7 Urgent SEO Tips Healthcare Providers Need To Know

Side effects may include greater organ­ic search vis­i­bil­i­ty, more patients in your sales fun­nel, and high­er rev­enue.

Victoria Edwards By Victoria Edwards from Florida Blue. Join the discussion » 1 comment

These proven SEO tips will help grow your organ­ic search vis­i­bil­i­ty, make your sales fun­nel more effi­cient, and result in high­er rev­enue.

Organ­ic vis­i­bil­i­ty can be a chal­lenge for most indus­tries, but it’s espe­cial­ly chal­leng­ing and com­pet­i­tive in the health care indus­try. If con­sumers can’t find you at the moment when they’re look­ing for a provider, you’ve missed your oppor­tu­ni­ty to get that con­ver­sion (or at least get con­sumers into your sales fun­nel). Not only do you have to devel­op rel­e­vant and help­ful con­tent, but it has to be opti­mized appro­pri­ate­ly so peo­ple will actu­al­ly see it in the search engines.

Here are sev­en SEO tips and tricks for health­care providers that will help grow your organ­ic search vis­i­bil­i­ty, make your sales fun­nel more effi­cient, and result in high­er rev­enue.

1. Optimize For Local Search

Man­ag­ing your local pres­ence is, by far, the most valu­able to-do item for any health­care provider. Accord­ing to Google, an esti­mat­ed 73 per­cent of all online activ­i­ty is relat­ed to local search­es. Your busi­ness for the most part relies on the peo­ple who live near where you’re locat­ed.

For exam­ple, when a per­son search­es for “ortho­pe­dic sur­geon in Tam­pa” on Google, var­i­ous options come up on the first page of search results. If you’re an ortho­pe­dic sur­geon in Tam­pa, then you’d want your place of busi­ness to appear in the first posi­tion of the search engine results, right?

Google My Busi­ness is Google’s busi­ness list­ing ser­vice. Google My Busi­ness lets you devel­op a page where you can add vital infor­ma­tion peo­ple are search­ing for (e.g., your address, hours, phone num­ber, and ser­vices).

Accord­ing to Search Engine Land, 50 per­cent of con­sumers who con­duct­ed a local search on their smart­phone vis­it­ed a store with­in a day, and 34 per­cent who searched on computer/tablet did the same. This means rank­ing in local search has a direct impact on in-store traf­fic.

Anoth­er help­ful tool for local search is Moz Local. You can use Moz Local to cre­ate and main­tain busi­ness list­ings on the sites, apps, and direc­to­ries that fac­tor most into local search engine results. You can also devel­op and main­tain your list­ings, man­age your loca­tion infor­ma­tion at any time, re-ver­i­fy your list­ings, and find and resolve dupli­cate list­ings.

2. Encourage Online Reviews

Anoth­er part of that local search equa­tion is reviews. Direc­to­ries or page list­ings like Google My Busi­ness and Yelp are places where indi­vid­u­als can review your site.

Online reviews are impor­tant for many rea­sons. Reviews affect your local search rank­ings, con­sumers’ pur­chase deci­sions, and which search results actu­al­ly get clicked on. Look at the exam­ple below:

Urgent Care Google Search Results

Hav­ing an over­all high­er sat­is­fac­tion rat­ing, even if you have less reviews, might encour­age more peo­ple to click on your list­ing (or not if you have a low­er rat­ing).

In sur­veys, such as one report­ed on by Mar­ket­ing Land, 90 per­cent of the peo­ple said that pos­i­tive online reviews influ­enced their buy­ing deci­sions.

Here are some ways you can encour­age cus­tomers to review your facil­i­ty or prac­tice:

  • If you send out a newslet­ter, ask your patients to review your prac­tice on Google or Yelp.
  • Place a sign in your office, encour­ag­ing patients to review your prac­tice.
  • Place direct links and calls to action on your site, ask­ing peo­ple to review your busi­ness.

3. Choose & Use The Right Targeted Keywords

Devel­op­ing con­tent with key­words that describe your busi­ness and indus­try help with peo­ple find your facil­i­ty.

