For your medical practice, driving leads to your website translates to driving more customers into your business.
Many of your potential customers use search engines to find medical professionals and suitable practices for them.
So our question to you is: is your website optimized to show up in searches and attract leads looking for your practice?
Trying to figure out search engine optimization can be frustrating if you don’t know where to start.
Fortunately, using the right Healthcare SEO strategies can ensure your website appears for the right keywords and will boost the number of qualified leads coming into your business.
In this post, I’ll show you 7 SEO strategies you can use to improve your visibility in search engines and bring in more leads:
1. Keyword Research
The first place to start is to perform a keyword search to figure out what terms potential patients are using to find your business online.
By targeting the right keywords that show the nature of your business, you can start showing up and improving your search engine rankings.
Since many medical practices are local businesses, it’s important to target local keywords in your medical marketing campaign. These are keywords that include the city of your practice. Examples are:
- medical practice
- Medical services in
- Medical doctor
- medical doctor
Guesswork can lead you to target the wrong keywords and so it’s good to carry out your keyword research using specific tools available. Some of these include: SEMrush, Ahrefs, CognitiveSEO, KeywordTool.io, and UberSuggest.
With whatever tool you choose, start with a single keyword that defines your business.
For instance, a term like “medical treatments” will appeal to someone looking for medical treatments or information about that product or service. A keyword research tool will also show you similar terms that users search for.
These useful, medical marketing, tools show how often users are searching for these terms and the search volume and how competitive they are. Make sure to target keywords with a high search volume and low competition.
Here’s an example of using KeywordTool.io for research:
This shows similar keywords to a specific search term. These are keywords pulled from Google Autocomplete:
Here’s an example of how it works in Ubersuggest:
It shows details about your keywords like the search volume, SEO difficulty, paid difficulty, and cost per click (CPC):
You’ll also get a list of similar keywords when you click on “Keyword Ideas”:
You can also access to SERP analysis which shows you the current pages ranking for that particular keyword:
After performing your keyword research, you should get a better sense of what keywords you should bid on or target in Healthcare SEO strategy. For more advanced work you can contact Healthcare Marketing Agency.
2. Produce Long-form Quality Content
To spend your money wisely and have a better chance of ranking for your target keywords, you need to produce quality content that inspires people to click into your website.
For website blog topics, make sure they are detailed, which means you want to produce longer page and ad titles, or long-form content (1,000 words or more).
A snapshot of a million Google search results by Backlinko found that pages that rank Number 1 for Google search results contain an average of 1,890 words.
This is not a fast rule or a magic number, but you do want to make sure that you are providing enough content that solves your visitors’ problems or at least answers their questions or concerns in detail. Producing relevant and quality content is an important step in Medical Marketing strategy.
You’ll probably have an easier time creating more content on broad topics compared to a niche one, but it’s good to create content about both.
How to optimize your content for a keyword
To target a keyword within a blog post, make sure your keyword is in the following parts of your post:
- The headline
- The URL
- The first few paragraphs
- Image name
- Image alt text
Here is an infographic that shows an optimized page:
However, make sure to add keywords into your posts without a negative impact on its readability. Keyword stuffing can make your post unreadable for visitors and earn you a penalty rather than a higher rank.
When Felix Tarcomnicu created quality content and built backlinks for his website, he got a 210% increase in organic traffic.
3. Submit a sitemap for proper indexing
The first step of showing up in search engine results is having your web pages chronicled in the Google (and other search engines) index, which is done through a sitemap.
This is a document that contains your website URLs and presents them to search engine bots, making it easier for search engines to crawl your web pages.
To submit your sitemap, go to the Google Search Console dashboard. Click on “Sitemaps”.
Enter your sitemap address and click “Submit”.
You can also enable robots.txt on your website. If your website runs on WordPress, install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin. After it’s downloaded, click on “SEO” and then “Tools”:
On the next page, click on “File Editor”:
If you don’t have a robots.txt file on your website, click on “Create robots.txt file”:
Then save your changes by clicking on “Save changes to robots.txt”:
Then check the number of your pages indexed on Google by going to your Google Search Console dashboard and clicking on “Coverage”:
This will show you pages with errors, pages indexed, pages indexed with warnings, and pages excluded.
It’s important to look at pages with problems so that you can fix them and boost your Healthcare SEO ranking right away:
By submitting a sitemap and other strategies, the roofing websiteRoofCrafters had a 4,342% increase in organic traffic and a decrease in bounce rate in a period of 6 months:
4. Build Backlinks
A backlink is a mention of your homepage or internal pages on another website with a link back to your website.
