If you are a LASIK Eye Doctor or Optometrist seeking SEO or social media services please reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although LASIK eye surgery has gone down in price over the last several years it is still quite the investment for the common American. Eye doctors, optometrists, ophthalmologists and eye surgeons are vying for real estate on the front page of Google because they know just a few new customers a month can go a very long way in growing their practice. Getting that customer in the door for the first time might make them a customer for life. This is one of the reasons that many eye doctors are willing to spend quite a bit of money on Google adwords, TV commercials or print advertising.
In 2014 and beyond many feel as if search engine optimization and social media are going to become synonymous. The “old school” link building SEO agencies are struggling to survive with Google updating their algorithm to show only high quality content. Google Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird have all be destroyed black hat SEO therefore LASIK Eye Doctors must go a different route when it comes to ranking on the front page of Google. The ultimate goal for almost every private practice eye doctor is to grow a practice through great service and word or mouth marketing. This process is expedited when Google search results show the office near the top of page 1. Fortunately, there are opportunities for all LASIK Eye Doctors to rank in Google search.
SEO Turning Into Social Media
From the early days of Google the search algorithm was designed to bring the highest quality to the top. Throughout the 15 years of the algorithm many adjustments and tweaks have been made to discredit any type of manipulation of the system. Prior to social media it was not difficult for website owners to seek out links and rank very well in search. Unfortunately, some of these links were not relevant. Eye doctors would have links from websites that specialized in lacrosse sticks. Most people know that lacrosse sticks and eye doctors do not have a lot in common.
Google worked diligently to reduce the emphasis on links and place more emphasis on authority and user experience. Ultimately, Google wants the end user happy. This is what makes their business model work. If the search results provide unreliable resources users would stop using Google and they would go to another search engine. The search giant realizes this and they make certain the search results are not only reliable but trustworthy. Enter social media.
Social media has allowed Google to see how users consume and share content. They were so interested in this type of social sharing they created their own “social network” Google+. Today, millions of links, photos, videos and audio files are shared daily. If a photo is shared by 300,000 people it stands to reason this photo is something that is visually pleasing to the audience. It is important to understand that sheer number is not the most important part of growing a social media presence.
When users are looking for a LASIK Eye Doctor they probably are not going to share humorous content with their friends. In fact, humor is the last thing they will want in terms of literature on LASIK eye surgery. That said, there is a good chance some users will email or bookmark these documents to read later. This type of reading is not necessarily skimming the surface. When one’s vision is involved it is much more in depth reading.
With many tools, Google, and other search engines, have the ability to see how long users read a specific piece of literature. If the literature is beneficial to the user it may be they share it with a very small circle of people. Just because this circle is only two or three people it does not mean the LASIK eye surgery article is any less valuable than the photo that was shared by 300,000 people. Google has the best search algorithm in the world and it has weights assigned to the value of an article, video, photo or podcast.
LASIK Eye Doctors and Social Media
Anyone working in the medical industry is very busy. They do not have the time to post to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram all day. In fact, posting a few times a week can be a challenge. Almost all social networks allow business owners to assign managers to pages. Finding a social media manager you can trust is not easy. Fortunately, this industry is growing and it will likely get even bigger. In 2014, there will be a strong push for businesses to use Google+ much more. In 2013, Google Local and Google+ integrated meaning every business with a physical address now has a Google+ local page whether they know it or not.
One would predict that any active engagement on Google+ would be beneficial to a business as far as ranking in search. There is no tried and true method to say that every +1 or reshare will increase search rankings by x spots. What is true is that brand awareness is very important when it comes to building a private practice. Google+ works diligently to help local small businesses. In fact, there is not a hierarchy on Google+ much in the same way there is on other social networks. Just because Coca-Cola has four million fans it does not mean they are going to get much more interaction than a local eye doctor office with 450 fans. It is all about how you use the product.
Over the course of the last year I have helped numerous businesses grow their presence on Google+. These businesses are now thriving. Most of them have triggered the Google Knowledge Graph when a user searches for them directly. This is valuable real estate on the front page of Google including a map, photo, directions, phone number and the latest Google+ post. If you are looking to increase your presence on Google+ or just learn about the platform please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com. I will be more than happy to help you understand how to grow your private practice on Google+.
Ranking on the Front Page of Google Search
All business owners must realize that ranking on the front page of Google search is not an overnight process. With a strategic plan in place for content creation and social media there is a strong likelihood that a local business can rank very well for “money” keywords. Rather than paying $20 or $30 for Google Adwords such as “LASIK Eye Surgery” it might be a good decision to implement a plan to rank organically which will have a return in perpetuity.
Content will always be king with Google search. That said, someway and somehow users need to be able to find that content. Once the content has been created it does not hurt to have a large audience on Google+ to share the content with. My hard work on Google+ has helped me to grow my following over 500,000. I not only assist in creating the content, I also help to share that content on social media. The icing on the cake is growing a very strong presence on Google+ which will help the Google+ local page.
If these are areas of your practice in which you need some assistance please feel free to reach out to me. I am more than happy to look over proposals to see how I can help your business succeed through Google search and on Google+. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss a business relationship.
Private Practice Eye Doctors in Google Search
It never hurts to analyze the competition. There are some parts of the country in which eye doctors do not have to work that hard to beat out their competition to rank #1 in Google search. Small towns like Robbinsville, North Carolina or Greenwood, South Carolina are not going to be highly competitive simply because residents in those towns do not use the Internet much in the same way they do in Chapel Hill, North Carolina or Austin, Texas. The more advanced the education in an area the more competitive the marketplace will be for “money” keywords.
In cities like Raleigh, North Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, Washington, DC and Chicago, Illinois it is not going to be very easy to rank #1 for the keyword phrase “LASIK Eye Surgery”. That said, it may very well be the case that a private practice eye doctor does not want to rank for this keyword phrase. If they do rank for that particular keyword phrase it may bring in so much business they do not have the staff to keep up.
When Groupon was the talk of the Internet many businesses went under because they got so many new customers from running a Groupon. This can also happen when a company hits the front page of Google for a specific keyword phrase. It is sometimes a good idea to be careful what you wish or work for. There are only so many patients an eye doctor can see on any given day. I know most doctors will say they will simply hire more staff members and join up with a team if business is that good. I do not disagree that this is a great strategy but some doctors work best when they are not completely overwhelmed. No matter what the case, it never hurts to rank very well in Google search for keyword phrases related to your area of expertise.