Your website is the online face of your practice. Therefore, every single page of the website must be developed with passion and commitment. Design and form represent the body of your web pages, and content represents the soul. Page rankings on all leading search engines are ultimately determined by how compelling the content is. Dermatology patients are regularly scouting the Internet for relevant content, and if your website provides it, they will flock to it. The search engines will drive your targeted local patients to your website as long as you are disseminating exclusive, authoritative, relevant, and original information related to medical and cosmetic dermatology.

WHAT IS GOOD CONTENT?

Leading search engines such as Google are paranoid about answering the search queries of their users in the best possible manner. They will do everything possible to search out the websites that address their users’ queries adequately and accurately. Therefore, from a search engine’s point of view, good dermatology content must have one key quality. It must provide the most searched-for dermatology information on the Internet most satisfactorily.

When the content is enriching and satisfying for your website readers and potential patients, they are highly likely to link it, share it, and comment about it on blogs, forums, websites, and social networks. The more time that a reader spends on your website, and the more positive activity that a reader conducts in relation to your website, the higher your search engine rankings are going to be. In “search engine speak,” content that comes on top on these parameters is good content.

FRESH CONTENT ON YOUR SITE

Search engines deeply realize the need of its users for fresh content, which provides them with the very latest and most relevant information. Top search engines such as Google typically evaluate every web page of your dermatology website for freshness. Some search queries are about fresh content, while some others will always be about old content that still continues to be relevant.

To make sure that your website comes on top in search results for both kinds of searches, it must contain both types of content. Recent news, updates, events, and developments in the field of medical and cosmetic dermatology should be regularly featured or updated on your website. Search engines determine the freshness of your content based on several parameters:

Date of Origin. Every web page on your dermatology website has a “freshness” quotient that is based on the date of its origin. This quotient typically diminishes with the passage of time. The date of origin can usually be when a search engine first recorded the existence of the document, such as when the search engine first indexed or found a link to it.

Quantum of Change. Freshness quotient of an old web page can still continue to be high if the document periodically undergoes substantive content changes. The extent of such changes will influence the freshness evaluation of the document. Mere cosmetic changes of a keyword or a line here or there will not have the same impact as real, significant changes to the main text, design, images, and other components of the web page.

Frequency of Change. The more frequently the content on your dermatology web pages undergoes a change, the higher will be its freshness quotient. This is where the news or blog sections are highly useful for a website, because these sections are likely to add fresh updates frequently, accounting for a high rate of change.

Addition of New Web Pages. Freshness of a domain is not evaluated on the basis of regular revisions of the existing web pages alone. Creation of completely new web pages and expansion of your dermatology website also help boost the freshness quotient of your site. The opportunity to add new content should be welcome, but without compromising the update of existing content.

Updating Critical Areas of the Site. Changes to the homepage and other important landing pages that receive the maximum visitor traffic are more valuable than changes to the rest of the pages. Similarly, within a web page more important content is the main body text, and not the navigation instructions or advertisements.

New Link Activity. If a web page on your dermatology site happens to receive many new links within a short period of time, the search engines are likely to view it as a signal of freshness. This kind of link activity usually hap- pens when a very current or relevant piece of content is added to a web page.

User Activity. If potential patients and other visitors to your dermatology website continue to add comments to the old content or link it to their social networks and other sites, the content will be deemed to be fresh. On the other hand, if visitors reach a particular web page and turn back without spending even a few seconds on it, the search engine may see it as old or stale content.

Old Can Still Be Gold. Google and other search engines fully understand that for certain websites, old content is still very relevant and evergreen. At the same time, new content is not necessarily better than the old content in all cases. The uniqueness and authoritativeness of your dermatology content can extend its life for as long as possible.

ENHANCE THE SEO VALUE OF YOUR SITE

In a highly complex and competitive Internet environment, it is critically important to use multi-pronged approaches that lead your website to the top of search engine page rankings. Here are a few tips that every dermatologist can use to improve the SEO value of his or her website:

Be extremely selective about your web content. Your dermatology website should include only very high quality information that is authoritative, current, and very relevant to your target audience. Make sure that the information is presented in an interesting manner, with the support of images, videos, and graphics. The more user-friendly and engaging the content is, the more the readers will like to engage and share it with others. This will boost the page rankings of your website over time.

Spread the word about your website on the Internet. Creating an excellent dermatology website with professional content and presentation is not enough by itself. You need to let the world know about your website and develop a cohesive online promotion strategy. Make sure your site managers or Internet marketing consultants submit the website to high quality and reputable web directories and reference websites. Top-rated blogs, forums, dermatology-specific expert domains, Yahoo!, Open Directory Project, and Wikipedia are some of the places that should ideally be linked to your website.

Use social media and other networking means. Leading social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube can help publicize your dermatology website and have a multiplier effect. These networks will even help boost the page rankings of your website on various search engines. In addition to online networking, make sure that your website name is published on all your official stationery, business cards, brochures, fax cover sheets, and letterheads. It should also be a part of the email signatures of everyone at your office.

With some amount of out-of-the-box thinking and the professional assistance of an Internet marketing company having sufficient experience in promoting dermatology websites, you can outperform your competitors in the field. Create a constant buzz, keep your website alive and kicking, and it will never lose its freshness, and will continue to occupy the prime rankings on all leading search engines.

Look for more content on DermTube.com. Search for “Ekwa.”

Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa.com. Ekwa Marketing is a complete Internet marketing company, which focuses on SEO, social media marketing, and the online reputations of dermatologists in the US, Canada, and the UK. Visit them online at www.ekwa.com/pd to receive special information just for Practical Dermatology readers!