I’m here with four easy tips to improve your acupuncture website’s SEO so you can rank higher in Google.
Now, we all know that ain’t nobody clicking to the second page of a Google search.
I think I’ve clicked to the second page of a Google search maybe twice this entire year… not kidding. What about you?
I thought so.
So let’s dive in and get you to the first page of Google!
What the heck is SEO?
Ah yes, the question we all wonder every time we see one of these ubiquitous articles. What’s SEO? How does it actually help me? Why does it seem so complicated?
Well, first of all, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
And secondly, and perhaps more importantly, SEO does NOT have to be complicated.
SEO simply refers to improving your website so that Google has an easier time finding it. That’s the “optimizing” part. Optimize your website so you land on the first page of Google.
How does SEO work?
When someone searches Google in your local area for acupuncture they probably put in to the search bar something like:
“acupuncture [your town’s name]”
Then Google scrolls through websites that are relevant to those keywords, and ranks the websites based on the frequency of those keywords. Those with the highest keyword relevancy (plus a few other factors in the complex Google algorithm), rank at the top of the Google search results.
Other factors that impact Google rank include:
- Website structure
- Links to other people’s websites
- Links on the websites of other people’s to your website
- How quickly a website loads
- How long visitors stay on the site before clicking away (bounce rate).
We’ll touch on a few of those as well.
Before we begin, something important to keep in mind with SEO and Google ranking is that:
Google is first and foremost considering the user experience.
What do I mean by this?
Google wants to preserve it’s integrity as a search engine by only giving rank precedence to the sites that deserve it. How does it decide which sites “deserve” it? These sites are actually useful to internet users because they answer the question that the “keyword search” was ultimately asking or looking for.
So it does no good to be spammy with your SEO efforts, because Google is smart and is looking out for this.
Instead, Google is looking for sites that have the right combination of the above elements (keywords, site structure, internal/external links, etc.) PLUS that actually provide valuable information and a good user experience.
Okay. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at these SEO tips for your acupuncture website!
Let’s get crackin’!
4 Tips to Improve Your Acupuncture Website’s SEO and of course, Google Rank:
- First: Keyword inclusion in a natural way
- Link to your own website’s various pages, throughout your website
- Get backlinks to your site
- Write a blog!
1. Let’s start with the basics: Natural keyword inclusion.
One of the most important factors in SEO is using the right keywords in a natural (i.e., not spammy) way in your website.
How do you decide which keywords to include?
I don’t think this has to be complicated or involve a ton of research. That’s just my personal opinion. Just think about the words that potential patients would put into Google, where you would want your website to come up.
- acupuncture in <your city, state, or town>
- acupuncture for <your specialty or conditions you like to treat>
- natural remedies for <specialty or conditions you want to treat>
- acupuncturist in <your city, state>
Once you have these keywords in mind, you can also check for commonly searched variations of those keywords. To find keyword variations that are commonly searched for in your area, put each keyword phrase into Google and then scroll down to the bottom of the first page. You’ll see this:
This is Google telling you what exactly people are searching for in your area.
In this example, I searched for “acupuncturist in rochester ny” and these are other common phrases people type into Google that are related to my search.
So once you know these common keyword variations, it can also be helpful to include these keyword variations on your website when you can.
Where can you include keywords?
So many places, my friend. We’re not going to into crazy depth here, but you can include keywords in a bunch of important places on your website so that Google takes notice:
- In the body text
- In the Headings of your web pages and blog posts
- In the URLs of your blog post (i.e., www.AglessAcupuncture.com/keywords-here)
- In the names of the images you upload to your site
- In headers and footers of your website
- Just to name a few
BUT – but but but.
Google is smart, ya’ll. Like, scary smart.
So you cannot spam these keywords randomly across your website and assume that Google will just boost you to the top of the rankings. Nope. Google takes notice of how “natural” (i.e., not spammy) the keyword inclusion feels on your website. In other words, Google can tell if you are just using keywords injudiciously to boost rankings.
(Remember how we talked in the beginning of this article about how Google is looking for websites that actually answer the keyword questions, AND that provide a good user experience? Websites spammed with keywords in an unnatural way do NOT provide a good user experience, and Google knows it.)
So how do you do it right?
It’s actually pretty easy. I personally think that the phrase “acupuncture in <your location>” is a great place to start with keyword inclusion, since it’s commonly what people are searching on Google when they’re starting out a search for local acupuncturists.
So try to include “acupuncture” or “acupuncturist in <your location>” in the body text of your website wherever it feels natural. On the homepage, for example, you could say, “Ageless Acupuncture specializes in pain management in the Rochester, New York region,” or, “Providing acupuncture in Upstate New York for 6 years.” In the footer (at the bottom of your website), you could say, “Proudly serving the Rochester, New York area with acupuncture for pain management,” etc.
