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What is SEO and Why Should ECPs Care?

If you aren’t already familiar with the term, SEO just means search engine optimization. The idea is that you can do things with your website and online marketing to get your website to show up higher in search results performed by search engines.

How Does SEO Work?

With SEO, you have to know how to include and clarify back-end data on your website so that the spiders read and index your data appropriately. Imagine using a search engine as being like looking through a library. You aren’t going to just start reading books, hoping that you’ll find a vegan cookbook or automotive repair manual. No, you’re going to search the card catalog.

Search engines use “spiders” to crawl the internet. They wander the internet, looking at live URLs (website addresses) and they read what’s on the websites, then categorize them. It’s like having little robots that walk around a library and figure out what’s in each book, only they are seeing what’s on each website.

Just like you would look through a card catalog for a book at a library, you do a search in a search engine hoping that they will give you relevant websites to match what you’re looking for. If the internet is a library and the spiders are the robots walking around, figuring out where each book is and what’s in the book, SEO is like putting a clear title on the spine of your book and on the cover. SEO is writing a summary on the first page of your “book,” including a great table of contents, and making sure each chapter has a clear title as well as headlines and images to make the book engaging and interesting.

Why is SEO Important?

 

This analogy also explains why content is just as important as SEO. Who wants to read a book about nothing? Sure, someone may pick up a book that looks nice and has some good pictures, but they will quickly put it back if there isn’t good information or something entertaining in the book. So you can optimize your site like crazy and still get poor search engine results and poor traffic if you don’t have good content. Good content means information about your services, short biographies of your staff and doctors, how to contact the office, an appointment request process, eye health articles, and media like photos, videos, graphics, and so on.

The Consequences of Bad SEO

Similarly, you don’t want to misrepresent your site with SEO. What if your book is about optometry, but you don’t have a good title, so it gets put on the podiatry shelf? Okay, that’s pretty far off, but it’s not uncommon for sites to get lost in general categories because they haven’t written enough about their specific niche. So if you are an optometry practice, but you don’t talk much about your optometrist, only mention vaguely that you provide “eye care,” and you don’t talk about your specific services or community, your site may end up at the bottom of the pile. By calling out what makes you special—things like certain products you sell, specific services, added experience with pediatrics or geriatric eye care or certain eye diseases—you will rise to the top of your unique category and be more useful to people who are searching for those terms.

Remember, all Innexus websites have SEO built in. We look at your content and add the appropriate back end data according to important and ever-changing best practices. If you ever have any questions about how to improve your SEO, call us! We can do free SEO audits for people who are not Innexus members and can let you know how we can improve your digital presence.

Content Development, SEO