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10 Local SEO Strategies For Doctors And Dentists

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Do you want to increase search visibility for your practice? Here are 10 essential local SEO strategies for doctors and dentists.

Google contributes a large percentage of traffic to many healthcare websites.

For doctor appointment bookings, 57% of patients start by using online search. And when patients are searching for a healthcare facility on Google, they genuinely mean business.

SimilarWeb finds that 85% of the traffic to ClevelandClinic.org, 83% of the traffic to HopkinsMedicine.org, and 87% of the traffic to MayoClinic.org comes from organic search.

But ranking on Google isn’t as simple as creating a website. The online world has grown way beyond that now.

Patients today search for doctors in their vicinity. That means you need to rank for your local audience to generate appreciable traffic in your clinic.

This is why local SEO has become necessary for all modern dental and medical practices that want to harness the internet’s potential and use it to grow their profits.

In this article, you will find 10 local SEO strategies that can help you get found by an audience that matters the most to your practice.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a type of SEO that helps your website appear higher in the search results for location-specific searches.

For example, a Nashville-based dental practice ranking for searches like “dentists in Nashville”.

Sometimes patients also search with key phrases like “dentist near me”. In that case, search engines use the searchers’ IP address or geolocation to connect them with relevant and nearby businesses.

Local healthcare SEO is a powerful tool that helps your medical practice gain substantial online visibility. If done correctly, it can help you get among the top-3 “pack” and help you win the search results even if your website does not appear on the first page.

Why Should Doctors And Dentists Consider Local SEO?

The first thing most patients turn to when they feel like visiting a doctor is, ironically, the internet.

If someone feels they need to see a dentist, they wouldn’t open the yellow pages and search the “D” section of the directory for the local dentist. Instead, they will turn to Google, or some other search engine, type in a key phrase like “dentist near me”, and book an appointment with whoever they like best.

That’s the approach most modern patients adopt. And practices that wish to maintain or increase their foot traffic need to adjust according to this approach so they could be among those that appear in response to location-specific and relevant searches.

Local SEO helps make that possible.

By optimizing your Google Business Profile to rank for relevant local searches, you can diversify your traffic acquisition channels and be where your customers are looking for you.

Once you rank for relevant local searches, your patients will know you as an option they have. And given other factors are met, they would be more likely to reach out and book an appointment.

Increasing foot traffic to your medical practice is just one of the ways local SEO contributes to your revenue.

It also helps you save on costly online ads, which reduces your marketing spend and eventually pushes your bottom line.

Local SEO also allows you to be where your peers are and compete with them on a level playing field. By ranking side by side with your competitors, you would be more likely to get a share of their prospective patients, which would be a million times better than giving up all your online patients to them by not being found in the local search results.

All the benefits that local SEO brings to your practice are increased appointments at your practice and more revenue. Let’s talk about some top strategies to help you get started with local SEO.

10 Practical Local SEO Strategies

After reading all the benefits of local SEO, you may be inclined to assume that it is expensive, time-consuming, and tedious, like regular SEO. However, that’s not the case.

It is true that certain local SEO factors require time and dedication to generate truly viable results but getting started is much simpler.
Here are top local SEO strategies that might help you find profit-driving online visibility:

1. List Your Practice On Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is the source of local online visibility.

Google Business Profile helps small businesses find exposure and showcase their services or products to the interested audience. It offers all the tools you need to create an optimized, accurate, and descriptive listing that helps your patients learn what they need to know about your practice.

You need to have your practice listed on Google Business Profile to leverage local SEO benefits.

Sometimes Google automatically creates business listings on GBP. In that case, you would need to claim that listing, verify it, and check it for accuracy to ensure it does not drive your prospective patients away by disseminating incorrect information.

Also, adding the appointment booking link to your Google Business Profile can instantly increase your appointment bookings as one of LoudGrowth’s clients saw a 44% increase after adding the appointment booking link.

2. Double Down On Keyword Research

Keyword research is the heart of local SEO as it tells you what keywords to optimize with so that the search engines can link relevant queries to your listing and potentially drive patients to it.

Local keywords are distinct from regular keywords as they are marked by location-specific phrases like “Dentist near me” or “Pediatrician Nashville”.

To start with local keyword research, you first need to be intuitive and get into your patient’s mind.

What do they think when they are looking for a doctor? What are the words that they may use to search for a doctor?

Brainstorm a bunch of key phrases and create a list.

Once you have a list, find keyword research tools, and search the phrases from your list.

Shortlist the keywords relevant to your phrases and have the right balance between search volume and competition.

