What is SEO? SEO or search engine optimization is important to doctors, hospital, clinics, and medical practices for endless reasons. It means your ranking in the search engines when someone searches for doctors or clinics like you. By having a healthy SEO score, you increase your chances of getting new patients and keeping old ones. SEO helps with branding, marketing, and generating new business.
SEO basically runs off of keywords, so discovering relevant keywords for your practice is crucial to ensure you are ranking on pages that matter to your business. For example, keywords for a doctor that treats GERD might be "Gastroenterologist in Chicago, IL" or "GERD treatment" or "acid reflux".
Are there different types of SEO?
There are two main categories for SEO: On page and off page. On Page SEO is what happens on the pages of your website. It involves coding, Meta tags, content, keyword, social media, and website design. Off page SEO is what occurs on the server side, which is not visible to users on the website.
How does content affect SEO?
Patients want clear accurate useful content that helps them make decisions or cope with their illness. Blogs/articles give the search engines a chance to increase your rank in the search engines like Google and Yahoo. Basically, search engines "read" your content and search for relevant keywords to determine what your page is about. If you're optimizing your content for your selected keywords, you should start to see your page ranking increase.
Publish an article in your local hospital magazine or start a newsletter that is published for your practice. It can be online and often patients enjoy reading a newsletter about a medical practice they go to. Aim to get published in a medical magazine about something innovative your practice has done.
Find medical blogs that are about your specialty and post reverent information that will help drive traffic back to your website. First contact the webmaster of the site to see if you can submit a blog. If your blog provides unique content often it will be accepted. Medical blogs can be found under keywords like medical blogs.
Where you are listed is an important part of SEO and website optimization. Target the chamber of commerce, business and medical organizations that you belong to. Some are free and other will charge a fee to list you. The more places your business is located the better chance of getting new patients to your websites. Medical partners like the hospital you are associated with are ideal places to be listed and get referrals.
Good links on your site is another good SEO tactic. Links are what patients or customers click on that bring them to your website. Being linked to reputable sites is an important part of building up your website traffic. Outbound links are links to other medical sites and organizations and inbound links are links on your site. It important to have links that establish you as a legitimate medical practice.
A good SEO marketing company will ensure your links are good ones and not spam. Some links will hurt your rankings with the search engines. It important to keep your links on the website in good shape. There are many different type of links and keeping them all straight requires a good SEO marketing company.
More doctors and medical practices are learning how to effectively use social media. Some of the top sites are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Linked In and Pinterest. When you join a social media site fill out a professional profile of yourself and your practice. Some SEO companies suggest using an aggregator such as Hootsuite to help you promote your message to all sites. On these sites think about the type of content you want to promote and join groups with medical specialties like yourself. Post to these groups it helps to promote the business and establish youself as an authority.
Having a Facebook page is great place for patients to post and share information. When you don’t have time to do this, a good SEO marketing company will help you with writing content and posting to your social media page.
Targeting Patients and Geographic Area
Your website should be optimized for mobile users and the city town and state you’re located. Most patients come from the local area. Knowing where your patients are located is important for your marketing efforts to pay off. If they are looking for a doctor, local listings are where they are searching.
Learn about your competitors and how they market their services. You are competing with them, but that doesn't mean you can't learn from them. Learn about their services, fees, marketing techniques, and how their website compares to yours. Remember many users use tablets and cell phone so make your site is easy for them to use. Websites must be optimized for mobile users.
These are some of the benefits of knowing SEO basics and using good SEO practices. It can build your brand and bring new patients and help retain the ones you have. At Atlantic Health Solutions, we can help you along your journey to increasing your SEO. Contact us today to learn about how we can take care of all of your healthcare marketing needs.
By Joan Russell