SEO (search engine optimization) is a valuable tool for any business with an online presence, allowing them to thrive even in fiercely competitive industries like healthcare. To boost your patient base, we’ve compiled the top 10 SEO steps for effective SEO for healthcare providers.
What Is Healthcare SEO?
Medical SEO is the practice that optimizes a healthcare facility’s online presence to attract more visitors and attention from search engine users. Search engines can rank your site higher if you tweak factors on your website and encourage positive online mentions. A medical SEO strategy will attract relevant leads to most healthcare practices. Are you completely new to SEO? This beginner’s guide is for you.
What Makes Medical Search Marketing Unique?
SEO can be beneficial to most businesses, but the path to increased search traffic will vary for each business, especially in the healthcare sector.
Search engine traffic is advantageous for various health services, including doctors, medical recruiters, equipment providers, software developers, and pharmacies.
An SEO strategy that works well for medical equipment sites may not be suitable for a family physician due to the diverse nature of the healthcare industry, which caters to both B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) audiences.
A hospital’s marketing department will require a different SEO strategy compared to an e-commerce website that specializes in selling hospital equipment.
Why Is SEO Important in the Healthcare Industry?
Positive online reviews are a major advantage that SEO can bring to healthcare businesses.
Software Advice survey explains the reasons:
- 71% of respondents first look at online reviews before choosing a doctor.
- Only 20% of respondents say they trust online reviews more than personal recommendations.
- 43% of respondents said they would choose a provider outside the network if it had better ratings than an in-network one.
Excellent healthcare SEO can translate to:
- Increased sales, leads, and new patients
- Trust in your practice is built by helping patients find important information.
- Ads are cheaper than competing with large healthcare companies
- Keep your patients and the medical industry in mind
How to Achieve Successful SEO Results in Your Healthcare Business
Step 1: Review Using Social Media and a Google Business Profile
Search engines and potential clients can trust your business if you have reviews on social media and your Google Business Profile. All of these listings are accompanied by a large number of reviews.
There are many ways to encourage patients to give honest reviews. Stickers, a sign, or a follow-up email or text are all effective methods to encourage honest reviews from patients.
You want to make it easy for your clients or customers to leave reviews and capitalize on the opportunity when they are most engaged.
Here is an example of a review request template that we have created for our blog about getting Google Reviews.
Subject: Wee Favor
How are you doing?
Let’s chat for a moment.
It will only take you a few moments to do me a small favor.
Would you mind reviewing my company on Google? Here’s how you can do it:
- Google “XXXinsert the company name here XXXX”.
- Click the “Write a Review” button on your screen.
- Sign in to your Google Account
It takes only two minutes to set one up. You only need an email (it doesn’t have to be Gmail).
Just press “post” to submit your review.
Gratefully yours (for considering your request),
P.S. Let’s chat here XXXX
You can reach out to your patients who have visited you multiple times or whom you are aware have had a good experience.
Step 2: Create Helpful Content Based on Keywords
Search traffic is impossible without content. Content creation will be an essential part of your SEO strategy.
What do you do when your website is complete?
Start by focusing on the most important pages in your navigation.
Here is an example of what a healthcare website might look like:
- Serviced areas
- What we do
- Contact Information
You should still prioritize ranking your most important pages for the keywords you want to target while ensuring that visitors find the information they are seeking.
A keyword can refer to any term that someone enters into a search engine. For example, a healthcare keyword could be “Primary Care Near Me.”
The number of keywords you rank for and the amount of traffic your site receives from these keywords is one way to measure SEO success.
As part of your strategy, it is essential to have a list of keywords that you have identified through keyword research. These target keywords should encompass anything that people search for online about your field of expertise.
It is also worth examining the content of your top competitors to discover which keywords could be beneficial for you.
To attract web traffic, your site should have content that goes beyond the main pages. A healthcare blog can enhance your site’s visibility in search engines and provide value to potential patients.
If you’re struggling to come up with blog topics, consider using the Topic Research Tool in SEMrush. Simply enter a keyword to discover potential topics, and click on “view content ideas” when the suggestions are ready.
This list can be sorted by volume, difficulty, and Topic Efficiency, allowing you to prioritize topics based on your needs.
Now it’s time for you to start writing!
When creating healthcare content, it’s important to ensure that it adds value to users’ lives rather than being created solely for ranking. Search engines are designed to deliver the best possible answer to users’ questions. In the medical field, “best” means providing accurate solutions that have been approved by authoritative sources.
Step 3: Optimize Your HTML Tags
Use HTML tags to structure the technical and visual elements of your website. This will assist both search engines and users in comprehending the content of your site.
Below is an example of how text on a website will appear with a specific font style.
When adding content, ensure that your Content Management System (WordPress, Wix, Magento, etc.) enables you to include headings and titles. The code for these elements is added to your website behind the scenes.
Additionally, make use of keywords in other tags, such as:
- Title Tags
- Meta Description Tags
- Alt Tags
Ensure that your main keyword is included in the title tag and meta description. However, avoid stuffing keywords into inappropriate places. The language used in your content should be natural and flowing. Incorporate different variations of keywords to enhance the readability and comprehensibility of your content.
Step 4: Link Your Websites
Imagine your website as a network of roads. The roads that are connected to highways will likely receive more traffic. Similarly, smaller roads that are linked to the highway will benefit from the increased traffic. In the context of your website, a highly trafficked page can also drive more visitors to your deeper pages.
By creating links between a popular page and other relevant pages, you can effectively direct more traffic to those pages. This approach also contributes to the search engine optimization of the linked pages.
