Medical practices are always looking for ways to increase their list of patients. Typically, that goal can be achieved by initiating effective healthcare marketing strategies. This includes good advertising, engaging emails, or patient-focused digital marketing campaigns. But honestly, out of all the marketing strategies, what healthcare providers should really be focused on is search engine optimization (SEO).
And while it’s understood that SEO is important, most providers don’t have a clue what SEO really is or the benefits that SEO brings.
What is SEO?
So, what exactly is SEO? Glad you asked!
SEO is the process of increasing the traffic to your website through organic search engine results. In other words, it encompasses the technical and creative elements required to improve your ranking, drive traffic to a site, and increase awareness in search engines. Additionally, it ensures that a website is accessible and can easily be found in search engines based on the words and phrases that pertain to what your site is about.
Why your practice needs SEO
Now that you have a better understanding of what SEO is, you’re probably asking yourself – “Why should I care?” and “How can it really help my practice?”
Here’s why you should care:
- Everyone uses search engines. Yes, everyone (including your current and potential patients) uses search engines on a daily basis. However, according to a HubSpot study, 75% of Internet users never scroll past the first page of search engine results pages. So, if your website is not on the first page, honestly, it means that you don’t exist.
- SEO increases brand awareness. By utilizing search engine optimization, potential patients will become aware of your practice and the services you offer. Brand awareness will help your practice grow, increase patient engagement, and improve the likelihood of potential patients becoming new patients – that is why medical practices are trying very hard to spread awareness about their services and treatments.
- SEO increases your revenue and cash flow.
Using SEO will likely increase the number of patients you have. Here’s how – with the use of SEO, you will be able to attract more potential patients to your website, which generates more leads. And increasing your number of leads will likely increase the number of people (new patients) who visit your practice and acquire your services, thus increasing your revenue.
- SEO gives you a competitive advantage.
We get it, the competition in the medical field is tough. However, what would happen if your competitors were using SEO and you weren’t? Your website might get buried or hidden in the search results where visibility is minimal. And as a result, you’d lose patients to your competitors.
- Additionally, SEO will help your practice:
- Acquire new/more patients
- Drive traffic to your website
- Optimize your marketing costs
- Become a leading authority in your specialized field
- Improve your credibility
- Increase visibility
Honestly, the list of benefits goes on and on. These are just a few of the benefits and reasons why SEO should be part of your practice’s marketing plan.
Now that you understand some of the top reasons your practice should utilize SEO, wouldn’t it make the most sense to partner with a team of SEO experts to help your practice succeed and grow online? Wouldn’t it be nice to have an SEO company by your side to ensure that you got increased visibility and that your site attracted more prospective patients? Let’s explore the idea of your practice utilizing an SEO company a little further.
Why you should consider hiring an SEO company
I know that some of you might be unsure whether or not hiring an SEO company would truly be worth the cost. Well, here is something that you should consider before you make the decision – when you partner with an SEO company, you’ll have an opportunity to leave your website’s search engine visibility to the experts and focus more on your patients. Additionally, you’ll know that you (and your website) are in good hands because they are experts at what they do.
How do you choose an SEO company?
We’ve already established why it is so important for a medical practice, or any business for that matter, to use SEO. The next question is – how should you choose an SEO company that will help increase your website’s visibility and provide the best results for your practice?
There are a lot of SEO companies out there that offer SEO services. And you might be bombarded with information about what these companies can do for you. However, before you sign a contract, make sure that you truly know what the company can offer. And it’s really important that you select a reputable MEDICAL SEO company that delivers results.
To provide you with some guidance, below are some of the things that you need to look into before you select an SEO company:
Offerings that are realistic
No SEO company (no matter how good they are) can offer any type of guarantee when it comes to rankings. A red flag should be raised if a company promises guaranteed rankings, instant leads, or rankings that sound too good to be true.
SEO strategies (white hat or black hat?)
If you’re new to the SEO world, you likely don’t know the difference between white hat SEO and black hat SEO. Simply put, white hat SEO follows all search engine policies and rules. Basically, they are SEO tactics that are compliant with the major search engines. On the flip side, black hat SEO is the use of aggressive SEO strategies. They don’t comply with the guidelines of search engines. An example would be keyword stuffing which is overloading a page with keywords to manipulate a site’s ranking.
This is serious and something that you really to figure out when looking into SEO companies. Be sure to ask the SEO companies that you are considering what type of strategies they use. If the type of strategies they use sound unethical or raise a red flag (black hat SEO), you should eliminate them from the running.
Define your SEO goals
It is important that you know what you want your medical practice to achieve. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Boost revenue? Attract new patients? Whatever goals you have, you must be able to communicate them with the SEO company that you choose. You need to identify which areas of your healthcare digital strategy need to be improved. And if you’re not sure what areas need improvement, then find an SEO company who will do the necessary digital marketing analysis. They should be able to guide you on what areas need improvement and how those areas can be improved.
Determine your budget
Your excess funds are allocated to different areas of your practice. This is why you need to set a budget as to how much you can spend on certain initiatives. Find an SEO company that offers the best quality service, yet is reasonably priced. Allocating a budget for SEO services will help you choose the best package that will satisfy your practice’s needs.
Find a reliable SEO company that has a good online reputation
Whether selecting a new service or buying a new product, the online reputation of companies influences your decision every day. This indicates that they were able to satisfy the needs of their clients and deliver good results.
Choose a MEDICAL SEO company
If you are a healthcare provider, honestly, you should be partnering with a medical SEO company. Medical SEO companies will be the best agency to help you with your healthcare marketing strategy. They understand all the medical jargon, what attracts patients, and what providers needs.
Keep in mind that some SEO companies do more than just SEO. It would be really smart to select a company that can also provide you with email and content marketing, online reputation management, website development, and other digital marketing services.
When you hire the right medical SEO company, you’ll have time to focus more on your patients and less on marketing. You can leave that part to the marketing gurus.
For many providers, the SEO subject can be intimidating. But, it doesn’t have to be. If you have any questions about SEO or how your practice could benefit from these services, feel free to contact us. And if you’re currently in the marketing for a reputable medical SEO services company, Website4MD would love to schedule a chat with you, to help your website receive the rankings it deserves.