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While word of mouth is still the most effective ways to get new clients for your spa or massage practice, don’t overlook the importance online search plays. Many people still turn to search engines to find providers, and increasingly do so from their mobile devices. A study from the Local Search Association (LSA) found that 60% of US adults now typically choose smartphones or tablets over PCs to find information before buying products and services offline.

With search key to your new business efforts, you want to be sure that your website ranks high up on search engines, ideally on page one of results. Research conducted by Chitika Online Advertising Network a few years ago indicated that there is a significant drop in traffic between sites that appear on Page 1 of Google search versus Page 2. On an average search, Page 1 results get 92 percent of all traffic; traffic on Page 2 drops off by 95 percent.

Here are a number of steps you can take to boost your spa or massage practice website rankings on search:

  1. Identify keywords: Find out what key words or phrases (a keyword can be one word or a combination of two or three words) people use to find the type of services and retail products you offer. Are people searching for massage, therapeutic massage, aromatherapy massage and so forth and are they adding a locale to it, for example “therapeutic massage in San Diego.”  Online tools, some of which are free or offer a free trial and then have monthly pricing plans, will help you identify the most popular search terms related to your offerings. Among these tools are: Search Engine Visibility, Wordtracker or SEMrush.
  2. SEO optimize content: Once you identify the key words and phrases for your offerings, review your website content to make sure you use them throughout. While you don’t want to overstuff you content with key words and phrases, you’ll want to use them at least three times on a page but not more than five, especially if the page copy is short. Your copy should sound natural whatever you do. Using a keyword in two or three sentences in a role will not sound natural.
  3. Create Title Tags and Meta Descriptions: GoDaddy recommends that each of your pages contain a unique title.  An example is “Experienced massage therapist in sports medicine in San Diego.” The page displays in the browser’s title bar and in search engine listings. Keep the title short, less than 65 characters including spaces.
  4. Include Meta Description Tags: Meta Description Tags display your website’s link when it comes up in search. They should be less than 150 characters and briefly explain what services and products you offer to encourage someone to click on your link. You can find good examples of Meta Descriptions in “33 examples of great meta descriptions for search.”
  5. Increase backlinks: Use backlinks – incoming or inbound links – to pages on your site. Links from your social media sites, blog posts or content you have created and posted on other sites (guest blogs, online articles you’ve written, or links on partner sites) drive more visitors to your site. Search engines weigh the quantity, quality and relevance of backlinks in determining search results.
  6. Increase social likes and shares: Increasingly search engines are using ‘social signals’ to influence website ranking. Google and Bing use data from social sites in order to determine how high to rank your website, writes Neil Patel in “How Social Signals Impact Search Engine Rankings.” Search engines factor in how many tweets and retweets a URL has, the authority of the person tweeting the URL, the number of Facebook likes and shares a URL has and how many +1s a URL has.

Your website is a major component of your marketing. Take the necessary steps to come out on top of search engines.