The ABCs of SEO: 10 Terms Every Doctor Should Know

By   |  September 5, 2014

These days, with the Internet so accessible, people turn to search engines to help them navigate through life. Directions, suggestions, information, opinions and advice are all available instantly, at the click of a button. That is why it is imperative that healthcare providers make the effort to stay relevant in search engine queries. That's where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in.

SEO is the practice of optimizing websites and web pages to make sure that they appear in search engine results. While this is a constantly evolving and changing practice, there are a few basic principles to use as a starting point.

However, technical jargon (much like medical terms) can be confusing and even intimidating to the uninitiated. Here are 10 basic SEO terms that will help you optimize your practice's Dr. Leonardo website.

  1. SEM (Search Engine Marketing): A type of product or service marketing in which the main goal is achieving visibility on search engines, such as Google or Bing.
  2. SERP (Search Engine Results Page): The page users arrive at after entering a query into a search engine. While every domain owner's ideal is to rank in the top spot on a SERP, a page one ranking for a relevant, targeted keyword search is a great starting goal.
  3. Keyword: A word that users type into a search engine. Every page of a website should be optimized to attract users who have searched for specific keywords. For example, "plastic surgeon" or "Miami plastic surgeon".
  4. Content: The useful, valuable information that you want users to find. Content should aim to inform and engage patients.
  5. HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language): In simple terms, HTML is the code of the website, that makes it readable to your audience. Search engines read the code in every page of every website, and use complicated algorithms to rank them on SERPs.
  6. Meta Tag: Similar to the title tag, meta tags give search engines additional information as to what a web page is about. They are part of HTML and are not visible to visitors.
  7. Title Tag: The title of a website, written within the <title> HTML tag. This tag should contain the most important keywords for a website, as it is one of the most important factor's in Google's search engine ranking algorithm.
  8. CMS (Content Management System): A software system or application that allows users to compose, edit, organize and publish content.
  9. Duplicate Content: While there is no strict definition, this term is typically used to refer to large amounts of text or content published either across several domains or on the same site that are exactly the same or very similar. Duplicate content is discouraged, because not only is it not helpful or valuable to your audience, but it can also get you penalized by search engines, thus hindering your SEO efforts.
  10. Header Tag: Also known as an h1 tag in HTML, this tag is the most important piece of text or keyword on a given web page. These tags are usually presented in a different size, color or font to stand out from the rest of the text.

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