What do you think of when you think of search engine optimization? Maybe you start to feel stressed, or you simply don’t know where to begin. Fortunately, SEO for doctors doesn’t have to be as complex as it may seem. However, you still need to know what to do to make the most of it.
Read on to learn how to attract patients with SEO.
Select the Right Keywords
One of the most important factors of SEO for doctors is to choose good keywords. The best keywords for your practice are those that your current and prospective patients are using.
Your patients may be searching for a doctor in your city or a “doctor near me.” They might also be searching for specific symptoms for diseases you treat based on your specialty.
For example, a dermatologist may try to rank for keywords such as “acne treatment” or “skin cancer prevention.” But a cardiologist would want to rank for terms such as “heart disease” or “blood pressure.”
Put yourself in the position of your patients or their parents. Then, you can find keywords that they might use but that also aren’t too competitive for you to rank highly.
Optimize Your Website
Once you decide on a few keywords to optimize for, you need to work on your website. You can optimize each page and blog post for a different keyword to increase your chances of showing up in more search results.
For example, the home page for a dermatologist website could be “dermatologist in New York.” But the website could also have a blog with posts optimized for keywords like “when to see a dermatologist.”
No matter which keywords you use, be sure to add them to the titles and headings within a page or post. Include the keyword for the page naturally within the body, and don’t overuse it or try to force it.
Another vital part of SEO for medical websites is to provide value with your content. You could use the perfect keywords and get a lot of people to click on your website, but that won’t matter if they don’t stay.
When writing a page or post, consider how it can provide value to the reader. Maybe you’ll answer their question about their symptoms, or you’ll explain why they should visit your clinic instead of a competitor.
Either way, the best keywords for doctors will do more than help patients find you. The keywords should provide inspiration for the content to help you give your website visitors a quick win.
You can also use pages and post to build trust with your patients. Share your knowledge in each post, and use your blog to encourage people to book an appointment with you.
Follow a Schedule
To get the best results, you should continue to post content on a schedule. Not only will that help your current patients, but it will give you more chances to rank highly in search results.
You may be able to take the first spot for multiple keywords that people use. Consider how often you can write new blog posts and upload them to your website.
It doesn’t matter if you can post once a month or once a week. Being consistent will allow you to answer more questions from patients and search engine users.
Then, your content can start to show up for different keywords, which can increase your overall traffic. And you may be able to convert those visitors into patients.
Focus on Speed
Next, you should focus on the speed of your website. If your website takes forever to load, people may not wait, so you can have a high bounce rate.
The higher the bounce rate, the more people are clicking on your website but not staying. When that happens a lot, it can tell Google and other search engines that your website isn’t good.
Even if you’ve managed to rank highly for a few keywords, you could lose your rankings. You can do a lot to speed up your website, such as compressing images and getting rid of plugins and files you no longer need.
When working on your medical SEO, you don’t want to forget about the mobile version of your website. As more people start to use their mobile devices to browse the internet, mobile optimization will get more important.
Most website platforms allow you to design the mobile version separately from the desktop version. That way, you can get rid of any elements that get in the way of the smaller screen.
Having a responsive design can help you rank higher in search results, and you can maintain that traffic. When your mobile site is easy to use, people will want to keep browsing instead of click away.
Your mobile site should be relatively simple and easy to use. Consider designing an accordion menu so that people can still navigate the site, but the menu won’t take up unnecessary space.
Set Up Google My Business
A Google My Business page is another essential part of local SEO for doctors. Your Google My Business page can contain your contact information, website, and even patient reviews.
When someone searches for a doctor in the area, your listing may show up at the top and on a map. Once you set up your page, you can use it to post updates regarding events or new patient specials.
Then, you can get more advertising on Google without having to pay for ad space. Google My Business can give prospective patients an idea of where your office is, so they can decide if they’re close enough or willing to make the drive to visit you.
Join Social Media
A website isn’t the only place where you can work on SEO for medical practices. If you want to improve your SEO and grow your reach, you should join at least one or two social media platforms.
You can use the platforms to share updates and links to your website. Then, your patients can share the posts and recommend you to their friends and followers.
Also, social media networks have built up trust with search engines, so having links on a platform can help your SEO. Social media is another great traffic source, so you may get more people to your site.
As your traffic increases, search engines can recognize that. Then, the engines may choose to show your website to more people.
Backlinks are links from another website to your own, and they can help you rank higher in search results. You can get backlinks from social media, medical organizations, and other businesses.
As long as the websites the links come from are trustworthy, Google will start to trust your site. If a medical association links to your website, that can add a lot of credibility.
However, getting backlinks from scammy websites that have nothing to do with your practice can be a waste. At best, they won’t do anything for your SEO, and at worst, they can hurt your rankings.
So make sure to look for links from reputable websites. You can partner with a local school, for example, and you can link to each other to help promote your practice and their institution.
Get Returning Traffic
Another way to help improve SEO for doctors is to get returning traffic to your website. This can tell search engines that your content is valuable and worth coming back for.
You can get returning visitors with social media by posting regularly. When someone first visits your site, you may also want to collect their email address with a signup form.
Then, you’ll be able to send a newsletter straight to their inbox. If you have a special deal or new content, the newsletter might encourage subscribers to head back to your website, increasing your traffic.
Review Your Analytics
After you start implementing a few strategies to improve your SEO, you should review your analytics. Give strategies a month or two to start showing results.
Then, use tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Google Analytics can tell you how many visitors your site gets in a day, week, or month, and it can tell you where those views come from, such as search results.
When you use Google Search Console, you can learn which keywords get the most click and impressions. Knowing that can help you decide which keywords to target in the future to increase traffic from search engines.
Understanding your analytics is critical to growing your business as a doctor. Numbers don’t lie, so they can help you decide if you need to change something to get better results.
SEO for Doctors Done Right
SEO for doctors can seem overwhelming and even unnecessary. However, search engine optimization can help you get more traffic, which can then lead to more patients and a thriving medical practice.
Whether you’re a pediatrician, dermatologist, or have another specialty, SEO is crucial. Without a good SEO strategy, you may struggle to keep your clinic open.
Do you want to use SEO to grow your medical website? Contact me to learn how I can help.