If the latest Hummingbird Update sent your websites’ rankings into nowhere land, you’re not alone. A recent post from Search Engine Land quoted that “nearly 90% of all search results were affected” by this latest algorithm update. And that’s not the worst part…it’s been taking rankings from 90% of us for about 30 days.
Although SEO and medical marketing professionals do everything we can to offer on-page SEO that works well, quality content on our clients’ websites, solid backlinking strategies, and engaging social media posts, Hummingbird has affected just about everyone.
But don’t lose heart, there are some important measures you can take to get your rankings back and keep them steady no matter what Google throws your way.
Vital Takeaways from Hummingbird
That old saying, “Content is King” still holds water. Quality content gets read, shared, and linked to. There’s no better voting system than people recommending your content through one of those means.
High quality backlinking is more important than ever. With the Penguin Update, poor quality backlinks were counted against you and rankings took a huge hit if your linking strategy had been sub-par. Hummingbird makes it even more important for your backlinking strategy to be centered on getting links on authority sites in your industry.
Take, for example, that you’re a plastic surgeon. You need backlinks to your site to get more local patients find you on Google. Should you get links on health related sites? Beauty related sites? Plastic surgery related sites? We recommend all of those. On health related sites, topics about rhinoplasty and sleep apnea are highly relevant. Beauty related sites can flaunt your knowledge about skin care tips to help women look younger through their 40′s and 50′s (close the post with information about Botox, wrinkle fillers, fat transfer injections, and facial lift procedures).
How about vendors who supply your office with surgical garments, products, or services? Ask them if you can provide them with a guest blog post (and a link back to your site). The post should cover some positive comments from patients who use their product/service, how the product/service helps patients reach their goals, and why you love recommending them in your office. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Social Media Cues
Facebook, Twitter, and especially Google+, are some of the most important accounts to have in today’s post-Hummingbird apocalypse. This latest algorithm pushed the envelope even further with likes, shares, comments, and +1′s. Whether you accomplish this through some promoted posts or ads on Facebook, consistent tweeting, or regular activity on Google+…the bottom line is that you have to get on social media BIG TIME.
Your social media cues, or indicators, tell Google that what you do is important, relevant, and authoritative with your audience. It doesn’t matter whether you’re targeting patients or trying to sell a tangible item; getting people to react to your social media posts is one of the most important factors in rankings today.
Here are some tips to increase engagement:
- Post a short testimonial statement from a patient along with a call to action (ask your fans to do something).
- Post a “meme” (an image with a quote, saying, or fact written over it).
- Create or share a useful infographic (image with statistics written over it).
- Share the content of other authority pages in your realm (a great post from the ASPS, Botox Cosmetic, etc.).
- Share a link to one of your YouTube videos, a page on your site, or your recent blog post.
- Vary the types of content you share online (text-only post, picture, link, poll/question).
- Include a call to action where appropriate. Calls to action get tons more engagement.
Patient Reviews Online
One of the greatest testaments to your ability to produce results is in what others are saying about you online. Even with a word-of-mouth (WOM) referral from a patient, that referral will probably first go online to see what other patients are saying about you. They will also go to your website and look at your credentials as well as your before/after gallery. This is why no matter what type of lead you get (organic, pay-per-click, or WOM), your website should professionally reflect your image and reputation.
Sites like Google+, Yelp. Angie’s List, Health Grades, Vitals, and Real Self (just to name a few) are growing in popularity with patients. You should regularly be encouraging patients to leave positive reviews in those accounts. Some companies even offer online surveys that give patients the opportunity to enter a drawing for a gift card just for clicking the link and leaving two minutes of feedback. The best company we’ve come across is TrackBack, Inc. Since Google is now looking at how many “votes” you’ve got online in the review sites, now is more important than ever to get those reviews coming in!
Need a New SEO and Marketing Strategy for your Medical Practice?
If you’re looking for help with getting rankings back up in Google and to building a long-lasting strategy that will stand the test of time, contact us today. We’re here to get you better rankings, more traffic to your site, and to bring you more leads. We can be reached at (951) 665-8360.
About EggStream Marketing
EggStream Marketing is a leader in full service SEO and medical marketing for plastic surgeons, cosmetic dentists, and dermatologists. Their years of experience have helped them to propel clients to the top of Google rankings, increase website traffic, and boost patient leads.
Filed under: SEO and Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing Tagged: | backlinking, Hummingbird, hummingbird update, medical marketing, medical practice marketing, medical social media, patient reviews, practice marketing, seo for doctors, seo for plastic surgeons