It is a fact – more people are looking for medical practices, doctors, and hospitals online than they are in magazines and newspapers. If you want to obtain new patients, online is the way to go. And if you want to target people when they’re searching for services and in “buying” mode, SEO is the way to do it. Here are a few tips for medical practices to get started with SEO and make huge traction towards beating your competition.
- Put your ego aside – strive for growth, not name. Almost every industry and subset within that industry has keywords that they perceive as prestigious. Sometimes these are highly misguided. Yes, you want to rank well for your name and practice name. After that, what are the value keywords? You want return on investment (ROI), not to be able to say “I rank higher for this keyword than that guy does, and it means I’m better.” Putting your effort into keywords that are attainable and turn into leads is time and money much more wisely spent. Even better, because many people do no research and instead focus on the “prestigious” keywords, it makes ranking for other valuable keywords easier.
- Take a local focus. We’ve talked about this before for medical practices and with respect tolocal SEO as a whole (and even more regarding local SEO and word of mouth), but it’s worth repeating. Almost all medical practices are local, at least to some degree. Understanding local SEO and implementing it is very important for medical practice SEO. Use local intent keywords (Your Town Orthopedics, etc.), create content about your location, and make sure that your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are prominent on your site. And don’t forget to optimize a Google+ page!
- Optimize your Google+ page. Though we usually look at it as a part of local SEO, it’s worth putting in as it’s own point here because of it’s importance. Google+ interactions have the highest correlations with high search results. We know that there are few people really using Google+ actively, but that doesn’t mean Google isn’t using it for search results – especially local results. Claim it, and link it to your page.
- Write good, focused content. Write content that is focused on your specific niche as much as possible and turn your website into a resource for that topic. It shows you’re an expert to your patients and especially to Google. Write content that will genuinely be helpful for users and show subject matter expertise. We also realize that it can be tough to write content frequently, so we put together another post to give ideas for free content for your blog.
- Market your site and services well. It is no longer 2004 and SEO is no longer segregated from your other marketing services. Good marketing of your site and services should naturally attract links to your website. Do a good job of cross-marketing your services and the attention you attract should also lead to higher search engine rankings.
- Go beyond your website. We’ve also put together a post that explains how to enhance your SEO beyond your website. There are many other sites out there that you can utilize to help you rank well in search results. The beauty of these additional sites is that they can all be used so that you can obtain multiple listings on the first page of Google search results, effectively dominating the page. At the least, they will help support your main site and its rankings. Don’t neglect these sites outside of yours, especially those specific to the healthcare industry.
Being intentional with an SEO strategy is half of the battle. The typical medical practice spends a disproportionately higher amount biased towards print and traditional media, while the data proves that this is not how the majority of perspective patients are looking for services. This means that while your competition is likely focusing their efforts on outdated methodologies, you can blow past them in the online realm. Do not miss this opportunity.
There are also many more tactics than written here. The points we outlined above were selected knowing that the typical medical practice would be able to implement them without outside help. Most medical practices aren’t familiar with how to craft title tags, meta descriptions, and other more technical (though necessary) elements of SEO. That’s where medical practice SEO agencies like Points Group come in. We work alongside medical practices to provide strategies and execution to help them effectively perform SEO and maximize profits.
If you need help getting started, or if you were able to implement items like those above and want to take your marketing to the next level, give us a call at 973-998-8008 and we’ll work with you to maximize your ROI.