The first place that you turn to when looking for a medical query is the internet. “Googling it” is the answer to everything today!
Did you know that according to Pew Research Centre, surfing for medical care information is quite possibly the most common online exercise among Internet users of all ages?
Whether you’re a hospital, a specialty medical practitioner, a local clinic, or a company liberating the healthcare industries, it is imperative that your desired audience can find you on the internet.
What is healthcare SEO?
SEO is short for search engine optimization. It means optimizing your website to be on the top of a search page on search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. When SEO techniques are used in the field of healthcare with a purpose to enhance a medical business, it’s called healthcare SEO
Assuming that you are a gastroenterologist, you would want someone to type “gallbladder surgery” into Google and find your practice on the top result. However, if you’re a pediatrician, you want the term “Child doctor near me” to bring your name up first.
According to Zenith Media, Healthcare companies’ global marketing expenditure is forecasted to increase by 4.3% in 2021.
Effective healthcare SEO methods you use will make all the difference in terms of your website traffic, rankings, and patient growth compared to other medical providers.
Search engines like Google care more about: natural, readable, and authentic information when optimizing your healthcare business digitally.
Advantages of SEO for Doctors and hospitals?
Today, every business, including healthcare, is transforming to digital technology, making the competition more intense. For example, imagine 77% of the patients search online before reserving an appointment at a local practice or a hospital.
This number signifies the importance of capitalization on these searches by making an online presence.
Every medical facility, either a hospital or a doctor, is a business. Without search engine optimization, these businesses do not stand against competition fighting to be on the top search result.
Let’s take a look at some advantages of SEO for doctors and hospitals:
Increasing the Visibility of Your Facility Online
People looking for a specialty doctor or a medical facility online rarely go beyond the first two pages. Studies indicate that resources on the first search engine results page (SERP) receive about 95% of the web traffic.
This is why having your website or information on the first 3 SERPs increases your online visibility.
Boosting Consumer Confidence in You
When you adopt healthcare SEO as a marketing strategy to improve your website’s online ranking, you also encourage consumer confidence in you or your facility.
Potential visitors on websites tend to have far more confidence in businesses that appear toward the top of the search engine results carrying out a service or product.
Excellent Return on Investment (ROI)
SEO provides a far higher return rate than traditional marketing. When you implement a proper strategy or employ a healthcare SEO service, you will market your service or facility to targeted audiences that turn into leads.
Why is it important to do SEO for your Healthcare website?
Implementing SEO techniques will enable you to stand frontline in search engine results and allow patients to know about your healthcare business.
SEO brings customers to your healthcare website at the right moment through organic search. As a result, it is the top source of traffic for most medical facilities, health systems, and individual doctors.
According to Ahrefs, 53.3% of all website traffic is derived from organic search.
So, when SEO is not deployed as a healthcare marketing strategy, organic search traffic is only confined to branded terms.
This defeats the purpose of a general search result! SEO can help you move beyond branded traffic and bring people to your healthcare website by helping you gain top ranking. Also, ranking for these types of searches can uplift overall brand awareness.
It showcases your content in front of people at the right moment when they are looking to make a healthcare decision.
Top 10 SEO tips for Healthcare Providers
Medical and healthcare websites are top beneficiaries of SEO as their success mostly depends on how easily patients find them online.
And this is where following these ten tips for Healthcare SEO becomes essential for such websites.
1. It Starts with Your Medical Website Design
It sounds like a cakewalk, but before you can look at the other marketing points as a healthcare provider, creating and updating your medical website design and the information contained therein is the very first step.
Make sure you have an active, secure, and responsive website with dedicated pages for the contact info (name, address, phone), listings if any, and useful content.
2. Harness the Power of Social Media
Social media facilitates two-way conversations between the patient and the medical facility. One major role of social media is to drive traffic to the website from a larger audience.
When discussing SEO for healthcare providers, Google and other search engines consider various aspects when determining a web page’s quality. Social media is one of those aspects taken into consideration.
Social media’s impact on healthcare SEO is basically in the form of link building. When a website page is being consistently shared across different platforms online, it sends signals to the search engines that the page has high-quality content.
