Every practice wants their website to be positioned at the top of the page when patients search for key search terms like LASIK, Cataracts, and Glaucoma. But getting your website to the top of the page can be very difficult, especially when you are in a competitive market. To complicate this task even more, the Big Dog “Google” doesn’t make it easy with their ever-changing secret search algorithms and constant revision of their SEO do and don’t rules. For this reason, many practices hire Search Engine Optimization Companies to help them get higher page rankings.

Much of what used to work to get your website positioned high on search engines doesn’t work anymore, yet there are many SEO Companies that keep making promises they can’t keep to lure you in and take your money. This is the first in a series of blog articles that will highlight some of the more common promises SEO Companies are making that should be WARNING SIGNS you are about to be or are currently being Ripped-Off!

PROMISE: Page one, first position ranking

Any SEO Company that promises you this is flat-out lying. Long-gone are the days where you could “game the system” and know that, with a few clever tricks and loopholes, your site would show up in the #1 organic position without fail.

How this used to work: By loading your site’s pages with your #1 keywords, search engines would simply count the number of occurrences of the words/phrases and, seeing a large number of times something was repeated, would come to the conclusion that “this page MUST be important; look how much they talk about (the term)!” Additionally, by loading up parts of the page code  with additional keywords (the “meta description” and “meta keywords” tags), a page could be assigned “extra importance.”

How this works now: Search engine indexing bots no longer merely count the occurrences of a word/phrase on a page. Old practices, such as the meta keywords and meta description techniques, are now completely ignored by Google when it comes to search ranking. Google’s bots now evaluate over 200 individual factors when determining ranking of a page and can determine the overall subject matter covered on the page.

Additionally, search engines (especially Google) now take into account not just what you are searching for, but who you are. Your location and your prior searches affect your results. Even your social interactions can affect your results. What this means is that John Doe in New York, NY, will get different results when he searches for “LASIK” than will John Smith in Sacramento, CA. This is by design. Search engines are all about returning “relevant results” for you.

Next week, we will discuss another “Promises SEO Companies Can’t Keep: We’ll Submit your Website to 100+ Major Search Engines. “