Your health care facility needs an online marketing strategy, so your potential patients who search for health-related advice or medical services can find you. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) improves your website visibility and brings more visitors to your site, which increases the number of patients coming to your clinic. According to 67% of marketers, SEO is the most effective marketing tactic. Most of your prospects visit Google to find hospitals, urgent care facilities, dental clinics, chiropractors, or other specialty clinics. If Google doesn’t understand your health care website’s context, even if your medical services are relevant, your site won’t show up in users’ search queries. However, even if the leading search engine understands the services you provide are relevant to users’ needs, your web page won’t appear at the top of search results if it cannot deliver a pleasant user experience. Search Engine Optimization aims to make your site content easy to understand for Google and deliver a better user experience to your site visitors. There are hundreds of ranking factors that determine your website positions in relevant search queries, and although some remain unknown even to SEO experts, there are steps you can take that bring guaranteed results and will boost your online rankings.
Appearing in Relevant Queries Starts with Keywords
According to statistics, 47% of internet users search for information about doctors or other health professionals. To appear in relevant search queries of your potential patients, you need to know how they conduct their searches.
The most effective way to get started with Search Engine Optimization is to find the keywords prospects may use to land on your site and target them in your page titles, links, URLs, and content on your site, so Google understands the relevance of your pages to the users’ needs.
A searcher who wants to have LASIK surgery, for instance, most likely will start reading online content to see if the eye surgery is effective and improves vision, or if it’s safe and has any side effects. Some users may want to know if LASIK is useful for patients with astigmatism or can treat far-sightedness. Now, if you think that the only way people are going to find you is by typing “ophthalmologist near me,” you will miss out on the numerous opportunities of bringing users to your site. People will use way more keywords to find you than just “LASIK surgery.” Some of the keywords may be “does LASIK surgery work?,” “LASIK surgery risks,” “how long do the results of LASIK surgery last?” etc. One way to see how people are searching for topics related to your service is by typing “LASIK surgery” in Google and looking at the section “People also ask.”
Then you can scroll down to see “searches related to LASIK surgery.” Both sections on Google provide you with more keyword ideas you can target on your site.
For more keyword ideas, you can use Ubersuggest where you will type a seed keyword into the tool, which in your case is “LASIK surgery,” and see what the other keywords you can target are.
In Ubersuggest, you can see different metrics for each keyword, and it’s crucial to look at the Volume – average searches per month to see if the keyword can bring traffic. More users searching for a keyword usually increases the competition to rank for it, and SEO difficulty (SD) is another metric for you to consider. Although “LASIK surgery” brings more traffic than “cost for LASIK surgery,” it’s such a competitive keyword that, considering the time it takes to beat the competitors, “cost for LASIK surgery” may bring more users to your site. High competition doesn’t mean you exclude keywords from your strategy, but it means you are not limiting yourself with keywords that bring the most traffic and are extremely challenging to target. Additionally, longer keywords serve a more specific purpose. Users searching for “LASIK surgery” may have perfect vision and want to know about the surgery. Someone searching for “cost for LASIK surgery” already knows about the procedure, and the fact that the user is curious about the cost means they are more likely to convert to becoming your patients. Choosing the right keywords for your SEO strategy depends on your services, area of practice, competitors, and your online marketing goals. Different tools you can use to check the competition and the traffic for keywords you wish to target or related searches are SEMrush, MOZ Keyword Explorer, KWtool, or Wordtracker.
Provide Your Prospects with Useful Content
Health care facilities should produce more helpful content for users, as potential clients, most of the time, perform a search in order to find helpful content related to their health concerns. Content is crucial in your SEO strategy and enables you to target more keywords and appear in more search queries. Content beneficial to your prospects’ needs will build trust in your medical practice, and more people will use your services. A great way to supply your potential clients with compelling articles is by creating a blog where you can write around health issues related to the services you offer. To go back to LASIK surgery, some of the topics you can target can be “symptoms and causes of astigmatism,” “do I need to wear glasses when driving,” “is myopia a genetic disease?” etc. Your blog post ideas usually derive from your chosen keywords and your medical practices. Writing blog posts is a great way to target your prospects and appear in the search queries they conduct, so when they are ready for treatment, you have more chances of receiving their calls.
The Health of Your Website Is Crucial for Your SEO
As a healthcare practitioner, you know the importance of health in the lives of your patients. In the same way, your website health is crucial for your SEO efforts. Writing about your prospects’ health concerns will not be beneficial to your site if your website isn’t in good shape. Google wants to supply users with useful pages, and those websites that don’t provide a pleasant user experience don’t perform well in search queries, as there is no point in listing a page in results if users are going to abandon it.
Your potential patients may leave your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. We live in a fast-paced world, and people don’t have time to wait around for your website elements to load in their browsers. Page Speed is among Google’s ranking factors and will affect your site’s online visibility. To analyze your page’s content and get suggestions from Google on improving your site speed, you can use PageSpeed Insights.
More and more of your patients use their smartphones to conduct searches on Google. Ideally, your website should load correctly on all devices, and if it fails to do so, you”ll have fewer chances of ranking well in search queries. Google uses mobile-responsiveness as a ranking factor, and it’s essential to target mobile users on your site. To see if visitors are having issues using your page from their phones, you can run a Mobile-Friendly test from Google and get suggestions on fixing issues.
Your website design determines the way users interact with the site and find the information they need. There is no recipe for excellent web design. Besides that, it has to provide a pleasant user experience, establish your brand’s style, and correctly display your website elements. Failing to have a proper layout on a web page, and overstuffing it with various design elements, will make it challenging to find the content and navigate from page to page. On the other hand, a simple, elegant, easy-to-use website will provide a pleasant user experience and make it easy to interact with the site, which will improve your rankings, as users will stay on pages longer and engage with your content.
Use High-Quality Images
Website owners know that unoptimized images may result in slow-loading times and cause frustration for your users. However, this doesn’t mean you have to use low-quality images. Visuals are crucial as 65% of people are visual learners, and most of your site visitors will look at images before reading the text. Poor-quality images will cause mistrust and dissatisfaction in site visitors. It’s essential to include high-quality images on your site, and if it’s large, you can use software like Adobe Photoshop to decrease the file size without sacrificing the picture quality.
Local SEO for Your Health Care Facility
Local SEO improves your visibility in location-related queries, so when someone types “ophthalmologist near me” in a search query and your eye clinic is close to the searcher, you appear in their search results. Google organizes local businesses in a section, called local 3-pack, above the list of pages. If your clinic appears in the top three, you have more chances to get more patients to your clinic. Users can hit “more places” and see more businesses in a query, but statistics show only 8% of them do so, and your goal should be to appear at the top of the section.
To rank for location-related search queries, you need to create a Google My Business Account and verify your business. The information you provide should be accurate and up to date, indicate hours of operation, contact information, and show pictures of your business.
Ask your existing patients to give you feedback online. Reviews help your local rankings and will encourage others to use your medical services. You can ask your patients to review online after the treatment or consultation. Respond to each review, even the negative ones, so others have a reason to give you feedback and also see you care about your patients.
Additionally, create local content and write about health-care-related events in your area. Writing about location-related topics will enable you to include the name of the city, name of the street, districts, or other location indicators on your site. Don’t forget to embed Google maps on your site, so it signals the location of your business to Google.
We hope with the SEO steps you take, you can achieve high rankings, increase traffic to your site, and convert more website visitors to your patients. With increased online visibility, you can grow your healthcare business and treat more patients who need your help.