Tag Archives: search engine optimization

Unlocking the Secret to Great SEO

For this week’s American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses (ASPSN) meeting in Boston, two members of the RealPatientRatings team were asked to create poster presentations. 

Eva Sheie, our Director of Online Strategy, drew up on current research and many years of experience to develop this poster, titled Unlocking the Secret to Great SEO.

Today’s effective SEO strategy is centered around trust in two ways: trust built with Google, and trust built with patients considering your services. Find out which kinds of internet marketing can get you into trouble, and discover which tactics result in greater trust with both Google and patients to generate more conversions, more consults, and more cases.

Click this image to enlarge & download a printable PDF.

Are you in a Penguin panic? A Google Penguin Recovery Guide for Plastic Surgeons

Last month’s “Penguin 2.0” Google algorithm update caused some plastic surgeons to lose rankings or even disappear from search results altogether.mobile-rankings-plummet

In a nutshell, the Penguin update caused a decrease in the importance of certain links and increased the value of content on your website.

RealPatientRatings was unaffected because our SEO strategy has always been 100% content-based, and our mission is only to help our members with their own SEO.

Have you ever worked with an SEO person or company that purchased links to your website on your behalf? How would you even know if you had?

If your website recently disappeared from the search results, it may have been Penguin at work.

5 things you need to know about Penguin:

penguin-head1. His name should really be Turtle

Because a turtle more accurately represents the principle of “slow and steady wins the race.” There’s no way to game the system here and there never has been.

2. Losing rankings as a result of Penguin is not the same as a penalty

You’re not in trouble, it’s just the result of a recalculation of the strength of your inbound links. Like that bad SEO had never been done in the first place. If you had a lot untrustworthy links pointing to your site, they are now worth nothing. Another website with more trusted links than yours is likely on top of the page now. (A penalty is much harder to correct and is the result of very bad behavior.)

3. Getting good links is hard, but not impossible

If you have a blog, you should be linking to your colleagues and they should be linking to you from original articles that you write. You should be answering questions and contributing on RealSelf.com. You should be included in legitimate business and professional websites, like your local Chamber, state plastic surgery society, plasticsurgery.org, surgery.org., et al. You should have a Youtube account and a Google+ Business page. All of these sources and many more add to your credibility and improve your rankings.

4. Remember that Google shows different results to different people

Searches vary greatly based on search terms, location, and personal search history. If the number of visitors to your website hasn’t changed much but your rankings appear different, don’t freak out! Most people find you by searching for your name, which won’t be affected by Penguin at all.

5. Do not fall for a sales pitch to “fix it” that sounds too good to be true

This is what caused the problems in the first place! You can fix it without spending a ton of money. Being the good guy does not always have to be time consuming, challenging, and expensive.

What should you do if the Penguin got you?

First, read Search Engine Journal’s recent article “Penguin 2.0: Your Roadmap to Recovery.” Take to heart the recommendation that you learn and understand the 3 pillars of SEO (content, links, and social media), and ensure your SEO plans incorporate all three pillars going forward. Focus only on quality and building value for your readers.

Here’s where RealPatientRatings can help.

The 3 pillars of SEO are easily and affordably delivered to you.

  1. Content: automatically publish reviews on your own website
  2. Links: valuable followed links to your website & social media pages
  3. Social media: Share your great reviews on Facebook and Twitter

If you have found yourself in a difficult situation because of the Penguin update, RealPatientRatings outbound links and content feeds will help you recover quickly. We are now and will always be a solid and trustworthy part of your web “neighborhood.”

More resources:

Don’t fear the Penguin (Google algorithm update)

I feel old today, in a good way.penguin-head

Early in my career I recall having week-long panic attacks when Google made even the slightest change to the algorithm. Last week’s Penguin 2.0 update is causing some plastic surgeons to lose rankings or even disappear from search results altogether.

I decided many years ago that I’d follow my instincts and only do “real” SEO…. this meant always writing original content, getting only real links the hard way, never taking shortcuts, and even losing clients who didn’t agree with my “be the turtle, not the hare” philosophy. I’m proud to say i’ve never bought a link in my life.

I just didn’t think real prospective patients would respond to phony content and if I was going to write content, darn it, it would be readable and interesting. I also believed from day one that nothing really mattered except conversions, and I wanted to create a relationship online that would generate GOOD leads for clients, not just any old leads.


Score one for the good guys!

For the better part of a decade, our competitors who just bought their way to the top using questionable tactics were neck-and-neck or even beating my clients. This was incredibly frustrating, especially in those rare cases where I had to say it’s just not possible to beat the bad guys.

Being the good guy is time consuming, challenging, and expensive. But today we’re vindicated a little by the second Penguin update, which instantly devalued thousands of the crappy links that helped the bad guys win for so long!

This is not a sales pitch. This is who we are… every website I’ve ever worked on has been done the hard way, and that includes RealPatientRatings. If you suffered losses in rankings from Penguin 1 or 2, our links and content feeds will help you and so help me, we will always be a solid and trustworthy part of your web “neighborhood.”

The word “real” is more than part of our business name, it’s also how we serve our members. Real data that helps practices grow, real reviews only from real patients, and real results.

10 Totally Avoidable SEO Mistakes Plastic Surgeons Make

Seems like “magic bullet” thinking never quite goes away… internet marketing isn’t easy and it’s important to approach it like you’re building a house.

Start with a great foundation (your website), then decorate the house (your website, your online presence), and then work on improving the neighborhood (grow social media and participate in the community, both on- and offline.)

How long does this take? It takes years, and one wrong move can set you back a long way.

dohAnd don’t make any of these common mistakes!

1. Falling for promises of #1 rankings, or thinking #1 rankings are a measure of success

2. Not having access to Google Analytics or reporting of some kind

3. Not claiming their FREE Google Plus for Business and Google Maps listing (now called Google Places)

4. Spending too much on Pay Per Click ads without measuring results

5. Letting an SEO company (or anyone other than themselves) own their domain name

6. Signing up for every plastic surgery directory without knowing why

7. Trying to “DIY” SEO, or hiring a relative to do SEO

8. Hiring someone whose native language isn’t the same as your audience

9. Hiring a company that focuses solely on rankings and not conversion optimization or community building

10. Trying to get SEO cheap as possible