The healthcare sector is one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide. As the population continues to swell, the need for high-quality healthcare rises. To ensure that more patients hear about your services, an effective healthcare SEO strategy is a must.
People now rely on their smartphones and search engines to find the nearest and most reputable hospital, medical practice, and specialty doctors in their area. Whether you’re an independent medical professional, a healthcare organization administrator, or a private practice owner, a healthcare SEO strategies can drive search engine traffic to those who need your health services.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the fundamentals of healthcare SEO, local seo, and local search and how it can help you reach and gain new patients. We’ll also provide a few strategies to help you start your first healthcare SEO campaign.
Search Engine Optimization for the Healthcare Industry
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to optimizing a branch of internet marketing dealing with Google and other search engines.
SEO aims to understand how each search engine works, its algorithm, and ranking factors. SEO helps businesses of all industries and sizes target specific audiences by ranking their websites higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Healthcare SEO refers to a niche-specific branch of SEO. It helps the healthcare industry and medical professionals target an audience of prospective patients that are explicitly searching for health-related services in their area by optimizing your healthcare websites for local search results.
Healthcare SEO aims to create healthcare websites that search engines can easily read and understand, leading to search results with a higher ranking in SERPs. This can be done using different healthcare SEO strategies, like the following:
On-site or on-page SEO is an SEO strategy focusing on the elements inside the website. It involves producing relevant content that is high-quality content, keyword optimization, meta descriptions, title tags, internal links, and user experience (UX).
Optimizing the elements and content inside your website is vital if you want it to generate organic traffic and appear on the search results from local searches when a user looks up your target keywords and other relevant keywords.
The core web vitals of your website like site speed and accessibility will be optimized for organic traffic for all search engine users.
On the other hand, off-page or off-site SEO refers to the strategies done outside your website to rank higher in the search results. Off-site SEO includes external links from link-building, social media pages, guest posting, public relations, optimizing a Google Business Profile, NAP (name, address, and phone number) citations, and more.
Off-page SEO aims to make your website authoritative for search engine crawlers, so they’ll rank your website higher.
Technical SEO is an SEO strategy involving optimizing your website’s technical elements, such as page speed, image size and loading time, optimized for mobile devices, SSL certificate, etc.
Optimizing these elements can help your website run smoothly and ensure that search engine crawlers can properly read and index it.
Making Search Engines Work for Medical Websites and Healthcare Providers
Now that you know what healthcare SEO is and how it works, it’s time to answer the “why.” Why should you invest your hard-earned money in SEO? What benefits will it bring to your medical practice or healthcare organization?
We provided some compelling reasons below why healthcare SEO is vital to growing your medical practice.
Gain More Visibility for Your Practice
According to Digital Synopsis, the first organic result of the search engine results page has a click-through rate (CTR) of 32.5%, further declining as the list goes down. The second organic result has a 17.6% CTR, and the seventh result has a CTR of 3.5%.
The data above shows that if you can’t bring your website to the SERP’s first five organic search results, it’s as good as gone.
Healthcare websites that neglect healthcare SEO won’t see the light of the day and will be hidden in the SERPs. Healthcare SEO helps your healthcare website gain higher rankings on search engines and gives your hospital, addiction rehab, or medical practice the exposure it needs to reach and potentially gain patients.
Establish Authority in the Industry
As mentioned, in the medical industry potential pages ranking on the first organic search result are most likely to be clicked by users. This comes with another edge, which is establishing your healthcare business as the authority in the industry. As people demand instant information, they usually take the first thing they find on the internet as trustworthy and credible.
Healthcare SEO helps establish your website’s expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T). This will not only give you more click-throughs but also institute your business as the go-to source of information and services related to healthcare.
Educate More People Regarding Healthcare
In the current times, informative and professional-vetted medical and healthcare information is more critical than ever. Because of this, you must use your healthcare website as a platform to educate more people about specific topics and provide helpful resources.
Healthcare SEO is a great way to provide users with accurate and up-to-date information related to medical issues, as search engines prioritize content that follows their guidelines.
This also allows health professionals to reach and educate more people about healthcare and help them understand the importance of preventive measures for common illnesses.