This is one of the main signs that shows authority and trustworthiness of your website.
In fact, Google search quality analyst, Andrey Lipattsev, revealed that content, backlinks, and Rankbrain are the 3 most important ranking signals when determining how high a website should be in any given search result list.
However, getting backlinks to your medical practice website is no easy task. Our medical marketing company can give you full backlinks building service. Here are some basic tips on getting backlinks:
Guest posting: Submitting complimentary posts on other websites is an opportunity to show your expertise as a medical professional and drive people back to your website through an author bio. This also allows you to reach a wider audience than those who are already familiar with your business.
Here is an example of a guest post by chiropractor Dr. SharonroseSamelak, about chiropractic care for women…you can also see the backlink to her website in the author bio:
Posting on forums: With forums, you can discuss with like minded people in the medical profession and take the opportunity to share your website through networking online. Providing answers to medical questions asked shows authority and trust in your expertise. In some cases, you can create a blog post that answers a question in detail and give a brief answer on the forum with a link to the full post for further reading.
Here is an example on the popular forum Quora:
Neil Patel provided a brief answer to the question and a link to a post on his blog that answers the question in detail:
Participating or hosting local events: showing up at events is another way to meet fellow professionals and locals who might be potential customers.
If you host an event, local websites and journalists might also show up and promote your business.
Here is an example of Dr. Shoshany getting featured on PRWeb for his role in updating the NYC Marathon Readiness Protocol. If you look closely, you’ll notice that there are 3 backlinks to his website in the press release:
Appearing on podcasts: podcasts are also becoming a popular way to advertise your services as research shows that 26% of Americans listen to podcasts monthly. You can appear on a podcast in an interview and be rewarded with a backlink to your website.
Here is an example of Brian Dean appearing on a podcast with a link to his website:
5. Add your medical practice to local directories
The best types of leads for your medical practice are those living within a certain proximity to your practice which means that local search important for your business. For your website to show up for more local searches, you need to add your business to as many local online listings as you can.
For instance, BrightLocal found in a study that businesses that show up in local searches have an average of 85 local citations. Some local directories to consider adding your business to could include general directories, the online Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, and medical-related directories.
Some examples of directories for medical practices are:
- Rate MDs
- Dr. Oogle
Ensure consistent NAP
To give your local listings the biggest impact possible, it’s important to have the same business name, address, and phone number across all local listings.
This consistency makes it easy for search engines to establish the credibility of your practice.
Whereas having different details on different listings can lead to confusion for search engines and your customers who don’t know who the authoritative source is. Consequently, this could see your website go down in local searches.
Google My Business page
This is one of the most important listings you can add your practice’s website. Without this page, it’s almost impossible for your business to rank in the Google local map pack.
A Google My Business page contains details about your practice like NAP, website, pictures, operating hours, reviews, etc.
To create a Google My Business page, go to the website and click on “Start Now”:
Then enter your business details and verify your practice:
After completing this process, keep your page updated with posts about new developments and promotional offers. Here is an example of Tisch Hospital Google My Business page:
6. Encourage reviews
One way you can interact and increase engagement with your patients is through their reviews (it also helps to attract more leads to your website).
In fact, BrightLocal found that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. However, people don’t always write reviews even if they love your service.
If you have happy customers, remind them to write reviews for your practice on your local listings. Here is an example of reviews on Tisch Hospital Google My Business page:
7. Improve website speed
Slow websites lead to a poor user experience and high bounce rates. When visitors find you through search engines and bounce after a few seconds, it tells search engines that your page is not providing value for its users.
And that leads to a lower rank for your web pages.
One study found that your website could have lost as many as 25% of your visitors if it the landing page takes more than 4 seconds to load. But in order to improve your website speed, you need to know what your current website load speed is.
Some tools available to test website loading speed include the: Google mobile speed test, GT Metrix, and Pingdom- one of the most popular speed test tools.
To use Pingdom, go to the website and enter your address. Then select the test server closest to the location of your ideal patients:
Click on “Start Test”. This will show you the performance results of your website including the load time, page size, number of requests, and other details.
This shows elements in your website you can correct to improve your website speed:
Driving leads to your medical practice website through search engines requires time and patience, but it’s not rocket science.
When you follow these proven strategies, you’ll gain more visibility on search engines and capture more qualified leads.