SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and it is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of a website’s traffic through organic search results. SEO is constantly evolving due to the fact that search engines are continuously updating their algorithms in order to provide a better experience to users. For some, the success of SEO can be a bit complicated to measure. However, the SEO process involves (and success is usually based on) creating an effective backlinks strategy, ensuring the design of your website is simple and intuitive for your visitors to use, and creating new and relevant content for your users and search engines to index.
So, when it comes to choosing an SEO company, I know that it may seem a little overwhelming. You’re right, it can be a bit of a tedious and drawn-out process. So, before you hire an SEO company, you need to do your homework. There are a lot of SEO companies who say that they’ll deliver so much and yet they don’t deliver on their promises - basically, overpromising and under delivering. And there are other companies who simply don’t come across as very knowledgeable or experienced. However, the right company will be able to grow your website’s organic traffic, immensely improve your search rankings, and help you generate more leads (a.k.a potential patients). However, choosing the wrong company can lead to a potential downfall by engaging in black hat techniques that could perpetuate success but disappears before the penalties kick in which will leave you with less traffic than you began with. Worse, it will leave you with months’ or years’ worth of cleanup.
Here’s the thing - you don’t need to be an SEO expert to know which company to hire. You just need to ask the right questions. Those questions include:
Question #1: What type(s) of SEO work will you do?
There are three facets of SEO. The most effective companies use all three as components for a more comprehensive SEO strategy. The three facets include User Experience (UX), Technical SEO, and Off-page SEO.
Most SEO companies only offer one facet of SEO or they perform all the research and implement a strategy without being effective. SEO needs a holistic strategy. So, before hiring any company, the first thing on your checklist should be to make sure the company you hire can perform all three facets and that they have a clear and concise strategy to balance the three facets.
Question #2: How can you incorporate your strategies to build a strategy for my medical practice?
A common misconception: SEO is a one-size-fits-all solution. If that’s what you think as well, you have to change your mindset. In order to be successful in your SEO efforts, the SEO company that you choose should have an idea as to how your medical practice approach the healthcare industry- specifically the specialty that you have.
Keep in mind that SEO works together with content marketing, social media marketing, and even public relations. Your social media marketing activities can even be used for effective link-building. The designated people who work on your SEO should be able to work well with the other members of your marketing and sales team in order to achieve success.
Question #3: How long will it take before I see results?
A successful and effective SEO strategy takes time. However, it’s not an excuse for your SEO company to not be able to provide an estimated time frame for results. You should expect to see results within six months if you hired an experienced and legitimate SEO agency.
If the SEO company you hired tells you that they can give you results in a jiffy, ask them how they’ll be able to do that. If they can pinpoint certain technical factors that need to be improved, then good. If not, be vigilant - they might be using spammy, black hat tactics, and outdated strategies that can penalize your site. However, here’s the main thing to remember - no SEO company can guarantee you a #1 spot on Google or improve your search rankings overnight. So if an SEO company tells you either of those things, it’s best if you keep looking elsewhere.
Question #4: How are you going to approach mobile?
In 2018, Google announced that they are in the process of moving to a mobile-first index which means being mobile-friendly is extremely important. Therefore, this topic has to be part of the conversation when you discuss the overall SEO strategy for your medical clinic.
Question #5: How do you conduct keyword research?
Keyword research requires understanding user intent. It means that you’re seeking to understand what the users are looking for when they type in a keyword phrase and if it has a relevant content catered to the reason behind the search. Make sure that you have a conversation with the company you’re interviewing about the tools and methods that they’re using in order to determine the keyword intent.
Question #6: What tools do you use?
Asking them what tools they use isn’t that important. The real question should be - why do they use those tools. SEO experts will use quite a few tools to conduct audits and complete tasks. Here are sample follow-up questions you can ask:
- What tool do you use to monitor rankings and why?
- What tool do you use to conduct a competitor’s analysis and why?
- What tool do you use to conduct keyword research and why?
- What tool do you use to monitor backlinks and why?
An SEO company who knows what they’re doing can fully explain in detail the reason as to why they’re using certain tools.
Question #7: How will you send me progress reports and what will they entail?
It’s important that you’re in the loop about the progress the SEO company is making. You can always ask for a sample progress report from their other clients so that you’ll know what to expect. Also, by checking their portfolios, you can be assured that they’re the real deal. And don’t forget to ask them how they can customize reports to better cater to your own goals and KPIs. You’ll want a report that’s easy to read, yet detailed. Do not settle for companies that aren’t detail-oriented when it comes to reports.
Monthly reports are highly encouraged because excessively micro-managing your SEO efforts can be ineffective. SEO is a long-term strategy and companies who monitor very little changes usually make rash decisions or changes which can end up hurting your SEO efforts.
Question #8: What can I contribute to ensure success?
Every legitimate SEO agency knows that they can’t do it without asking for previous data from you. To be able to do the job right, they need detailed information about your industry, your target market, your clients/consumers, your short-term & long-term goals, your KPIs, and other digital marketing platforms that you’re using that could affect your content and other marketing efforts. If possible, they’ll likely also need access to your Google Analytics. Essentially, the less information that they ask from you, the more likely your SEO efforts are to fall short.
Hire A Company Who Can Deliver
SEO is like a vast and deep ocean that is very hard to dive in without drowning or being overwhelmed. As a healthcare provider, you don’t have the in-depth knowledge of SEO (and probably other marketing strategies as well). DrCatalyst can craft a customized marketing plan just for you. From SEO to content marketing, we have experienced digital marketing experts who can provide the whole marketing package.
Let’s discuss this over a quick 10 minute call! Begin your marketing journey with us!