Stay Above the Competition
As a continuously developing industry, the competition among healthcare businesses is becoming more and more competitive. You can identify how your competitors market their medical websites to potential patients through competitive analysis on various search engines.
Moreover, you can also use SEO techniques to identify the “voice” of your competitors and how they use SEO to rank higher in the SERPs.
With these techniques, you can ensure that you stay two steps ahead of the competition, as you can assess and optimize your website’s SEO to rank higher on the search engine results page.
Potentially Convert Readers to Patients or Clients
Another essential benefit of SEO for healthcare businesses is that it allows medical professionals to potentially convert readers into patients or clients.
With keyword-optimized content and helpful resources, people can find your website when searching for healthcare solutions, procedures, or check-ups.
Moreover, the more you produce helpful and informative medical content, the more you can build trust with potential customers and show them that your business is the ideal choice for their health needs.
Healthcare SEO delivers countless benefits for medical businesses, private practices, and addiction rehabs. With the proper strategy, you can extend your reach and help improve the health of numerous patients.
Important Medical SEO Strategies You Can Apply
If you haven’t run an SEO campaign for your medical practice in the past, now’s the perfect time to start. Here’s a straightforward breakdown of the SEO strategies you can use to implement your first healthcare SEO campaign.
Conduct Extensive Keyword Research
Research is the best first step whenever you’re planning your SEO campaign. In this step, you should start by conducting extensive keyword and competitor research. The data you gather from this essential step will be the foundation of your overall strategy.
Keyword research lets you identify what patients — your target audience — are searching for and how to incorporate those topics into your content.
On the other hand, competitor research allows you to take a peek into your competitor’s SEO strategies, their marketing strengths and weaknesses, and how you can improve your campaign to be better than theirs.
Develop Informational and Helpful Blog Posts
As mentioned, creating and delivering high-quality content related to your healthcare business is an excellent way to improve the visibility of your website and attract more potential clients searching online.
Going back to the research you made earlier, develop a topic around high-traffic keywords and craft healthcare blog posts around the subject.
Another excellent source of blog topics would be the “More to Ask” snippet of Google’s search results. This snippet features questions and topics related to your target keyword users actively search for.
Integrate Visual Elements
Humans are visual creatures, and we tend to comprehend an idea better if it’s visually presented to us. Integrating these elements by incorporating infographics, videos, and other visual elements into your healthcare content can significantly impact your readers’ engagement rate and dwell time.
Moreover, media is an excellent way to break up complicated ideas containing numerous data points and make them easier for the reader to consume. Implementing multimedia elements has also been proven to affect a website’s SEO search rankings positively.
Optimize Website Speed
Site speed is critical to the success of your SEO campaign, and it’s essential to ensure that all web pages load within four seconds or less. According to research from Unbounce, 70% of website visitors abandon a web page if it doesn’t load in under five seconds.
Moreover, loading times also affect your online visitors. Visitors may give up and close the tab if your website takes too long to load, resulting in an increased bounce rate, negatively affecting your SEO performance.
Cybersecurity is the most significant concern among countless businesses nowadays, and healthcare is no different. As a medical professional, you’re subject to numerous regulations regarding protecting patient data and ensuring the safety of your patient’s personal information.
Ensuring your website is secure should be prioritized when running an SEO campaign for your medical practice. According to Wix, Google assesses a website’s security measures and is one of the most important ranking factors of the search engine. This is done to ensure users visit websites that are safe and secure.
Having a secure healthcare site is not the same as PHI (public health information) or HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), it is about the ability to secure
You can improve the overall security of your website by keeping the software and plugins up to date, using a secure hosting provider, enabling HTTPS/SSL connection, and more. According to Wikipedia –
Transport Layer Security is a cryptographic protocol designed to provide communications security over a computer network. The protocol is widely used in applications such as email, instant messaging, and voice over IP, but its use in securing HTTPS remains the most publicly visible.
Https vs http is what you will see in the address bar of search results https://www.yourdomainname.com
If you do not have https – most search engines will show an error and ask if you want to continue to the un-secure website.
Devise an Effective Link-building Strategy
Link-building is an off-page optimization strategy to increase your website’s authority through cross-linking pages with an authoritative website. It’s a way for search engines to determine how trusty and reliable your website is by counting the number of other authoritative websites that link back to you as a reference.
