I ended  2016 with some digital marketing predictions for 2017 that aesthetic practices should keep in mind as they formulate their strategies and tactics for this year. Several of these predictions referenced SEO, so I figured now would be a good time to follow up with some more details on boosting your practice’s organic visibility this year.

On the surface, many of the key tactics for improving your SEO haven’t changed in years. However, if you dig deeper you’ll notice that how these tactics are being implemented has changed quite a bit. These differences can be the difference between a high ranking site and a penalized site.

    • Schema: This was the main SEO prediction I made in my last article. The use of schema markup, micro-formatting, or JSON-LD isn’t new, and we can already see Google showing this markup in search results. Take advantage of this opportunity by working in relevant, local business markup into your website.

    • Video transcribing: It has become cliche to say that “video will grow this year.” Of course it will, but in what way? Yes, you want unique, engaging videos, but how can you possibly compete with those funny cat videos? Well, you can’t. However, there are a couple tools that you can utilize improve the visibility of your videos. One thing to look into is video transcription for your content marketing efforts. This means taking a blog article, for example, and creating a video out of it that tells a story using audio and visuals.
      Another feature to utilize is YouTube’s closed captioning. YouTube will automatically pick up on audio and allow for sub-titles, but it cannot account for most movement, text, or images. This is where you can login and add in the captions, which will help with the overall SEO of the video.

 

    • Patient reviews: I’ve touched on this quite a few times over the past quarter. I highly encourage you to check out Magic Rating and sign up for a free trial. Whatever methods or software you’re using, increasing your reviews, especially on Real Self, will allow you to implement review schema, which in turn will enhance your organic search engine listings.

 

    • Site speed: Now more than ever patients are looking for quick answers. Do you have before & afters? What’s your pricing or do you have financing? Where are you located? If this information is hard to find on your website, or non-existent, then you have a UX problem. If you have all this information well-organized, yet you have high bounce rates and you’re not generating conversions you might have an issue with your site speed. How fast your web pages load will play an even bigger role in SEO in 2017, so keep an eye on this. One tip to consider is to compress your images. Consider a tool such as tingpng.com.

 

    • Backlinks: Like site speed and reviews, the need for backlinks is well-known. If you’ve been following trends over the past couple years, including Google’s Penguin algorithm update, you know that it’s now about the quality of links vs. quantity. But where can you find these links? My go-to recommendation is to first explore partnerships.
      A cosmetic dermatologist should connect with a medical dermatologist, a med spa with a plastic surgeon that doesn’t offer non-surgical, for example. Even a combined plastic surgery center and med spa can partner with a variety of other local businesses, such as high-end salons, estheticians, and luxury boutique shops. These relationships may manifest themselves into a backlink, but the key is the relationship. Outside of partnerships, look for credible authority sites and reach out to them to see if they’re open to new content. Check out competitors’ links and you might find a directory or a guest blog opportunity. Here are some link building myths and tactics to avoid.

 

    • Engagement: I mentioned that site speed will play a role in SEO in 2017, and it’s safe to say that engagement as a whole will as well. Google’s goal is to evaluate and show the “best” results, and when they’re looking at two sites that both have very relevant, well-written content it may likely come down to engagement. In other words, the site that has a lower bounce rate, higher number of pages viewed per session, and a higher conversion rate is in a better position to outrank his or her competitor.
      Turbo’s 2017 digital marketing prediction article referenced infographics as one idea to improve your blog’s engagement. I’ve also mentioned video transcription above as a great tactic to enhance your site content.

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You can also find an in-depth breakdown from Moz about SEO trends for 2017 here. If you have any additional tips you’d like to add please feel free to add a comment. I you’d like to learn more about SEO or how we can help your aesthetic practice then feel free to give us a call at 877-673-7096 x2 or leave us a note here.