How using the right SEO keywords gets your practice's website found in Google
By Steve Claridge on 10th November 2015
Audiology SEO, What Are The Keywords?
Picking the right words and phrases to use on your audiology website can have a massive difference on where your site's pages appear in search engine results and thus how many potential customers you attract to your site.
A large part of any online marketing effort is making changes to a website and its pages so that they appear as highly as possible in relevant searches in Google and other search engines. Everyone wants to be at the top of Google search results and to get as many visitors as possible but it is very important to be at the top of relevant searches - for example, if you are running a hearing practice in Oxford then you want local people searching for hearing related things to find your site and click through to it, you are much less interested in someone from Brighton who is searching for lawn mowers. So it is vital to optimise your website for the right things so that you attract the relevant people.
How Google works
Google, and the other search engines, are trying to organise the entire Web and make it searchable - there are roughly 1 billion websites and each of those have many pages, so the search eninges have a pretty big job on their hands. They need to read all of the content from all of these websites, decide what each webpage is about and then decide which of those pages to show to someone when they perform a search.
Google will firstly "scrape" your website, this simply means that they will take a copy of your webpages so that they can analyse the content of each one. Each and every webpage on the Web is made up of HTML, which is a textual representation of what you see when you browse the Web - HTML is readable text and it contains the words from a webpage and also some markup that describes what picture to show and also how to position everything and what they should look like. Google will take a copy of the HTML and extract all the words to work out what your webpage is about.
Once the scrape has taken place the pages can be analysed. It is worth noting that all of this analysis is done by a computer, so SEO is about making a computer understand what your website is about, luckily the search engine makers have defined ways in which we can signal to them what a webpage is about to make things a bit easier.
The final thing to do is to rank the scraped webpages so that someone performing a search will see the most relevant results at the top. Google may scrape many pages that seem to be relevant for someone searching for hearing aid information in Kentucky and it needs to make a decision about which of those is the best one for the searcher and show that one first.
As I said above, the process used by Google, Yahoo, Bing and all the other search engines to analyse your webpages is all done automatically by a computer. An important part of making a computer understand what your webpage is about is the concept of Keywords - these are the key words or key phrases that are the words that people are likely to search for and find your page. For example, a page that details your tinnitus therapy services will have key phrases of "tinnitus therapy", "ears ringing", "tinnitus help" and so on.
Back in the days when search engines were less sophisticated, keywords were used heavily to identify the key topics of a page and it was easy for people to "game the system", you may remember seeing webpages where the was a list of words stuffed at the bottom, that used to be enough to get your page to rank for those words. But not any more. Google is getting much smarter about analysing pages and a time will come when keywords are not considered in the way they are today, but for now and the forseeable future you still need to consider keywords for SEO when blogging and creating pages on your site.
How to pick keywords for a page
Every page on your website should have a single purpose and a single message for the reader, i.e. you should have one page the details your tinnitus therapy services, another page that introduces your team members, another for earwax removal, one for the types of hearing aid you offer - in other words, each page of your site should be focused on one part of your business and the key words or phrases that you include must be relevant to the topic.
To get the basics of this right is pretty straightforward. The idea is to think: What would someone be searching for in Google to find this service/page/information? Someone in Manhattan looking for help with their tinnitus migh search for "tinnitus help", "I need help with my tinnitus", "tinnitus therapy in New York", "tinnitus therapy in Manhattan" or something similar. So the tinnitus page for your Manhattan-based practice should include these phrases, for example, you could write, "Need help managing your tinnitus? Or Manhattan practice has the latest etc etc...".
Think about variations of terms that are relevant to your page. For example, when someone is searching in Google the may describe their tinnitus as "buzzing", "ringing" or "unwanted noise" so it is worth using these terms as well.
Remember you are always writing for humans first, never write to attract search engines as you will end up with unreadable text and that is not what Google want anyway, it wants to show the best content at the top. Write for humans but keep the computers analysing your page for SEO in mind. Do not stuff keywords in just to get them in, write naturally and include keywords where they fit.
Where to put keywords on a page
Search engines analyse the structure and layout of a webpage as well as the words, so where a key word or phrase appears determines how important it is. This is similar to the way that people read newspaper articles: you read the headline first, if that grabs your attention you read the lead paragraph, if you are hooked in you continue to read the rest of the article, finishing at the bottom. So word appearing in your title (headline) are deemed to be very important to the topic of the page, the lead paragraph's content is also seen as being key to the topic, and so on down the page until the least important information right at the bottom, so ideally you need to place keywords at, or near, the top for most impact.
Don't let keywords and SEO govern how you create the content on your website, always write to engage your readers, but you must keep the search engines in mind whilst writing and use key words and phrases so that their computers can understand exactly what your page is about.