Medical SEO Strategies Help Get Your Medical Practice to the Top of Search Results and Generate More Leads
Search Engine Optimization for your medical practice is the long-term strategy we use to get your medical website listed and ranked organically by top search engines Google, Yahoo, Bing and more. As a local physician, or healthcare provider, it’s important for you to have a strong local search engine presence to win new patients and build your practice. It’s more likely that you have a lot of local competitors and this is where our Medical SEO can provide your practice the marketing boost it needs to breakaway from the competition and succeed.
Solution21 has put together key metrics to measure if SEO is working for your practice.Free Consultation
Our team of SEO experts and content developers strive to enhance the relevance and authority of your online presence with SEO tactics that are guaranteed to influence your website ranking to the top spots and get your lion share of clicks, whether your practice is located in small community or in competitive metro areas. Read about our SEO full list of strategies.
Medical SEO requires an ongoing investment in your website and off-site backlink strategies. Determining if the process is worth it requires a long look at the return on investment (ROI) you receive from the medical marketing efforts.
Three possibilities exist after a person finds your medical business website. One, they could click away and never contact you. Two, they can make a one-time appointment and never come back. Or three, they can become a lifelong patient who uses your services for many years to come. A recent study claims that the average length of time a patient remains at one doctor’s office varies widely from three to ten years. This depends largely on local competition and region of the country.
Medical practice is a repeat business focused industry, which makes medical marketing investments a long-term affair. No immediate return should be expected. Failure to market effectively, however, can lead to no profit opportunities at all.
Professional medical SEO experts like me can identify not only the best practices to improve ROI, but also the common mistakes to avoid. Other consultants make these errors when the provide services to their clients so I want to inform you of what to avoid. The first clue something is wrong is a lack of increased website traffic or patient appointments. Your existing SEO team may be suffering from the erroneous belief that these methods work, when they can really waste time, money, or even make your website less attractive to search engines.
Search engine optimization may seem like a task anyone can tackle successfully, but that idea is rather naïve and stems from a misunderstanding of how complex the entire process is. SEO techniques constantly build on each other, grow, and change so that what may have worked last year may actually be a detriment this year.
Google and other search engines update their ranking algorithms frequently and marketers must keep up to stay relevant. Someone calling themselves a medical SEO expert needs to understand not only these dynamic optimization methods but also the medical industry. Successful SEO strategy has many facets and just as many opportunities to make mistakes. Not knowing anything about the industry is the focus of the information below.
The most damaging error in medical or any industry search engine optimization is choosing the wrong keywords to focus on. Keywords and phrases are those things that people type into the search engines to find what they are looking for. A person looking for a doctor may use the location, the word doctor or physician, and any specialty they particularly need. A good keyword phrase may be “New York general practitioner” or “New York family doctor,” but you cannot assume they are the right ones to target. These two keywords require two different optimization strategies if you want your website to rank high for both of them. However, the best SEO methods will do nothing if you choose keyword phrases that no one uses to search for a doctor of medical business like yours.
Keyword phrases with multiple words in them are also called long-tail keywords. These target online audiences more effectively, as virtually no one would just search for “doctor” or “medical office.” A long-tail keyword phrase would have three to five or even more terms in it.
The vast majority of searches done for medical practices include the location such as city, region, or zip code, and the specialty, such as pediatrician, dentist, or cardiologist. This means that the keyword phrases used for individual medical offices will vary greatly.
Consider this example. It would take a huge amount of time, energy, and money to rank for “New York doctor.” Why? Competition. A huge number of other doctors in New York probably want to rank for this keyword phase as well. Some of them may be brand new and fail to get any results with this term. Others have had a practice ongoing since before the dawn of the internet age and have been continuously optimizing their online presence for this keyword virtually forever. A new medical office trying to compete with that is like a kid running on an elementary school playground trying to win against an Olympic sprinter.
Targeting more precise and specific long-tail keyword phrases is the key to grabbing your piece of the internet public’s eye. Use neighborhood names, zip codes, or counties instead of just New York. Use whatever branch of medicine you specialize in instead of simply doctor. The people who go to search engines and make these more unique searches will find your website and have a much higher chance of becoming new patients.
