There’s no trickery to SEO. What with all the crawlers, algorithms, and canonicals; the concept might seem like a complex web of trouble. But actually, getting the content of your website right is just plain common sense.
Google algorithms use a complex measuring system in order to rank web pages based on their relevance to a particular set of keywords. Historically, SEO-ers have worked tactically to combat the system; analysing the competition to compare keyword density, crawlability and content structure for hidden clues as to its success. And yes – whilst these are relevant approaches, mine has always been a more relaxed one.
I prefer to treat Google as you might treat a toddler, just learning the question ‘why?’
Why, why, why…
Google is NOT complicated. Google just wants to understand what makes you the expert in your chosen subject matter. It just wants to connect the dots. But it can’t do that without your guidance – much like a small child can’t understand the complexity of the world without it being explained.
You are the expert in your field. You know this. But Google doesn’t – at least not yet. So, you have to drop the breadcrumbs in a way that Google can crawl and understand. At Patient Claim Line, our solicitors are the experts. They trudged through law degrees and years of on-the-job experience to become the medical experts that they are, so we have developed Expert Profiles to help Google understand the qualifications and complicated back stories of our team mates.
Formatting is key here. Google is able to crawl the content, separated through H tags and other identifiers, to assess the relevancy of our people. A quick crawl of an expert profile will tell Google that our solicitors have a degree, hold APIL qualifications, specialise in a particular area, have written numerous articles on a complex subject matter, and are cited with a number of prestigious governing bodies within our sector.
Looking for a recommended medical negligence solicitor, specialising in vaginal mesh with an APIL qualification? You can bet you’ll end up on our Head of Medical Negligence, Christian Beadell’s page.
Drop the breadcrumbs. Make it easy to crawl.
When you provide an excellent service for your customers, show it off. This works because its literally what your customers are looking for. They want reviews, reassurance, and full disclosure about a service they’re considering. And what’s more – Google knows this.
Customer stories, Trust Pilot reviews and case studies all fall under the coveted E-A-T metric; Education, Authority and Trust. Google will serve up content that gives the people what they want. So, if you’re generating content that demonstrates your successes, with real people and real results – that’s a nice big tick on the E-A-T scale.
Had some excellent feedback from a customer? Use their quote on your main service page. Changed someone’s life for the better? That sounds like an excellent video opportunity. Interview customers, understand their experiences and write up articles for your news pages. Any way you think of to tap into your customer base and bring their experiences to life – do it.
But obviously – gain their permission first. That’s just GDPR compliance.
If you want to show Google that you’re the expert in your field, you need to do a lot more than just scatter a few keywords on your main service pages.
Sorry. But those days are over (thank God).
Think Mastermind. If you’re the expert on a topic, you understand every nuance, every complexity and every angle. And that’s exactly how you have to approach your web content.
Building out a hub of information is a genuine approach that works for Google and for your customers. It takes time. It takes effort. But it is worth every moment.
As a medical negligence law firm, you’d imagine that our ‘expert subject’ to be medical negligence. And it is. But it’s only in the last 12 months or so that we’ve really told Google this. We just figured that it knew – an easy (but critical) mistake to make.
So, we set out to build our Medical Negligence Hub.
In doing so, we explored every avenue of medical negligence. What are our customers actually asking us? What are the sticking points? Where do they need support? Wider reading? Extra thinking time?
We got our team together and thrashed through these questions. Came up with a ream of content ideas and trusted sources that we could signpost our customers to.
The result? Moving from a low page two to a high page one ranking in a matter of weeks, that we have comfortably maintained.
Yep. We know – we’re good.
This might sound like a wild idea to old school SEO-ers (surely, linking out will just bleed authority??) but actually, structured external links can form the basis for excellent customer content. This is particularly fruitful when used as part of a content hub. Building a hub of useful content about a specific subject matter shows Google that you’re trying to inform and educate your customers (another E-A-T tick) on a subject unfamiliar to them; and linking out to other experts is a valuable part of this.
Linking out to trusted third party websites (think .org domains, the NHS or the BBC) tells Google that you’re not just about being selfish on the equity front – you’re actually here to help your customers understand their options, and want them to make an informed decision that benefits them.
Ding, ding, ding!!
Do this, and you have literally won SEO.
So in conclusion – don’t over complicate Google content. Figure out the ‘whys’ about your services and answer them. Explore the nuances. Make your content easy to crawl. Maximise your customer stories and makes sure every possible Trust signal is pointing your way.
Then just relax. And reap the benefits.
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