3. Gain More Insights With A User Experience Audit
As a healthcare provider, you need to make sure that the website is designed for an optimal and engaging user experience. User experience optimization is essential to attract retention.
As you enhance the website with content and other technical bugs, improving UX helps generate better leads, allowing you to drive increased revenue.
Optimal UX included:
- Navigation across the websites
- Original and high-quality content
- The font size and style are comfortable for readers
- Conveniently accessed on multiple interfaces like Mobile, laptop, etc.
4. Encourage Online Reviews
Leaving a good impression is difficult when you’re not interacting with a potential patient face to face. Therefore, online reviews on the website can help solve that problem.
The benefit of having satisfactory reviews from patients for others to see is a no-brainer.
Furthermore, online reviews can help improve search rankings.
High ratings will drive traffic, and in return, will grow the website’s authority. Search engines will acknowledge your site’s authority and move your website high up in search results.
5. Post Valuable & Optimized content
As you have already heard a gazillion times, content is the king! Hence, posting quality content on the website should be your priority. This content can be in images, blogs, videos, infographics, testimonials, etc.
All you need to do is optimize them with original and relevant content along with the right keywords.
Being a part of the healthcare industry, posting content regularly can be beneficial. Since 7% of google searches are health-related queries, the answer to these queries would be the content available on the healthcare websites.
6. Include a Sitemap On Your Website
Creating a clean site map is an overlooked tip for indexing your website properly with search engines.
A simple site map assists these search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing with a blueprint of how your website is laid out and connected. It even helps the visitor with better access to your website.
7. Don’t be a Copycat
As a website owner, this is one of the most basic tips to follow. Plagiarized content is a big no-no! In other words, never copy someone else’s content and present it as your own. It ruins the credibility and puts you in a world of hurt with SEO for healthcare providers.
Duplicate content within the website pages is also viewed as a breach of healthy SEO practices. Even if you’re writing about similar topics and using the same keywords, you need to rephrase and repurpose your content to make it original.
8. Track your Patient’s Journey
Establishing which web pages have the highest and lowest traffic and tracking your average visitor’s journey using Google Analytics plays a very important role in building the perfect website.
It allows you to study bounce rates and average time spent on individual pages to know where to allocate efforts.
You allow potential customers to achieve that first interaction and discover your business and be a guide throughout a patient’s entire journey with your brand.
9. Use Consistent URL Structure
When it comes to website URL structure, consistency is key for ranking purposes. These SEO tips matter when it comes to healthcare brands and just SEO in general. Keep URLs short and consistent (the shorter, the better).
Try using dashes between words and incorporating keywords within the URL. While you can use digits in your URLs, avoid using dates, which may cause problems later when you update posts.
Well-structured URLs tend to rank higher on Google’s first page. Shorter site URLs optimize the user experience, instill trust in the web browser, and be easily shared.
10. Hire a healthcare SEO agency
One thing to keep in mind when employing an SEO initiative is that it needs to be done right for you to enjoy all of the benefits.
Most healthcare providers know about healthcare search engine optimization already. However, they might not understand the value of it for long-term success.
This is when you need to hire a healthcare SEO agency.
SEO agencies know better than you! Since they have the knowledge and experience necessary to make smart decisions for your site. They have a professional team that holds expertise in handling different clients, the utility of the best tools, and build strategies to keep up with the evolving landscape of SEO.
Along with SEO services, these healthcare SEO companies even offer digital marketing solutions for your business.
One agency that specializes in healthcare SEO services with proven track records is Cheenti.
How can Cheenti help in growing your healthcare business?
We at Cheenti thrive to ensure that your website is among the first to appear in search results when potential patients search for a new healthcare provider.
Ranking higher in search engine results attracts more leads for your healthcare website. Our SEO experts use their healthcare industry knowledge to help create an online presence and help you grow your patient base by guiding them to your online channel.
We at Cheenti guide you through a structured SEO process designed to optimize results and ROI, including:
- Discovery & Research: Assessing the level of competition and defining your campaign goals, site structure, strategic key terms, and baseline performance.
- Site Analysis: Reporting and monitoring site performance, along with informed recommendations & ROI assessment.
- Implementation: Optimization of website pages and application of professional best practices for SEO.
