Part One of Three
You can learn anything online, absolutely anything, so I have no true industry secrets. A dentist or copywriter can learn the ins and outs of SEO with a quick Google search. However, for 20 years I’ve written search-engine-optimized content for dental websites. Over the years as a dental marketing company owner, I’ve seen SEO tactics change, dramatically in some instances.
In this blog, PART ONE of a three-part series, I’ll share two of six top “insider secrets” to reveal how my dental marketing company optimizes the blogs we compose for our clients.
Note that this list will not cover the important back-end strategies, because that in itself would entail enough instruction for an entire blog. Equally important, however, are these front-end, reader-facing tactics that I will explain.
1. Using Keywords in SEO
This is one area where the evolution of Google’s intelligence has forced copywriters to produce quality content, and for that I’m appreciative! In the past, a blogger could rely on keyword stuffing and keyword meta data as reliable strategies for ranking high in search engine results. These tactics did not produce informative, original, quality content, which is what Google needs for its clients, search engine users.
Black Hat Tactic – Keyword Stuffing: For years now, keyword stuffing has been taboo in the IT marketing community. Google will literally blacklist a site for stuffing too many keywords into a page’s text. (Blacklist means to ban a site from a search engine.) It’s funny to think about this now, but ten years ago, you could literally find web pages that repeated a keyword hundreds of times, without any other words, but in sentence format with paragraph spacing and punctuation, as if it were an article. These pages actually ranked in Google. Ridiculous!
Outdated Tactic – Keyword Meta Data: In addition, keywords were part of metadata, which is back-end text (separate from reader-facing content) that Google bots scan when indexing a page. An SEO tech could simply list keywords used on a web page in this back-end data. This tactic no longer works. Even if an SEO tech adds keyword meta to a page, Google no longer reads it. Note that meta description and headings are still important.
Today’s Best Practices for Keyword Selection and Usage: Today, we select keywords through evaluation of data provided by Google and third-party companies. Experts seek balanced keywords; a good keyword will attract a high volume of searches in a dentist’s service area, and it will have moderate competition. These keywords are not easy to find or rank for, in most cases. However, with persistence and quality writing that is not copied from other sources, a dentist can rank high for virtually any keyword. Note that SEO writers also strive to hit on secondary, tertiary, and long-tail keywords.
There’s no magic percentage for keyword usage, but I tend to use a keyword saturation of about one per 150 words. So, in a 1000-word blog, I’ll use it approximately 5 times in the body content and subheadings. I have found that this formula works well for dental blogs.
2. Best Length for SEO Blogs
Google’s preferred length for a blog has also changed. In the past, 250 words was adequate for yielding results: ranking high and increasing traffic. Over time, more websites, more blogs, and more content have been published on the internet. Competition is steep in most markets, and certainly in dental marketing.
Following Google’s direction, my dental marketing company publishes blogs of 500+ words. On request, we’ll write shorter content, but we always inform our clients that 500+ words is best for SEO.
Why 500+, not just 500? Because more is better. One study I read, and I’ll have to find it to provide the link, found that long-form blogs are shared more often than brief posts. A 1500 or 3000 word article was shared via email and social media a greater number of times than was a short-form post. We aim to write content that ranks high in Google and for a great range of keywords in an effort to drive traffic to a client’s website. We want clicks.
However, when content is shared, it achieves the most coveted level of SEO: people are reading the post and finding it interesting enough to share with friends. Word of mouth used to be the best advertising. Now we can add “word of mouse.”
What else does a dental marketing company do to optimize a blog?
Find out in the next post! I’ll share two more top insider secrets next week: headings and images. And in week three, I’ll cover internal and external linking.
In the meantime, I encourage you to look at Google Adword Planner, open a free account if you don’t already have one, and play around with finding some high-volume, moderately competitive keywords. Choose one and write a 500+-word blog using the 1 to 150 keyword saturation strategy.
Then, next week you can apply two more strategies to the blog. At the end of three weeks, you should have a quality, well optimized blog to post on your dental website.
If you’re a dentist who does not have the time or desire to compose SEO blogs for your dental website, give my dental marketing company, Identiwrite Creative, a call. You can reach Riese Duty at [email protected] or 972-679-6885. We have a great history of success!
If you’re a copywriter, or you want to learn SEO copywriting, contact me, Shauna Smith Duty, at [email protected]. I am happy to share my knowledge and expertise with the next generation of copywriters. We need educated writers of integrity composing web content.