Build­ing a key­word list is rel­a­tive­ly straight­for­ward. When build­ing a list, get togeth­er with co-work­ers with­in your prac­tice to brain­storm and decide which key­words are most impor­tant you want to be found for.

Also, if you can, con­duct a sur­vey. Ask patients what types of key­words they would use to search for your busi­ness online.

Once you’ve com­piled around 20–50 key­words, use Google Key­word Plan­ner to find out which key­word phras­es have a fair amount of local month­ly traf­fic. This tool also lets you search for new key­word ideas, in addi­tion to devel­op­ing pay-per-click (PPC) cam­paigns.

Not only should you opti­mize your web­site pages with your brand’s name, but also devel­op con­tent around these three vital types of key­words:

1. Non-Brand­ed Key­words

Non-brand­ed key­words are words that describe what you spe­cial­ize in as a prac­tice, but don’t include your brand name. For exam­ple, a chi­ro­prac­tor in Jack­sonville, Flori­da would want to devel­op pages with key­words relat­ing to chi­ro­prac­tic med­i­cine (e.g., chi­ro­prac­tic med­i­cine, chi­ro­prac­tic adjust­ments, and phys­io­ther­a­py).

2. Loca­tion-Based Key­words

Anoth­er urgent need for health­care providers: opti­miz­ing your web pages to focus on the loca­tions you serve. This will tell Google that when some­body is search­ing for a chi­ro­prac­tor in Jack­sonville, your list­ing is rel­e­vant, so it will help raise your local and organ­ic search vis­i­bil­i­ty.

3. Long-Tail Key­words

A long-tail key­word con­tains a vari­a­tion of a core key­word (e.g., “chi­ro­prac­tor”) plus oth­er terms. “Best chi­ro­prac­tors in Tam­pa” or “afford­able chi­ro­prac­tors in Dade City” are just a cou­ple of exam­ples of long-tail key­words. The long-tail con­tains hun­dreds of mil­lions of unique search­es that might be con­duct­ed a few times in any giv­en day or month, but, when tak­en togeth­er, com­prise the major­i­ty of the world’s search vol­ume.

4. Optimize Your Title Tags & Meta Descriptions

In addi­tion to using your key­words with­in the con­tent you pub­lish on your web­site, you must also make sure to use your key­words in your meta data.

Meta­da­ta con­sists of the HTML meta tags that lie between the open and clos­ing head tags in the HTML code of a doc­u­ment. This infor­ma­tion helps search engines know what the page is about by using the con­tent with the title tag, the meta descrip­tion, and head­ers to deter­mine what the web­pages are all about.

The title tag acts as the title of the page at the top of the brows­er and in the blue text in the search engine results. It should be between 55–65 char­ac­ters. You also want to add key­words you’re try­ing to tar­get with­in this sec­tion, but the key­words should make sense and describe the page at hand.

A meta descrip­tion describes the con­tent of the page. It should be no longer than 150 char­ac­ters. Think of this area a place where you can add help­ful infor­ma­tion and even calls to action. Your meta title and descrip­tion are impor­tant to focus on, as when your web­pages get indexed in search engines, these sec­tions become your adver­tise­ment.

Last­ly, head­ers added through­out a piece of con­tent using head­er tags will help to fur­ther describe the con­tents of the page to search engines and users. Con­sid­er these head­ers equiv­a­lent of a head­line in a news­pa­per that fur­ther encour­age the user to read on. Although head­er tags tech­ni­cal­ly go from H1-H6, search engines place the most empha­sis on H1 tags.

5. Create Unique Content To Build Trust & Authority

Many health care providers sim­ply stop after they’ve cre­at­ed a web­site that details their ser­vice across var­i­ous pages. But if you want to build your brand and make your prac­tice stand out to con­sumers as a thought leader, then you should devel­op con­tent that edu­cates and builds trust.

Here are some types of con­tent health­care providers can devel­op:

  • Tes­ti­mo­ni­als from patients.
  • Case stud­ies.
  • Blogs.
  • Edu­ca­tion­al videos.
  • Info­graph­ics.
  • Inter­views.
  • Med­ical break­throughs.

