How to Optimize Your Medical Website Through Medical SEO?
- January 11, 2019
Any business will definitely benefit from having their website at the top of Google search results. This is especially true for medical facilities. Why is this so?
It turns out that 73% of people with ailments go online and use search engines to find the proper health practitioner.
Not only that, 89% of internet users also use search engines to find answers to their medical questions. So you want to be able to meet patients’ needs right off the bat.
What is important to note here is that 55% of search engine users usually click on the first three entries that pop up on the results page. This is why your medical facility’s website has to be among those first three, otherwise they will end up being treated somewhere else.
That’s bad for business.
Now, how do you optimize your medical facility’s website? Through medical search engine optimization (SEO) done right.
What is Medical SEO and why is it so important to invest in it?
Essentially, medical SEO involves everything it takes to boost your medical website to get it to show up higher in search engine results pages.
This is to ensure that physicians, clinicians, specialists, and medical labs meet the patients who are online, looking for specific services.
We’re sure that you’re aware that times have changed. People are becoming more reliant on the internet to look up information.
This, in turn, made the internet what it is today – an ever-evolving gateway for consumers and companies alike, for them to meet halfway.
So it’s hardly surprising that patients will go on their computer or, more frequently, on their mobile devices to look for the right hospital, clinic or lab.
It’s important to invest in medical SEO because you want to be available to your patients. This is not going to be possible if your website is not as visible as it can be.
There are hospital administrators and doctors who believe that they can just resort to using pay per click (PPC) ads and call it a day. Sure, at a very basic level this makes sense, especially if your website is a small new boat just entering a sea of search results and you don’t want it to sink and get lost.
However, what you should be aiming to build here is a massive unsinkable ship. You have to understand that while PPC ads can do the trick sometimes, it can cost you a lot of money. What’s worse is that you can’t be sure if these clicks convert at all.
It will take some time since successful SEO doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s definitely worth doing if you want a sustainable marketing strategy.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
Using Medical SEO to get your healthcare company’s website to rank higher in Google’s Search Results
Googles ranks websites based on a complex algorithm that sorts them by relevance. This means that your website has to possess certain qualities for it to get to the top. Generally, these factors are:
1. You have to have a Google My Business page and the information has to be filled out completely.
Having a Google My Business account gets your site to show up in a user’s search engine local pack. What’s that, you ask? It’s a box above the organic search results that contain up to 5 business listings that are based on the user’s location.
This is important because your potential patients are most likely looking for health services that are in close proximity to their homes. Since three years ago, search queries that contain the phrase “near me” have doubled.
The information that will show up in Google’s local pack is based on what you’ve filled out on your Google My Business page. This is why you have to be 100% thorough with this.
You have to make sure that the following fields are filled in correctly.
- Your main contact numbers
- Your facility’s hours of operation
- Your facility’s location
- A comprehensive, yet concise description of your company
- Tick the categories that your medical professionals fall under (GP, OBGYN, ENT etc.)
- Reviews from past patients
2. Your website has to load quickly and it needs to be secure. It also has to be optimized for mobile devices.
The average window that a webpage must appear before the user opts out is three second. Miss that window and that’s one patient lost.
Of course, Google is well aware of this fact, so they include a site’s loading speed in their algorithm. They will prioritize sites that users will want to stay on and explore.
The goal is to get your website to load in under a second. There are a number of things you can do to accomplish this like implementing your own content delivery network (CDN) and compressing your content.
A competent web design team can do this for you.
Next, you want to make sure that your medical site is secure. Security should be at the top of your priorities because you will be dealing with a lot of sensitive information.
Having a secure HTTPS website will put your potential patients at ease and they will be more likely to trust you with this said information.
Lastly, you want your site to be mobile friendly. About 70% of internet users nowadays prefer to browse the web using a mobile device rather than a desktop setup.
If your site is not optimized for mobile, then it’s going to be difficult to navigate.
Based on studies conducted by Google, in the past 6 months, 77% of smartphone owners do their research on local health services on their mobile device. 79% of those users say that they would most likely visit a sire again if it was easily navigable.
3. Your website must contain quality content that is loaded with optimized keywords for medical SEO.
Even with having the qualities we explained on the previous item, your website would be useless if it didn’t have optimized high quality content tailored for SEO.
You can share quality content with your potential patients by sharing information that would be useful to them, meaning no fillers, no fluff.
Your content must be able to address what the patient needs. In the first place, patients who are online are most likely looking to address specific issues. It is your part to address these issues as best as you can.
In what forms does quality content take? You can take the time to dole out useful information through blog posts, relevant landing pages and automated opt-in email newsletters.