If you write a blog post, for example, you can include a brief bio at the bottom of each post that simply lists you as the author: “Jane Smith is a licensed acupuncturist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania specializing in fertility. She loves sharing her passion for natural approaches to women’s health through her online articles and at her clinic, Pittsburgh Acupuncture, on Cedar Boulevard. Call for an appointment at 123-456-7890.”
<< That includes all the keywords! Acupuncture, your location, your specialty, your name, your clinic name, everything! Genius.
Okay. So that’s keywords, in a nutshell. If you want to dive deep into keywords and do more advanced searching for them, check out this article: How to Choose Keywords by SEOMark.
Okay, onto the next tip!
2. Link to your own website’s various pages, throughout your website.
What do I mean by this? This is called internal linking. So on each page of your website, you should include links to other pages on your website. This actually does help your SEO, trust me. It’s important. This is self-referencing, and Google takes notice.
This is an especially awesome opportunity to boost your SEO if you write regular blog posts. Each time you write a blog post, link to another blog post you’ve written, or any other page on your website. It could be as simple as mentioning that a few months ago you wrote a blog post that is related to the current one, and you’re linking to it in case your audience wants to check that one out, too. You’ll notice I do this all the time here on MichelleGrasek.com. (<< See what I did there?)
This tip is super easy and powerful.
3. Get backlinks to your site
This tip can hugely boost your Google rank if the sites that link to yours already rank highly on Google.
For example, if you write an article that gets picked up by Acupuncture Today or Huffington Post, they might include a link to your website in the “Author Bio” at the end. These websites (Acupuncture Today and Huffington Post) are huge, important, and highly ranked websites. So if they link to your website, it gives your website a “boost” in Google. (This is often referred to as “link juice.”)
But it doesn’t have to be a big, “important” site to help you move up in the rankings. If you get enough links to your website on smaller sites, over time your ranking will improve. So it’s absolutely worth the effort.
How do you get other websites to link to yours?
- Write articles or guest posts that get published on their sites
- Do link trades with other local businesses (Just like with keywords, don’t get spammy with this, or Google will notice and ding you. Only link to websites that your audience would actually find relevant and useful. In return for the link juice you provide to other businesses in your area, you can ask for a link trade.)
- Write or create content that is so good that people link to your site naturally/organically (like the AcuTake Blog or Art of Acupuncture, for example).
4. Blog regularly
I can’t stress this one enough. If you do ONE THING to boost your website’s SEO, please blog!
Every time you publish a blog post, it’s a new page on your website. And of course, you’re going to naturally include keywords in your blog post.
Think about this:
Let’s say you blog once a month for two years. That’s 24 extra pages on your website, compared to non-blogging acupuncturists in your town. I’d say the average acupuncturist’s website has 5-8 pages. So that’s 29 pages on your website, and only 5 pages on the websites of nearby acupuncturists.
Now. When Google is searching websites and deciding how to rank them, it’s looking for keywords and keyword density. So your website, with it’s 29 pages filled with keywords, is going to come back as much more highly relevant to the search keyword than a website with only 5 pages of keywords.
PLUS, Google gives precedence to websites that are updated more frequently, versus those that are stagnant and haven’t been in changed since they were created eight years ago.
See? Blogging is HUGE.
So if you do only one thing to boost your acupuncture website’s Google rank, please please please choose blogging regularly! Even if it’s just once a month! I can’t under-emphasize how powerful it is for your SEO.
Alright my friends! I hope you found this post incredibly practical, actionable, and fun.
If you want more info like this for marketing your practice, check out my online course.
These tips, and more just like it, are included in Acupuncture Marketing: Easy Strategies for More Patients, in the Boost Your Online Presence chapter.
It’s packed full of actionable tips just like these. With videos and step-by-step worksheets, it’s built to help you learn to market your practice in a way that feels genuine and generous – never sleazy.
Enrollment for the course will be open again on July 10th.
But in the meantime, you can apply for a scholarship to the course!
The scholarship application deadline is Friday, July 7th, 2017.
How can I apply for this scholarship?
To apply, record a short video (2 minutes or less) explaining why you need this marketing scholarship. Email me the video at email@example.com.
In the text of your email, be sure to include:
- Your first and last name
- The city, state and country where you practice
- How many years you’ve been in practice
- The best way to reach you (email or phone)
Even if you don’t win, sign up for my email list and on July 10th I’ll email you a $50 discount code for the course. Plus info on how to unlock an exciting bonus feature!
If you have questions, feel free to shoot me an email!
I’m happy to answer questions about basic SEO, marketing your practice in general, the scholarship, and the online course. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do you get Google to notice your acupuncture website?
Share in the comments below!