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What is SEO about? Getting to the top of Google, right? That seems to be the most common understanding of site optimization. But is it correct?

First of all, ‘getting a site number one on Google’ is a meaningless phrase. Get your site number one for what? Presumably, it’s to mean positioning well for the top keywords in your market, and this is what many site owners tend to focus on, thanks to nearly a decade of being told so. This is understandable — for one, keyword position is important!

But it’s not the only thing you need to focus on. We often talk about keywords so often, that everything else ends up getting swept under the rug and forgotten. We don’t want to do that here, so what are the other most important metrics for you to be tracking for your plastic surgery SEO? Simple: leads, traffic, and conversion rate.

Leads

Leads! Leads are the most vital aspect of a plastic surgery SEO campaign. The whole reason for an internet marketing campaign is to get your website working for you as a lead generation machine. 

This should be obvious, but you’d be surprised how often leads are overlooked as the focal point of all SEO efforts in favor of techniques whose ultimate purpose should be the greater accumulation of prospective clients. And the way to get website leads is to drive a large volume of visitors with interests relevant to your site and to convert a meaningful percentage of those visitors into prospects. 

Search Traffic Growth

Search engine optimization is designed to increase search traffic. Again, another no-brainer. The amount of traffic you receive through search is typically how we define success, much more than individual keywords. This begs the question: what affects search traffic? There are multiple variables that can improve how visible a site is: quality of content, site longevity, proper coding, usability of the site, site speed, amount of backlinks from other sites, proper internal linking, the amount of content on landing pages, et cetera, et cetera.

Truly, keyword position is only important insofar as it draws high-volume, relevant traffic to your website. But even driving volume via content can be done in multiple ways.

Long-tail keywords tend to convert better than generic keywords that may generate a lot of volume. The search term ‘rhinoplasty’ has a huge amount of monthly searches, but are those searches from prospective clients, or students doing a paper? A generic term like that is apt to have a much lower conversion rate than ‘rhinoplasty specialist near me’.

This in no way undermines the importance of high-visibility search terms — marquis keywords and keyphrases are necessary to increase one’s volume since they receive the most impressions per month. But a successful campaign will look instead to the big picture. Moreover, becoming fixated on placing number 1 for various search terms can be counter-productive. Often dislodging a current number one can be difficult, whereas increasing the overall relevant search volume is much more manageable.

Conversion Rate

So you’ve got a visible site that places well for a slew of keywords, and a good deal of long-tail keywords as well. Great! Is that traffic converting?

Conversion Rate Optimization is an oft-ignored yet vital component to an overall digital marketing campaign. You want to make the most of the visits you get by accommodating your site for the end user. This is done by:

Keyword Relevance: Are you ranking really highly for a phrase that has nothing to do with your services? Chances are that traffic is not going to convert. Make sure you highlight what you want to be found in the content on your site by giving each landing page a specific theme.

User-friendliness: Is your site easy to navigate? Does it advertise sections visitors care most about, like FAQ pages or photo galleries?

Calls to Action: Is your phone number visible? Can they easily fill out a form?

Mobile-friendliness: How does your site look on a smartphone or a tablet? Does it load slowly? Can you click a button to make a phone call?

Information: Is your content informative and useful? Are your photos attractive? Do you have before-and-after videos, or newsletters you offer to those looking to learn more?

CRO (conversion rate optimization) is the difference between good lead generation and great. Indirectly, higher conversion rates lead to lower bounce rates and longer time on site, both of which are now suspected of being signals to search engines as a sign of site quality, and thus higher visibility.

Once again, good plastic surgery  SEO comes down to leads, search traffic, and conversion rate. Ask yourself: “Are we doing a good job driving organic traffic to our site? Is it relevant traffic? Are we converting a significant amount of visitors into leads? Why or why not?” Everything else is a technique in order to make this happen — means to an end; and never lose sight of that end goal, which is a more prosperous practice.

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