It is important to note that the search volume for local key phrases is usually low. Therefore, don’t hesitate to shortlist relatively smaller SV keywords.

You can also use keyword tools to see what keywords your competitors are ranking for. These words are proven to connect searching patients with practices like yours. Therefore, they can also help you find the right kind of visibility.

3. Capitalize On Google Posts

Google Posts is a free tool that offers local businesses a fantastic opportunity to engage and communicate with their audience.

Google Posts allow you to display up to ten of your most recent posts, which, according to some sources, stay live for up to 7 days. You can use this space for announcements, offers, and to promote your services, and explain your features to the audience.

You can display textual content and images both through Google Posts and end it with a CTA that links to your local landing pages.

Pro tip: make sure to use UTM parameters so you can track how much traffic is coming from your Google Posts.

Google Posts are designed to give quick information to prospective patients and convince them to take the desired action.

These can be utilized for many different post ideas such as offers and specials, products and services, events, business updates, etc.

A study conducted on 600 GBP profiles revealed service and discount-related posts bring the highest conversions in comparison to other ideas posts.

It is critical to have a proactive Google Posts strategy because this space is to communicate recent messages with prospective patients, you will need to work on not only sharing Google Posts but also updating them as the situation changes.

For example, your practice is offering free flu shots close to flu season, and you are promoting that via Google Posts. Once flu season passes, you will need to replace this post with something else since outdated content can tarnish your reputation.

To leverage its power and use them to drive results, you will need to write crisp, concise, and to-the-point copy that clearly communicates your value.

To leverage its power and use them to drive results, you will need to write crisp, concise, and to-the-point copy that clearly communicates your value.

Also, keep in mind that though Google Posts have a 1500-character limit, only a few words are visible above the fold. So you have to concentrate as much information as you can in that space.

Google Posts come at zero cost and offer an excellent opportunity for you to engage with your audience and promote your service. However, you will need a verified Google Business Profile to be able to leverage this tool.

4. Health And Safety Attributes

Ever since the pandemic, people want to know the health and safety practices of places before they visit them.

Therefore, Google has included health and safety attributes in GBP listings. Apart from these essential attributes, there are other information nuggets that you can use to be more intuitive and give your prospective patients the information they need.

Apart from the health and safety attributes like temperature checks, mask requirements, staff safety precautions, etc., you can include other attributes as well, like whether patients need to book an appointment beforehand or can they get a walk-in appointment.

These attributes offer peace of mind and trust and give the prospects the information they need without them having to look for it.
You can add the attributes directly to your listing through your GBP.

5. NAP And Office Hours Consistency

According to a survey, 62% of respondents said that they use GBP listings to find business contact numbers and addresses.

This indicates that perhaps the number one reason people turn to Google for local businesses is to find out about their office hours, contact number, and address.

We can safely conclude what could happen if any of these is incorrect.

The prospect would be annoyed and likely to leave a negative review.

Imagine your office hour is listed as 9 am to 5 pm from Mon to Fri, as it is by default sometimes. But you practice from 1 pm to 4 pm on alternate weekdays.

Can you imagine the frustration of someone who saw the office hours on Google and dropped by your practice only to find out the timing was incorrect?

Again, imagine the frustration of someone who calls your practice using the contact number from Google but ends up trying for hours without a response.

These instances are likely to lead to a negative review on your GBP listing, which is something we have to avoid at all costs.

Therefore, you have to ensure that your office hours, name, address, and phone number (NAP) are all listed accurately on your GBP.

You also have to ensure that this information is consistent across all your customer touchpoints because even minor inconsistencies can lead to significant downfalls.

6. Local Landing Pages

When doing local SEO, many people are confused about whether they should link the call to action (CTA) to the website home page or have separate landing pages for each distinct keyword.

In this case, the most viable option is to link the CTA on your GBP listing to your local, keyword-relevant landing page.

You can use this landing page as the next step to your communication with the prospective patients and dive into more detailed information concerning the keyword.

For example, your keyword is “Pediatrician Boston”.

You can create a landing page that responds to the common pain points people in Boston have that would concern a pediatrician and communicate clearly how you can solve the problem.

Think about your user’s problems and try to address them on your landing page. Use clear and to-the-point headlines and arrange your textual information to keep the readers engaged.

Talk about benefits, not the features of your service, and include attractive, appealing images across your page to keep the audience engaged.
Also, make sure to optimize your page with the right keywords that are relevant to the service you are talking about on the page.

