Reconstruct the SEO Strategy of Your Medical Practice
June 12th, 2015 by
A referral by a physician used to be the most common way people chose health care specialists. However, now patients are turning to Google and other search engines for health information and to select a physician. In fact, 62 percent of smartphone owners used their phone to search for information about a health condition, according to the latest statistics from the Pew Research Center. Among those who look for online reviews to shop for doctors, roughly one-third reported choosing a physician based on good ratings, according to a national survey on the use of online physician rating sites published just last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
To make the most of this trend, your practice must show up in Google search results prominently. If your practice is getting lost in a sea of search results, implement some of these medical search engine optimization tips to attract more patients.
Create Great Content
As demonstrated by the Pew Research Center’s facts on Internet use and health care, consumers today are hungry for health information. Your practice can benefit by providing the information consumers are looking for, but there’s a strategy to this. The days of simply putting the most common medical keyword strings all over your web pages are over. With Google’s new algorithm updates, websites that have consistent, quality content are the ones that will get the bump in the rankings.
For a medical SEO campaign, create distinct web pages for related topics that prove your practice is an authority on the subject. For example, an orthopedic practice that wishes to bolster its search engine rankings, should create separate web pages for a diverse range of topics such as pediatric orthopedics and sports medicine. To offer more detail about specific treatments or procedures, these pages can then be broken down further into subtopics. On the sports medicine page, for example, include a subtopic about ACL reconstruction surgery or muscle tear prevention tips. Unsure what topics and procedures potential patients are interested in? With a personalized SEO package, Search Influence can help determine what topics your target consumers are searching for the most.
Infographics are also great content to invest in for medical SEO because infographics can help grow website traffic. Research by AnsonAlex, a tech company focusing on tutorials, found that publishers who use infographics grow website traffic 12 percent faster than those with no infographics. In fact, the popularity of infographics has surged in recent years—increasing by 800 percent from 2010 to 2012, according to research from Web company Unbounce.
Along with infographics, you will want to include other images on your website as well. As we’ve said before, Google rewards websites that have interesting and relevant images displayed. Images keep people looking at your site longer, which gives you website more authority in the eyes of the algorithm.
Help people find your pictures by optimizing them to include alternative text. For example, say your practice has a diagram of what happens when a person suffers from a pulmonary embolism. If you optimize your diagram, it will likely appear when people perform a Google Image Search for pulmonary embolisms—possibly appearing as one of the first images they see. When they click on this image, they are giving a hit to your site and increasing your overall medical SEO ranking.
As evidenced by the whopping 62 percent of smartphone owners who use their mobile devices to look up health information, a mobile SEO strategy is crucial. Google’s recent “Mobilegeddon,” or mobile-friendly update, was a move to further demonstrate just how important mobile websites are for SEO. It is imperative your medical practice has a mobile-friendly design users can easily access on the go.
But, be warned. Just because your Web developer tells you your site is mobile-friendly does not make it so. To see if your medical website passes the mobile-friendly test, use Google’s testing tool.
Where has your medical practice seen the most success with SEO and content marketing? Let us know in the comments.
Infographic from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons