So you’ve got what you think is a pretty solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for your urgent care practice’s website. Do you know if it’s actually getting your website found on search engines like Google and Bing?

Hubspot released an ebook on the “18 SEO Myths to Leave Behind in 2017,” and we picked out some of the top myths you should pay attention to if you want your urgent care’s website to perform. If your SEO strategy falls in line with any of these SEO myths, you could be doing your website more harm than good.

Myth #1: Rankings are King!

We’re all fighting to be number one on Google, right? But does claiming that first position mean your SEO strategy is a success? Turns out, ranking for a term doesn’t always result in click-thrus or conversions. This myth is a little complicated to parse through because there are a variety of factors involved. It’s important to acknowledge that searchers do still favor those top search results; however, they also like the top results on subsequent pages, so that page one ranking isn’t always as lucrative as you might think.

The crux of this myth is that even though people are seeing your listing doesn’t mean they’re clicking on it, whether it’s because you’re ranking for a term that’s not relevant to your business or your meta descriptions aren’t written for the end-user in mind. What does this mean for your SEO strategy? Don’t just go for number one; make sure you’re number one for the right keywords and that your listing is optimized for human users.

Myth #2: A Good SEO Strategy is ALL About Keywords

Google is a lot smarter than it used to be. In the early days of Google, the search engine matched keywords users typed into its search bar word-for-word with the content on websites. Not anymore. Google now tries to understand the intent and context of keywords so it can find its users higher quality, more relevant content. That’s good news for your website because it means you can (and need to) write content with the user mind. No more awkwardly working keywords into the text because Google will pick up on synonyms and related search terms. So don’t worry about under-using keywords, and definitely do not “stuff” keywords into your content.

Myth #3: You Don’t Need to Optimize Images

This myth used to be true, but nowadays neglecting to optimize images on your urgent care’s website can hurt your site’s SEO performance. Search engines can’t actually see images, so optimizing them with relevant file names and keyword-rich alt text helps search engines understand what they are and whether they are relevant to user searches. To optimize your images, make sure the file names describe what the image is (stethoscope.jpg instead of IMG123456.jpg). Alt text is used by screen readers for the blind and visually impaired, so make sure you add descriptive alt text that helps those users visualize your graphics.

Myth #4: Links are More Beneficial than Content

Link-building is still one of the most important ranking factors, but it no longer involves obtaining as many backlinks as possible. In today’s search landscape, it’s more important to obtain quality backlinks from reputable, relevant websites to grow your urgent care website’s authority. One of the best ways to do this is by creating high quality content for those sites to link to. In other words, link-building and content go hand-in-hand; the key here is to focus on quality over quantity.

Myth #5: You Don’t Need an HTTPS-Encrypted Site

Have you been wondering why more and more sites are starting with https instead of just http? That’s because Google is using https, or SSL encryption that protects against hackers, in its search algorithm, even going so far as flagging standard http pages as potentially unsafe starting in January of 2017. That means if you’re still using standard http pages, your search rankings could be suffering.

Remember: the “if you build it, they will come” adage only works in the movies. You need an effective SEO strategy to not only get good placement in search engine results, but to also ensure users are clicking on those results to get to your website.

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