This week I had the opportunity of hosting the first FREE Masterclass in a series of 3 that we are hosting. The next opportunity to learn from us is October 21! In this first masterclass, we chatted all about the shift with Google Search, my top recommendations and what you can do to make your online nutrition business a success.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s the method of finding a strategy that works for your website to get prioritized on Google Search. Ask yourself this: how many times times have you searched something on Google and scrolled on Page 4 of results?
No, because you normally only skim page one and then move about to your next search!
It’s important that once you have a website, you have a strategy in place to grow it ethically. You cannot blog about random things and expect your website to magically appear on page one of Google Search and in front of people you actually care about. There’s time, research and effort that must be done in order fir your website to grow. So, let’s dive into this topic as relation to how Google is operating as of August 2023.
Why SEO Matters to a Nutrition Business
Before diving into the tips, you know I like to give some background. Search engine optimization should be a high priority for your nutrition business because it’s a way for you to grow in the long-term. While yes, blogging will require a lot of time, effort and research in the beginning, blogposts can perform for years.
Blogging will increase your online visibility
When people are looking for information or services related to nutrition, they usually turn to search engines like Google. SEO helps your nutrition business appear higher in search engine results, increasing the likelihood that potential customers will find and visit your website.
Having a SEO strategy increases targeted traffic
As mentioned above, you need an SEO strategy to ensure your efforts aren’t wasted when it comes to blogging. Effective SEO strategies can attract highly relevant traffic to your website. This means that people who are actively searching for nutrition-related information, products, or services will be directed to your site. These are the individuals most likely to convert into customers, making your marketing efforts more efficient.
Credibility for your nutrition business
Websites that rank higher in search results are often perceived as more credible and trustworthy by users. If your nutrition business appears on the first page of search results, potential customers are more likely to view you as an authority in the field, which can positively impact their decision to engage with your services.
It’s a cost effective marketing tool
While SEO efforts might require an upfront investment, they can lead to long-term benefits. Unlike paid advertising, where you pay per click or impression, the traffic generated through SEO is organic and doesn’t incur direct costs for each visitor. This can make SEO a cost-effective marketing strategy in the long run.
Potential for local search optimization
We’ll talk more about this in a bit, but if your nutrition business has a physical location, local SEO is essential. Many people search for services near them, and Google’s algorithms prioritize showing local results for such queries. Optimizing for local SEO can help your nutrition business appear in the “Local Pack” of results, which is highly valuable for attracting nearby customers.
Understanding the Google Shift for Your Nutrition Business
In July 2023, Google made a big move from Universal Analytics to GA4. You can check out that blogpost for all the details, but here’s the rundown:
GA4 is an events-based measurement tool
Previously, Google was measuring your websites’ data via a sessions-based tool. Basically, if someone hopped on your website that counted as one user. Now that I look back, this really didn’t provide much insight now that GA4 is in the world. GA4 is events-based, so now when someone hops onto your website, they are counted as a user but also recorded for what they do. There are many events that are recorded in GA4 such as clicking, scrolling, engaging, or viewing.
Right before GA4 entered, Google’s algorithm “shifted” because of one thing
Insert: artificial intelligence. So, all the while that Google is prepping for a migration of its latest tool, it was also trying to understand how they wanted to prioritize artificially generated content.
Google and it’s Search Engine team were unsure how they wanted to move forward with ranking contents (or even differentiating contents) that were generated with AI technology. I mean, should a robot’s brain be seen more than a real human? Who knows! What we do know is that in March 2023, many of our dietitian websites were seeing a small but steady decline in analytics.
Many SEO tools like SEMrush or Ubersuggest also saw a high volatility at the same time – essentially, our clients were ranking for new keywords and not being seen for keywords they were ranking high on previously. It was truthfully such a weird time!
SEO Tips for Your Nutrition Business
With the Google Shift now being behind us, we can now focus on the actionable things we can do to improve your SEO strategy for your online nutrition business. These are all suggestions that we as a design agency for dietitians have researched and found worked for our current SEO management clients.
Understanding user intent for your ideal audience
It’s recommended that even more emphasis be placed on researching your user’s intent on Google Search. With that in mind, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Research their queries. Queries is just another techy term for “questions”. What types of questions is your ideal audience asking to get your website to appear? For dietitians, this normally leads to informative-type blogposts that answer common healthcare questions such as:
- Best foods for healing gut health
- Natural ways to balance your cortisol levels
- Healthy dinner recipes for PCOS
- Ways to regulate your hormones
Ensure your website passes Core Web Vitals Assessment
The Core Web Vitals Assessment has been around for ages. As of late, Google is prioritizing websites that actually pass this assessment in Google Search. Normally, if you’ve hired a professional designer or developer, your website will pass this assessment. This assessment gives you insight on the more technical pieces of your website such as load time, accessibility and interactivity – all things very important to a thriving website.
- To test your website, navigate to https://pagespeed.web.dev/ and enter your website’s URL
- Await and review your results for both mobile and desktop
- Take those results to your designer and/or developer to fix issues as soon as possible
There is something very important to know about the Core Web Vitals Assessment. We’ve found that many Squarespace websites do not pass this assessment. After reaching out to the Squarespace development team, we’ve learned that this is due to the make up of the Squarespace platform. Talk to Squarespace to receive steps on how to accurately test your website speed.
Local SEO for your nutrition business
As we mentioned above, local SEO can help your website appear if you have a physical location or address. But, you don’t necessarily have to have a physical address for local SEO to work for you – consider tagging a geographical location such as North Carolina, and that could be helpful! Here’s where to start:
- Google My Business: Start optimizing your Google My Business account to provide accurate information such as your:
- General location, such as city and state
- High quality reviews
- Nested services pages: If local SEO is on your radar, we would highly recommend breaking up your services into nested pages. For example, consider having a services splash page that details the different offerings you have. Then, have each of your offerings link to a hidden sub-page that has local SEO keywords sprinkled throughout: such as Eating Disorder Nutrition in NYC for a 1:1 Nutrition Counseling page.
Consider listing your nutrition business via directories
Many of our clients are listed on HealthProfs.com. This is an amazing way to get your name out on the internet and introduce backlinks to your website. However, it’s a smart idea to list yourself in order to benefit your SEO strategy. Consider listing your name, credentials, phone number, address and/or website so that when someone searches your name your Google My Business profile and website will appear on Google Search.
Establish your expertise in your content strategy
As for any health professional, conveying your expertise is one of the most important things you can do in your career. For dietitians, this means explaining to your audience how you differ from a nutritionist or wellness coach. Although you may know, never consider your audience does.
Often our clients choose to include this verbiage in a “Frequently Asked Questions” page or by listing out their credentials on their about page. It’s also important to incorporate your expertise in your content strategy by:
- Providing a valuable free resource. So valuable, it should be paid! Yes, you heard me right. Lately I feel that everyone is caught up in making money off of anything but I think that your free resources are a time to provide really great content that shows your knowledge without someone having to pay a penny. That way, they’re really going to know that your paid offerings will be even more knowledge.
- Consistently posting on socials to link to your blog.
- Guest blogging
- Ask to collaborate with reputable brands (like PracticeBetter)
SEO Strategies Are Essential for Your Nutrition Business
Now that you are aware of the Google Shift, know that it’s okay if your dietitian website is seeing a decline in analytics. It’s not too late to take advantage of your SEO strategy. We’ve made a free resource just to help you!
SEO Checklist for Your Nutrition Business
This checklist is an in-depth guide to kickstart your SEO strategy for your nutrition business. It’s interactive so you can literally “check” things off as you go! We highly recommend this to all businesses!