Whether your objective is to increase your roster of patients, build a brand name number, or improve sales or donations, Cheenti strives to make sure that your SEO efforts produce measurable results that facilitate your business goals.
Best 7 SEO Techniques for your Healthcare Business
Healthcare SEO can be an intimidating strategy initially, but there are actionable SEO techniques for healthcare and medical businesses that you can start working on today.
1. Determine your specific SEO goal and identify your target market.
Finding out answers to the question like, “what market should I target?” or “what kind of information do I want my potential patients to learn on my website?” play a key role in online success.
Since your business belongs to the healthcare industry, people visiting your website are those with specific needs related to healthcare. This is why you need to determine the target market regarding the products and services you offer.
Analyze the information that you offer. For example, dental clinics provide only basic cleaning services, and others offer additional orthodontics and dental surgery options. This information helps in deciding what your goal is.
2. Do keyword research as regularly as possible.
Studying keywords is one of the most important SEO strategies. These phrases or words, also known as long-tail keywords and short tail keywords, are what your patients often use when searching for healthcare information online.
For example: if the above dental clinic provides orthodontics, people searching for “dental braces services” or “dentist for braces” will be your potential patients.
Keyword research ensures that you’re using the targeted keywords that are popular, competitive and provide vital information when searched by patients.
As a healthcare business, try and focus on high-ranking medical search terms online. However, no matter how many relevant keywords you find for your informational website content, try avoiding keyword stuffing.
3. Use backlinks to help establish your website’s credibility.
Backlinks are links that come from credible websites linking or pointing to other pages of your website. It works like recommendations to people visiting that particular website.
When a visitor finds a link on your page, they will immediately know that it is an authoritative website.
The secret to attracting valuable backlinks is well-written, relevant, engaging, credible, and detailed content.
4. Use On-page SEO.
On-page SEO includes structuring your healthcare website in a way that makes it look friendly to search engines and easily understandable for your visitors. On-page uses SEO techniques such as content optimization, meta descriptions, image optimization, and title tags.
Meta descriptions help improve your website’s pages. These descriptions are snippets made up of around 160 characters. They represent the crux of your web content on search engine results pages. For example, it mentions your brand name, includes a call to action, and indicates your geographic location to attract visitors.
Meta titles include the word or phrase being searched and are shown as the heading of your search link. All this is part of web content optimization.
5. Off-page SEO is also essential.
Off-page SEO assists website optimization according to search engine results page ranking. It uses techniques and strategies such as content marketing, link building, influencer outreach, and forums. The primary objective of off-page SEO is to ensure that search engines understand other sites’ perceptions of your website.
Blog post writing is another great aspect of off-page SEO. A good content strategy and blogging structure is a match made in heaven! This helps your healthcare website to position itself relevant to customers’ queries.
Websites with an active blog generate 67% more conversion rates.
6. Local SEO for Healthcare Off-Site Techniques
Local search or local SEO is the process of optimizing your healthcare website to generate traffic from geographic searching. When you work with healthcare SEO companies, you’ll be introduced to the concept of the Google Map Pack or a carousel.
This cluster of similar businesses in the map appears near the top of the page in a Google search.
For example, if a patient searches for “dental clinics” in Jaipur, they’d be shown many medical businesses that match the description within that location.
To help Google associate the correct location with your organization, ensure your organization’s name, phone number, and address is accurately updated on a Foursquare Page, Google+ Local Page, and your website’s footer across the entire website.
7. Optimize for Mobile Devices
Having your website compatible with different device interfaces is very crucial, Especially. The mobile-friendly interface is critical for healthcare websites.
Since mobile traffic has grown to 222% in the last seven years, meaning that you might be missing on latest marketing trends and potential leads in case a visitor cannot access your website on a mobile device.
Optimizing your website with responsive web design for mobile devices will help the site become more engaging and perform better.
The competition is fierce in today’s marketplace. So it’s high time for healthcare brands to buckle up and enjoy good client traction by understanding the power of SEO. No matter whether you are a doctor, a medicine supplier, medical representative, or a hospital.
With Cheenti by your side, you will be able to reap the fruits of healthcare SEO while reaching out to the maximum. So talk to us, and we will take you along the search engine optimization journey for your healthcare business.