Search Engine Optimization Resources
We have assembled some helpful how-to resources which will assist you in improving the search engine rank of your Integrity website, and understanding how search engine optimization works. There is a lot of misinformation being spread about SEO, and many people who profess to be SEO experts are instead scammers after your money, who are not really able to guarantee any improvement in search engine rank. We want Integrity doctors to be informed and achieve better search engine results than the competition through wise “best practices” and not by spending money unnecessarily on individuals and companies who say they can help you be number one, guaranteed.
We recommend that you begin with our “Google For Chiropractors” guide which will further explain Integrity’s policies and recommendations on search engine optimization.
Integrity does not have direct access to influence Google results. We can’t guarantee your site will appear in a particular place in Google results and we can’t contact Google on your behalf. This is normal and no other company does have direct access, so please do not fall for marketing scams by “SEO experts” who claim to be able to do otherwise or pay another company to do SEO on your website. We can, however, recommend some ‘best practices’ for showing up well on Google.
First, start with the “Google for Chiropractors” guide that our Marketing Director, Ryan Maule, has created. This guide can be accessed here.
Next, make sure your home page is free from clutter and all the search terms you want to be found under appear in your homepage text in normal sentence usage. If the search terms/search phrase you want to be found under does not appear there, chances are you will not be able to be easily found on Google under those terms. Work those search terms into the homepage text or contact support for advice.
Make sure that lists of keywords (comma separated) do not appear on your site. This is viewed as keyword spam and will negatively affect your search engine rank.
Make sure that your website has lots of unique content, not copied from any other blog on the Internet. The more unique content (even unique from other Integrity websites), the more “interesting” your site looks to Google. We provide stock content to help you get started but your website does need to have more unique content than stock content to have the best chance at thriving in competitive markets. Please see this link for more on duplicate content.
Make sure you only have one website for your company; take down old websites and do not have multiple sites from competing companies. Google and Bing use duplicate detection and having the same mailing address and phone number showing up on multiple local business sites will lead to duplicates being delisted. There is no benefit to having multiple websites; Google and Bing will try to prevent businesses from having multiple websites with the goal of dominating all the lines of search results by blocking the duplicates.
In order to appear on Google Maps listings at the top of Google local business searches, you must have a verified Google Places/Google+ account. This is covered in the “Google for Chiropractors” guide.
It is important that you first be prominent in your community (through outreach events, PR activity, news media/radio mentions) before expecting to be prominent on the Internet.
If you want to appear in the sidebar ads on Google or the “featured links” at the top of the page, you must bid for and pay for that place on Google through the AdWords service. Integrity does not endorse or provide assistance for paid advertising on Google and is not liable for any financial loss that may occur through advertising on Google. Offices are permitted to use paid Google AdWords but must proceed at their own risk. Integrity Website Service Support will not assist with Google AdWords questions.
Finally, remember that the top section of your home page is not only what patients see first but also what search engines see first. So the most relevant content to your site needs to remain there; the top of your website should contain a purpose statement and identify you as a chiropractor in your city or town. The top of your website or the center of the homepage should not be used for promotions, news, or special offers.
As a general rule, Integrity staff will only intervene on Google ranking matters once all the above steps have been followed, enough waiting time has passed (at least a couple months), and if the site is not showing up at all. Coming up on page 3 of Google instead of page 1, for example, is not considered a support issue. If you have concerns about your website or would like to speak with someone about your goals for your website, please talk to your Integrity coach or consultant. They will be able to assist with a comprehensive outreach strategy that includes your website and pass your goals and needs along to the Website team. Please do not open a website support ticket about SEO concerns without first speaking to your coach.
Most people ask us about Google and so we have focused most of our efforts on Google. But we do submit Integrity websites to Bing too, and it is a useful and very functional search engine too with a lot of nice perks and features. We haven’t spent quite as much time focusing on Bing strategies, though, so if you have a concern about your Bing rank we recommend you open an email support ticket with our Webmaster.
I’m monitoring my site’s search performance every day and it’s not performing as I would like. What can I do to dominate local results?
There are some things we can do to make sure your site is functioning as it should and ensure there are no problems affecting your website’s rank. First, though, we would like you to speak to your Integrity coach about your concerns, and talk about all options. Your coach will discuss recommendations and suggestions for increasing your visibility in your community (not limited just to online visibility) and if they determine that changes to your website are in order, they will pass the concerns along to the Webmaster who will look into it. Please do not directly contact the Website Support department or the Webmaster with search engine concerns until you have first spoken to your Integrity coach or consultant. Allow your coach or consultant to communicate the changes in strategy to the Website department.
