In this modern day, most patients use the internet to look for the most suitable medical products and services in the market depending on their needs. Hence, it’s no longer an option for medical practitioners to create websites, it’s necessary – to be found by potential patients. However, websites are only the foundation of establishing an online presence. The real key to be found is through medical SEO. But what exactly is SEO? And why it is important in your medical practice?
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, is a practice of optimizing website’s ranking in search engines’ organic search results. Medical business today is increasingly competitive. Patients have more choices, with access to the internet, they can easily change doctors depending on their research. Potential patients able to make a smart decision by searching and reading reviews online on the best doctors, dentists, and any other medical practitioners. Majority of these people don’t want to scroll multiple pages of search engine results. Hence, it’s important that your website will show up at the top of the search engine’s results. By utilizing effective medical SEO, you can increase your rank on organic search results in major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Best Medical SEO Practices
While it’s not the trendiest form of digital marketing as compared to social media and paid advertising, medical SEO is essential to achieve better and sustainable results. Here are some proven SEO practices that can help increase your medical practice’s online presence.
- Transform your medical website into a fast, secure, and mobile-friendly. These are important ranking factors considered by Google. If your website loads slowly, visitors will surely hit the back button and look for another source. Also, secure your website by installing SSL. Google prefers to rank high websites with URL starts at “HTTPS://”. Lastly, make your website responsive to any device, especially mobile phones. People are using mobile devices when browsing the internet more often than desktop or laptop.
- Publish high-quality healthcare information in your website. The reason why people are using the internet is that they want fast and reliable information. It’s important to post relevant content in your website that answers potential patient’s wants and needs. Note that your website is primarily for patients who need help and not for search engines. Don’t deceive your readers, avoid auto-generated content.
- Optimize your websites’ title tags and meta descriptions. Maybe you’ve heard about on-page SEO? It’s one of the medical SEO practices to include your target keyword in both title tag and meta description. By doing this, it makes your medical website more user-friendly and relevant to the search query. Not only it makes your site more visually appealing, but it helps boost traffic that increases ranking in organic search.
- Include images and videos in your content. Another key factor to improve the quality of your content is through images and videos. Websites with videos are likely to appear on top of search results as compared to just plain text. Not to mention that patients are more inclined to watch images and videos than reading long articles.
- Build quality links off-site. Do you know that search engines seriously considered off-page SEO like social media marketing and link building? Having quality links back to your website is one of Google’s ranking factors. This is an indicator that your website is trustworthy and reliable. Having a strong off-page SEO strategy not only increases website ranking but also attracts potential patients through social media sharing and blog reference.
- Don’t underestimate local searches. Medical practice is likely to be limited within your local community. Hence, it’s necessary to optimize your website based on local searches. When putting up your website, ensure to include your city or region in your title or description. For example, if you are a medical practitioner who is an expert on heart and blood vessel based in New York – try to include keyword such as “Cardiologist New York”.
- Choose the right and competitive medical keywords. When creating content, always determine what keywords will be most effective in driving potential patients to your website. Don’t forget to consider the competition. Choose keywords that you can easily rank at the top of Google’s search results. Avoid the keywords owned by international businesses. As mentioned, try to focus on local searches to limit your competition.
Now that you have an idea of what are the recommended medical SEO practices, what will be your next steps? Do you think you can do all this alone?
Connect with Medical SEO Practitioner
As medical practitioners, it’s understandable that you don’t have enough time in the field of SEO. Your focus is to take care of your patient’s health and needs. Thankfully, SEO professionals are available in the market, always ready to help medical practitioners improve their online presence and keeping up with the latest trend on medical SEO. Let the SEO experts do the research, create relevant content, and optimize your website to rank high in organic searches. Some medical SEO practitioner offers free technical SEO audit. Meaning, they will examine your website’s technical aspect such as page design, URL structure, mobile friendliness, and more. After analyzing, they will provide recommendations on what areas of your website to improve on.
However, finding an effective SEO consultant that suits your budget and need is quite tedious and tricky. It’s advisable that you know at least the foundation of SEO and understands the impact that could potentially affect your business either favorable or unfavorable. Before you hire SEO consultant, you need to:
- Define your SEO goals, purpose, and expectation. Once you have your business goals, it’s easy to identify what type of SEO service you need to grow your medical practice.
- Set your budget depending on your business objective. Be practical but be careful in choosing SEO package deals at incredibly low prices. Always remember, what you pay is what you get.
- Read reviews and ask advice from a group of a professional network. If possible, participate in online forums and podcast.