Google recently launched a major core update that is dramatically impacting health and wellness related websites. The end result? Decreased site traffic, weaker search rankings, and consequently a decline in new patient visits for doctors. We want your upper cervical practice to be one that not only bounces back quickly but helps you rise above the masses of DCs and MDs to emerge as a prominent UC specialist. To learn how to stop the latest Google changes from killing your website, we will look at: what the changes are, how they are impacting you, and what you can do about it.
Google Changes Overview
Well, it happened, and it isn’t pretty. Many websites for upper cervical doctors are seeing a 50% decrease in their website traffic with the Google changes! This is having a huge impact and here’s what happened:
Google updated its algorithm primarily for informational keywords which is why health and wellness related pages were hit hard. This was done in an attempt to fine-tune its search results for queries related to particularly sensitive topics, like health-related issues and questions. Pages that once ranked very well (and have great content) now rank much lower or have all but disappeared. What used to work, is no longer working and here are some more specifics as to why:
Key Algorithm Changes Affecting Upper Cervical Websites
With the most recent update, there is now an emphasis on how Google values trust and branding. It can be common for upper cervical content to include verbiage/keywords like: “how to cure vertigo fast,” “ways to get relief from migraine naturally,” “upper cervical care helps fibromyalgia,” etc. This phrasing is no longer going to work optimally. Now, Google search results focus on sites that have a strong brand profile and more of a broad topical focus. Bottom line, you can keep your niche upper cervical website, but you’ll need to be intentional with your content and keywords if you want potential patients to find you online.
The core update also puts emphasis on 3 website key performance indicators:
- Time on site (session duration)
- Page views per visit (pages/session)
- Bounce rate (a 1-page session with no interaction)
So, this means that the amount of time people spend on your website, the number of pages they look at per session and how often people click off your site will have a greater impact on your search rankings. Let’s take a look at how you can respond to the changes and use this update in your favor.
What You Can Do to Get Your Site to Bounce Back From the Google Changes
Every upper cervical site got hit negatively with this past Google core update. But, there are specific things you can do to bounce back from this and turn it into a win. Most doctors don’t check their website, don’t have ongoing web support, or don’t even know the Google update happened.
First, you’ll want to determine how your site is currently performing so you can track results moving forward. You can check your Google Analytics by going to https://analytics.google.com (see image). On this page, you can view a good deal of information on the home page. However, to track your Session Duration, Pages/Session and Bounce Rate, you can click the following on the side menu: Aquisition, All Traffic, and then Source/Medium. You can even compare how you did to a previous period of time, like the previous month or year. Taking this step will help you know where you currently stand and to track the changes you will implement.
Second, here are some specific things you can do to win back or improve your website presence and ranking:
- Consistently work on your Brand Reputation, Credibility or Authority
- Optimize site elements for USERS, not for SEARCH ENGINE
- Ensure a good user experience for mobile devices
So, creating great branded content on your site that potential and current patients are looking for will help your SEO. Upper Cervical Blogs, a New Patient Page, Video Testimonials, etc help to build trust, credibility, and authority for your practice. Also, consider strongly having good backlinks to related, trustworthy and helpful content. Instead of focusing too much on how to optimize your site for search engines, focus on the user. What is a potential patient looking for and how does your site make it easy for them to get it? Remember, every year there are more people accessing websites from their mobile device so be sure that your website is mobile friendly. It needs to load quickly, be easy to read and navigate.
All of these steps, over time, will help you to stop the lastest Google changes from killing your website as they address the key performance indicators: Bounce Rate, Pages/Session and Session Duration. Obviously, optimizing your site for these three metrics isn’t going to fix everything, but they are solid steps in the right direction. Also, you may want to consider speaking with an online marketing specialist to get more information or assistance. We at Upper Cervical Marketing are constantly tracking the changing SEO climate and developing strategies to help UC doctors to look great online and reach more sick and suffering people. You can find out more by clicking here, schedule a time to talk by clicking here, or call (877) 252-1230 opt 1.
Give it time, stay the course, and you’ll see the results you’re looking for!