Want to be the king of search in your market? Getting there is much easier than you think. It revolves entirely around two simple concepts: 1) create good content, and 2) understand how people search. Each and every time you pen a phrase that will appear on your website, keep these concepts in mind and you’ll be well on your way to the top of the ranking heap.
“To rank high on the search engines, you’ve got to create good content.” Surely you’ve heard this mantra before, right? But what IS “good content” after all?
Internet “gurus” seem to love keeping people in the dark about what constitutes good content by speaking around it in every possible way, while never saying anything useful. The truth is, creating good content is so simple it’s borderline slap-your-hand-on-your-forehead ridiculous. So, let’s pull back the curtain to expose the wizard a bit. To the search engines, good content is – at its most basic level – content that provides relevancy to the audience reading it. In other words, content that, if read, will provide the person with the information they were seeking. That’s it. Relevant content IS good content.
In a nutshell, search engines determine relevancy by exploring the match between the words used on a site, and the words they presume should exist on the site. So, for example, if you are a dentist in Atlanta, search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! will assume the content on your site should be about dentistry – and Atlanta. These two words then, will serve as the basic foundation for your ranking. The more completely you write about these two subjects with all the additional words and phrases that accompany such writing, the more relevant your site becomes in the eyes of the search engines. Makes sense, right? The next step then, is to understand what exactly to write about –the second “knowledge arrow” you must have in your quiver.
Most people tend to use search engines by typing in fragmented phrases that don’t form a complete sentence. You probably do the same thing –searching for answers using terms that literally pop into your head seconds after arriving at Google.com. When creating content for your site, write with the knowledge of this habit in mind. For example, in looking for a dentist in Atlanta, one might type:
“good dentist Atlanta”
“highly rated dentist in Atlanta”
Or, if considering a certain procedure, or looking for a dentist who accepts certain insurance, one might search in this way:
“dentist who accepts Medicaid in Atlanta”
“braces Atlanta dentist”
Despite this unstructured approach to searching for an Atlanta dentist, search engines have to figure out a way to pair the information seeker with the answer to their question. They do this by looking at the words used in the search, and pairing those words with the most “relevant” site. See how this is all coming together?
The terms people use to search are referred to as “keywords.” Search engines use them to pair up searchers with websites, so thinking about how people search, and what terms they use to conduct their search, will bring you much closer to higher rankings. So, if you are a dentist in Atlanta who accepts Medicaid, and this is something people tend to search for, it would be smart to create a blog post about Atlanta Medicaid peppered with information relating to your practice, or a page that simply talks about the types of insurance you accept. Keep in mind, though, that bulleted lists aren’t your best bet when it comes to achieving high rank. An Atlanta dentist who writes a topical article or descriptive summaries of these types of insurance would score far better than one who merely bulleted out a few insurance carriers. Again, good content is what you’re looking to create – not a bulleted list that likely exists on every Atlanta dentist’s website.
As you can see, helping the search engines deliver patients to your door is largely a matter of creating good, relevant content. It’s not that difficult. There are, of course, additional whiz-bang things you can do to pump up the relevancy of your site once you have good content in place, but without the right level of good content, none of that will ever matter!