Before you can begin attracting patients to your medical practice, you must ensure they can find you online. People often perform plenty of research online before turning to any business, and this is especially the case for medical practices. Prospective patients want to know they can trust you and that you’re worth turning to for care and treatment.
In today’s highly competitive market, you need to implement good search engine optimization (SEO) to rise above competing practices in your area. This entails using various best practices to appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) when people look for practices in their area.
If you’re not sure which direction to go in with your healthcare SEO strategy, here are some strategies you can implement in your industry.
Look into Relevant Keywords to Target
SEO is no longer about keyword stuffing, which entailed simply inserting as many keywords as possible into content to help it rank. It used to work in the early days of SEO, but now search engines like Google value quality over quantity. At the same time, keywords are still important to target to enrich your content to some extent.
You can use various tools to help with keyword research, including Google’s Keyword Planner tool. With the help of these tools, you can begin looking for medical keywords revolving around your specific services. Look for keywords that have a high search volume, but don’t hesitate to target keywords with a lower search volume and less competition, either, as these can be some of the most valuable to pursue if people are still searching for them. Also, you’ll want to prioritize long-tail keywords that are at least three words long, seeing as these have more specific search intent and are less difficult to target.
You can then geo-target valuable keywords based on your practice’s location. For example, if your practice offers annual checkups in a particular city, you might want to go after a keyword like “annual checkup in [city].”
When integrating these keywords into your content, make sure all instances sound natural. They should blend in with your content and not come across as spammy, or search engines may penalize your company’s website.
Optimize for On-Site SEO
When optimizing your website for SEO, you’ll want to use both on- and off-site SEO best practices.
On-site SEO refers to the content, images, and code that go into your website. Some examples of on-site SEO tasks could include:
- Writing relevant title tags for each page, which appear as the clickable page titles in search engine results
- Writing meta descriptions that describe each page within 160 characters or fewer
- Ensuring the website is mobile-responsive and appears the same to users across all devices and browsers
- Optimizing site loading speeds, which should be between zero and two seconds
- Including hyperlinks within your text to relevant and high-quality internal and external links
- Including subheaders to break up the content, including H1s and H2s that use target keywords naturally
- Using meta tags that use Schema markup to indicate to search engines what your content is about
- Creating XML sitemaps that indicate your website’s structure to search engines while helping visitors navigate your website
- Making any necessary updates to old and outdated content along with non-functioning elements such as broken links
Optimize for Off-Site SEO
In addition to on-site SEO, you’ll want to use off-site SEO that further lifts your website. There are many strategies you can use off-site to improve your website’s SEO performance. Some examples include:
- Writing blog posts and articles on a separate blog that form a collective knowledge center for potential patients
- Press releases that let experts and journalists in your industry know about notable events, including accolades and new services
- Listing your practice in various directories to help people find you and keep location and contact information consistent on the web
- Posting on social media channels that connect with audiences more directly, driving more traffic and general engagement
- Writing guest posts for online industry publications that further build authority and include backlinks to your website
Keep in mind that backlinks are particularly critical for off-site SEO campaigns. Having a large number of links leading back to your website from all over the web can help increase rankings. However, those links should be on authoritative websites in legitimate formats. Include links in guest posts and with the permission of site owners—you can no longer get away with links in spam comments or on equally spammy websites. In short, like most things about SEO today, it’s about a mix of quality and quantity.
Create High-Quality Content
Speaking of a combination of quality and quantity, superior content is critical for good SEO. Make sure your website has plenty of relevant and helpful web pages that keep prospective patients engaged.
Content could include extensive service pages that educate and inform potential patients while showcasing your expertise. These pages could then lead to contact pages where people could schedule an appointment at your offices.
Your website may also include details about your practice and staff, which can also connect with visitors to your site and build trust among prospects.
Additionally, maintain a blog attached to your site that provides plenty of information about various conditions that you can help treat along with the services you offer. Answering all relevant questions that patients may have could build a library of content that includes many natural keyword instances and valuable information that attracts and engages new patients.
Get Help With Your Healthcare SEO from Experienced Professionals
These are some of the basics to keep in mind when optimizing for healthcare SEO. If you’re new to SEO and need some guidance for your campaigns, you may benefit from working with an SEO consulting company with experience in the healthcare industry. Combined with paid advertising and other campaigns, solid SEO will enable your practice to thrive.
At Kore Media, we’ve worked with many types of medical practices to help them dominate search engines with high-performance SEO strategies. If you would like to find out what we can do for your campaigns, reach out to us today to discuss your next project with us.