Try to include social proof, like testimonials and reviews, and trust signals like awards and certifications on the page to make your users trust your practice.

Place a CTA strategically on the page. Choose one action and stick to it if you want your readers to book an appointment, make your CTA “Book Your Appointment” or something like that. Don’t use a mix of CTAs and avoid the paradox of choice.

Embed a dynamic map at the bottom of the landing page, making it easier for the searchers to locate your facility.

Finally, don’t forget to optimize your landing pages for mobile users because half of all healthcare website visits come from mobile phones.

7. Local Link Building

Backlinks are your website’s URLs that are placed within the content of other websites. And the process of acquiring these links is called link building.

Google favors websites with a high volume of backlinks because it sees such websites as trustworthy and authoritative.

People seek out and get backlinks from relevant high authority websites for regular SEO. But for local SEO, you would need to get links from local entities so Google can trust your presence in that locality and rank your website for searches coming from there.

The process of acquiring links from your local websites is called local link building, and there are many strategies through which you can get a link from local websites.

You can create helpful content for doctors and dentists and get it posted on your community blog with a link back to your website.

If your practice makes enough revenue, you can sponsor a local school team or students from the local school or college and get a link from these institutions.

You can also join your local chamber of commerce and post in their news section to get a link from there.

Most cities have local newspapers. You can create PR content for these newspapers, offer advice, or write articles for them and link back to your website. These websites often enjoy high domain authority, so you can get valuable links from them.

You can also find local business directories and get your practices included in them to get another backlink.

These are just a few of the many local backlinking strategies. If you can get creative, the sky’s the limit.

8. Make Good Use Of GBP Calls And Messages

Businesses listed on GBP can get direct calls from google searchers.

Therefore, if you have included your phone number on GBP with the intent to receive calls and messages from your online audience, make sure you have someone to receive and respond to them.

Not responding to internet-driven calls and messages can lead to a bad customer experience, which can manifest as negative reviews and lousy promotion, which can be detrimental to your practice.

9. Local Reviews

Patients want to make sure the person they are going to consult is good at what they do. More importantly, they want the peace of mind that the facility is up to their standards and does not have a bad reputation. Due to these reasons, 98% of people read online reviews.

Therefore, the majority of healthcare consumers say online reviews influence their decision when selecting a healthcare service provider.

Therefore, you need to ensure your GBP listing features enough diverse reviews to win the prospective patients” trust.

Getting reviews, however, is not as straightforward as you may want it to be. Fully 74% of consumers write online reviews.

People would love to leave a bad review, but they rarely go out of their way to leave a good one.

Therefore, you will have to pursue positive reviews for the sake of your profit.

What you can do, in this case, is to follow up every patient’s appointment with a request to leave feedback on your GBP listing.

Make sure to go through all your reviews and remove any personally identifiable information that people may have shared accidentally in their reviews.

Also, while responding to positive reviews is important, address the negative reviews as well so the rest of the world knows you prioritize your patients” experience and work to make it a good one.

10. Multiple Professional Listings At One Address

Google allows you to share an address with various other businesses sharing the same location and have an independent GBP for your business, given that your business is distinct and has its own Tax Identification Code.

So, you can create an independent listing if you have a clinic located within an office building that houses many other businesses.

However, if you have a large hospital with several smaller clinics, it might become challenging to create an independent listing for each hospital.

Because you need to have distinct businesses, each of which files its taxes independently and has its own phone numbers to create a different listing for businesses operating from a similar location.

Final Words

Local SEO can unlock a new traffic channel for your practice. By helping you rank for local prospective patients, it can allow you to generate more bookings and consequently increase profit.

However, before you can enjoy its benefits, you will have to do the hard work of creating and maintaining a healthy Google Business Profile listing.

Once you have an optimized GBP listing, you will be more likely to harness the potential of SEO and garner more appointments for your practice.

If you are interested in original article by Atul Jindal you can find it here

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Google: Don’t Publish Empty Or Blank Pages

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An SEO asked Google’s John Mueller if it is okay or even a good idea to publish blank or empty pages so Google can find those URLs? John Mueller said no, don’t publish empty pages to the web.

The question was “is it a good idea to make a website live even if there is no content on some pages?” I am trying to think why this would be considered a good idea? I am thinking maybe he wants to jump start indexing by feeding Google a URL, even though that page has no content? I mean, that probably will backfire being that if Google sees not content, Google might decide not to check that page again for a while (even classify it as duplicate).

