When you’re running a healthcare practice, search engine optimization (SEO) is key for helping you improve your online visibility, which can attract new website visitors and reach new audiences.
See for yourself how ReferralMD can improve your patient referral process with patient engagement tools that reduce no-shows.
This post will outline 7 SEO tips to help you reach the right people and attract more patients. Read on to learn more.Image Credit
Optimize and claim your Google “My Business listing.”
A Google My Business (GMB) listing lets you provide Google users with more information about your practice, its operations, your most important details, and what previous patients have thought of your services.
It’s a great tool for businesses with physical locations because these listings tend to show up for local searches. They also appear on the right-hand side of the Google search results on a desktop or at the top of the results on mobile, so it’s definitely worth looking into registering a GMB listing for your business.
Visit the Google My Business site and click on the ‘manage now’ prompt to claim your listing. Then you can input basic information about your practice like the name, phone number, address, and website of your business. Having an optimized GMB listing can help you extend the reach of your healthcare practice so you can attract more patients in your local area.
Make sure you get the most out of the Google My Business features, so you’re providing prospective patients with as much information as possible. It’s also worth noting that Google has been releasing new features over the last year to help businesses and organizations to keep their customers up to date during the ongoing pandemic. If you would like to learn more about this, make sure you check out Roadside Dental Marketing’s guide to updating your Google My Business listing for a Covid-19 reopening.
Encourage your patients to leave reviews (especially on Google)
Google reviews can help you to rank higher on search engines. If the search engine notices that many people are giving your organization positive feedback, the search engine will put more trust in your site and feel more confident about ranking it well for relevant queries.
Plus, prospective patients are likely to trust word-of-mouth recommendations and the personal experiences of others over other forms of marketing. So, reviews can encourage more people to visit your organization for treatment.
To convince your patients to leave reviews, you could ask them in person after your service has been provided. Or send an email or text asking them to leave a review of their experience with your practice a couple of days after their appointments.
Displaying reviews on your website or search engine listings is a great way to build trust with new patients as it helps them see that other people have benefitted from your service. Reviews also act as a free source of advertisement and endorsement.
Build links on similar and local websites
Link-building is the process of acquiring backlinks to your website from other sites. It provides an opportunity to reach a wider audience and can improve your rankings on Google’s SERPs. And, if you build links on the right types of websites, this can help give search engines more context about where you’re based and what you do. So, it’s a good idea to focus on getting your practice featured on healthcare websites, as well as the sites of local businesses, charities, and newspapers.
There are lots of tactics you can use to earn local and relevant links. You could get involved with your local community by participating in local events, donating to worthy causes, and developing relationships with similar local businesses. If any of these events get written about online, your website could be linked to drive more traffic your way.
It would be best if you were aiming to get local links from sites and directories in the healthcare niche whose audiences will find your content useful. And you should avoid getting links from spammy sites or even purchasing links from other sites because Google can penalize you for these approaches. Good links should be earned naturally from authoritative and relevant sources to boost your SEO and send more qualified traffic to your website.
To get link-building opportunities, you can reach out to local blogs or websites in similar industries and determine if you can guest post for them. You can write helpful articles and include links to lead readers back to your website if they agree. You can also increase the chances of people linking back to your website content naturally by ensuring it’s engaging, credible, and genuinely useful.
Create content that provides value for your patients
If you can provide genuine value with your content, prospective patients will be far more likely to visit your website and trust your practice. By providing value, you position your website and, ultimately, your practice as a valuable resource that your patients can trust.
There are different kinds of content you can create to provide a lot of value. An example is useful (and free) tools like calculators or questionnaires that your patients can easily solve or access information. These are very engaging and tend to attract more traffic, links, and social shares. You could also produce how-to guides to provide comprehensive and detailed answers to the common questions that your audience is asking.
Educational resources like podcasts or video tutorials are other examples of content that you can use to provide valuable information about the healthcare industry or your services. And then we have eBooks that offer a great way to give out information and can be downloaded for free so that people have access even when they’re offline.
Here are some examples of companies that provide great value with their content to insight into what this can look like.
First, we have Helix Hearing Care’s guide to hearing aid maintenance. This is very relevant to its target audience, as they focus on providing customers with the best hearing devices and care in this area.
