SEO For a Medical Practice Not Ready For Prime Time

October 7, 2010

There are lots of companies vying for your Internet marketing dollars. Without a doubt, the only way to establish and maintain a meaningful Web presence and to promote your Web site is via search engine optimization (SEO), but the companies starting to call on you won’t be able to deliver. The companies lack the “authority,” and therefore the knowledge about your craft ,to make SEO successful.

There are lots of companies vying for your Internet marketing dollars. Without a doubt, the only way to establish and maintain a meaningful Web presence and to promote your Web site is via search engine optimization (SEO), but the companies starting to call on you won’t be able to deliver. The companies lack the “authority,” and therefore the knowledge about your craft ,to make SEO successful.

What does SEO do? Search engine optimization is the only technique of advancing your Web page through the ranks, and maintaining that ranking, based upon the relevancy of your page’s content (i.e. the actual words) to the keywords used for an Internet search (aka Google). While there many elements that comprise good SEO, the core of SEO is the quality of the content.

For example, I have high rankings for the keywords “retina eye doctor.” If you Google these words, Google presents those Web pages with the most relevant content that is refreshed at a regular rate. I win. I publish several times a week and have been doing so for about 18 months. As a retina specialist, I have the knowledge and my content is very relevant. I post regularly and often.

SEO requires relevance and time. It’s true. There’s hardly anyone out there doing what I’ve done. Why? It takes too much time, for one. But successful SEO takes knowledge and time. Most docs only have one or the other. If you have knowledge, you have the authority to write about relevant topics. But finding the time is the hardest element.

SEO companies have the time, but they lack the knowledge. Thus, they’ll lack the relevance. Search engine optimization just can’t work in this scenario because the two key elements needed for success aren’t under the same roof.

Essentiallly, with an SEO company, you're hiring a ghost writer, but it seems unlikely that a person, or company, without any specific knowledge of your specialty is going to able write with the same level of knowledge that you could provide. Thus, the content will lack relevance (not to mention passion and your style).

I suggest one of two things. Either start writing yourself (highly unlikely, remember the time issue), or have an administrator start helping to write the content and you can edit. I would suggest an administrator as they tend to have a deeper passion for your medical practice than other employees. If you are in a group, maybe you could divide the task.

Remember, it's buyer beware. While SEO companies want you to sign up with their services, it is unlikely they will be able to achieve a high ranking and sustain it for you. They haven’t the knowledge. Without the knowledge, they’ll fall short of delivering relevant content and thus jeopardizing the whole project.

SEO is a must - and so is your involvement.