Healthcare SEO Fundamentals to Grow Your Medical Practice

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When it comes time to find a doctor, many patients turn to Google to find their closest and best option. This is why SEO for healthcare providers is a very important part of your digital marketing strategy.

Your website that appears at the top of the list means that patients are more likely to click and schedule an appointment.

If your practice isn’t at the top of the search results, someone else is.

Your competitors.

Which means you may lose new patients.

This is why SEO for health is essential for any medical website.

If you’re not capitalizing on organic consultations, you’re basically gifting those patients to your competition.

By paying attention to Google’s most up-to-date recipes for good SEO, particularly when it comes to healthcare content, you can beat the competition and see your digital presence skyrocket.

Many medical professionals think that pay-per-click, or PPC, ads are enough to attract the visitors they are looking for.

However, starting with PPC is like putting an adhesive bandage on your problem. It will only be good in the short term.

As a medical or healthcare company, you need to incorporate SEO into your digital marketing to attract potential patients to your website.

Consequently. And in the long term.

If your website and its content are not considered quality in the eyes of Google, your presence in searches will suffer.

Important Healthcare SEO Concepts

Speaking of quality, two extremely important concepts for healthcare are EAT and YMYL.

EAT is synonymous with experience, authority and reliability.

The concept was created to help third-party evaluators rate Google search results.

Although EAT is not a direct ranking factor, EAT reveals a lot about what Google considers important, essentially what types of websites Google wants to reward with higher search visibility.

EAT is of great importance for any web page that contains medical information.

The information and statistics you provide on medicine and health could directly affect potential patients who read them.

People visit and read your web pages because they are looking for reasons to entrust their health to their query.

Your information must be absolutely top-notch, literally full of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.

Only then will you have a chance to get a good ranking in the healthcare industry.

This brings us directly to the concept of YMYL, which is short for Your Money or Your Life.

YMYL, as a concept, basically means any content that can directly affect a reader’s health, finances, or safety.

Obviously, this concept is important to understand in the competitive healthcare space.

If your content doesn’t meet those standards (for example, it has inaccuracies or little information), it will have a harder time ranking in search results.

However, by focusing on long-tail keywords and location-based content, it is possible to perform moderately here.

By implementing the right kind of SEO so that your medical practice is in the eyes of the right users, you will put your website in a better position to outperform your competitors.

The most important Healthcare SEO strategies

The following six strategies are the most important when it comes to SEO for health.

1. Use proper medical keywords

When optimizing your content, you want to target the right keywords for your industry.

Your starting point should be the medical services you offer, as that is what most search engines will be looking for.

Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner can help you find the best keywords for your industry, comparing what is searched and what is not.

As in all cases, avoid “putting” keywords in the content.

Google quickly picks up on this spam tactic and will penalize your website. Instead, put specific, long-tail keywords into your content in a relevant, readable, and natural way.

This will not only separate you from WebMDs, but it will also begin to attract the patients you want – those who live in your geographic area and seek the specialized expertise you offer.

2. Add lots of content pages

Your content pages should be filled with high-quality information optimized for your keywords.

For the medical industry, you want your content to help improve or make life easier for your audience.

Whether it’s a detailed description of your services or blog posts targeting your specific search query, high-quality content is king for healthcare businesses.

Google sets a much higher standard on medical web pages than it does in other industries.

This is because these pages have the potential to affect the future health, happiness or financial stability of users.

Low-quality content on these pages could have dangerous or unintended medical consequences.

Always think of your target audience when creating content for your website.

What are they looking for?

What information will help you the most for that search?

By writing long-form educational content, Google will recognize you as an authoritative figure within the industry, thereby increasing your rank.

3. Optimize visuals

Video is one of the most popular ways people consume content.

Web pages with videos can get more organic traffic.

And people spend more time on those pages because they are watching the video.

This increases a user’s time on the page and signals to search engines that there is something valuable on the page for users.

