Physical therapists, like any local business, need to have a strong presence online to attract patients who need their help. As a physical therapist, you may receive some of your referrals through local relationships with doctors and medical facilities. Yet, there are many who seek out these services as preventative care or without a referral. Ranking well is essential. A few fresh content SEO tips for physical therapists like the strategies we discuss below could help you become more accessible to those seeking your services.
Local Ranking Factors
The first thing to think about is what matters when it comes to local ranking. You may provide services within a geographic area. This is because that’s where most of your patients come from. That means your SEO efforts need to focus on helping people in that area find you. Local ranking factors can help you to do that. Some factors that play a role in when your ads or website will display in front of patients in your area include:
- Relevancy: This depends on how well your services (based on the keywords you use) match what a person typing a search into the search engine is after.
- Distance: Are you providing services within that person’s geographical area? Search engines know this based more than just on keywords but on the inclusion of your business address in your profile.
- Prominence: Is your service a prominent one within that market? That may be evident based on things like how often people seek you out and how many websites link back to your website.
- Availability: Is your location available? Is your location open and available to the person looking for it?
- Recency: Just how fresh is the content and information online about your company? When did you last update this information or provide new content for your site?
All of these factors play a big role in how you can rank in the search engines and whether people who need your physical therapy services can find you. Yet, one of the most important components of that list is recency, or just how fresh your information is.
What Is Fresh Content?
Content is a term that can refer to a number of things. It can refer to blogs on your website. It may include updates you make to your Google Business Profile. It may include updates made to your business listings. In short, it’s any content that is directly related to and published by your business.
Search engines like Google want to see a page that’s being updated often. That helps the search engine recognize that the information is relevant right now.
Content is also very valuable when it comes to helping patients find you. For example, when you create website content, you’ll use keywords that people are typing into search engines and often include geographical terms like the city and state to help narrow down who sees your ads and website listing. Content helps to give the search engines the information they need to know when to connect your website to the person searching for help. That makes you easier to find online when you have high-quality content that’s fresh and new.
Fresh content could include:
- Published: When was the content uploaded on the website? Was the last upload months ago or just this week?
- Indexed: This is a term used to describe the first time when search engine crawlers (think of them as spiders that crawl through your website to determine its relevancy) found your site. When the crawlers do this the first time, that’s when it’s first added to the Google Search engine.
- Last Crawl: This is a term used to describe the last time that the search engine crawled your website. Keep in mind this happens often, and as it happens, it’s critical to ensure there’s new content there for the bots to find.
- Modified: Based on that last crawl, the search engine can determine when the last change was made to the page, giving them clear information on just how up to date the content actually is.
How Does Google Measure Content Freshness?
As you think about your website, know that there’s quite a bit more that goes into this process than just a single crawl through the site. Beyond any of these details, you want to provide highly valuable content that your patients can read and get value from.
When it comes to content freshness, Google looks at the following information to determine how long ago the site was updated with fresh content.
Page inception date
This is the date that the search engine first indexed the site. As mentioned, that’s when the search engines found your site and added it to Google Search. This creates a foundation or a starting point for the website.
Amount of change
It’s not just important to have new content – changing a few words and sentences isn’t necessarily enough. Rather, Google wants to better understand the amount of change that was made to the last update on the page. When there are significant changes in the content, that indicates the content is fresh. Small changes really don’t count towards this.
Number of changes
Google also likes to look at the number of changes that were made to the core content pages of your website. How much of the content was changed on the page? Did you just change the date and time tags? Did you add more valuable information, perhaps more in-depth information, that will benefit the reader? If you did, that’s a good thing. When there are changes to the main body content, that indicates more freshness.
Rate of page change
Many websites for physical therapists have a few pages – a home page, a contact page, an about page, and maybe even a service page. However, Google wants to see new pages of content added to the website over time and on a consistent basis. It’s not always a good idea to have dozens of pages on the site that are visible to your patients, but there are back pages that can be added to improve SEO and ranking.
Freshness of backlinks
Not only does Google want to see what you’re adding in terms of new content, but also if you’ve updated the backlinks on your site. Backlinks are links on other websites that have a high freshness score themselves that direct people to your own website. That is, when someone else recommends your website for information or content, that’s going to give your website a boost.
How Does Content Freshness Affect Your Local Ranking?
There’s no doubt that content additions, done well, can impact your local ranking. Adding local SEO keywords along with content that’s relevant to your community will help show the search engines just how important you are to the local physical therapy patients in the region.
How to Improve Your Content Freshness Score
Google takes all of that information and creates a score for your website. Ranking is directly impacted by how well your score reaches compared to your local competitors. Fresh content SEO tips for physical therapists like these can help with that.
- Publish new content on a regular basis. Aim to add content at least once a week, and often times more frequently, to your website and blog. Do this on a consistent basis. You want to show Google you’re always working to build your site’s value.
- Refresh older content. That doesn’t mean you have to redo your website content on a constant basis. Rather, work to add more information and build out the content on a more consistent basis. That’s going to show Google that you’re always working to better your site.
- Prioritize content receiving high traffic. With a bit of an analysis of your website, you can determine what type of content people are responding to and interacting with so you can build more of that type of content. Are people coming to your site to verify insurance, get physical therapy help, book an appointment, or perhaps they are coming to learn from what you have to offer.
- Change the publication date. When you make changes and updates to your existing content, be sure to update the date and timestamp on those posts. That way, it helps to signal to the search engines that an update occurred.
- Submit to Google. Take the time to submit your sitemap and updates to Google Search Console. This allows for the search engine to recognize that you’ve made changes and they should come back and crawl your website again.
Request a Demo of Our Business Intelligence Marketing Software
Do you want some help with SEO and improving your presence online? We can help you. View analytics to identify high-performing content so you know exactly what type of content to continue to create. You can also get support for publishing new content on a regular basis, helping to achieve the goals of freshness. We can also help you with editing and updating blog articles to ensure they continue to work for you, improving your ROI on any investment you’ve made.
Schedule a demo with Surefire Local today to learn more about how our business intelligence marketing software makes online marketing easy so you can grow profitably.