They have created detailed video tutorials that show their patients how to change their hearing aid batteries and filter, care for their hearing aids, or take them on and off. To make it easier to understand, the videos are concise, and they employ diagrams that show exact steps on what to do.
This is an example of an educational resource that provides immense value for their customers and plays a part in helping them optimize their website for search engines.
Another great example is from Orphanet. They have a database dedicated to providing information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. This website contains data on 6000+ rare diseases and information on how to diagnose further, treat, and care for patients with these diseases.
They have an advanced search tool that allows visitors to search for rare diseases by name on their website. When users do this, they summarize the disease, a clinical description, and links to further information on the condition. This is a handy tool, and it is also very descriptive, which improves the chances of their website appearing on relevant search engine result pages.
Ensure your practice’s NAP is consistent on every platform
The acronym NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. These details must remain consistent across all platforms, primarily including your website, social media, and directory listings. This helps search engines like Google know that your business is legitimate and credible. Plus, it will make it much easier for them to provide your details to relevant patients, as there will be no questions about what they are.
Inconsistencies in your NAP can also be off-putting for potential patients, as they will find it hard to locate and trust your practice. You should also make sure to update your website and social media platforms if there are any changes in your practice’s address or phone number.
Having a consistent NAP will make it easier for potential patients to find your practice and will make sure search engines offer similar and accurate results across all platforms.
Target relevant and local keywords with your website copy
Targeting local keywords in your web content is important as it will help your practice appear in the search engine results in response to local queries.
This is why you have to perform local keyword research. To do this, you can use keyword research tools like Ahrefs and Ubersuggest, which will help you discover a list of relevant terms and key phrases.
When using these tools, you want to specify the area where your practice is located. For example, you could type in the phrase “optician in Boston” and sift through the results generated to find the best and most relevant keywords to incorporate into your content. Semrush has a great guide to local keyword research that can walk you through the process and give you great results.
Once you have your list of local keywords, you can then integrate them into your website content. Make sure the keywords appear as natural as possible and don’t engage in keyword stuffing, but rather construct your content so that the keywords flow into your sentences and are relevant to what is being discussed.
Publish content that boosts your E-A-T
Google wants to provide the best results for every query, so the search engine will look at your E-A-T when deciding how to rank your site. This refers to three factors: expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. So, to prove that your website is a great source of information and deserves to rank well, you need to be publishing content that embodies these characteristics. To do this, you need to identify your practice’s areas of expertise and focus on creating authoritative content on relevant topics.
Another tip that can help you fulfill the expertise aspect of the E-A-T guidelines is to display your accolades and achievements on your website. This will help you increase visitors’ trust in your practice and show search engines that there’s concrete proof that you know what you’re doing.
Another concept you should be focusing on as a healthcare practice is YMYL. This stands for Your Money or Your Life and mostly affects websites that offer services and products that impact people’s health, happiness, financial stability, and safety.
Again, one of the best ways to make sure your website is optimized for YMYL is by creating high-quality content that focuses on helping customers. Radd Interactive has a great guide to YMYL best practices, which is well worth reading if you want to learn more about this.
Let’s look at some examples of healthcare websites that do a great job of boosting their E-A-T through their website content.
Hclinical is an example of a company that publishes content created to boost the E-A-T of its website. They facilitate clinical trials and, on their therapeutic areas landing page, you can see detailed information about the different practice areas they’re experts in. They also show that they are trusted in the health and clinical trials industry by including a review from a previous client who speaks of their expertise. All these elements show that they are indeed experts and authorities in their field and can be relied on to provide exceptional services for in-home clinical trials.
And then, we have Atlantis Eyecare, which has an entire page dedicated to displaying the titles and qualifications of the surgeons and optometrists working at their company. This kind of content is beneficial for showing their expertise in the eyecare industry. It also lets prospective customers know that they will receive the best medical care from fully qualified medical personnel. This will help convince search engines like Google to recommend their website to the relevant people looking for help or advice.
Taking advantage of SEO best practices can really help you to reach the right people and attract more patients.
Some tactics you can use include optimizing your GMB listing, building local links on relevant sites, and publishing content that shows your expertise and authority. And if you need any help with attracting or managing patients who are referred to your healthcare practice, you can use ReferralMD’s suite of tools to keep track of it all.
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