John Mueller of Google responded on Twitter saying “Just make the pages live that have content? It would be annoying as a user to get promised while browsing your site and just not get it. Build it out when you have time, but don’t just publish empty pages.”

So no, don’t publish empty pages as an SEO strategy or any type of strategy…

If you are interested in original article by Barry Schwartz you can find it here

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How Long Does It Take To See Results From Link Building?

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We all want fast link building results. Learn the factors that impact link building and when to expect positive changes.

It’s almost a standard question: SEO clients want to know how quickly they’ll see results from link-building efforts.

They want positive change as soon as possible and it makes sense – a lot of time, work, and money go into building quality links.

Realistically, though, it can take 3 to 12 months to see any change in your site’s visibility.

It’s helpful to consider a few important factors that influence the impact velocity of link building, too.

Let’s look at these factors and a few examples of how fast link building brings results in different niches.

6 Aspects That Influence The Effectiveness Of Link Building

In my experience building links for different companies, I’ve noticed these factors, but results will vary depending on individual cases.

Let’s break down these factors influencing link-building effectiveness in more detail.

1. The Authority Of A Site

Domain ranking (DR) is a metric that includes how many backlinks a website has received from trusted resources. Usually, the higher the DR, the higher the website’s trust score. 

You can check your site’s DR with tools such as Ahrefs, Semrush, MOZ, and Majestic.

Sites that initially had a good DR will see the results faster.

The lower the website’s DR, the longer you’ll wait for the links built to bring positive changes. But it also depends on the niche.

Typically, the DR should be no less than 60 for B2B brands and 30 for B2C companies. If your domain ranking is lower, you’ll have to wait longer for results.

Essentially, a website with good online authority may get more chances to rank even better.

2. Positive And Negative Traffic Trends

Simply put, the positive trend speeds up the effects of a link-building campaign, while the negative can hinder the results in the short run.

Google tracks the dynamics and gives preference to those resources that show a stable growth trend.

If a website has a negative traffic trend, it can be challenging to return to the initial point of growth because of reasons that impacted the website’s relevance and trust score.

3. The Brand’s Popularity

One of the crucial factors in link building is whether a website you’re getting a link from is an authoritative brand or not.

A helpful indicator of this would be the percentage of branded traffic a given website receives.

You can check this with tools such as Semrush.

4. Types Of Pages

Typically, the links built to content pages bring positive results faster than commercial pages.

In general, commercial pages target only a handful of keywords, substantially lowering your chances for success.

Also, remember that Google search gives preferences to content pages.

5. Level Of Competition In A Niche

In B2B, for instance, link building is popular, so choosing just this strategy alone to grow your website may not be enough. You have to combine it with producing high-quality content and developing your brand.

But if you come from B2C, link building can become your competitive advantage.

6. Monthly And Overall Link Building Budget

The average cost per link across the industry varies. For example, Ahrefs found that it’s around $350 while Siege estimates about $500.

However, the price per link depends on how authoritative a particular site is. For instance, a link on a site with a domain rating by Ahrefs of 50 and organic traffic of 2,000 per month is not equal to a link from a website with a DR of 80 and organic traffic over 100,000.

So, link-building agencies often set different pricing based on a site’s domain rating and organic traffic.

Based on this, a good starting point might include $3,000 monthly expenses and a $30,000 overall budget.

However, you may need to invest at least $10,000 a month in some niches to start seeing the results.

And, it’s always good to remain realistic about your individual situation and focus on targeting the right keywords rather than trying your luck and failing.

Which factor is the most crucial?

All of them play a significant role to a certain extent.

However, building links on a brand website that sells a real product or service is important.

These websites have the highest growth potential, and the impact of building links to these sites will only grow over time.

5 Examples Of How Link Building Works In Different Niches

Alright, we’ve discussed factors that can speed up or slow down link-building campaign results.

But to avoid making empty claims, let’s look at a few link-building campaigns and how fast they managed to show positive changes.

The first example is a real challenge many people might consider a lost cause.

This site had zero organic traffic, no authority, no branded traffic, and came from a very competitive niche – digital marketing.

So, it’s not surprising that the website didn’t show any changes in organic traffic in the first eight months, although the number of keywords the website ranked for in SERPs grew a bit.

Then, more tangible results appeared after close to 12 months of work.  The website acquired 250+ links with an overall budget of $100,000.

Here’s what this site’s trend looks like now. The number of referring domains grew gradually between January 2021 and January 2022.

organic traffic results ahrefsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

The graph below shows when the organic traffic to this website started growing compared to when it started building links – almost 10 months later.

organic traffic growth ahrefs resultsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

As of now, according to Ahrefs, the organic traffic to this brand’s website is 3,000.

