The factors that affect search engine results change all the time. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a perpetual balancing act, which is why it’s so important for marketers, agencies, and practice owners alike to be aware of the latest and greatest updates to core search engine algorithms.
Currently, we’re seeing significant changes in both organic search results (the list of links you see when you perform an online search) and local results (the businesses listed in your immediate area, tied to Google Maps) as a result of a significant core algorithm update made by Google. Codenamed “Medic,” this update emphasizes the importance of building your online reputation across the internet, rather than just on your website and the other digital properties that you control, or those managed by your marketing agency.
‘EAT’ Up for Great SEO
Google and other search engines analyze hundreds of factors to determine where your page should rank for a given search query. With this major update, we’re seeing search engines assign greater value to pages that exemplify three traits: expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, or EAT.
One of the best ways to build your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness is to get recognizable people and sources talking about you online, ideally with links pointing back to your website. A few ways to do this are:
- Getting quoted as an expert in news articles, leadership think pieces, and third-party content relevant to your industry
- Writing guest articles on general and niche websites
- Submitting educational content on cases (for attorneys) and procedures (for plastic surgeons, dentists, and ophthalmologists) for review, fact-checking, and publication by leaders in your field
- Being active in your community -- not only will you earn goodwill and potentially receive local media coverage, but you might also get attention from trusted organizations and nonprofits in your area
- Maintaining your online reputation on major third-party websites (ex: the Better Business Bureau) and directories that are relevant to your practice and the area you serve
Many of these EAT-building assets are available to buy. However, with this latest major update we have seen how much the search engines are now emphasizing earned media coverage, guest posts, and online reviews. Google knows which platforms are pay-to-play and which ones require genuine, authoritative contributions in order to get noticed.
As a result, the search engine optimization specialists at Page 1 Solutions are doubling our efforts to get clients really, truly noticed.
How to Build Your Online Reputation
Many attorneys, cosmetic practices, dentists, and ophthalmologists trust an agency to handle their SEO. Some aspects of SEO happen behind the scenes, the steps of which are best handled by dedicated optimizers. But making headlines and contributing expert content requires a partnership between the practice and the marketing agency.
Some of the ways our marketing team members help clients build their EAT include:
- Using tools like Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and cultivating relationships with writers and reporters to get expert quotes from clients published on high-quality websites
- Identifying reputable off-site writing opportunities for clients and assisting them with original, informative contributions
- Checking out local organizations and events to see how clients can get involved through donations, sponsorships, and other activities
- Connecting with industry leaders and influencers through their websites and social media profiles -- bringing your practice to the attention of “big names” is an opportunity to increase your visibility among a receptive and relevant audience
- Ensuring consistent listings on Google My Business and third-party websites such as the Better Business Bureau and area Chambers of Commerce
- Providing you with the tools and insights to monitor, manage, and market positive reviews and ratings
If you’ve invested in digital marketing for a long time, you might have heard the term “link building.” This is the process of generating links to your website (“backlinks”) as a means of proving to the search engines that you have a considerable online presence, which is generally weighted in your favor via search results.
Over time, link building has become more and more about the authority of your website and your practice as a whole, rather than just how many links you have. Backlinks are still important, but the Medic update proves that context is key and quality trumps quantity.
You Have Ways of Making Them Talk
Anybody can say that they are an expert authority whom people trust. Today, in order to rank well in search results, drive traffic to your website, and generate leads, you need to be able to prove your Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. Being published and cited on other websites, having other experts talk about you and your practice, and managing reviews and third-party profiles are just a few ways to strengthen your SEO outside of your website and immediate marketing channels.
The search engine optimization specialists at Page 1 Solutions recognize the importance of robust EAT to help our clients stand out from the competition. For more information about SEO and other marketing strategies for your law office, cosmetic surgery center, dental practice, or ophthalmology clinic, please call Page 1 Solutions at 800-368-9910 today. Your initial website and marketing consultation is free.