As the Internet increasingly becomes our go-to source for finding and evaluating local businesses, LASIK practices must learn to adapt if they want to thrive. Getting found in Google and other search engines is an integral part of doing just that.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an oft-misunderstood practice. As a business owner or manager, you’ve likely being pitched SEO services, probably many times, and it can be hard to know what to make of it. It sometimes sounds like some sort of techy voodoo, and it’s really hard to know who to trust. To be sure, the line of business owners who have been ripped off by SEO providers is extraordinarily long.
But that doesn’t mean that businesses should throw out the baby with the bathwater. Instead, it means that you should understand just a little bit about SEO, how it can benefit your business’ online presence, and what kinds of things good SEO providers actually do.
So let’s get to it.
Why Your LASIK Business Can Benefit from SEO Done Right
As you almost certainly know, ranking well in Google can be a huge benefit to your business’ stream of inbound leads – that is, leads who find you as opposed to you finding them (through a radio, print, or TV ad, for example).
There have been a number of studies done on the percentage of consumers who use the Internet to find local services, some finding that the number is as high as 97%.
You know this from your own personal experience. Need a plumber? Google. Need a car mechanic? Google. Need a lawyer? Google. Or maybe you’re more of a Yahoo or Bing person, but regardless, the principle remains.
Sure, local businesses still find work through referrals and other sources, but the Internet has quickly overtaken them all, with little chance of slowing down anytime soon.
Point being: If people in your community aren’t easily finding you when they search online for a LASIK doctor, you likely won’t even be on their radar. Which means someone else is getting that business.
What Local SEO for LASIK Practices Looks Like
There are a near-countless number of SEO tactics out there. Altogether, Google takes hundreds of factors into consideration when ranking pages. However, most of these relate to a few big ones that you have to get right if you want to rank well.
Optimized, Quality Content
The most basic way that Google understands and evaluates websites involves the words that are on your site. Through that, Google can – or at least should be able to, if you’re doing it right – figure out who you are, what services you offer, where you offer them, and a host of other factors. Making sure that this is all extremely clear for search engine algorithms is vital for getting your LASIK site found online.
It’s also important to not set it and forget it. Frequently updating your content and adding new content is a great way to indicate to search engines that your site is relevant and fresh, giving you a better chance of ranking well for a variety of keywords.
Citation and Link Building
One of the primary ways that Google evaluates whether or not your site is trustworthy is by looking at how many other sites are linking to yours, along with the quality of those sites.
If you have a bunch of strange, unrelated websites that have bad reputations linking to your site, then, Google isn’t going to think too highly of your site. On the other hand, if your site has quality sites linking to yours, and they can find your business citation listing in a consistent manner across directories, then you’ll be viewed as much more authoritative and trustworthy.
An increasingly important factor for ranking well in Google relates to the performance and functionality of your website. Because Google has had so much trouble with Internet marketers taking advantage of the weight of link building and on-page optimization (by buying links or trying to scam their algorithms with the perfect combination of keywords), they’ve begun to put much more weight behind how people actually act when they engage with a website. These factors are called engagement metrics and include things like:
- How long site visitors stay on your page (metric: time on page)
- How quickly site visitors leave after landing on your site (metric: bounce rate)
- How many other pages on your website that visitors go to after landing on your site (metric: pages per session)
The list goes on.
Beyond engagement factors, there are other things that also need to be considered with your site if you want it to rank, such as how quickly it loads. Internet users have no patience these days for sites that load slowly, and beyond the ding your site might receive from the poor engagement, Google also takes your site speed into consideration.
Site speed can be improved by a number of things, including the hosting provider you’re using, whether or not your images are compressed, and how many plugins you have running.
Here at Patient Pipeline, we take all of these factors into account, optimizing each so that your LASIK site is in an optimal place to rank really well.
Want to Generate More Online Leads? We’re Here to Help.
Clearly, there’s a lot to consider for SEO. For LASIK practices, that can mostly be boiled down to just needing to find someone you can trust. At Patient Pipeline, our #1 goal is getting you results, and our mission is to be the only LASIK marketing agency you’ll ever need. If you’d like to set up a time to talk about how we can help your LASIK practice, fill out our short contact form to get started.