However, Google Search Console shows it even higher.

Ahrefs organic traffic increaseScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

This website took a little over a year to show results from link-building efforts.

The next example is a B2C brand in the niche of home improvement.

The company built 58 links to its website with an overall budget of less than $20,000.

The link-building efforts started in December 2021.

link building results ahrefs Screenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

Significant changes in organic traffic started showing in less than five months after the brand launched its link-building campaign.

You can see how the traffic grew in the graph below.

growth graph from ahrefs link building effortsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

Here are a couple more cases to illustrate how link-building results appear for B2B vs. B2C.

This is a new B2B brand’s website with absolutely no traffic. This website acquired 40 links for a $15,000 overall budget and ranked by search terms delivering traffic worth $1,600.

ahrefs link building effortsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

The first impact of link-building efforts appeared three months after – approximately from November 2021 to December 2021.

all time results via ahrefsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

It’s worth mentioning that it is an absolutely new brand.

But would the link-building results come faster if the brand was already well-known?

Yes. This company has been around a while, with a website getting tons of traffic and links. It’s also from a competitive niche of SEO tools.

In this case, the site had a slight boost with only 27 links to a page that already had some links. So, it’s 27 links against those 40 that the previous website had to build.

As a result, the organic traffic to it doubled after five months.

ahrefs growth for new brand link building strategyScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

This website had to build fewer links, but its effects also came much faster. The link-building campaign started in August 2021, and you can see the first results in October 2021.

Another example is a new B2C brand selling supplements in the self-care niche.

It built over 50 links to its site with an overall $12,000 budget.

ahrefs backlink profile Screenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

As for the results, the link-building campaign started close to the end of 2021, and the first changes in organic traffic appeared after two to three months.

link building for B2B brand resultsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

Sometimes the deliverability of link-building campaigns is faster for B2C brands, proving that link building in this niche is far less competitive than in B2B.

Nevertheless, if you look at all the examples, you’ll see that the time when a company starts seeing its first tangible results depends on each case.

Over To You

In most cases, results from link-building efforts start showing up within three to 12 months.

However, it still depends on a few crucial factors.

  • The site’s authority.
  • Positive and negative traffic trends.
  • The brand’s popularity.
  • Types of pages providing the links.
  • Level of competition in a niche.
  • Your link-building budget.

Also, build links on sites that represent trustworthy brands. This way, positive changes to your site’s performance will continue.

If you are interested in original article by Alexandra Tachalova you can find it here

SEO For Non-Profits: 7 Tips To Help Your Organization Get Found

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Learn how to get the most out of your resources and continue driving your mission forward through these 7 SEO tips.

Non-profit organizations can benefit greatly from exposure online.

SEO is a great way to gain organic traffic, regardless of the mission of the organization and the intent of the searcher.

Yes, there are opportunities through Google Ads grants and supporters to help drive traffic.

However, being found organically is a cost-effective and trusted way to gain long-term visibility and further the mission of a non-profit.

Most non-profits operate on lean budgets and have to be very judicious with their resources.

I have had the opportunity to work with many spanning focuses and missions aimed at healthcare, education, performing arts, adoption, orphanages, and more.

Within each non-profit, I have found tips that help regardless of most focuses and circumstances.

From solid funding to grassroots organizations, there’s a lot to be gained by focusing on seven SEO tips to help your organization get found.

1. Develop SEO Goals

I have personally heard from and witnessed non-profit organizations spend time somewhat aimlessly. I understand the fact that resources are limited and dollars potentially even more so.

That means it is even more important to have specific, realistic goals for what SEO could and should do for the organization. Disparate, scattered efforts that are working toward a specific goal are often wasted.

A lot of non-profits have specific stakeholder groups and different goals for each.

For example, I worked with a large national non-profit organization focused on a very specific disease.

Their audience included many audiences and potential visitors including those who were just diagnosed, scared, and seeking information.

Beyond that, they had goals for advocates, donors, those engaged in events, those interested in furthering legislation, and general supporters.

All had some level of awareness, engagement, and action goals layered on top.

With a large number of specific funnels, conversion actions, and stakeholder purposes for finding the org, engaging online, and getting to the ultimate goal, it is important to define specific goals and success metrics.

2. Create Funnels And Stakeholder Sections

Building on what I noted about the disparate stakeholders and types of goal actions, we can create paths for them and content within the website.

