Doctors need medical SEO because they are competing with other medical professionals in their area for patients. Doctors who do not have an optimized website will rank lower than doctors who do, and this is a huge disadvantage.
In order to compete with other medical professionals, doctors should be using medical SEO strategies like content marketing and blogging.
One of the best things about medical SEO is that it’s often not as difficult for individual doctors to rank well in Google at this moment, but with more doctors investing in their own online marketing, you want to get started sooner than later.
This post discusses how to boost your search rankings so that more people can find you when they search for medical services.
What Is Medical SEO?
Medical SEO, or search engine optimization for the medical industry, is a specialized field of SEO that helps doctors and other medical professionals improve their website visibility in Google and other search engines.
By improving your website ranking, you can bring more potential patients.
The best and most effective medical SEO strategies include content marketing and blogging. For example, blogging on medical topics relevant to your patients, or answering their questions is a great way to not only show up in search results, but also help patients become comfortable with you before ever setting foot in your medical practice.
How Are Patients Using Google Search?
The latest data suggests that over 80% of prospective patients are using online search prior to booking an appointment with a healthcare provider. This already high number means that healthcare SEO is only going to become more competitive over the coming years, as the Google search results will become a premium.
In the majority of cases, patients are using the search engine results to try and find relevant web pages to current medical problems they are facing. This is why content marketing is so effective for local SEO. When you are the local doctor who is coming up when patients search and answer their questions, more time than not, you’ll be the one they schedule an appointment with.
Why Is It Important to Rank on the First Page of Google?
When patients are looking for medical services, they often use Google as their source. In a study by Bright Local, it was found that:
- 88% of people never scroll past the first page of search results
- 50.72% of people click on one of the top three organic search results
- 30.78% click on the first result
This means that if you aren’t ranking on the first page for relevant keywords used by local patients, you are losing out on potential patients.
Ranking on the first page is important because it drives more targeted traffic to your website.
When someone is searching for medical services in their area, they are likely to use Google as their source. If your medical practice isn’t ranking at the top of the search results, you are missing out on potential business.
How Can Doctors Boost Their Search Rankings?
There are many ways for doctors to improve their website visibility and rank higher in Google and other search engines.
Some of the most effective medical SEO strategies include content marketing, blogging, and using keyword research.
Another great way to boost your search ranking is by claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing. This will help you show up in local search results, which is especially important for doctors who want to target patients in their area.
In order to rank higher in Google, it’s important to continuously publish high-quality content that is relevant to your patients. This can be done by blogging on medical topics or answering patient questions on your website.
You should also use keywords throughout your website that are relevant to your practice, and make sure they appear in the titles of your blog posts and pages.
One of the most effective medical SEO strategies is to find keywords that are relevant and rank high in Google, but aren’t as competitive. This is known as keyword research, and tools like SEMRush can be great resources.
How Long Does It Take for Medical SEO to Work?
The amount of time it takes medical SEO to work can depend on a number of different factors, but in general medical practices should see an impact within four to six months.
If you are implementing medical SEO strategies like optimizing your Google My Business listing and adding blog posts with targeted keywords, then this will help improve your rankings even soon.
However, if you aren’t publishing new content or doing any other medical SEO techniques that target local areas in particular (like improving the NAP information on directories, adding yourself to relevant directory listings, etc.), then it may take longer for you to rank higher in search results organically.
As long as medical professionals continue their online marketing efforts by creating high-quality content using relevant keywords, they should begin seeing improvements soon enough.
What Are Some of the Technical Aspects of Medical SEO?
There are a number of technical aspects that medical professionals should be aware of when it comes to medical SEO. These include:
- Proper use of keywords in titles, headings, and body text
- Keywords not over-optimized for specific results
- Improving keyword density with articles at least 300 words long (if you’re using target keywords)
- Using the right anchor text within links on your website or blog posts
These factors can have a big impact on whether someone clicks through from Google search results to visit your website. If they notice that something is off about the way you’re using keywords, then they may not click through.
This is a critical part of medical SEO.
As mentioned before, one of the most important aspects of medical SEO is finding keywords that are relevant to your practice and rank high in Google, but aren’t as competitive. This can be done through keyword research, which is the process of identifying relevant terms and phrases people are using to search for medical information online.
One way to find less competitive keywords is by using long tail keywords. These are longer, more specific phrases that people use when they’re looking for something very specific. For example, a long tail keyword could be “Hip replacement surgery Chicago.”
Because these phrases are more specific, there isn’t as strong of an existing market to compete with. Plus, medical professionals can rank for multiple long tail keywords that are relevant to their practice and build up a lot of organic traffic over time.
Tools like SEMRush can be great resources for finding these keywords, as they allow you to see how many monthly searches each term receives as well as what the competition looks like.
This data can then be used to help you determine which keywords to target with your website content and blog posts.
Medical Website Design
To attract patients looking for healthcare providers, it’s also crucial for them to know that they are visiting reputable sites. This means that medical website design comes into play here. How you come across to patients online matters a great deal. Things like website speed, the site being mobile friendly, having a nice profile picture, and easy to access appointment scheduling is going to be of value to your site visitors, and help you rank better for relevant searches.
