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Top 8 SEO Tactics to Help Your Medical Practice Top the Search Results
Most of the marketers have a misconception that only content with targeted keywords will help them gain organic visibility in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). However, search engines are now smarter than they used to be. Thanks to Google’s algorithms that keeps on updating now and then. Hence, publishing content is not enough to strengthen your online presence. You need to start optimizing your website to rank high in the search results.
Getting the desired position in the SEO rankings is even more challenging in the competitive and ever-growing landscape of the healthcare industry. With health consumers becoming more conscious about their well-being, the urgency to appear on the 1st page of the search results has increased manifold as most of these consumers indulge in thorough research before investing in any healthcare service and are unlikely to move to the next page. Hence, the importance of bringing your medical practice to the top positions of the first page to improve your website’s visibility and reach to prospective patients is undeniable.
Here are eight of the best SEO tactics that can serve as your powerful weapon to forge success for your healthcare business in the digital world.
Identify the Right Keywords
Keywords in the SEO space refers to the targeted words and phrases that help Google conclude what your website is about and at the same time help searchers locate your online presence. Optimizing your content based on the words your prospective customers are searching for in the search engine increases your site’s visibility in SERP. Hence, before going ahead with your content strategy, you need to first research and list down the keywords related to your specialty that people are looking for while making a purchase.
For instance, if you are a ‘psychologist in Queens ’and would want your practice to show up in the search results when patients search for that specific keyword, then you need to optimize your site by creating content based on keywords that are relevant to your business.
Suggestion: You can either take help from professional experts to research on keywords or can do it yourself by using tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, Moz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool, HubSpot’s Keyword Tool, etc.
Publish Engaging Content
Quality content is the key to a successful SEO strategy. From building links to ranking high in the search engine, content is the principal tool of marketers. Offering unique, well-written and informative content that showcases your expertise and knowledge in the field your healthcare business specializes, is likely to draw more attention and increased traffic to your website which eventually will fortify your presence in the search results.
Engaging content revolving around matching keywords will give excellent support to your SEO strategy. Don’t forget that your audience mainly comprises patients and healthcare professionals who just cannot be fed with any content. Keep your webpage updated with relevant content regularly. Start publishing different types of content such as blogs, infographics, whitepapers, articles, videos, and more on healthcare related and your product related topics to make your site interesting for patients to go through and obtain some valuable information from it.
Suggestion: Do more blogging as it is one of the most effective ways to get recognized.
Local Search Optimization
Customers coming across your site while searching for the product you offer may also look for your local presence. If a patient types ‘physician in Georgia’, Google will display all the medical practices operating in that particular area. To make your way to the local listing page, you need to use the local SEO terms searched by people of your region in your website content, meta tags, and title.
Before drawing the attention of health customers from other regions, you first need to bring your practice into the notice of the people living in the area you have put up your local business. As a healthcare provider, you need to optimize your on-site and off-site SEO strategies because search engine rankings directly influence in-store traffic.
Suggestion: Use ‘Google My Business’ to create and manage business listings where you can create a page including information such as physical address of medical practice, phone numbers, working hours, and services to help patients find you.
Get Inbound Backlinks from Trusted Sources
Inbound backlinks are one of the determining factors that are taken into consideration by search engines while judging website domain authority. The higher the authority, the better are the chances of your practice to rank high for the targeted keywords. Inbound links are nothing but the hyperlinks you have on a third-party web page that redirects to a web page on your site. More than the number of links, what is important is its relevance to your healthcare website. Quality backlinks originated from trusted sites are given value by a search engine while ranking your site.
Suggestion: To keep a track on the number of inbound links, you can use Google’s Webmaster tool at free of cost.
Create Relevant Meta Descriptions and Title Tags
Metadata of your practice website comprise a title, description, and tags. The title tags are used to tell the search engine what all is your site about acting as the title of the web page that appears in blue in the search results. Including relevant keywords will help your brand get noticed by the search engine.
Meta descriptions are written to describe the content of the page and work as an answer to the questions typed by the searcher on the browser. Using the right keyword in the description will improve your visibility in the search engine.
Suggestion: To create unique and meaningful descriptions, you can take help from professional content writers who can make the job easier for you.
Be More Active on Social Media
Social media channels are a great medium to promote your products, expand reach, and create awareness. They also act as a great search engine. For instance, many patients turn to YouTube to watch case studies, physician interview, medical procedure, and other healthcare related information for gaining better insight into the industry. Hence, SEO specialists can leverage social media platforms that align well with their business objectives. You can include Twitter feeds or YouTube video on your website to attract more visitors and influence their call-to-action. Content published on social media can give useful back-links to your site.
Suggestion: Create your brand profile on all social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. and be active regularly, share informative content, follow influencers, like and comment on other’s posts, and be responsive to queries.
Have Mobile-friendly and Responsive Website Design
According to Statista, mobile traffic has a significant share of internet usage as compared to desktop traffic which means that the usage of mobile for browsing, checking emails, and navigating social sites is on the rise. Hence, it becomes necessary for you to make sure that the design of your medical practice website is not only responsive but also mobile-friendly, letting patients access it from anywhere using their device.
Mobile-friendliness is one of the leading factors based on which Google determines what will be your site’s ranking in the mobile search results. Therefore, if you miss out on that, then you are likely to lose organic traffic.
Suggestion: Use the open source publishing technology known as AMP launched by Google to improve the performance of the mobile web.
Ask Patients to Give Online Reviews
Before finalizing the service provider, customers do intensive research on their part to judge the quality of the service. Similarly, patients too in today’s time indulge in online reviews to know what other patients think about a particular medical practice. Hence, you can ask your existing patients to give positive reviews to increase the trust and reliability factor of your service. Don’t hesitate to ask patients review your practice. They would be happy to share one.
Suggestion: You can create and post a chart in your office with detailed instructions on where and how patients can review your service. Send them newsletter asking them to review your practice on Healthgrades, Yelp, Yellowpages, Google, and other valuable popular review sites for healthcare professionals. Also, mention clear call-to-action option on your site to encourage health customers to share their experience.
The Last Word
SEO is not a onetime investment game. You need to keep revamping your SEO strategies from time to time to prevent algorithm changes affect your site’s search ranking. The competition to stay on the top of the search engine results is bound to get tougher as the number of businesses competing for the same place keeps increasing with time. However, with a robust plan and efforts made in the right direction, you can definitely overcome the hurdles on your way to getting better visibility on the SERP.
© 2018 Ashlyn thomas