Google is making some major revisions to the way that their system creates links and then ranks them. These changes will have a very negative effect on your chiropractic office unless you are aware of them and how to fix the problem. We here at the Integrity Website Service want you to be fully prepared and covered during these changes so we are going to help you get through this! Our founder and Integrity Management Marketing Director, Ryan Maule, has created a complete Google marketing program for chiropractors which can be downloaded below. Inside this ZIP file you will find an audio class that you must listen to first, along with the Google Plus Marketing Guide document that walks you through everything you need to know. This will be easy, but it does take time.
Download your exclusive Google Plus Local Marketing Guide below:
Please note that it usually takes up to four months for your site to be recognized by the search engines and enter the search rankings. This process is the same for all web sites and is mandatory for anyone with any company, submitting a site to a search engine. Once listed, your site will be placed in the rankings according to relevance of what is searched. If you would prefer a more noticeable and guaranteed high ranking spot, we recommend signing up for online programs such as Google’s AdWords. These services cost extra and are not part of your internet web service package.
We do advise all Integrity clients to first be active in your communities — PR activity, outreach events, mentions on news media/radio — before expecting to be prominent on the Internet. Local prominence and Internet prominence for local businesses go hand-in-hand but the in-person local prominence should be considered the higher priority. Internet prominence should naturally follow.
First, how long has it been since your Integrity site was set up? If less than six months since the site was set up or transferred to Integrity, Google and Bing may not be fully aware of your site or it has not had enough time to move up in the rankings.
What does your home page text look like? Some offices like to use the home page for advertising new services, specials, or events, but the top of the home page is crucial for search engine rank and search terms. Are your events or promotions really the first thing you want the search engines to pick up on, rather than, for example, “chiropractor in (your city)”? If you have recently modified your home page text or content, please revert it to how it was before and allow time for the search engines to index it. We do not support any home page customizations so if you have made changes and it affects your rank, Integrity support may delete all customizations and return your home page to stock text.
Have you downloaded and followed our Google Marketing Guide For Chiropractors Package? This package will teach you everything you need to know about how Google is now ranking small businesses and what you need to do to take advantage of it. Click here to learn more. This needs to be completed by each individual office and will take months to go into effect. Our web staff cannot perform these tasks for you.
Finally, if it has been more than six months and you are still not showing up well on Google and Bing and have followed the instructions explicitly in the Google Marketing Guide, please discuss these concerns with your Integrity coach or consultant on your next coaching call. Please be very specific – what are your expectations for your website? Which search phrases are you not coming up under? Do these phrases appear on your site, in normal sentence usage? (If not, there’s your problem.) Have you done any practices that may cause you to be penalized on Google or Bing (lists of keywords, repeatedly clicking on your own site on Google in order to increase hits and page rank, use of phrases or words that don’t really apply to your site, etc.)? Are you checking your ranking hourly, daily, or weekly? Please let us know exactly what is going on, and please remember we can recommend best practices for search engine optimization but are not able to actually contact Google or Bing to influence them or “fix” ranking. If there are changes that are needed, your Integrity coach will let the webmaster know. Please do not open a SEO support ticket with the Website department until you have spoken with your coach or consultant about your concerns.
We have recently linked your website to your official Google+ page according to Google Maps. However, in some cases, this may not be what you think is your official Google+ page! You may have a personal page that you are using as your office’s Google+ page, but this is not your official page.
You can claim the official page by clicking on the “Is this your business? Manage this page” button in the bottom center. After you have claimed and verified it, you can merge info from your personal Google+ page into your official page.
It is Integrity policy that the official Google+ page created for you by Google Maps is the best Google+ entry to use for search engine optimization reasons and as a result requests to replace your official Google+ page with a personal page in any website links will be denied by the web support department.
If the Google+ or Google Maps information on your Location & Hours page is incorrect, it is your responsibility to fix it by claiming the listing. Only office staff (verified by PIN or by phone) can change Google local listings. With a premium support ticket ($75), we may be able to assist with this process if you have a Google account and are willing to share the login credentials with our support department, but all verification postcards or calls will still be sent directly to your office by Google.
We do not set up logins for third party consultants. You will have to give your office’s admin username and password. Please also be advised that Integrity support will only work with the Integrity doctor or office staff, so consultants may not contact support on your behalf without prior permission.
Any damage caused to your website by a third party consultant, including reverting unsupported or forbidden changes that are outside the terms of service for the Integrity Website Service, will require a minimum $75 editing fee which will be assessed to the office.
If it is necessary for a third party support person, consultant, SEO advisor, etc. to contact us by phone to work out details, you must first authorize them as well as pay for a premium support ticket ($75/hour). You will also be responsible for premium support charges if a SEO advisor requests or requires Integrity staff to make changes to your website, such as changing page titles or performing a custom configuration in the All In One SEO plugin. We also cannot guarantee that updates or changes on our end will not undo the work of a third party SEO advisor. No refunds of support fees or website service fees will be granted in the event this occurs.
