Don't Be Afraid of Spiders - Understanding the Web to Enhance Your Healthcare Practice's SEO


A lot of us who work in healthcare are quite clueless about how the internet works. If you’re like me you never bothered with trying to understand it because it didn’t seem relevant to your career goals. Well, if you own a private practice it is relevant. And I am going to simplify this as best as possible so that you can use spiders (yes, I said spiders) to your advantage.

The internet sends out spiders to memorize your website. There are little spiders, (a.k.a. crawlers, bots, web-crawlers), that are scouring the internet for information. They visit your website, “memorize” the contents and then report back to headquarters. This is how search engines pull up your website, they have a blueprint of your website given to them by these little spiders.

These spiders travel from website to website to collect information on their web. Think of these spiders as real little insects. They are not able travel from web to web by hopping, but they can get there easily if there is a pathway connecting the two. So the way they find your website is traveling to your website, from another website.

The more “pathways” on your website the better. Think about it. If there are more than one paths to your website, there are more opportunities for the spider to find you. More ways to find you, means you are more easily found, and this boosts your search engine optimization (SEO).

This means you will enhance SEO if you connect to more websites. In your website you should reference other websites. Every time you reference another website you are creating a path to that website making it easier for spiders to find you. And every time someone references your site they are also strengthening your SEO because they are making more paths back to your website. More paths means more traveling for the spiders. This is one reason you really want to post content that people will repost, because reposting your website will make more pathways. And, having people repost your content in Facebook (or social media) doesn’t count. It helps in other ways, but it doesn’t help the spiders.

You want to link up with high integrity websites. The integrity of the website you share a path with matters. If you have are linking up to a website that seems suspicious to the spiders, it won’t be a path they are going to travel on - spiders aren’t stupid. If you link up to high integrity websites, that is the best plan.

What are high integrity websites? The most high integrity websites are actually government websites. Websites that end in .gov and the link. How would a healthcare professional link up to government websites ? You could write a post about Medicare, refer back to changes in laws regarding healthcare, or refer athletes to local nature trails — get creative.

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