“Following the rules of engagement is REALLY important; many site owners have unknowingly used “black hat” techniques to rank higher on Google. “Black hat” techniques are used when trying to beat the system; taking short cuts to better rankings. For example, it may seem like a good idea to hire a firm to create a massive number of inbound links to your web site. Inbound links occur when other web sites link to yours; Google considers this a confirmation of your content quality. If the company you hire creates a bunch of inbound links from poor quality web sites (or too many all at once), this is a red flag to Google and they consider it a black hat technique. Google only wants to display results from legitimate sites linking to yours for legitimate reasons. The potential outcome? Being blocked by Google, they’ll refuse to serve your site. Your BEST tactics to rank higher? Focus on providing the correct content for your target market and understand exactly what needs to be done for the search engines to consider your content as being shared in good faith,” says Williams.
There are two types of common searches. The first is called a direct search. Type in the web address of the site i.e., www.apple.com, you enter the Apple website.
An organic search is the second common type. When someone wants information on a topic such as computers, they type in “computers” and get 6 million hits and 23,000 pages of websites! The results are overwhelming. Most people look at page 1 or 2 and stop there. Clients will never know you exist if your site is on page 105. See the value of being at the top of the search results?
“Google is becoming smarter all the time! If your business serves a particular geographic area, there are ways of letting Google know so they rank you higher to searchers in your area,” Williams explains. “Now social media is becoming more important: Your page is served to potential customers you’re already connected to on social media. For example if ‘George’ has ‘Happy Hugs Vet’ in a circle on Google+, the Happy Hugs Vet website, video or social content will display on page 1 of the results when he searches for vet-related key words. Google considers George already interested in the Happy Hug Vet because he has a social connection with them. This is a huge opportunity for name recognition and sales for any company – including yours!”
Optimizing your website to raise its ranking with Google is key to a successful website. As I researched further, I realized Google provides plenty of free and paid resources that are very effective at getting you closer to the page 1 prize. My website now resides there, but not by accident. I invested in SEO for my site and give it consistent follow-up and tweaking. An SEO specialist is the easiest way to get to page 1. However, I wanted to be able to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, so I did it myself (with some amazing advice from Pat Williams!)
She suggests that an SEO strategy has many arms that unite to build success. “Organic SEO takes longer to rank on the first page than paid SEM (Search Engine Marketing) but can be just as important and should be worked on simultaneously.”
Stay tuned, Pat Williams and I will offer case studies on Ontario Veterinary clinic websites. Let me know if you’d like to be considered. Our goal is to help veterinary clinics by providing valuable SEO tools to combat difficult economic and market trends we are seeing in the industry.