Targeted organic search traffic is the most valuable traffic any treatment center can get. One could argue that it is the single most valuable asset a treatment center could have. Organic traffic is traffic that comes from a search engine, in relation to what the user searched. So if you focus your efforts on these key elements for search engine optimization (SEO) you will be gaining a huge advantage.
If you do it right, you will create inbound traffic from people that are already qualifying themselves as a potential lead and admit.
There is a lot to know about SEO. This lesson is going to give you a crash course on important elements of basic SEO. This way you can continue to build the foundation to your online marketing plan.
The 3 Point SEO Checklist
Before we get into the step by steps of optimizing your website, there are some criteria that you must be aware of. If you don’t pay attention to these “must have” elements, then all of your other work may count for nothing.
If you have been paying attention, many of the previous chapters have touched on these important factors. We will link to them in case you need reminding.
Accessibility For Google Bots
If need be, return to Chapter 3 entitled Site Structure And Content Creation For Addiction Treatment Sites. This step should already be completed but now is the time to refresh and double check. Your site needs to be structured properly so Google and other search engines can easily index your site. If Google can’t find the page, it will not appear in search, none-the-less rank high in search results.
Create Engaging Content
Without content, Google has no idea what the page or site is about. Creating Content That Connects With People In Recovery is not something to take lightly. If you create great content, the users, the traffic and the links will follow. Trust the process!
Building Community To Boost User Experience
We touched on the importance of Building A Social Community in chapter 4. For the sake of clarity for that chapter, the importance of user experience and its connection to SEO was not mentioned.
Google knows how long people stay on your site, and they know how much people interact with your site. If you do not provide a community driven and engaging user experience, it will show with your low time on site. Your SEO will be negatively affected.
The 5 Search Engine Optimization Elements To Bring Traffic To Your Treatment Center
If you pay close attention to these 5 elements of SEO, it will pay off with huge benefits. In the future, we will keep you up to date with more in-depth tips and articles, but if you execute properly on these 5 elements, you will cover all of the important criteria.
Pay attention! Title tags are one of the most important elements of search engine optimization.
There is a difference between the title of the article and the title tag. The title tag is a line of text that Google indexes to get an understanding of what the page is about. You can use this to your advantage.
Use the page title to appeal to the user, use the title tag to appeal to the search engine.
It is generally accepted that the closer to the beginning your keywords are in the title tag the better. In order to customize your title tags, you are going to need to install a plugin. Assuming you are using WordPress, we recommend using the SEO Yoast plugin.
Be sure your keyword is correctly put into the title tag. Here is an example of the Yoast plugin, and where you can insert your keyword.
You have 70 characters available to use in your title tag. So be clear, direct and don’t mince words. Anything over 70 characters will not be read by Google.
Similarly to the title tag, Google scans the description tag to get an understanding of what the content is about.
Description tags have a little more room for explanation. Best practice for description tags is 160 characters. However, this doesn’t mean you want to stuff your keyword in the description tag as many times as possible. We recommend using the keyword twice (if it makes sense) in the description tag.
If you’re unsure of what exactly a title tag and description tags are, you may not realize that you see and use them all the time. Next time you search for something on Google, pay attention to the search results. The link that you click is the title tag. The small text underneath is the description tag.
See below for an example…
Consistent And Relevant Content
The frequency of your content will keep Google happy! For blog posts that are intended to rank for organic traffic, you want to be sure your content is on topic and related to the desired keyword.
Be sure your articles are at least 500 words. For best results, put time and effort into Evergreen content. I prefer to keep my articles around 1000 words. most people will scan your content, but some people will read it in its entirety.
Within the content, be sure to properly use your headers. Be sure your keyword is written in at least one header.
In the content you create, (both new blog content and relevant page content) you want to be sure to use the keyword in the text itself.
Keyword frequency is the amount of times you use the keyword. Keyword density is the ratio of that keyword in comparison to the total number of words on the page.
There is no need to get spammy in your frequency of keywords. Use the keyword where appropriate, and use different variations of the keyword where appropriate. It is not necessary to direct match keywords at every opportunity. When you do this, it usually degrades the quality of the content because you are putting in a keyword where a more natural word would better apply.
Here’s a general rule. If a keyword fits in naturally, use it. if not then don’t. User experience is just as important as keyword frequency so don’t sacrifice user experience for keyword ratio.
On Page Links
Links are the connectors of the internet. Google wants to know that you are connected to other reputable websites and sources of material.
Linking out to other pages is a factor in SEO. Linking to “interior” pages on your own website is also a factor. Linking is complicated, but here are some guidelines to use when linking your pages.
- Link to relevant content within the first 100-150 words of the page.
- Add a link to another site or to another page in your site approximately every 120 words.
- Link naturally. Be sure the links go to related content and sources for data.
- Link with natural anchor text. Don’t stuff keywords in anchor text.
Your link profile needs to form naturally over time. Google knows if you are using links to manipulate search results, so take your time and do it right.
Yes, There’s More…
Search engine optimization and its elements are subjective. There is a lot to know and Google protects its search engine algorithms very well. A lot of SEO is trial and error, and providing great content.
In keeping up with our blog, you will also learn about more intricate details of SEO such as domain structure, alt tags on images, blog categories and tags. However, if you follow these 5 guidelines, you will be covering the most important factors in SEO’ing your treatment facility’s website.