Non-profit sites can often be a mess. That’s not on purpose as it can be hard to work on all the content needed and to scale the website over time.

Survey your audience. Learn what they really want and what resources matter to them.

Tailor your content based on feedback and what you know about the cause.

Know that some people want to plug in a credit card quickly.

Others want to consume long-form content.

Even more might want to learn about events and ways to connect.

Give all of them their own path and custom journey.

My team is working currently with a large non-profit that funds a lot of worthy organizations and fosters entrepreneurship.

We have a laser focus on specific topics, content strategies, and investments to make sure that the right people are reached and that the org is positioned prominently for engagement compared to for-profit and other content sources.

3. Build Solid Infrastructure

This could have been number two, as it goes together with the funnel and stakeholder section building.

If you’re struggling with number two above, it could be because your site isn’t easy to manage.

Please note that all of the technical SEO needs are important for non-profits like they are in for-profit sectors.

On top of that, with the various funnels and goals, a solid UX and information architecture is critical.

We can’t lose people along the way or waste any precious impressions and clicks. We need sites that convince and convert users.

We have a story to tell and need it to be told without bounces and losing people along the way due to not finding the right content and spot for them on the site.

I saw firsthand how a local non-profit benefited from this type of approach.

As a tax levy, yet independent, a non-governmental non-profit that provided grants for mental health organizations, it had a lot of technical details to share.

The org had a very specific grantmaking process. That process could be hard to understand and follow.

The org spends a lot of time and focuses on awareness in SEO as well as Q&A.

Beyond that, it was important to share how taxpayer funds are used and how it serves the broader community.

All of those funnels, plus some for politicians curious are big reasons why the funnel and rich content model works so well.

4. Invest Carefully In Content

Content can be a big, open-ended question for non-profits.

There are a lot of really important things to say – both about the organization’s story and the voice it has in the cause.

Passions for blogging, creating resources, and telling the important story of the cause can drive a lot of great content.

At the same time, for some organizations writing can be put on the back burner when events, fundraising, and things central to the mission take the most time.

Content can be a big effort whether it is working or not and it might need more focus.

Or, it can be lacking and need more consistency and discipline.

Regardless, a sweet spot has to be found to fuel the areas of the funnel and focus that matter for organic search.

I can think of a great example who tells their story well and also serves as a leader as a resource of information.

They serve troubled youth and are an option for parents who are out of options for their high school kids.

They take in troubled youth from around the U.S. and have a high staff-to-student ratio serving them with love and highly skilled and accountable care.

Through their site, they share their research, expertise, and thought leadership in their space.

They also have an emotional and impactful story to share with prospective parents and students.

They do amazing work and serve a much-needed cause and do a great job of investing in content at the levels needed for those interested in stats and facts as well as they move others by resonating with their exact situation and emotions.

5. Leverage Partners For Links

In addition to technical and content aspects of SEO, non-profits need to also leverage off-page factors.

A big part of that is backlinks.

That means ensuring that all partners, advocates, and associates are helping the cause wherever they can by linking to the non-profit website.

Through natural links tied to relationships, I’m not talking about spammy or unnatural links.

If an aligned partner or organization is supporting the cause, simply make sure that they know where to link for the best possible user experience and to cue the search engines to that association.

Beyond that, any opportunities for outreach and network growth should also be considered.

Link research into comparable organizations should be done. This can help with development efforts as well as outreach to develop more partners.

An example of a non-profit organization gaining SEO benefits from backlinks is a flagship performing arts center.

As a venue, it has several resident organizations or other non-profits who call it home for their concerts and performances.

Beyond that, corporate sponsors, civic organizations, artists, ticketing sites, and more all naturally link to the center.

Leveraging all of the specific partners and relationships, the performing arts center fully leverages the value of the links and “votes” from those other sites to benefit their own.

6. Smartly Use Social

Social media has been one of the most debated things in terms of its impact on SEO. I’m not here to foster that debate in this article.

However, I can say that I ascribe to at least the correlation between social media activity and better SEO performance.

Again, not here for a debate.

If you can get on board with at least correlation (not causation), then please factor in your social media activity with your search strategy.

Look at the content you want to get ranked well and get links to.

Build your social strategy around that.

Get your own social accounts to link to it and get other people to share and link to it.

A national organization that I work with that is an association of intercollegiate athletics does a great job of this.

They leverage their investments in the content to get as much mileage as possible.

That means creating the content once and publishing it on the site and promoting it via Google Ads, social, email, and all possible channels.