Internal links serve the purpose of connecting various pages within your website.
However, it is not advisable to indiscriminately link all pages to the page with the highest traffic. Instead, you can utilize landing pages to strategically link to other pages.
Step 5: Create Listings for Local SEO
Local SEO is a process that optimizes your on-page, off-page, and overall SEO to achieve a higher ranking for local searches.
Ranking for location-based keywords can be beneficial for telehealth medical practitioners. However, facilities with a physical address can gain even more advantages.
If you own a physical location for your business, you can implement local listing management plans to improve your ranking.
Your website should include the following information: your name, address, and phone number. This information can be listed in local directories such as Yelp and Zocdoc.
Google is hesitant to enhance your local search listing if your business information differs in each online directory. This caution arises because inconsistent information may not be considered reliable.
So, what should you do now?
You should update your business’s name, address, and phone number to ensure consistency across the internet. This is a simple and proven method to improve your local SEO.
Step 6: Check the Technical Health of Your Site
The technical health of your website can significantly impact its SEO. Sometimes, you may not be aware that there are issues with your website’s code.
Technical site issues often result in poor on-site experiences for users.
If your website is slow or difficult to use, potential patients will leave, leading to negative impacts on rankings.
You can identify issues that make your website hard to use by assessing its overall health. There are numerous tools available to assist site owners in this process.
Ensure that your website is indexed in Google Search Console. If your site is not indexed, your content won’t rank. Click the “Start Now” button to set it up if you haven’t already done so.
You can learn how to install Google Search Console on your site, but it might be better to leave this task to a web developer. Once installed, you will have access to the Core Web Vitals of your website.
Core Web Vitals encompass a set of metrics that measure factors like load time on your website.
To access the Core Web Vitals, scroll down to the “Experience” section and click on “Core Web Vitals.” This will direct you to two reports that provide a comprehensive overview of your website’s technical health. The reports will present a list of every page on your site that can be improved.
While the tool won’t guide how to fix the issues, a site auditing tool can offer useful advice if you don’t have a web developer available.
Fixing technical issues can be challenging, and this is just one method to improve your site’s health. In this detailed guide, you will learn how to enhance your site’s SEO by conducting an audit.
Step 7: Improve UX Through Site Architecture
The User Experience (UX) can play a significant role in influencing whether a patient chooses to book an appointment on your website or decides to visit your competitor.
One of the most effective ways to create a positive user experience is through your site’s architecture.
Site architecture refers to the organization of folders and pages on your website. Poor site architecture can result in visitors getting lost and struggling to find the information they need.
A clean site architecture ensures easy navigation to your most important pages. It means that all your pages should be easily accessible, and there should be no more than three subfolders.
Step 8: Create Backlinks
We have previously mentioned that reviews serve as a vote from the patient. Similarly, backlinks are also crucial.
Backlinks, also known as external links, connect one website to another. Websites utilize backlinks to guide readers toward visiting another website.
Medical practitioners are regarded as authorities in their respective fields of study. Content such as new medical research or observations is highly likely to receive backlinks.
Step 9: Add Schema to Healthcare Business Details
The schema is a syntax that you can add to the theme of your website to enhance its appearance in search results by providing additional information.
Below is a list that showcases the various ways healthcare professionals can utilize structured data on their websites.
Here are some of the details you can include in your schema to make them appear on Google:
- Medical specialization
- Medical procedures
- Medical tests
- Accepted networks for insurance/health plans
- Phone number
This step is specifically for tech-savvy individuals, as it requires making changes to the code of your website.
If you have the option, can you trust a web designer to handle this task for you?
Alternatively, you can choose to save this step for a later date.
If you feel up to the challenge, you can also implement it yourself by following this guide.
Step 10: Monitor Your Results and Maintain Growth
Monitoring your results is the only way to determine whether your SEO efforts have been successful. Google Analytics and position tracking tools can assist you in achieving this.
Google Analytics & Call Tracking Tool
Analytics allows you to track your campaigns by integrating with call-tracking tools. Software such as Call Tracking Metrics enables the tracking of text messages and phone calls using dynamic numbers.
If you wish to set up CTM (Call Tracking Metrics) with your Google Analytics account, you can follow their guide for assistance.
You Can Track Your Position With a Position Tracking Tool
Utilize a position-tracking tool to monitor the rankings of your keywords. By using a position tracking tool, you can ensure that your pages are appropriately ranked for the relevant keywords and occupying the top positions.
SEO Is a Commitment
SEO is a continuous process, and the effort invested in it is valuable in the long run. Developing a comprehensive marketing strategy may take six to twelve months, but the wait is worthwhile.
In highly competitive industries like healthcare, it is essential to go above and beyond to surpass your competitors. Relying solely on paid advertisements or word-of-mouth is not sufficient.
Follow these ten steps to achieve organic growth and ensure the long-term sustainability of your business.
Boost Your Medical Site’s Online Visibility with LUX Digital Marketing
Supercharge your medical site’s online presence and attract a wider audience with LUX Digital Marketing. Our expert team specializes in enhancing the visibility of medical websites, helping you reach more patients and expand your online reach.
With our white hat strategies and tailored approaches, we’ll ensure your website stands out in the competitive digital landscape. Experience increased traffic, improved search engine rankings, and enhanced brand recognition with LUX Digital Marketing.
Let us transform your online visibility and drive your medical practice to new heights.
Services We Offer:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Web Design
- Google Maps Marketing
- Most importantly, ranking you number 1 on Google!