Healthcare is like any other business. At the end of the day, if there's no income, there's no way you can help your patients.
Which means you have to turn to marketing to ensure people find out about you. Online marketing is an extremely effective way for healthcare professionals to get the word out about their services.
But if you don't know what you're doing, it's a waste of time and money. To help you build a thriving practice, here are some SEO for healthcare tips.
Since 91% of all adults do an online search for information, there's a good chance that's how many of your patients find you.
One way to ensure that they'll find you instead of your competition is to make the most out of SEO for healthcare. Part of SEO is finding the best keywords to help your practice stand out.
There are several ways to find great keywords. One way is to sit down with your team and come up with a list of keywords that most patients would use to find you.
If you're located in Syracuse and work in behavioral health, a great keyword would be Syracuse behavioral healthcare. Don't overcomplicate it, stick to simple words most people would use to search for your business.
You can also use Google Planner. It's a great tool to help you make the most out of SEO for healthcare. Don't forget to take a look at your competition's sites and see what keywords they're using.
Try to use keywords that aren't already saturating the market but are still valuable enough to set you apart from your competition.
Last year, Google announced that websites without a mobile version would no longer perform well in a mobile search. Bing followed suite a short time later.
What this means is that, without a mobile website, much of the SEO for healthcare you're doing is being left on the table. 60% of people are already exclusively doing mobile searches before they make a purchase.
Already 64% of us have smartphones. That number is only going to increase.
If you don't already have a mobile ready website, create one now.
It will help you boost paid advertising results. 80% of all nearby searches are done using a mobile device.
SEO for healthcare isn't just about what you see on the pages. There's a lot to be said about what's in the background as well.
Many businesses forget to make the most out of their metadata. It's important to define metadata because it helps tell the search engines what the page is about.
Don't forget to fill out the title tag, meta description, and the headers. That's because your title tag acts like the title of your page at the top of the browser. You'll be able to view the information in the blue text in search engine results.
Make sure you edit your title tags so that they're no longer than 65 characters. Name the page and incorporate your keywords in as natural a way as possible.
Use no more than 150 characters for your meta description. Use this to describe the contents of the page.
Try adding headers throughout your content. Use header tags to help further show search engines what the contents of the page are about.
Many businesses believe that it's enough to set up their website and be done with it. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Physical stores change the products they feature in the front window according to seasons and holidays. That's because it attracts customers.
When a storefront never changes, people get bored.
The same is true about your website. A website that doesn't change or grow is boring. Everyone already knows exactly what you sell.
But search engines get bored, too. They want to know what's new about your business. Add more content to let them know.
Try starting a blog. Share information with your patients that they're always asking about.
Add photos to help tell your story better. You can also create videos and add them to your site to increase your SEO for healthcare.
Written content, photos, and videos are all effective SEO for healthcare strategies. Use your site to inform, educate, and even entertain patients.
You'll find that the more information you share, the more you're setting yourself up as an expert in your field. You're also helping to ensure that your patients keep you in mind since you're sharing more information.
Linking is a great and easy way to increase your SEO for healthcare. Linking also helps back up your content and adds extra authority to your site.
That is if you use the proper kind of links. Don't link to sites that are obviously only interested in selling something. Don't link to sites that aren't legitimate.
External links are best when they back up the content you're sharing. If you're writing about an illness, backing it up with a link to the research provided by Johns Hopkins will make you look authentic.
Backing up that same information with a link to Joe Blow whose information isn't even accurate, won't.
But external links aren't the only type of links you can use to increase your SEO for healthcare. You can also use internal links.
You can link to pages not often found or to help back up a point in your content when you've already shared the same information elsewhere.
Most people aren't too keen on traveling very far to receive their healthcare. Which means, when they do a search, they're going to find one as close to their home as possible.
This is an excellent opportunity for you to utilize SEO for healthcare by investing in local search marketing. Get your practice listed on all the search engines.
Make sure that everyone from Google, to Bing, to AOL all have the name of your practice, its location, and the phone number listed. Anywhere you can, add photos since that will help attract people as well.
One of the most effective ways to get new patients is by word of mouth. With word of mouth, there's a trust factor that's already in place. Since the new patient trusted your existing patient, that must mean you're trustworthy as well.
But not every patient is going to find out about you through a referral. Which is why testimonials are so helpful to place on a website.
Not only will their testimonials help build the right SEO for healthcare your site needs, but you'll still benefit from the trust factor even though no one actually knows one another personally.
It's known as "social proof" and it adds credibility to you and your website without you having to do anything. People buy because their emotions tell them to buy something.
In the healthcare industry, they buy because they're in pain and need help.
When they read testimonials that talk about your bedside manner, your efficient practice and your many success stories, potential patients tend to feel more comfortable making an appointment.
If you have a website, you should also be on social media. You don't have to have your practice listed on every single social media site out there, just a few where you think your patients are most likely to also be.
Make sure to add social media buttons to your website. This enables your information to become shareable. If you write a great article on a particular subject, someone reading it may want to share that information with their friends.
With one simple click of a button, they can do so.
Make sure your profiles include the same logo so people begin to identify with your practice. You and your practice are a brand. Make sure the information is all the same on all sites, including your website.
Post to your site at least once per day. Share stories, photos, and videos.
You can also use social media to find more patients. Advertising on social media sites like Facebook is extremely cost-effective. You can spend as little as $1 per day on advertising.
Then you can narrow down your target by their geographical location, their age group, their interests, and even their incomes. This helps ensure that those people you're targeting are more likely to be receptive to the message you're sending.
You'll also increase your SEO for healthcare by being on social media. The more places you can list your company, the higher you'll find yourself in search engine rankings.
None of the SEO for health care efforts will be worth anything if you don't understand how to read and use your stats.
If you're noticing high bounce rates for your blog, that's an indication that the information you're sharing isn't getting people to stick around your site for too long.
A simple tweak in what type of information you're sharing could make a huge difference. But if you don't know how to read the stats, you can't make those necessary changes.
There's a lot to learn when it comes to SEO. And it's always changing.
Which is why it's so important to stay on top of it. The more you understand it and how to implement it in your marketing strategy, the more success you'll have.
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Search Engine Marketing Columnist
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