Ultimately, they want organic search as well and know that as much engagement, links, and references they can get to their data, research info, and recruiting info they can get, the better it will perform organically. And, it does!

7. Plan, Measure, & Repeat

I can point to a number of great examples of non-profits owning organic search results and seeing real results from them. Most have a well-defined and intentional plan and effort in place.

It isn’t about trying harder.

It is about specific focus and knowing that there’s ROI or real, measurable impact that can come from organic search.

In so many of those successful cases, there’s planned action and tactics.

That means a regular and consistent effort in technical SEO factors, content, and knowing that SEO includes the word “optimization.”

It isn’t a one-time thing or a quick strategy.

It takes definition, planning, resources, and sticking with it.

You don’t have competitors in the traditional sense, but you do when it comes to gaining impressions and visitors and people talking about the content that you so deservedly want and need.

Wrap Up
You have a great cause and organization.

Your mission means a lot to a lot of people.

Don’t short-change it or miss out on your chance to gain visitors who have a range of interests, goals, and reasons they should come to your site.

Use these seven tips for non-profit SEO and get the most out of your resources and continue driving your mission forward.

If you are interested in original article by Correy Morris you can find it here

microsites-62a868763a197-sej-760x400

Let’s Talk About Microsites & Dips In Traffic: Ask An SEO

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When are microsites recommended and how do they impact organic traffic? Expert Ryan Jones tackles this week’s Ask An SEO question.

Today’s ask an SEO question comes from Kate in Louisville, who wrote:

“I work for a company that builds microsites for clients.

What factors do I need to focus on when there’s a dip in organic traffic?

In Q4 2021, for example, we did a rebrand and meta data was altered.

Would this have a massive impact on traffic going forward?”

Strictly speaking, there’s nothing different when it comes to how search engines treat a microsite versus a regular website.

They still look at URLs, links, titles, content, and hundreds of other ranking factors so the same SEO best practices for diagnosing a rankings drop will apply to microsites, too.

Let’s First Talk About Traffic Drops

I want to share some thoughts on microsites in general, but before we do that let’s look at how to handle that traffic drop.

The specific answer to your metadata question is: Maybe.

If you drastically changed the title tag from being relevant to your page to, say, “home” – then you’re probably not ranking as well for your query nor getting many clicks if you do rank.

(Gentle reminder: meta descriptions and keywords are not ranking factors in major search engines. However, a description can have an effect on your click-through rates – when Google decides to actually show the one you wrote.)

The good news is, that changing it back and seeing what happens is a really easy and quick test to perform.

The first thing to do when there’s a dip in traffic with any site is to understand where the traffic dip occurred.

Is it a specific query or set of queries? is it a specific page or group of pages? Is it sitewide?

Look for patterns. It might be one “style” of the keyword (for example, keywords around a specific section of the site) or it might be a certain page template.

This information can steer you where to look.

Once you figure out where the traffic drop is, search for that query/page and see what happens.

If you aren’t showing up at all, check your site for a technical issue.

If you are showing up, did somebody else jump your position?

If you have lost rankings, you should first ask what changes were made to the page.

Often an unwanted title tag or content change or random technical issue could be at fault.

Assuming there’s no change at fault, the next step requires some soul searching.

Ask yourself: “Is this really the best result for a user? if I was searching this query, is this what I would want? Is it better than what’s outranking me?”

Often times as SEO pros we think in terms of push marketing – ” how can I get this page to rank for this query” but true success comes from a pull marketing mentality of understanding what the user is trying to do and creating something that accomplishes that.

We’re seeing this a lot lately with the Google core updates.

Search queries that used to return product description pages now return recommendations and curated lists of the best products in that category.

Google has decided that these pages better serve the user than a single product page.

If something like this is happening in your area, the only solution is to re-evaluate your content in the context of the query and what the engines are showing.

Usually, this isn’t quick or cheap, but it’s the best way to succeed.

Okay, Let’s Talk About Microsites

Except for a few rare cases, I’m not a big fan of microsites.

Big brands love them because they can hire a cheaper/faster vendor to come in for some smaller project and keep it separate from their main website’s codebase, budgets, processes, etc. – but there are many drawbacks.

I’ve seen companies implement microsites to the point where the user flow became: enter on the main website, click a promo to go to the microsite, and then click another call to action back to the main website.

That just seems like a lot of unnecessary overhead that introduces more jump-off points for conversion.

It can also be an analytics tracking nightmare.

From a strictly SEO perspective, a microsite is starting over without any of the PageRank, link juice, or domain authority of the main website.