The key to an effective link-building strategy is creating content that generates quality links from influential websites in your industry or niche.
You can reach out to high-profile websites, bloggers, and publishers in your field to mention you or link back to one of your blog posts. Quality content is essential when attempting to obtain links from other authoritative sources.
Cross-link Related Pages in Your Website
Internal linking is another crucial linking strategy to improve the structure of your website and make it easier for users to navigate. Cross-linking related posts, categories, and pages can help with website architecture and spread link equity throughout your site.
When you’re implementing an internal linking strategy, you can take inspiration from Wikipedia. Wikipedia is aggressive with its interlinking approach and combines related keywords, anchor text, images, and other elements to cross-link related pages.
A well-interlinked web page helps improve user experience and dwell time. This also makes it easier for search engines to understand your website structure and pushes your website to the top of the SERPs.
Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Most private practices aim for local patients, making local SEO efforts more practical for them. If you’re also targeting patients in your city or state, you must establish and optimize your Google Business Profile.
Google Business is a free tool provided by Google to help business owners create an online presence and appear in the SERP of local searches. With this, potential patients can find all the necessary information to reach your clinic, like contact details, opening hours, services offered, and more.
Google Business is connected to Google Maps and for local SEO landing in the top 3 of Google’s local pack is ideal.
You can also activate your Google Search Console to monitor and track your website’s performance on the SERPs. This free and easy-to-use SEO tool provides helpful metrics and insights, such as the number of impressions, clicks, CTRs, the average position of your pages, and more.
Conduct Site SEO Audits Religiously
A few months after implementing your SEO strategy, you should regularly conduct SEO audits to ensure all your efforts pay off. This is an audit of your website and its overall performance to determine what future changes or improvements can be made.
This involves analyzing the content structure of your website, technical aspects like page loading time, mobile compatibility, server health, meta description, title tags and more.
SEO involves a lot of trial and error, and routinely auditing your SEO performance is the best way to keep track of what works and what doesn’t.
Leverage Social Media
Social media marketing is the perfect partner for SEO campaigns. SEO strategies could take months to produce exponential results. However, the outcome of your SEO campaign could last a long time.
In contrast, social media marketing for healthcare organizations and healthcare practices is short-term with immediate results. You can use it to build relationships with potential patients and increase brand awareness of your facility or clinic. It’s also a great platform to share quality content that drives more visitors to your website.
A Cost-effective Solution for Medical Practices of All Sizes
If you’re still on the fence about the capabilities of SEO to help you grow your practice, here’s another point to convince you. Unlike traditional marketing efforts, internet marketing is relatively cost-effective and can have an excellent return on your investment.
With traditional marketing, you must spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to reach potential patients. With SEO or digital marketing, you can reach a large target audience and obtain a high ROI without breaking the bank.
SEO is a flexible solution for healthcare businesses of all sizes. Depending on your current budget and marketing goals, you can scale the cost up and down.
A Comprehensive Medical SEO Strategy Takes Time
As stated in previous sections, SEO campaigns are long-term investments. According to Semrush, it could take anywhere from six to 12 months to see the peak result of your SEO campaign. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t see more organic traffic before the six-month mark.
SEO results are gradual, meaning they build up as your campaign runs. The key to success with your SEO efforts is consistently working smart and trusting your healthcare SEO expert to adjust as needed. Committing yourself to an SEO campaign means you’re willing to commit for the long haul.
While this is running, you can employ other short-term digital marketing strategies like social media or PPC ads for quick results and to supplement your SEO efforts.
Premazon Creates Effective Healthcare SEO Strategies
The key to growing your business during these times is open-mindedness with innovations like SEO. This approach to a marketing strategy comes with its risks and advantages, but the outcome it can potentially provide is undeniable.
Premazon has a team of healthcare SEO experts who understand Healthcare SEO and has helped many healthcare professionals, healthcare organizations, addiction treatment centers and businesses reach more people and grow their business.
With an effective SEO strategy, you can boost your online visibility, increase website traffic, and generate more qualified leads from organic search traffic.
There’s no better time to start your SEO strategy than now. The longer and harder you work on it, the better results you can get. Use the strategies we outlined here to devise your perfect healthcare SEO strategy or reach out to us directly to partner on the journey to growing your business.