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What The Heck is SEO? Part 2: Keywords

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doctorbase.com
09 December 2011
By Mike Haverhals

Keywords are a big deal when it comes to search. Such a big deal, in fact, that they've been the driving force behind 96% of the billions of dollars in revenue generated by the mighty Google over the past several years. Granted, this money is made through their pay–per–click Adwords program, which is technically Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and not Search Engine Optimization (SEO). But, the ability to own a keyword organically through SEO is just as valuable as doing it through paid search via SEM. Plus, it's far easier on the monthly budget!

Think about it – search is predicated on patients describing what they're looking for with a few words. If you can rank highly in the search results for these words, you'll get more of the traffic. This is why it's important to make sure your webpages are consistently using the right keywords. If you're surgeon that specializes in cleft palate repair, make sure these keywords are used consistently throughout your site. It's also beneficial to use these terms in the URLs for the pages in your site, which is widely regarded as carrying more weight with Google than using the term in the body of the webpage itself. (i.e. – www.mywebsite.com/cleft–palate–repair.)

Naturally, some of these keywords are quite competitive. For example, ranking organically for "Dentist New York" is not something you'll be able to accomplish overnight. This is one reason we're a big fan of long–tail keywords. Instead of vying for the top spot under "Dentist" in your city, get granular and focus on specific procedures that you specialize in. If you're a dentist with a CEREC machine, focus on something like "single visit crowns." If you're a pulmonologist in Riverside, focus on something like "asthma inland empire." And, while options like Google Instant & localization have influenced how people search for long–tail terms, we still find that long–tail searches convert into actual patients at a much higher rate than the 'window shopper' patient that simply searches for a generic term like "dentist" or "asthma."

Finally, the single keyword that you need to rank highly for in search is your own name. It's not only a unique keyword that makes it easier to rank on, but it's also the way most old–fashioned word–of–mouth referrals actually search for you online. And, there's no excuse for losing a patient who has been referred to you directly because they couldn't find you by searching for your name online.

Want to rank for your name on Google? Claim your free DoctorBase profile and have the Panda set you up with a page at DoctorBase.com/YourName:

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