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Running a successful medical practice requires hard work and determination. And, in order to attract patients, you have to offer high-quality services and great patient care. However, for a local business, such as a medical practice, that simply isn’t enough.
Most medical practices rely mostly on local patients that are searching for specific medical services based on their current location. So, if manage or practice at a medical practice, not only are you competing against other large practice groups, but you’re also competing against other local private practices that are operating in the same niche.
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. In order to increase your revenue and profits, you have to stay ahead of the competition. Moreover, you have to find ways to attract more patients and easily be found online. 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 Medical 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. It consists of optimizing website pages and the domain as a whole to achieve organic positioning in search engines. This strategy has been used for years by companies of different segments and sizes to improve the ranking of pages on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others and increase website traffic and revenue. 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.
Keep in mind that SEO is an ongoing process, not a one-time thing. All the major search engines are constantly refining and upgrading the way they rank websites, which means you need to keep up with the regular updates. Only then can SEO help you generate more patients, website traffic, revenue.
Why Medical SEO is Important?
If you have an eCommerce website, blogs or a website for medical practices or other form of businesses, SEO can help you get the targeted organic traffic from search engines.
In today’s digital world, most people have heard a lot about search engine optimization for doctors or what we called “Medical SEO“. SEO has become important in every industry especially to the medical industry.
When it comes to medical SEO, here are some of the reasons why is it important:
- SEO is not only about search engines but also good practices to improve user experience and website usability.
- If your website is has a lot of pages or large files, it can help run your website smoothly. The indirect benefit of SEO is that it has a common framework, or a checklist, for you to use before you publish content on your website. The direct benefit is an increase in search engine traffic.
- Your medical facility is competing against other practices that offer the same services, with SEO, you will have a chance to be noticed online with so many competitors struggle to be at the top of search results.
- The higher your website in the rankings, the more your website to be visited and get visitors and new customers. Medical SEO is an essential part of making sure that your website is at the top of the search results.
- If you have a medical practice that specializes a particular services, an SEO makes sure that your practice is getting in front of the patients who are interested in your services.
- You can connect to potential patients faster by optimizing your website for mobile devices. A mobile-friendly website is an essential component of SEO providing them a click-to-call option. In that way, you can talk with the patients and have a chance to build a connection with them.
- SEO can give you an advantage over your competitors because your website will outrank your local competitors.
- Your visitors will trust your website more if it’s part of the top five websites displayed in a search result.
- The majority of people likely click on one of the top five websites that appear in their search results, or what we call as SERPS. Your website needs to be on the first page, or one of the first five positions, to take advantage of attracting new visitors to your website.
How Medical SEO Experts Can Help Your Practice?
As what I’ve mentioned above, medical SEO is the process of increasing the search engine rankings of your medical practice’s website and the person who worked for it is known as the “Medical SEO Expert“. As a result, current patients and potential patients can easily find your website. Here are some benefits you will receive from a medical SEO expert:
- SEO experts can ensure that your medical website is fast, secure, and mobile friendly
When it comes to a website, three of the top ranking factors are security, website speed, and mobile-responsiveness. If your site takes more than three seconds to load, the majority of your visitors will click the “back” button and look for another website that is faster. This is why Google prioritizes websites who have fast website speed.
Your website should also be secure. As a medical organization (any organization really), you’ve got big problems when you don’t have a secure HTTPS at the beginning of your URL. Your website should also be mobile friendly because over 70 percent of searches are done on a mobile device.
In addition, 62 percent of smartphone owners use their device to look up different health information and around 82 percent of smartphone users utilize search engines when they look for a local health facility, local treatment center, and the nearest medical clinics.
- SEO experts can choose the perfect keywords to help you rank well
In order for a medical SEO expert to optimize your content, you need to use the right keywords. A medical SEO expert can help you choose the right keywords to focus on.
Examples of keywords:
- Pediatrician + treatment + city
- Pediatrician + doctor + your city
- Pediatrician + your city
- Pediatrician for kids + your city
You can incorporate those keywords into your content so that your content will have a better chance of ranking well.
- SEO experts can optimize your images and videos
One of the most popular ways to create interesting content is video marketing. In fact, there was a 157 percent increase in organic traffic on web pages with videos. Also, a video has 50 times more chances of appearing on the first page of Google than regular web pages.
However, SEO experts still have to optimize your images and videos before you post them. Why? Because 39 percent of Internet users will stop engaging with a website if the images and videos won’t load or take too long to load.
- Your Google My Business page needs to be filled out 100%
Patients want health services and medical clinics that are near their homes. But, in order for locals to find your medical clinic, you need to show up in Google’s local pack. Searches containing the phrase “near me” have doubled since 2015. What is a local pack? A local pack is a group of three business listings that show up above the organic search results.
- You need a lot of high-quality content pages that have been optimized for medical SEO
It isn’t enough if your website is fast, mobile-responsive, and secure (of course those things are important though). You also have to have quality, SEO-optimized content on your website. If you don’t have experience in that area, an SEO expert can definitely help with that.
So, what exactly is quality content? Quality content is content that is informative, relevant, shareable, and provides value. In today’s SEO-driven world, it’s not enough to just publish content in general. You need to ensure that the content that you’re putting on your website is high quality and value to your website visitors and potential patients.
The key to the success of your medical practice is attracting potential patients to your website – it is crucial in order for your medical practice to survive in the industry. But, gaining that kind of visibility is extremely hard. Google’s algorithm keeps getting complicated, the level of competition in the local and national market increases every day, and the variety of search results has created even more ranking factors.
Why Your Medical 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
- Drive More Traffic. Increasing traffic is not easy, especially when the internet is full of competitors providing similar services. In order to drive more traffic, you need the right SEO tools and apt on-page optimization techniques for achieving the desired results. With the use of the right tools and white hat SEO tactics, you’ll be able to increase your site’s traffic at a stable rate. This way your site will benefit in terms of increased traffic as well as conversions.
- Cost-effective Marketing. It targets people who are actively looking for medical services online. SEO’s inbound nature helps medical practices save money as opposed to outbound strategies.
- Find New Patients. It is a fact that medical practices that have a website grow twice as fast as businesses that don’t have a website. SEO will help you gain better rankings in search engine result pages – and that translates to more targeted visits and essentially to more patients.
Today, SEO for medical practices is an essential part of any marketing strategy. It also presents a wealth of benefits that no other digital marketing tactic can offer. Beyond that, the right strategy can also help you improve your practice and move ahead of your competitors.
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 a medical SEO company by your side to ensure that you get 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.
- SEO companies have the experience and achieve the best results. An SEO company have the knowledge necessary to make smart decisions in order for your website to increase your ranking and visibility. They will be able to evaluate your website, goals and competitors. They’ll be able to track your progress and adjust their plans to make sure you achieve the best results.
- Full-service companies can help with more than just SEO. They provide discounted for customers expanding their business from a simple SEO plan to full-service package.
- Professional SEO company gives free audit and monthly keyword research report. Keywords are the most important part of any SEO project. With these reports, you can check how your website performed in SEO for the keyword.
- SEO maintenance and fixes. This is also the main reason why you should consider hiring an SEO company for your website. SEO is not a one-time task, it is continuous in nature. Regular SEO maintenance is required to keep optimize during the contract period, maintains the SEO ranking and fix if any bug occurs. It is one way to help you get more and more organic traffic to your website and to grow your business faster.
How to Choose a Medical SEO Company for Your Practice?
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 medical 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 SEO company that offers the best quality service, yet is reasonably priced. Allocating a budget for medical 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 SEO 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 have these SEO services benefits, 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.