The most specific location and specialty keyword may not always be the best choice. It is possible to become too specific and therefore not attract a large enough amount of organic traffic. For example, if you offer medical prosthetics in a smaller town like Moraga, California, using the phrase “Moraga medical prosthetics” may not work. The competition might be very low, but the number of searches for that keyword done monthly might also be small. You may get on the top of the search engine results pages, but there will be no one there to see it. An experienced SEO expert knows how to weigh keyword popularity against competition and come up with the right combinations to get your website in front of the most interested people possible.
In conclusion, choosing the wrong keywords to target for medical SEO results in less chance of gaining new patients. This is because of increased competition for certain keywords where medical offices are more common and because of fewer searches being made for more specific keywords in areas where medical offices are scarce.
The experienced SEO professionals here at Solution21 understand the unique challenges faced by medical professional in different regions and specialties. Our keyword discovery and analyzation process focuses on a perfect balance between high search volume and low competition that will help you rank better on search engines and attract a more targeted audience to your website. Call or email us right away to receive a free consultation and get answers to your SEO questions.
Some of the details about medical SEO practices are misunderstood. These four misconceptions can lead medical professional to lessen the positive results of any SEO efforts.
#1 – A One Time Effort is Sufficient for Medical SEO Success
Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines experience constant updates and tweaks to the methods used to determine which website has value and which does not. The experts who work there want to deliver the best quality search results to people who use the engine, so they are constantly striving to focus on naturally good sites rather than those who are artificially boosted into position. This requires an on-going SEO process that builds gradually no matter what changes the search engine people throw at the internet marketing world. Think of the difference between getting a huge collection of backlinks in a month and then stopping versus having a more realistic number of backlinks appear in a more natural fashion. To the search engines, the first looks like link spamming. The second looks like people finding your quality content or experiencing your service and linking to your site naturally. Persistence, ongoing investments, and patience are the keys to a successful medical SEO strategy.
#2 – No Medical SEO Techniques Really Work
After failing to see any substantial change in website traffic or an influx of patients even after you used some other supposed SEO expert, it stands to reason that you may begin to believe medical SEO simply does not work. This is just not true. If you give up, there are plenty of other doctors with SEO teams that understand the right way to do things moving up the ranks to the top search results for their keywords.
The three top marketing methods for online promotion are email marketing, social media marketing, and search-based marketing, which encompasses both search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). This holds true no matter what industry or specialization you are involved in.
More people search on the major engines like Google for new medical professionals or other service providers than any other form of research these days. Medical SEO is therefore essential to capturing their attention. Perhaps the agency you used before was not up to date on the latest methods, or did not perform their duties like they said they would. Perhaps other doctors in your area simply have more time and money invested in the process and the competition is too fierce. The right SEO team delivers results and can counter any problem that arises.
#3 – It Takes a Huge Amount of Money to Get Quality Medical SEO
Marketing costs money. There is no way to get around that. However, search engine optimization is by far one of the most cost effective ways to generate more site traffic and business overall. Proper analyzation of the SEO effects and the return on the investment should show that this is true.
You might ask exactly what you are getting for the price you pay. A medical SEO agency encompasses a vast array of knowledge, expertise, and ability to perform all necessary tasks to help you succeed. These include:
- Proper research of competitive keyword phrases
- Analysis of keywords for relevance and efficacy
- On-page website optimization using code, tags, and other methods
- Development of link building strategies and their application
- Collection of data and analysis to determine the best way forward
Every task above and the many more than quality SEO experts do requires time and specific knowledge. Anyone who understands the complexity of optimization tasks and the excellent results that can be achieved will not hesitate to invest in the process.
#4 – Medical SEO is Unnecessary for a Traditional Doctor
Old-school, small-town, traditional doctors of all types may balk at the idea of having a website and using high-tech optimization methods to attract internet audiences. Ignoring these things, however, means you miss out on a huge potential for growth and profits. Slow growth may be your goal, and that is your choice, but the fact remains that most people search for doctors online these days.
Other marketing efforts, such as direct mail or local advertising, can work well, but the people you reach there may not be the same you can reach online. People get their information from a diverse selection of media formats these days. Some would never trust Google with something as important as finding the right doctor, while others think print advertising are nothing more than junk mail sent by the unscrupulous. Figuring out which group is larger or which you should target more diligently depends on many factors. The fact remains that these groups do not overlap, and they both include people who need a physician or specialist. Ignoring medical SEO greatly diminishes the chance of attracting an ever-growing patient list.