A Spoonful of SEO to Nurse Your Rankings Back to Health
January 4th, 2016 by
The Internet isn’t just where people go to find out whether they can self-diagnose a brain tumor. Increasingly, the Internet is where potential patients shop around for the best local clinics and medical services. Fortunately, there are a few SEO principles that can help make your website easier to find. Before you work on drawing traffic to your site, however, it’s important to make sure that your website provides high-quality, unique information. At the most basic level, you need original content, or text that hasn’t been copied from somewhere else.
It may seem like your list of services should be self-explanatory, but a website is an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge by explaining different medical procedures and conditions. Having a page dedicated to a certain condition can help draw patients looking for treatment. What’s more, the search engines will recognize you as more of an authority if you have more content about the subject being searched.
It’s important that each page of your website have original content, which means text that hasn’t been copied from other websites or duplicated across several pages. If your website already offers original content about your key products and services, then you may consider starting a blog. A regularly updated blog keeps your business relevant and allows you to target more search terms.
While the quality of your original content will be visible to anyone who reads your page, it’s only one factor in the on-site optimizations that affect your rankings.
After content, title tags are the second most important thing to optimize on a given page. Title tags are visible as headers among search results and act as the label for the browser tab. Title tags are easy to overlook when first making a website, not unlike image optimizations.
The URL should also indicate the content of the page and its place within the website. Rather than just using a string of letters and numbers, a clear URL indicates the content of the page and often gives an idea of where the page fits into the organization of the overall website.
As you can see, the second URL makes it clear what kind of content to expect on a page. A clear URL also makes the page more linkable across your website and for external links. The pages on your website should link to each other, but you also want links from outside websites.
Off-Site Link Building
Your website looks more important when it is referenced on other sites. Of course, not all references carry the same weight: a reference in a medical journal or newspaper carries a lot more weight than a link buried in an anonymous blog. To boost your website’s visibility, it’s good to have a lot of links, but the quality of those links also matter.
While distinct from link-building, you’ll also want to establish an active presence on social media. Regularly posting to Facebook and Twitter will give you opportunities to generate more leads and draw traffic. Your Facebook business page can be optimized for Graph Search, and Google+ Local will also help you show up as a local resource.
Local Search Optimization
Depending on the nature of your business, targeting the area you serve can make a big difference. Instead of competing with offices across the state, focus on becoming the leader in your city or county. Web analytics and Google AdWords can help you determine which search terms are most powerful in your area. Make sure your name, address, and phone number are consistent throughout your website, and get your business listed on local directories. If you have multiple locations, make landing pages for each one without duplicating content.
Encouraging patients to write online reviews can also improve your visibility. Since you already provide great service, the challenge is just getting satisfied customers to share their experience. Ultimately, most of the changes that impact SEO should also provide a better service to your potential patients, whether they make your website easier to navigate or more informative. Find out whether Search Influence may be able to help your business with our SEO services, or sign up to attend an upcoming free webinar to learn how you can enhance your search engine rankings.