In today’s competitive healthcare sector, it is no longer a luxury for medical practices to have a website; it is a necessity. If you want providers and patients to be able to find you, you need to be present online. However, there is a lot more to this than simply designing a website that looks good. It needs to be search engine-optimized too. Medical practice SEO provides a way to be visible on Google and other search engines used today. With that in mind, we have put this guide together, explaining what SEO is and why it matters to you and your medical practice.
What is SEO?
At the heart of an effective online marketing campaign is a search engine optimization strategy. This method operates around the aim of increasing the number of visits a website receives via search engines, such as Google. Any array of different tactics is used in order to move a business’s website higher up the search engine rankings. Therefore, there are many layers to SEO – ranging from having other high-authority medical businesses linking to your website to the utilization of certain keywords.
It is essential to have SEO if you want to keep up with your competitors. After all, the Internet is something that pretty much dominates society. In order to stay visible and relevant, medical businesses must match the pace of the World Wide Web.
SEO is a sound strategy because it is highly effective and can be manipulated to suit each business individually. Moreover, this method is easy to monitor. You can keep an eye on how many visits you receive. In addition to this, you can note where these visits come from – via certain backlinks you’ve created as part of your strategy or different search engine searches.
A final point worth noting is that this is a very cost-effective method. There is very little cost involved at all; usually, the only fee you will have is paying for a company to set up the search engine optimization your business needs.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO can come across as a marketing concept that is very difficult to understand, especially when terms such as ‘backlinks,’ ‘keywords,’ and ‘white-hat’ are thrown around like everyone should know what they mean. However, SEO is actually very easy to understand if you just break it down and look at what it is in the most basic terms.
SEO begins with Google’s algorithm. This is essentially a mathematical formula that Google uses to rank all websites whenever there is a search query. Therefore, when you search for something on Google, the algorithm will determine what results are on each page, and in which order.
This algorithm will look at three key factors when determining where to rank your website: quality, trust, and authority.
Quality – Years ago, the approach to SEO would have been to stuff content with keywords in order to get to the top of Google. Business owners did not care about the quality of the content on their website. These days are long gone. Google now penalizes websites that act in this way. Instead, Google will rank you highly if you create content that is compelling, unique, interesting, and shareable. This content needs to be optimized for search engines, but it also needs to bring value to the reader too. This is the reason all medical practices are advised to have blogs on their website. This is a great place for you to share helpful information to your patients, whether about your practice or general medical problems and treatments.
Authority – The third quality Google is going to take into consideration is authority. Google will give your business website a higher ranking if it is authoritative. This means your website is well-liked by others and you have an engaged audience. Creating useful content, as mentioned in the former section, can help with this. Everything ties together when it comes to a solid and effective medical practice SEO strategy. If you have a community of people who refer your website, read your content, and share it, you are going to come across as an authoritative website. This is where a good link building strategy can help. This means getting other websites and blog owners to link to your website. However, these websites must be authoritative too, and they must be related to your practice. Getting a link inserted in a poor-performing website on crafts isn’t really going to do much for your authority; if anything, it will hurt it!
Trust – The third and final factor is trust. Google wants to show users websites that are trustworthy and credible. There are several different factors that influence this. Reviews are especially important in the medical sector. According to a survey that was conducted by Software Advice, 72% of patients read reviews online before they find a doctor, and so this is especially important in the medical industry.
SEO Starts with Your Website
There are so many different approaches that can be used when it comes to medical SEO. For example, you can reach out to people on social media and you can post guest blogs on websites relating to the medical sector. However, all of this is pointless if you do not start with your website.
Your website needs to be optimized, showing Google that it is of quality and that it has a high authority and can be trusted. So, how do you do this? As mentioned, interesting and original content is a must. You also need to optimize it with high-performing keywords. This not only includes the bulk of your content, but it includes everything from meta titles to your URL. Plus, the performance of your website impacts SEO. Navigation should be easy, and your website should be quick to load, too. If it’s not, potential patients may leave and go elsewhere, and this will hurt the authority of your site, causing your ranking to suffer.
Adding Video to Your Website
There are lots of great benefits to be gained by encompassing video technology into your website. A lot of visitors respond better to video. They are much more likely to watch a video rather than read a lengthy piece of content. It is also useful when explaining complex medical issues or providing advice to patients. You can also show how different instruments can be used or how to apply bandages and such. Plus, an engaging video is assure to lead to customers staying on your site longer. This is imperative because in turn your bounce rate decreases. This is something Google and other top search engines account for when measuring your site’s quality.
In addition to this, it is also worth pointing out that you are not going to have to go through the frustration of trying to get your video out there, which can often involve costs when persuading site owners. With YouTube and all other video platforms, you can easily do this for free. Plus, you have social media for this too. It will have a snowball impact as well. Once your website and your videos get more and more popular, people will share them, effectively be advertising your videos for you.
Quality is Everything
From your website’s written content to the videos you create, quality is imperative. Your content, regardless of format, needs to be engaging and informative. You must appeal to your target audience. The more creative the better. In addition to this, you should also create an eye-catching title. And don’t forget those all-important keywords! When it comes to the length of your video, you want to make it as short as possible whilst getting your point across effectively. Rambling on for ten to fifteen minutes will get you nowhere. You should try and ensure your videos are no more than five minutes long. For written content, you need to make sure the information is broken up into sections so that it is snappy and easy to read.
Online visibility is one of the key components to a successful business in the modern day. It is something all companies strive to achieve. It equates to increased brand awareness, more traffic, and the potential for a higher profit level as well. There is little getting away from the fact that it all revolves around SEO (search engine optimization). Everyone wants to be on the first page of Google and other leading search engines. If your business is to attract customers through the Internet, you simply cannot ignore SEO.
To get more information about medical practice SEO, make sure to consult the professionals at Crystal Clear Digital Marketing. Contact us today to speak with a team member and learn more information about our services!