted customer reviews on your website and review sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.

Review & Reputation Management Process

  1. Engage customers via a configurable landing page or embeddable widget on your website to a review funnel for the product or service that was recently performed.  Use an email sequence as part of your process to get as many customers into your review funnel.
  2. In addition to the approach outlined above, your practice should also use an automated email sequence that asks, gently reminds, and guides customers through your review process.
  3. Funnel unhappy customers into a queue that you can follow up with before they leave a negative review on your or any other 3rd part review site
  4. Monitor third-party review sites and social networks for new reviews or mentions of your brand
  5. Share positive reviews on your social media accounts and content distribution networks
  6. Automate the posting of 4-star and 5-star reviews to your website
  7. Make sure to implement customer satisfaction metrics and reviews as part of your regular reporting routine

8.0 Leverage Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)

Search engines use latent semantic indexing in their algorithm to find related keywords.

LSI is very powerful but rarely implemented tactic.  If done consistently, it can provide a significant SEO boost to your businesses website.  Some examples of keywords and possible LSI values would be as follows:

Instagram >> social media network

New iPhone >>> cost of iPhones

Divorce Lawyer >> Free Divorce Lawyers for Women

Test this out for yourself.  Go to Google and find keywords that you’re looking to rank for and see what comes up on page one.  This will give you a flavor of what other synonym keywords are out there.

Again – this is a very powerful tactic to boost rankings so start implementing it as soon as you can.

9.0 Develop or Expand Video Marketing (via YouTube)

Video Bloggs (Vlogs) and Video Sales Letters (VSLs) aren’t new but as it relates to marketing.  Video marketing is on fire both from a branding and SEO ranking perspective.  In some cases, it’s easier to get a video ranked on page one of Google than your website or blog post.  The basic steps to ranking your video is as follows:

  1. Ensure you have created a professional looking and fully optimized YouTube channel.
  2. Determine what customer segment (personas/avatars) you’re going after with video
  3. For each segment of your customer journey, determine what keywords and videos will be used.  Determine whether your video keyword/title will rank well in the search results as a video or not.  Some keywords will be more conducive to ranking than others.
  4. Build out your videos
  5. Optimize Name/Title, Video Tags, and Description
  6. Upload to YouTube
  7. Obtain Views and Reposts

10.0 Build Google Bot Delight Through Internal Linking

One of the most effective ways to optimize your on-page elements (key in ranking your website) is to work on the structure of your internal links.  By doing this you’re helping Google Help You!

How is this you may be asking?  Well, it has to do with how Google bots crawl your site and whether you make it easy for the bot to traverse your sites and find content to index via intra-site anchor text and links.

The Problem: Absence of Linking Strategy

Google’s algorithm is assigning less relevant search phrases to your website’s most important landing pages because you’re missing a clear internal link structure and approach.  You’ve got to help the bot traverse your site in a logical and meaningful way.

The Solution for Making Google Bot Happy Through Internal Linking:

  1. Build out a blog for your site if you don’t have one.
  2. Have articles in your blog surround relevant landing pages on your site interlinking to each other to the landing page.
  3. Continue to write deeper detailed content into the main subject covered by the landing page
  4. Link from these new posts to older posts.
  5. Don’t forget to link back from the older posts to the landing as well.  It’s not difficult but takes some sitting down and planning.
  6. Make sure the content you create is interesting and high quality.

Conclusion

SEO is certainly not dead.  It actually more alive than ever before.

If you want a thriving website in 2017 and beyond, you must take the time to invest in your business’s SEO strategy and start building it now.

Start with basic SEO activities and then move onto these 10 advanced SEO tactics your practice must implement.  This will be a significant growth driver for your business for years to come.

You’ve got to take extraordinary steps for your business to stand out from the crowd.  Exert the effort into your SEO strategy and maintain it over the long-run. It’ll be so worth it, Trust Me!