Also, patient reviews are something that is commonly used. Patients are aware of many of the medical marketing sites (ZocDoc, Healthgrades, etc.), and don’t place quite as much value on patient reviews found there as they do the ones placed on Google My Business and Facebook.
You should also encourage patients to leave reviews on this listing after they have visited your office. Of course, the more positive reviews you have, the better. There are many strategies you can employ to facilitate patients leaving positive reviews.
Also, at times you may have to deal with negative or fake patient reviews. Having a preset strategy in place can only benefit you here.
By investing time and effort into your reviews, new patients are more likely to schedule appointments with you. Not to mention, this really benefits your organic SEO as well.
One of the most important factors that medical professionals need to focus on is their Domain Authority. Domain Authority is a metric that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. The higher your Domain Authority, the better your chances are of ranking high in Google for relevant keywords.
There are many ways to increase your Domain Authority, but the most effective is to focus on creating high-quality medical content. This includes written blog posts, videos, infographics, and long-form pieces of medical writing.
Make sure that your website design plays a role in this as well by having great images, user-friendly navigation menus, and fast page load times. It’s also important to use medical keywords in your content, which can help with SEO.
Gaining Quality Backlinks
Lastly, you need to consider backlinking to improve your medical search engine optimization.
Backlinks are links that point from one website or webpage to another. This is what search engines like Google use as a ranking factor for medical websites; the more quality relevant sites linking to your page (and pointing at it with keyword-rich anchor text), the better chance of reaching Page One in medical search engine rank results.
Obviously, this becomes increasingly difficult if you’re not working with an experienced, healthcare-specific online marketing company that knows how to leverage these strategies properly and ethically within their services packages (so you don’t run afoul of Google’s guidelines).
For example, when marketing our full-service clients we utilize a variety of tactics, including:
- Content marketing for new articles on your website and blog posts that include specific keywords related to medical information. This increases the likelihood that someone searching online for medical information in particular will see you pop up as one of their search results.
- A/B testing different headlines and content types (like infographics) so they can determine which ones are most effective at getting people to click through from Google’s SERPs when people search with relevant terms or phrases associated with your practice area.
- Using social media platforms like Facebook either by creating ads or having an active presence promoting doctors in targeted areas based on the demographics of your medical practice.
Medical search engine optimization is a comprehensive, ongoing medical marketing process that can have long-lasting benefits for your medical business…and return on investment (ROI).
By starting with these basic yet effective medical SEO strategies listed above, you’ll be well on your way to gaining more traffic from qualified leads looking for healthcare services in the area.
What Are Ranking Factors?
Ranking factors are the elements that Google uses to determine how your website will rank in their search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are over 200 ranking factors, and medical websites must attend to many of them if they want a chance at attracting new patients through Google’s search results.
The most important ranking factors for medical sites include having quality content, being mobile friendly, earning backlinks from reputable sources, and optimizing titles and meta descriptions on-page.
If these basics aren’t addressed then it’s unlikely a medical website will see success through organic SEO alone.
Why Should Doctors Have an Online Presence?
Doctors should have an online presence for a variety of reasons. Having an online presence allows patients to become familiar with you before they ever step foot in the office. This is especially true if you practice in a location where there are many other specialists competing for your potential patient’s business.
Plus, online digital marketing is one of the best ways to attract new leads through organic online searches without spending an arm and a leg on traditional advertising.
Why Is Local SEO Better Than Paid Ads?
Organic SEO gives you much more control over your marketing message by allowing you to write blog posts or articles that attract clients in a variety of medical fields who are searching for information online using keywords related to their needs.
Paid ads do have their place, but can be expensive and less effective over time as fewer patients these days are clicking on Google Ads for medical services. Plus, PPC ads rely on a third party platform like Google AdWords, which you don’t own. And as I often say, “You don’t want to build your house on a rented lot.”
What’s One Easy Thing Doctors Can Do to Improve Their Google Rankings?
One easy thing that doctors can do for medical SEO is to make sure their Google My Business listing is optimized. This includes adding the correct information, such as your office address, hours of operation, and even photos of your practice.
Are Medical Professionals Capable of Doing Medical SEO on Their Own?
Absolutely! But while medical professionals can do medical SEO on their website or blog to help boost rankings with Google search results, you may want to consider bringing in a professional who has experience with this type of work. This way you will know for sure that everything is done correctly and meets the requirements set by Google in order to rank higher organically.
You should also use your time wisely so that you don’t have too much going on at once when handling the day-to-day operations of your medical practice while working towards improving online visibility as well!
SEO for doctors doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, many of the same principles that work for other businesses also work for medical practices. All it takes is some effort and a willingness to learn. If you search my site, you’ll find a great deal of information on SEO for doctors that will help you be successful in attracting new patients online.
And if you need help getting started, we can certainly assist you. Contact me today to learn more about how medical SEO can help your business grow!