By Samuel Solis, Senior Internet Marketing Consultant
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and there are many search engines that help users find what they’re looking for. As a business, you want to be optimized for the search engine that’s going to make you the most visible online.
As of April 2017, Google has 77% market share and over 4 billion searches per day. The second largest is Bing with over 850 million searches per day.
Based on this information alone, it’s pretty apparent that most of your SEO investment should go towards Google optimization. If there’s room in the budget, you can address Bing optimization, too. As a client of Page 1 Solutions, you would get the benefits of being optimized for both platforms. We also track keyword and search query progress across both platforms.
While Google should be your main focus for onsite optimization and best practices, there are still other areas that are important. Strategies such as online directory management and paid directory opportunities can position your practice effectively on platforms that enhance your SEO.
Online Directory Management
It’s no longer the case that your website is the only way for people to find you online. There are many websites where you can build profiles for your practice. Websites like Angie's List, Avvo and FindLaw (for attorneys) and Healthgrades and RealSelf (for plastic surgeons, dentists, ophthalmologists and other doctors) present opportunities to establish yourself as an authority on locations outside of your website.
Usually these websites allow businesses to claim profiles and fill in the basic information for free. In order to receive the more premium features, like backlinks, ad space and eliminating competitor ads, you’ll have to pay a one-time or monthly fee.
You’ll want to take the time to set up these profiles in the directories most relevant to your business. There are also many sites you probably don’t know about or have time to set up. For this you’ll want to use a directory management tool like Yext.
Yext allows you to fill in your information once. Then the service crawls the Internet like a search engine, finds relevant directory profiles (also known as citations) and compares the information they contain to the information you provided. Yext then makes sure that the information is correct, and automatically makes any necessary changes.
Paid Directory Opportunities
As I mentioned before, there are additional opportunities when it comes to paying for the premium features of an online directory like Avvo or Healthgrades. One big benefit is buying into the first page of organic search results.
When you upgrade to a premium profile on a site like Avvo, you can target certain keywords for your profile to show up within the Avvo platform. For example, you can target the high-level search query “personal injury lawyer denver” and set an ad budget that would feature your profile as a “sponsored listing” for that search in Avvo.
This also brings benefits directly from the organic results page. When you do searches on Google or Bing for big traffic terms like “best plastic surgeon” or “top personal injury lawyer,” you’ll usually see some of these larger directories in the top 10 positions.
So, if you’ve targeted these same large-traffic keywords within the directories, then your profile would be featured for traffic coming from the search engine results page. It takes a little bit of strategy, but the potential traffic and leads coming through these searches would be highly qualified.
In the end, both of these online directory strategies bring positive signals to your site for specific search queries. Google can “see” these trends in traffic coming to your site and, while we don’t know exactly how Google weighs the increased traffic and engagement with your site, we know that site usability or user experience is a ranking factor.
To learn more about Google optimization best practices and how Page 1 Solutions can help you manage your online directory presence, please give us a call at 800-368-9910. If you’re already a client, call your Internet marketing consultant today.