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:
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.
- Educational videos.
- 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.