Our latest SEO webinar for healthcare marketers provided some insights into what your SEO strategy should look like for 2015 and beyond. We had many great questions during the presentation and just didn’t have the time to get to all of them. Because of that, I wanted to follow up and answer them here.
Is Schema.org markup really worth my time to implement and manage?
I think it certainly is. We’re seeing many new implementations of this technology, especially from Google. Your search results can become more detailed and rich when you use Schema.org markup correctly, which should help increase the amount of searchers that click your results. Even if you don’t see embellished search results, there’s benefit in helping Google understand what your content is about. This helps it deliver more accurate results for related queries.
Additionally, we’ve seen evidence that Google may be valuing content deemed “factually accurate” in the future. If this comes to fruition, helping Google obtain an accurate semantic understanding of your content will be critical. And Schema.org semantic markup is one way to assist it.
Helping search engines understand your content via Schema.org markup is becoming increasingly important for a variety of reasons beyond rich snippets and gross traffic.
I’m thinking of changing domain names for my organization. Is this a bad idea?
It’s not necessarily a bad idea, but you should understand the consequences. Google identifies your website via your domain in the same way your friends identify you by your given name. And starting over with a new domain name is a lot like starting over with a new name for yourself: any reputation you’ve earned under your former name you’ll have to earn back under your new name.
With that said, there are many reasons why a domain name change may be right for your organization. If you’re anticipating this type of change, plan ahead and follow established processes for mitigating negative consequences. There are specific steps you will need to take, and processes to follow in order to ensure the change goes as smoothly as possible. Google’s change of address tool is a great place to start. A qualified SEO expert well versed in technical SEO is also a must.
Is duplicate content still an issue with SEO?
Duplicate content is a confusing topic. In short, yes, duplicating content from other websites and calling it your own is a bad strategy. But not every duplicate line is a problem. We often see questions and confusion around the periphery of this topic. For example, Google’s not necessarily targeting websites if they have just a few pages or paragraphs in common with content found elsewhere. The same is true for dynamic content, search results pages and other types of incidental content that may be repeated on multiple pages across your site and across the Web.
If you suspect your site is experiencing duplicate content penalties/issues, the first thing you should do is check your Google Webmaster Tools account for penalty notifications. Just remember, no notifications in Webmaster Tools does not guarantee that you aren’t suffering from an algorithmic penalty. If you suspect something is affecting your organic search performance, but don’t have a clear indication of what, qualified SEO professionals should be able to help you sort through it.
If you’re tasked with keeping current and managing SEO for your organization, you may be interested in our upcoming SEO Clinic. This 8-week, online course focuses on building a strategy for your organization’s SEO. It’s for healthcare marketers only, and includes one-on-one coaching as part of the course. Learn more and sign up today!