Cre­at­ing more con­tent relat­ing to the health­care indus­try will help dri­ve more val­ue to your web­site and nat­u­ral­ly increase the usage of rel­e­vant indus­try key­words on your web­site, which can aid in your pur­suit of high­er search rank­ings.

With regards to blog­ging, busi­ness­es who blog receive 97 per­cent more links (which assist in search engine rank­ing) to their web­site and con­sid­ered the fifth most trust­ed resource for accu­rate online infor­ma­tion. When devel­op­ing blog con­tent it’s impor­tant to keep your key­word strat­e­gy a part of this process.

Devel­op­ing a diverse con­tent mix while focus­ing on your tar­get­ed key­words will help bring more eye­balls to your web­site.

6. Be Active In Social Media

Being active in social media is no longer an option­al part of your mar­ket­ing mix. Social media is now required for all busi­ness­es that wish to not only enhance their dig­i­tal efforts, but improve rela­tion­ships with exist­ing and new patients.

Social media sites have high domain author­i­ty, mean­ing that they are con­sid­ered an impor­tant web­site, thus search engines give them pri­or­i­ty in rank­ing. Your busi­ness should, at min­i­mum, cre­ate pro­files for the biggest plat­forms – Face­book, Twit­ter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

These social net­works also let you have anoth­er dig­i­tal space where you can pro­mote your con­tent and edu­cate con­sumers, in the hopes of increas­ing trust with your patient base.

Using social media is a great way to devel­op a com­mu­ni­ty hub to not only use it as a cus­tomer ser­vice oppor­tu­ni­ty, but also pro­mote your con­tent and recent news and reg­u­la­tions relat­ing to health care.

If you plan to pro­mote con­tent on social media, you’ll need a bud­get to boost your reach  – espe­cial­ly on Face­book. With lit­tle organ­ic reach to speak off, you’re bet­ter off spend­ing a few bucks to tar­get your ads at the audi­ence you want to reach.

7. Optimize For Mobile Devices

Your exist­ing and poten­tial patients are on the move and search­ing for health­care providers. These are crit­i­cal moments where you can win sim­ply by mak­ing sure your web­site is easy to nav­i­gate and access from a mobile device.

More Google search­es take place on mobile devices than on com­put­ers in 10 coun­tries, includ­ing the U.S. and Japan. Despite this, busi­ness­es still for­get to make sure their mobile expe­ri­ence is opti­mal for their users.

A mobile-opti­mized site loads quick­ly, sizes text so it’s easy to read, and makes links easy to tap on. You shouldn’t need to “pinch in” or mag­ni­fy the site in order to use it or nav­i­gate.

You want to make sure your site is respon­sive so it can be eas­i­ly viewed on any devices. To find out if your site is mobile friend­ly, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friend­ly Test tool. Sim­ply drop in your website’s address and click “Ana­lyze.” Using this tool will also give you a screen shot of what it looks like with­in a mobile device.

Because 53 per­cent of mobile search­es have local intent, your web­site should make it easy for your patients to find help­ful infor­ma­tion, such as:

  • Your phone num­ber.
  • Your address (or address­es if you have mul­ti­ple loca­tions).
  • Insur­ance providers you accept.
  • The var­i­ous ser­vices you offer.

Hav­ing your phone num­ber and loca­tion infor­ma­tion above the fold should be a pri­or­i­ty.

As a health­care provider, your web pres­ence is much more than just your brand’s name. Hav­ing a web­site that is actu­al­ly attract­ing con­sumers to your site and dri­ving patients into your facil­i­ty is crit­i­cal. The tips out­lined above can def­i­nite­ly help you to start rank­ing for terms that your cus­tomers are search­ing for.

Victoria Edwards

Written by Victoria Edwards

Digital Content Strategist, Florida Blue

Victoria has been working in online marketing for the past 10ξyears, with specific focus in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media and Content Marketing. She is currently the Digital Content Strategist for Florida Blue. In her position she focuses on content development, management and optimization on their various sites, in addition to SEO, and social media marketing.

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