Whether you believe in such metrics or not, links still matter – and often microsites have fewer links to their pages than if they were placed on the main domain.

The other issue is competition. Too often a microsite done by another agency doesn’t collaborate with the agency doing the main website, and they end up competing for the same keywords.

In some spaces that can be a good idea, to own the search result and push down other pages – but the key here is to have a plan and collaborate with the main site.

Owning multiple search results or pushing something else down for ORM (online reputation management) could be one of the reasons why you’d want a microsite.

Paid search could also be another reason.

Google and Bing won’t let you serve two ads from the same domain, but if you have a microsite you could place 2 different ads on the same query.

In general though, if there isn’t a good reason for a microsite, I’d recommend just creating a new page or section on the main website.

When in doubt, let the user experience dictate the decision, not SEO.

If it’s going to be branded differently or there is a good reason to keep users apart, do a microsite.

If not, you’ll have stronger rankings and more success by including it in the main domain.

If you are interested in original article by Ryan Jones you can find it here

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3 content marketing strategies to support SEO success

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SEO success relies on high-quality content. Learn how to ensure that your content meets this standard.

“When we think about [SEO] success, we often think about ranking on the first page of Google,” said Jon Lightfoot, founder and CEO of Strategic SEO Solutions, in a recent webinar. “But beyond ranking [at the top], there’s something more [important], which is ranking for the right keywords.”

Ranking for the topics your target audience is searching for doesn’t come from keyword stuffing or overemphasizing keyword density. Success in this area relies on crafting quality content that audiences love and search engines recognize as authoritative.

Here are three effective content strategies Lightfoot recommends marketers enact to support SEO success.

1. Identify user intent

“Intent is the purpose behind the [user’s] search,” Lightfoot said. “There are four buckets to understand and nurture when it comes to your strategy.”

The four areas of user intent he identified relate to specific content or services searchers are looking for. They are as follows:

  • Informational: Searchers looking for information, such as an answer to a question.
  • Navigational: Users looking for a specific website.
  • Commercial: People researching a product or service.
  • Transactional: Those who are searching for products or services to purchase.
user intent for keywords
Source: Jon Lightfoot

“How do we harness this and use it in a way that’s effective for our companies? The first step is to perform keyword analysis,” he said. “The epicenter of this is understanding what people want to receive from these queries so you can then create the content that serves them.”

Analyzing keyword data to glean user intent means looking at more than just volume. It requires a thorough analysis of the types of content those words and phrases bring up in the search results and getting a sense of what audiences want from these searches.

2. Prioritize content quality, not quantity

“If you rank at the top of search, that’s only part of the battle,” Lightfoot said. “The real battle is staying there. You have to be mindful of content quality signals.”

Metrics such as bounce rate, time spent on page, number of page views, while telling little by themselves, can give marketers more context into user behavior when analyzed together. They can show how engaged readers are with your content, letting you know which pieces need to be reworked or scrapped altogether.

“It’s about [optimizing] in a qualitative way so that we nurture the core metrics and Google rewards us by maintaining our rankings,” Lightfoot said.

Instead of focusing on pushing out loads of articles, marketers should spend more time improving the quality of the content they’re already producing. This means making the most important on-page elements as well-written and user-centric as possible.

Here’s how SEOs can improve the content quality in a few of these areas.

  • Page titles: Use target keywords in the title element, placing the primary terms in the front. Craft them in ways similar to competitors that are performing well in search.
  • Heading tags: This element defines your page’s body text, so make it specific to that information.
  • Internal linking: Use descriptive, keyword-rich anchor text to prompt readers to explore relevant pages on your site.

3. Focus on E-A-T through external linking and footnotes

“E-A-T – building expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness – is going to come from not only the things you say but the areas that can support what you’re saying,” Lightfoot said. “If you use external linking to provide more information to users, it shows that what you’re saying is validated by other sources.”

“Linking to trustworthy sites proves your value and credentials,” he added.

Google's E-A-T
Source: Jon Lightfoot

Linking to authoritative external sources shows readers you took the time to make your content the best it can be, especially when that content is linked with relevant anchor text. But more than that, this process helps improve your own content’s credentials.

Lightfoot also recommends providing additional information with footnotes, which many sites fail to include. Incorporating these resources adds more contextual content to your articles and shows that the data is coming from trustworthy sources.

footnote benefits for E-A-T
Source: Jon Lightfoot

“Footnotes are great ways to fortify your content, building that expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, and Google certainly celebrates it,” he said.

If you are interested in original article by Corey Patterson, you can find it here

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