With 83% of patients researching online before choosing a healthcare provider, it’s never been more important for healthcare marketers, practice managers and doctors to pay attention to search engine optimization (SEO). SEO for doctors can be complicated, but it is also vital for new patient acquisition.
As a healthcare provider or practice manager, you don’t want to be spending all your time figuring out why Google doesn’t seem to love you. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive list of how to win at SEO.
Following these simple steps will help your practice show up in search results and grow your patient base:
- Build a great website
- Get quality reviews
- Optimize your listings
- Leverage meta data/schema
- Create quality content
Build a Great Website
Building a great website is extremely important for patient acquisition, SEO and ultimately growing your practice.
A great website needs to be intuitive for the user and optimized for mobile usage. 52% of the world’s website traffic is accessed via a mobile phone device, meaning if you aren’t building a website that is mobile friendly, you aren’t reaching potential patients.
Google also announced mobile first indexing this year, which means that focusing on a quality mobile experience has never been more important. Instead of measuring a website’s superiority by its desktop experience, Google will now focus on the mobile experience as the key performance indicator for ranking.
Utilizing the proper design, including H1, H2 tags and paragraph text matters. Naming images the right way and adding ALT text also matters.
Try to keep your load times to 3 seconds, which follows Googles Quality Guidelines.
Get Quality Reviews
There’s nothing better than someone telling you that you’re doing a great job. Equally, nothing is worse than getting a negative review.
Online reviews help patients make informed decisions about their care and most trust an online source as much as they would a friend or family member. Paying attention to the volume and quality of your reviews online is extremely important, and it’s also a huge part of local SEO for doctors.
The first thing you are going to want to do is make sure you’ve set up a Google My Business page to make sure you are showing up in the local pack (the special search result feature that shows a map with businesses on it) and monitor your reviews.
Once you have a Google My Business page, make sure you set up a Facebook Business page and claim your Healthgrades’ profiles for your physicians. These are going to be crucial for people searching for healthcare providers using those platforms.
When people are looking for a healthcare provider, they are looking for quality and volume of reviews. So are search engines.
The good news is when it comes to controlling your online physician reviews, Binary Fountain can help.
Binary Health Analytics provides healthcare organizations like hospitals and physician practices a 360 view into patient feedback from online ratings and reviews all in one place. We give our clients actionable insights on how to improve the patient experience to get quality online reviews, improving your online reputation and SEO rankings.
Schedule a demo to learn more about we can help improve your online reputation.
Optimize your Listings
Another important SEO strategy for healthcare providers is to review their listings online. Make sure all of these details pertaining to your business are correct:
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
Having this information correct on your website doesn’t seem that hard, but you would be surprised at how many practices or medical facilities have incorrect information.
Additionally, there may be some local listing websites that do not have the correct information on them. Try to find these and correct the information so potential patients and search engines are not confused about details pertaining to your medical facility.
Leverage Meta Data/Schema
One of the most important aspects of a good SEO strategy for healthcare providers is meta data and schema markup. These elements help inform search engines about your business and what kind of service you are providing to your community.
This can enhance your search results and improve your chances of ranking in local search results.
For healthcare practitioners looking to get the most out of their meta data, follow these basic rules:
- Every page on your site needs unique meta data
- Your home page should have geolocated information in the title tag
- Your title tags should only be 60 characters long
- Your title tags should include your medical facility name
- Meta descriptions should be a max 155-160 characters and describe what a user will see on a page
For more information about how to implement meta data, check out this complete guide.
Similarly, using schema markup can help your website appear in local search results. We recommend using Physician schema on your provider pages and on pages with good healthcare content on them.
Create Quality Content
Last, but certainly not least, you need to create quality, unique content on your site. This means not copy and pasting content from other resources and not using the same content on every page.
If you must have copied content due to resource constraints or budget, you should have “NOFOLLOW” tags on those pages. This tells search engines to ignore the page and not index it.
This means users can still navigate to the content on your site, but not have it rank on search engines.
We recommend at least 96% of your content be unique across your entire domain.
In order to make quality content, you will want to follow Google’s guidelines on content, which says content should be based on:
In August, Google announced an algorithm update, which greatly impacted the medical industries’ rankings. This means holistic or “natural” health websites were penalized in favor of credentialed medical institutions.
To get the most out of your content, we recommend:
- Including titles, biographies and credentials for authors
- Combining, deleting or editing old or poor quality content
- Answer user questions on your site
Improve your SEO Today
You can improve your rankings and there’s no time like the present!
Let our reputation management experts help your SEO efforts by giving you the tools you need to improve your reviews online.
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