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The rules of search engine optimization (SEO) have been changing rapidly over the last few years. Dermatology practices that have managed to keep pace and adapt their SEO strategies stand to achieve the most in terms of search engine rankings. It is important to think and plan several steps in advance to stay ahead of the competition in local search results for your dermatology practice.

Google, Bing, and other search engines are constantly working toward their ultimate goal of discovering the best and most effective web pages in their search results while answering the search queries of readers. Your SEO goal must be to be chosen among those favored top few web pages in your local search results related to dermatology.


Ask yourself some pointed questions to determine if your SEO strategy needs to be improved or altered:

  • In comparison to my local competitors, is my current SEO strategy fetching me better search rankings for a variety of important local keywords?
  • Should I continue with my existing SEO practices, or do I see a need for upgrading to a newer level to come on top in search results?
  • What will I need to do in order to drive more targeted traffic to my website in 2015?
  • Is it time to consider investing a committed amount of time and money towards my SEO requirements, and build a stronger online marketing strategy for my practice?


To develop a sustainable and successful SEO strategy, in most cases, it makes good business sense to hire professional SEO expertise. The first question to address would be whether to hire an in-house SEO consultant or to outsource the services to an established SEO firm. In most cases, the twin tasks of SEO and social media marketing must go hand in hand because they are interrelated.

If you have a local dermatology practice with one or two offices, it might make a better business proposition to outsource SEO services to a professional SEO firm with proven credentials and experience in managing SEO and online marketing strategies for dermatologists. Choosing the right firm is a sensitive task, because your online reputation and credibility with search engines can depend, in large part, on how the marketing firm handles the online promotion of your practice targeted at local people in the area where your practice is located.

You must carefully evaluate the testimonials, endorsements and what other dermatologists are saying about their experience with the marketing firm; a final decision should not be taken in haste. In digital marketing, it is easy to do more harm than good if you join hands with a marketer with little experience in dermatology marketing.

On the other hand, if you partner with a truly talented SEO firm that is committed to following the best SEO and social media practices, and has a substantial track record of success with dermatologists, it holds the potential to take your practice to an entirely new level of success within a reasonable time period.


Many professionals and entrepreneurs make the cardinal mistake of looking for ways to achieve instant gratification for their business through SEO. In some cases, the SEO expert may be looking only at short-term goals and may suggest strategies to manipulate the search engines to achieve high page rankings for a brief period of time. Such an approach is bound to backfire and lead to long-term challenges in exchange for very short-lived gains.

Particularly, with the sweeping changes in the search algorithms introduced by Google over the last two years, SEO can no longer be an overnight success story. It is an investment that will take time to bear fruit, and if done well, it will continue to bear fruit for a long time to come. Experienced SEO firms realize the importance of fair and genuine search engine optimization strategies, which have now become the norm, and guide their clients in the right direction for sustainable results.


Content quality will continue to dominate your SEO strategy through 2015 and beyond. Google and other search engines have ramped up their search algorithms aggressively to identify websites that are highly focused and committed to delivering fresh, innovative, original, relevant, and interesting content and presenting it in a reader-friendly manner. However, the use of local keywords continues to hold importance, because the search engine crawlers still rely on keywords in order to identify relevant content.

The SEO team must research for localized and targeted keywords, build dynamic and constantly upgradable keyword lists for each web page, and use them appropriately. Keywords should be used in the body of the content, the headers, and in meta tags, and folder and file names. Each page must have a unique title along with one keyword-rich tag to serve as the headline of the page. Organic link building, online public relations activity, and effective social media engagement also constitute important elements of SEO in the year ahead.

While embarking upon a serious search engine optimization exercise for your practice, it is also important to be aware of the potential SEO penalties that Google and other search engines may impose for faulty or unfair SEO practices. If an incompetent SEO consultant has caused damage to search rankings already, it is possible to do damage control and reverse the mistakes and rebuild a healthy SEO structure and strategy for your website.

Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete Internet marketing company which focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education and the online reputations of Dermatologists. With a team of 130+ full time marketers, helps doctors who know where they want to go, get there by dominating their market and growing their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call Naren direct at 877-249-9666.

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