For any medical practice, reaching success requires a steady stream of new, and returning patients seeking treatment. And just like every other business that is looking to expand its market base by gaining new customers, medical practices also face many challenges while trying to gain new patients. You will require the latest techniques and tools to make your practice stand out from the crowd of thousands of healthcare practitioners operating in the US. SEO for doctors is one of many methods that you can use to promote your practice. You do not have to worry about learning new tricks as reputed organizations such as Crystal Clear Digital Marketing specifically offer services to create SEO strategies for medical practices.
How Times Have Changed
Before the internet, marketing your medical practice only required you to place an ad in the Yellow Pages. Today, things have changed with the internet. Potential patients turn towards search engine pages to look for local healthcare providers. SEO for doctors was never more important as it is right now. A study shows that only 10% of potential patients under the age of 35 use the Yellow Pages to search for a local medical practitioner while nearly 54% turn towards search engines. Further, 27% of people between the age group of 55 and 64 embraced search engines while looking for a medical practitioner. This states that even the older generation is getting comfortable using search engines.
Search engine optimization (SEO) has become a necessity to get patients today. It is important for every medical practice to invest in this to stand out and stay ahead in the marketing landscape. While searching for doctors, over 80% of individuals do not go past the first page of Google results. To ensure that potential patients become aware of your medical practice, you need to appear on the first page, ahead of your competitors. With strong strategies involving SEO for doctors, you can ensure that potential customers can easily find your website and feel compelled to visit it.
How Can SEO Benefit a Medical Practice?
Potential patients can locate you easily if your practice lists among the top three names in Google search engines. For instance, if a patient types ‘physician in downtown Omaha’ in a Google search, then your website should feature in the first three listings. That said, it is impossible for every practice to find a place in the top three spaces. Hence, it is imperative you invest in extensive SEO practices to become more visible. This will marginally increase chances of a potential patient booking an appointment with you and becoming a repeat patient.
How Important is SEO for Medical Practices?
You can bring qualified leads and patients to your medical practice with the help of compelling tactics applied in SEO. Traditional marketing techniques such as TV and print media provide a lower ROI than SEO as shown by studies. Hence, SEO not only provides a higher ROI, but also increases credibility, traffic, visibility, reputation, and branding.
SEO for doctors is the key to attracting new patients irrespective of the size and specialty of a medical practice. By implementing a strong SEO strategy, you stand to gain an online reputation and increased visibility.
Today, searchers trust Google, and by appearing on top of a search listing, you provide a strong endorsement to your medical practice. Potential patients tend to trust a practice more when it appears high in search engine rankings.
Reliable and Credible
Keywords entered in the search engines unconsciously register in the minds of potential patients. They might not realize it, but they automatically lend credibility to those websites that have a higher ranking. The vote of confidence of a patient can often be directly linked to the Google rankings. Potential patients trust Google, and they believe that a medical practice that features on the top is more credible.
Spend Less On Acquiring New Patients
Usually, the money spent on gaining new patients does not reflect in the revenues businesses bring in. However, with effective SEO techniques, you can stay true to your marketing goal of gaining new patients while reducing the overall marketing expenditure. This is mainly because other forms of advertising are more expensive than digital marketing. Also, with digital marketing, you can easily streamline your goals while being flexible enough to reach targeted customers.
Increased Online Traffic
Setting up a practice on a backstreet in Iowa will not make you money. However, setting up shop on a busy street might bring you more customers which, in turn, will make you more money. Following the same line of thought, online traffic will not make you money. However, by marketing yourself to more people, you increase the chances of attracting potential customers. Further to this, visitors who come to your website are qualified leads as they have already shown an intent to avail services at your practice or at a similar one.
SEO is essentially an inbound marketing strategy that focuses on qualified leads that have an interest in your services or something similar. This allows SEO for doctors to provide a higher ROI than other kinds of marketing strategies or advertisement options. In other forms of marketing, an advertisement can interrupt a favorite TV show or take up expensive space on a magazine. With SEO, all you need to do is show up in the search listings when people are searching. In fact, it is not even necessary to convince a target audience to try your services. All you need to convey is that your practice is best for their requirements.
SEO is among the most cost-effective strategies to target a potential audience. There are other proven strategies such as cold calling, which can provide leads. However, these leads can be 61% more expensive than the ones provided by digital marketing. Also, leads provided by SEO are better qualified than other marketing techniques as potential patients are already searching for a practice similar to the one you have.
What are the Various SEO Best Practices for Medical Practices?
Efficient SEO strategies should allow for growth to evolve with the ever-changing healthcare industry. Good SEO for doctors keeps in mind patient expectations while making allowances for Google’s algorithm updates. A strong healthcare marketer such as Crystal Clear Digital Marketing will allow for flexibility in the strategies to stay up to date with the healthcare industry.
Complacency is dangerous for any medical practice with a goal to survive and grow in modern marketing as it can destroy ranking. Search engines result in 93% online experiences, which makes SEO a critical factor to make any medical practice successful.
You can improve lead quality and can build valuable relationships while improving online reputation if you successfully implement SEO best practices. Medical practitioners can also benefit by making use of SEO for doctors to increase online presence while garnering a better understanding of their target audience.
Following are five essential best practices that can help improve your SEO strategy in 2018 and beyond:
Choose Keywords That are Relevant
By choosing more relevant keywords, you improve the chances of getting more qualified leads. Choosing relevant keywords is more difficult than it looks. You would have to understand the way your potential patients think. SEO for your medical practice will begin with selecting the most relevant keyword that a potential patient might use to find a doctor in your area.
Make Your Website Load Quickly
Another element to making your SEO strategy effective is decreasing the loading time of your website to just a few seconds. A quick loading website is the key to making your SEO efforts successful.
Publish Only Original Content That is Informative
You can damage your SEO ranking as well as your reputation if you copy content from other websites. However, rewriting content is acceptable if it keeps your patients engaged. The best strategy is to be different and create unique content. You can even increase search engine rankings by hiring an SEO expert or implementing a sound SEO strategy.
Title Tags Should Be Accurate
Title tags are short descriptions of a webpage and play a critical role in SEO. They show up on external websites, browser tabs and results pages of search engines. Every webpage should have a descriptive and accurate title tag with the keyword in the beginning as most search engines display only the first 60 to 70 characters.
You need to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile users and that it adheres to basic quality standards.
A digital marketing plan for your medical practice is incomplete without a sound SEO strategy. Every medical practice should focus on improving online presence with the help of a website, paid advertising campaigns and social media management.