Section 3: Onsite Search Engine Optimization for Veterinarians
Now that we’ve talked about keywords, the next part of SEO is the implementation of these keywords on the website.
On Site Content
At its core, the most important aspect of a website is the content on the site. To the human eye, what makes or breaks a website is the images and the graphics. To a search engine eye, its the content/text.
Now that you have a list of keywords that you know to be important for the clinic, what you want to do is apply those keywords into the content of your site. This means, make sure you use those exact words.
Its important to note though that you cannot just be using these all over the page, or what people call, spamming the page. When SEO was first rising, people tried to game the system by littering the page with those keywords.
Nowadays that does not work. The crawlers and bots used by Google and Bing can spot these attempts. If they flag your site as trying to cheat the system, you are subject to penalty. Penalty meaning lower rankings or even being removed from the search engines.
The key here is to ensure that the keywords are in your content, however write it for human beings. Try to have the page flow smoothly. It shouldn’t read like you are focused on SEO. It should read like a normal piece explaining a website.
Meta tags is a fundamental SEO practice. These are characterized by Title Tags and Meta Descriptions.
To reuse a metaphor we used prior, think of the Title Tag as the spine of the book. When you are at the library or book store, you look at the books mostly at the spine. You’ll read the title and most likely get an understanding of what the book is about.
In the same way, Search Engines use the Title Tag of a page to determine what the page is about.
Here is an example of a Title Tag:
The blue font is the Title Tag
Writing a Good SEO Title Tag
In 2017, Google updated its title tag length a little longer. Now Title Tags can be 70 characters in length. If the title tags goes over in length it will be truncated with an ellipses.
Just like content, it is important to have the keywords you are focusing on in the title tag. The key is to have the keyword as close to the front of the title tag as possible.
Again, remember to not keyword stuff your title tag. It’s better to have title tags focus on 1 or 2 keywords at most. Write the title as if a person wrote it.
Search engines understand synonyms so don’t feel compelled to stuff synonyms of keywords, just focus on putting the most important into your title tag.
And finally, every page of your website should have a unique title tag, one that focuses on an individual keyword.
Going back to our book example, a meta description is like the summary of a book which you can usually find at the back cover of a book.
The meta description is the gray text you can find under the url. Meta descriptions are used as a summary for a website. It is important to note that meta descriptions are important because they help drive clicks.
Meta Descriptions are not a ranking factor.
In 2009, Google announced that meta descriptions and meta tags are not factors in their ranking algorithm.
You might then be asking why meta descriptions are important if they don’t affect rankings. The answer is that meta descriptions support the title tag in search results. They help users decide whether or not they want to click onto a website.
We call this Click Through Rate (CTR). The more users who click onto your site, the higher your CTR is. The more users clicking, the more who will interact with your site.
So the effect of meta descriptions is an indirect one, however it is still extremely important as they are one of the main factors that determine whether or not someone will click onto your site.
Writing a Good Meta Description
Meta descriptions are 160 characters in length. If you go over search engines will usually truncate the results in the results page.
Because meta descriptions are not a ranking factor, there are not set rules to follow. Rather it is important to keep the user in mind.
What will users want to see, what sort of copy will compel them the most to click on your website instead of the other websites.
Some best practices include:
- Have the important keywords in the meta description
- Communicate the value the user will receive in your site
- Match your description to the title for uniformity
- Read competing meta description your competing with
- Write the meta description as if it was Ad Copy