When optimizing your

website for SEO, make sure to include relevant, high-quality videos alongside your content, whenever you can. You should read:   How One HubSpotter Created a Framework to Reduce Meeting Fatigue

Whether it’s a virtual tour of the facility or an informational video about a medical condition, many users will be drawn to that 600+ word plain text content.

You should also include a variety of images and infographics on your website. The more interactive and attractive your site is, the more visitors you can attract.

Make sure your site images also include appropriate alt text. Image alt text helps visually impaired users and Google crawlers better understand what is displayed on the page.

This can be an excellent opportunity to incorporate some of your keywords. (But, as with all SEO, don’t overdo it!)

4. Optimize website speed, security and mobile usage

The speed, security, and mobile compatibility of your site are ranking factors.

If your website takes more than three seconds to load, many people may back down and turn to a competitor who gives them a faster experience.

Now, having said that, it is important to mention that slow sites can rank highly for certain queries. Google doesn’t penalize a perfect site just because it’s a little slower.

But optimizing its speed certainly can’t hurt the overall user experience.

At most, your website should take about two seconds to load, but ideally, your goal should be less than half a second.

Google’s PageSpeed ​​Insights tool is a great place to check your site’s current speed. It also provides information on possible solutions to help improve your speed score.

Another important healthcare SEO factor is the security of your website. An SSL certificate helps encrypt your website, ensuring that your data and that of your visitors are protected from hackers.

If your healthcare company’s site doesn’t use SSL security, Google will penalize its ranking. This certificate is a must when accepting confidential patient information, so there is no excuse for a website not to implement it.

Most importantly, your website must be mobile-friendly. Most searches are now done on mobile devices, and if your website is not optimized for them, users will choose your competitors’ websites.

The best way to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly is to have a responsive design.

This means that your site automatically changes to fit the screen you’re viewing on, reducing the risk of bad user experiences from one device to another.

5. External factors

External indicators (for example, links to your site and social media traffic) are just two areas that can help influence your search ranking. You should read:   SEO Definition, Examples and Best Practices

Social media, while not a direct ranking factor, should be one of your top priorities when it comes to external SEO.

The content found on a social media page can significantly influence a patient’s choice of hospital or treatment center.

Many users also take social media reviews into account before scheduling an appointment.

You want to make sure your social profile is up-to-date and relevant to your business so that users can find and interact with you in a variety of ways.

When it comes to links, you should also make sure that spammy links don’t potentially affect your SEO performance.

Use your favorite link building tool to check your existing link profile and analyze the links that appear.

Are they all from relevant and quality sources? Or do many of them appear to be spam?

Disallow any unwanted links to help clean up your link profile and improve your ranking. (Just read this first).

6. Local SEO for Healthcare

You should also keep your Google My Business page optimized and up-to-date.

Patients want local services, and in order for them to find you, your business must be listed in Google’s local package.

This grouping of 4-5 companies appears above organic search results.

On mobile devices, they are the only thing people see before scrolling.

The information in these listings comes primarily from your GMB page, so you need to ensure that the following information is accurate and available:

  • The commercial categories.
  • Your main phone number.
  • The description of the company.
  • Your hours of operation (and any seasonal hours).
  • Your address or service area.
  • Google reviews of your business.

Another critical factor for local SEO is local citations.

These are online mentions of your business that show your essential NAP information (name, address, phone).

Local citations can come from business directories, social profiles, blog posts, newspaper websites, and other sources.

All of these help your SEO efforts.

Healthcare SEO Fundamentals Conclusion

If you want better rankings on Google, and more patients, you need to make sure you have a healthy SEO strategy.

Growing your medical practice may take some time.

So the right approach can make a difference.

By implementing the above SEO strategies, you are taking the necessary steps to secure your digital presence.

Nothing is guaranteed in digital marketing, but by taking the EAT and YMYL qualities of your web content into account at all times, you put yourself in a better position to outperform your competitors and start succeeding online.

Certified Expert on Organic & Paid SEO (Local and National), Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Online Reputation Management, Website Development and Design.

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