Google uses the following criteria to determine whether your site is high quality or not.
- The pages must be made with the user in mind. Google will notice if you’ve just slapped on a couple of optimized keywords to get more hits than you deserve.
- The site must be transparent and not deceptive.
- The site must not be gimmicky, with ploys just to get higher up on rankings.
- The site must be distinct and not just a tweaked typical website template. It must be easily distinguishable from other medical sites.
- You regularly check your site for hacking and address these issues immediately if they ever do occur.
- You regularly clear out user-generated spam. Your efforts into maintaining your website will be taken into account.
Things to avoid:
- Leaving backlinks where they’re not relevant.
- Having pages with plagiarized content.
- Having pages with viruses and other types of malware
- Veiled text or links and redirects that don’t make sense
- Being a part of an affiliate program without contributing anything of value
4. It also has to have quality images and videos that are relevant.
People tend to shy away from text-heavy sites and they are more attracted to visual content. This is why the focus on video marketing has reached an all-time high.
Because of this, sites that have videos in them get up to a 157% increase in traffic organically. On top of that, videos are more 50 times more likely to appear before the usual SERPs.
Creating high quality videos is the perfect way to share information about medical your potential patients’ concerns and to let them know who you are.
Yes, companies often have some sort of video introduction included in their site to make them appear more friendly and accommodating.
You should be aware that this is the must in the medical field. When dealing with individuals, especially in a very personal and private way, you have to be able to elicit feelings of trust.
When having video content created for your website, make sure that are optimized and uploaded with a speedy web player. You can’t expect to rake in views if they take too long to load.
As for images, these can be useful to space out text-heavy pages. But you have to make sure that you use high-res photos that, ideally, you have had taken specifically for your website.
It seems that a common quality of poor quality sites is their use of tacky and overdone stock images. It’s best to stay away from those.
5. Its navigation pages must be in order of a medical schema. The title tags and metadata has to be tight.
These days, Meta descriptions are already automated. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t optimize these yourself.
By using a WordPress medical template to build your site, install a plugin so that you’re able to edit Meta descriptions. You should also do with your title tags. And it’s highly advisable that you use optimized keywords.
A medical schema are codes that gives Google a more comprehensive view of your website. This is essentially what will de-cloak you and make your site more visible to Google.
Some of the things that you should highlight with medical schema are:
6. You have to use the right keywords that are related to your field
We’ve already established that the main way you can optimize your content for SEO is by using the right healthcare keywords. Let’s go more in depth into this.
We assume that your facility houses many specialists. You have to help potential patients as they narrow down their searches, looking for the right kind of service.
For example, let’s say that a patient is looking for a dermatologist. This is what optimized keywords would look like for that specific area:
- Dermatologist+ your city
- Dermatologist + your country
- Cystic acne + your city
- Acne treatment + your country
- Dermatology clinic + your city
- Acne treatment + your city
- Acne + doctor + your city
- Acne + treatment + your city
The list goes on…
A good way to utilize all possible keyword combinations is by using Google Keyword Planner. There, you’ll be able to see how frequently certain keywords are used for each specific practice in your medical facility.
It’s best to use phrases as keywords instead of individual words. This is a common sketchy practice among less skilled business owners who practice SEO and is penalized by Google.
7. You have to build up off-site authority. This means boosting your reputation through affiliations and having backlinks from other reputable sources.
Your popularity (not notoriety) depends heavily on your reputation. There are a number of ways you can build this up.
One, you have to gather as many virtual nods of approval. These can be in the form of links that have your site as its landing page, directory listings, and even recommendations on social media platforms.
Yes, building up your presence on social media platforms should be one of your priorities to boost your SEO efforts. In fact, studies show that 41% of consumers report that content on social media sites greatly affects their decision of what medical facility to go to.
42% of these users concentrate on reviews left by past patients of your medical facility, so this matters a lot.
Also, if you have garnered awards and citations, your website is the best place to showcase these.
Your main takeaway: A higher spot on Google Rankings equals more patients. Solid Medical SEO is the answer.
We recommend that as you employ these good SEO practices, you track your site’s analytics as well. On top of that, you have to interpret their implications to your overall strategy.
All of these efforts would go down the drain if you can’t improve upon the areas that need to be improved.
That being said, following these tips would be better than no SEO at all. However, if you really want to develop an excellent Medical SEO strategy that will blow your completion out of the water, it’s best that you hire a time of Medical SEO experts.
This is where we come in. We can take this off your hands and make your medical facility the most reputable and prominent healthcare provider center around.
Contact us today and learn more about what we can do for you.
One of our experts is online, she will get back to you