We advise you to speak with your Integrity coach or consultant (rather than the website support department) about your goals for your website and what you intend your website to accomplish for your office prior to hiring any SEO consultants or making changes to your website. Your coach or consultant will be able to pass concerns and goals along to the Webmaster who can then work to achieve these goals.
We recently improved our integration with Google in order to equip your website with Google+ reviews, directions, and social media integration. However, because we pull the information directly from your Google business profile (possibly separate from any personal Google+ pages you may have created), in some cases the info may be incorrect, such as showing an old clinic name or other incorrect info.
This is not the responsibility of Integrity Management or Living Well Websites. This is the information Google has on file for your office and it will affect your results in Google listings. You need to verify your office on Google Maps and Google+ by going to http://www.google.com/local/add/, searching for all listings for your office and correcting your info, including verifying by phone or postcard/PIN if necessary.
Integrity support cannot easily assist with this process. However, it is of crucial importance to your Google rank and ability to be found through Google products that you get this resolved. It is not possible to contact Google directly and Integrity does not have any special access to contact Google on your behalf. You will need to go through the Google+ Local Business Center using the link in the above paragraph. Note – with a Premium support ticket ($75) and access to your Google account, including your Google password, we may be able to help you verify or modify your Google profile.
There are a number of things you can do in order to give your website the best chance to rank highly on Google and Bing.
First, it is important to understand that while humans see your website design and layout, search engines can only see the text of the site and sometimes in an order different than what humans see on your website. But as a general rule, content near the top of your webpage will be the most important for search engine rank. So do not put rapidly changing information such as specials, news or promotions at the top of your homepage. The top of your homepage, or the center of your homepage in some designs, should have a concise, succinctly written, paragraph of text introducing you, your office, and what you can do for the prospective patient. Words like “chiropractor” and your city or community should be incorporated into this paragraph in order to be relevant on search engines, but not over-used as search engines do penalize for anything that appears to be “cramming” –unnaturally using words in order to increase their rank. This paragraph must be unique and should not be shared with any other Integrity website, or any other website. For more on this, including examples, please see this link.
Second, differentiate your content! Newly updated plagiarism detection techniques at Google and Bing will cause your website to be demoted for any text that mirrors or resembles text on another website (including other Integrity sites). Your website will perform best if as much content as possible on the website is unique and original and not copied from anywhere else. Furthermore, each local business (chiropractic practice) also should have only one website, so take down old websites for your office and do not have multiple current websites from competing companies. It may seem like this practice would help you dominate multiple lines of search results but if the duplicate sites are detected by Google and Bing as such, most or all of the duplicate sites will be penalized or completely removed. The penalization could take all of your business’s web listings off the first page of results.
Third, remember that Google and Bing rankings of local businesses typically are not all that different from actual popularity at the brick-and-mortar location. In other words, in order to be relevant on the Internet, your office must also be relevant in your community. Your PR person should be doing community outreach events; you should be mentioned in the local media; people need to know your name. Search results and ranking will follow; then going forward the in-person/in-the-community promotion and Internet promotion should begin to complement each other well and continue to help your practice and website dominate! But for newer offices, you need to spend much more time and resources on in-person PR marketing than online marketing. The website ranking will follow, but needs to not be the first step.
Fourth, remember that Google and Bing are slow when it comes to ranking and indexing websites, especially new local business sites. It can take a few months to even enter the search rankings, and unless you are very aggressively raising awareness of your practice “offline” through outreach events and media mentions, it might take one or two years before your site will be competitive alongside longer-established practices.
Fifth, remember social media helps. With Google in particular, local businesses need to use Google+ to set themselves apart from the rest. Every local business that is on Google Maps actually already has a Google+ page, and you cannot be on Google Maps without a Google+ business page. So go to http://www.google.com/local/add/ and search for your existing listing and claim it so as to start using that page for announcements (similar to what you might do with Facebook). And encourage your patients to leave you reviews on Google+ as businesses with a lot of good reviews also tend to stand out on Google.
Finally, remember there are a lot of scammers out there who prey on unsuspecting businesses in the area of marketing and search engine optimization. They either use outright lies, or misinformation based on search engine optimization “best practices” from years ago, and then rope clients into expensive agreements that are unnecessary at best, and can lead to Google and Bing penalties at worst. Do not pay for additional services such as Yellow Pages online advertising, Hibu sites, or search engine optimization from other providers.
Before hiring a SEO consultant (which we do not recommend but cannot prevent you from doing) or opening a support ticket with the Website department for search engine concerns, please speak with your Integrity coach or consultant. They can communicate your goals to the Website department and the Webmaster and coach will work together on doing our part toward achieving these goals. Please include your coach or consultant in any discussions about SEO. Integrity Management views the website service as one part of your office’s marketing and patient communication strategy and wants to work with you to achieve these goals through multiple factors and not through a reliance on website SEO alone.