Vivid Insights & Marketing
Many medical offices have no idea what SEO is, let alone that it’s something they need to start doing. Put simply, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an internet marketing practice that aims to improve a website’s visibility in search engines. SEO for medical practices, though, is imperative. That’s because people searching online often prefer a local provider over one in another city or state. If your office doesn’t appear on page one of their Google search results—or at all—they’ll likely head somewhere else. In other words: by not doing SEO, you could be losing out on new patients without even realizing it!
It’s not enough to have a website that offers everything your potential clients want; it’s also important that potential patients can find your site. Search engines are essential in any online marketing strategy, and medical practices are no exception. Fortunately, there are plenty of effective strategies medical practice owners can use to get found by their ideal customers on search engines. And given that many search engine users don’t click past page one of search results, it’s even more critical for medical businesses that their sites rank as high as possible on SERPs (search engine result pages). This post will cover some of the essential factors in determining how well a medical practice ranks on search engines and how practitioners can take actionable steps towards improving their site’s visibility.
If your website is not on Google’s first page, there’s a good chance that potential customers are missing out on your business. Although there are hundreds of ways to increase your site’s search ranking and make it more visible, there are a few basic strategies that every business should use. Each of these strategies will help your practice attract new patients. Check out the following strategies; we’ve got all of your bases covered when it comes to SEO for medical practices!
The first step in SEO is keyword research. As a medical practice, you want to optimize your site and content so that it ranks well in search engines when people look for terms related to your practice and specialty. You should do research on how many local searches there are per month for certain keywords and how hard it is to rank for them.
For example, if you are a drug rehab facility in Charlotte, NC, you might want to use the term “drug rehab Charlotte NC.” When you do keyword research you might find that “addiction recovery in Charlotte” might be a better term. Striking the balance between search volume and ranking difficulty is key to having an effective SEO strategy.
Your SEO title is what people see when they find your website in search results. Putting your keywords in the SEO title leads to higher rankings and gives customers a better idea of what the content will be about if they choose to click.
The slug is the part of your website URL that is specific to the page that is showing up. For example, if your web address is charlottedrugrehab.com and you have a page targeting the keyword “detox charlotte NC,” your web address should read charlottedrugrehab.com/detox-charlotte-nc. The ending part of the web address that specifies the page is the slug.
Just like your SEO title, the meta description is the description of your page that shows up in search results. It is under the SEO title and should also contain your keywords. If you can get them closer to the beginning that is even better. Meta descriptions are usually between 155-160 words so getting your keywords to fit naturally can be tough sometimes.
Your content should be separated by headings so the reader isn’t just looking at a page full of text that looks the same all the way down the page. Headers that explain the surrounding text allow viewers and search engines to get context on what the text is about. Since viewers tend to skim rather than read, headers also catch the viewer’s eye and they can take a closer look if they notice a topic they want to dive deeper into.
Once different headers separate your content, you can label them by the level of importance. Although all of the information on your page may be important, chances are some topics are more important than others. You also probably have content that further explains or supports broader ideas or thoughts. Your heading structure should look like a pyramid, with the main topic being at the very top, represented as H1. Next in line would be H2, and so on. H6 is the lowest you can go with your heading structure. Headers are not used to adjust the size or boldness of the text. Use them appropriately to organize content for SEO purposes and viewers as well.
Vivid Insights & Marketing has worked with many businesses in the healthcare industry including medical practices, to help boost their search engine rankings. We can help you drive new patients to your practice every day.
When you add images to your web pages, you have the option of giving them a name as well as adding alt text. Alt text is where you want to add your target keyword, so Google and other search engines can tell what the picture represents. SEO operates mostly off of text, so adding text to the image further adds to the optimization of your content. This particular strategy is a good one because a lot of other businesses will fail to do this. If you use an SEO tool to scan competitors’ websites, you will find that most of them will not have any alt text for their images. Doing the little things like taking the time to type a few extra words when selecting an image will go a long way in helping you outrank other medical practices in your area.
Optimizing your website by using keywords and structuring your content properly will help you rank higher than most of the medical practices you are competing against online. There is however another factor that plays a significant role in how highly your website ranks on search engines. Having a website that Google and other search engines can trust is vital because they don’t want to just put any website or business on their first page knowing people expect to find the most relevant information here.
The way search engines get a gauge of how much they can trust a website is through backlinks. Basically, when another website links to you, it tells the search engines that you must have some good information to share. If you didn’t, it wouldn’t make sense that someone else would cite your content or distribute it.
Your website will naturally bring in links from other sources over time from directories, or other businesses you are affiliated with. If you want to be more aggressive with your link-building strategy, you can hire a blogger outreach agency to help you get more links through guest posting. It is a bit expensive, but it will help you rank higher much faster. The combination of an optimized website and an active backlink-building strategy will be everything you need to eventually take your medical practice to the top of search results. SEO is a long-term process, but it pays off dearly in the end.
If you have any further questions about SEO for medical practices, we are happy to help! Additionally, if marketing your medical practice just seems like too much work and you would rather have someone take care of it for you, we have you covered. Feel free to give us a call or send us an email with any questions.
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