SEO is Building Trust

Below are the slides from a recent presentation given to plastic surgeons and practice managers titled “SEO is Building Trust.”

Effective SEO strategy for any size market is centered around trust, in two ways:
  1. Trust built with Google
  2. Trust built with patients considering your services

There are so many different ideas about what SEO is out there and so many different ways of doing things. It’s important to understand that we from the perspective that every internet marketing activity you take on has to have be looked at through the same lens, which is that the primary goal is to increase conversions.

A good strategy does not rely on any single tactic; rather it relies on a variety of high quality sources of traffic so that if one tactic becomes irrelevant, the house isn’t a house of cards and it doesn’t fall down.

And most importantly, your main measure of success should not be by total number of visitors or how many keywords you have #1 rankings,only by conversions.  If you’re #1 for all kinds of things, but those aren’t things that patients actually care about, or worse, they land on your site and don’t get what they are looking for, then you’re investing time and money toward tactics that don’t have a good return.

The thing that’s hard to see about SEO is that a lot of SEO is “janitorial” in the sense that you clean stuff up, follow a technical protocol or a process – and just about anyone can do that part of it. It’s the part that has to do with building trust and getting conversions that can’t be done by just anyone. As surgeons, you certainly can relate to the concept that even if all of you do a surgery with the same basic technique, it may not turn out exactly the same way because the talent and skill of the person doing it really matters.

In person, trusting the doctor is pretty easy to do, but we’re not talking about in person here. We’re talking quite literally about getting a bunch of code and some words to convince Google to trust you, and we’re also talking about what appears on a computer screen or a mobile phone to build trust between you and a potential patient who is a complete stranger who hasn’t even had the opportunity to meet you in person yet.

It’s hard to read reports, it’s hard to dive into Google analytics and figure out what ‘s going on. You know what’s not hard to do anymore? You can have tracking data delivered right in the body of your website contacts that tells you exactly where the person came from, what they searched for, how many pages on your site they viewed, whether they read reviews or not… this is easy to get and over time you will see patterns and understand what’s working.

But most importantly, forget what you think you know and remember that you are what you publish and you get back what you put on the web.