Some medical practices will survey new patients to learn how they found them. With direct referrals on the decline and patients finding online care options on the rise, having “Google search” selected on the patient survey is a positive sign of a strong online presence.
Practice managers who have asked how to be found in Google search learn that the answer is search engine optimization (SEO). The next questions are: what is search engine optimization and why is SEO important? To be honest, SEO can be rather complex but working with the right experts, investing in organic search digital marketing is not only beneficial but vital to your growth goals.
Why Is SEO Important for Your Medical Practice?
The importance of SEO for your web pages cannot be overstated. When potential patients search online for medical services in your area, the rankings they see first are not there by chance. It takes time and consistency to get to page one of search results and preserve top rankings.
How Does SEO Work?
To best serve its users, Google wants to deliver only the best and most relevant websites first for each search performed. For example, Google penalizes pages that are not built well or load slowly, as these hamper the user experience, by not giving them any prominent search ranking.
Most users will not even look at page two, three, etc. of search results. To avoid having your website buried under page one results is why SEO is important for your online visibility. The main components of SEO for doctors are an optimized website, high-quality content, and a focus on local search results such as Google My Business (GMB) listings.
- Optimized website – Your website is valuable and relevant to your community, so you need to ensure that Google “reads” it that way. On-page SEO means having the right keywords in your website content and having it structured well so Google can “crawl” it successfully.
- Quality content – In addition to keyword-rich website copy, blog content also helps with your SEO. Publishing relevant blog content at least once a month sends the signal that you continue to provide value to your audience and also builds the relevance of your website by adding more keyword power. Google wants to rank websites that have original, high-quality content so it needs to be well-written and original.
- Local search – Because most medical practices operate from an office facility, showing up in local search is integral for being found online. When users type “near me” or “best family practice doctors” Google will automatically generate local establishments. Quite often, what patients will see first in this case are GMB listings. Listings are not given – the medical practice must claim listings for each location and procure good ratings and reviews to earn top placement for local search results.
So how exactly can your medical practice website benefit from among the first patients see online? Here are three key reasons why SEO is important:
3 Key Reasons Search Engine Optimization Benefits Your Medical Practice
The providers seen on page one put time and resources into building local SEO visibility. When it comes to being found online, there are many moving parts, but also many good reasons to make the effort. Unlike paid search (pay-per-click advertising on Google) where you lose your placement the minute you cancel payment, with SEO, “organic” gains are yours to keep.
1: Build Brand Awareness and Visibility for Your Medical Practice
Since 68% of all online interactions begin with search engines, it is imperative that your medical practice shows up in searches! Employing search engine optimization on your website will help you build brand awareness and increase the visibility of your practice.
Effective SEO improves your ranking on popular search engines like Google and Bing. The higher up you are in the ranking, the greater advantage you have over the competition listed below you. Knowing your practice is one of the top options is the first step for winning new patients online, and SEO ensures that you are found for dozens of prime keywords.
2: Increase Website Traffic Through Organic Search
Your ranking directly correlates to how much website traffic you get because you won’t get visitors if they can’t find you in search. The search engines will automatically see that your site is (or is not) a frequently clicked-on answer to those searched-for words. Organic search results that are ranked high get more clicks and are seen as being more credible by savvy searchers than paid advertisements.
While it is true that paid search results get priority placement on the search engine search results (SERP), the first five organic search results account for almost 70% of clicks on Google. So, it is no wonder why search engine ranking and SEO are so important. By incorporating the SEO best practices on your website, you can land on page one of results and increase opportunities to attract new patients.
3: Establish Authority to Potential Patients
Search engines match search queries with the best authority on the topic. Shouldn’t that authority be you? Using SEO strategies, you can climb to the top of search results and be recognized as the authority within your specialty. Credible and unique content as well as providing educational information related to your area of practice are both important to building your reputation.
It is essential to produce quality content that contains the keywords you are targeting. The content needs to educate the viewer on your services and compel them to make an appointment or fill out your contact form online. A search engine will automatically notice when a person clicks on your link then roams around the pages on your site. When users spend time perusing and clicking around in your site, that confirms to Google that your content is indeed relevant to the keyword search. Your ranking will then increase or stay at or near the top of search results.
Medical Search Engine Optimization Services
While some aspects of medical digital marketing are things you can do on your own, SEO is one of those areas where experience and resources are needed to be successful. Providers got into healthcare to help people be healthy, not to spend hours maintaining a website. To steadily grow your patient base, hiring a digital marketing agency may be your best option.
Ensure your prospective patients can find you easily online with – and increase your online credibility – with enhanced search engine optimization services. Our healthcare SEO services include customized written blogs, content submission, and credible backlinking to establish relevancy and authority. Combine these services with local SEO promoting your specific office locations, and your doctor’s website will climb the ranks. Get started on attracting new patients with a free consultation!