SEO For Healthcare Professionals
SEO is a set of practices and methods designed to increase your visibility in search engines. Search ranking is determined by a site’s authority and relevance to the searcher’s intent. The way to rank higher than competitors is to increase your site’s authority with a well-executed SEO strategy.
As far as SEO is concerned, local SEO is the low hanging fruit. This is because you are only competing with others in your area, rather than regionally, nationally, or globally. For example, it is much easier to rank for the keywords ‘Spine Doctor Birmingham’ than for the more general term, ‘Spine Doctor.’ In larger cities this will be targeted down to the particular neighborhood.
These area-specific search terms also indicate that the searcher is further down the sales funnel. They are looking for a particular practitioner to be treated, rather than general information about Spine Specialists, such as a Wikipedia entry.
There are a few quick ways that you can start increasing your local SEO presence immediately. These include:
- Create local business pages on Facebook and Google my business.
- Create and use content that is relevant to local events and news stories.
- Get reviews from happy customers via platforms like Google Reviews.
- Interlink your site with other, relevant, local businesses by writing a guest blog.
- Employ local-targeted SEO by using geo- graphically specific keywords and site pages (i.e. ‘Best Dentist Dublin’).
Become a knowledge source
Content is a pillar of SEO strategy. In the old days of Wild West-style SEO strategy, many people would just stuff their website content with the keywords they wanted to rank for. As Google’s algorithm advanced, those days are over. This is great news for the consumer. Google now recognizes content that is useful, relevant, and reliable. A few ways to optimize your content for SEO:
- You’re an expert in your field, so share your knowledge and expertise. Above all, Google ranks by relevance and usefulness for the searcher.
- Use common problems or symptoms as topics for blog posts or videos. This will often attract people in need of your services and help many along the way. It is very helpful for specific down funnel searches i.e. ‘Lower Back Pain London.’
- Write informed, engaging and emotionally appealing content.
- Most users skim articles. Use bullet points and infographics to help them easily and quickly digest the information.
- Create a ‘Pillar Page’ and then create more specific topics based around it. These should all hyperlink somewhere in the text to the lengthy and more comprehensive Pillar Page. This creates ‘topic clusters’ that help you rank in Google.
Take, for example, this Pillar Page and Topic Cluster for a physiotherapist
Understand your target audience and pa- tient – Tying in directly to your content develop- ment, the content should be both relevant and written in language that is accessible to your readers. Moreover, all of the points established in the strategy section for this section apply.
- Speak to your patients in their ‘language’ and tone.
- Connect on a personal level by showing cultural awareness.
- Discover key influencers or other practitioners in similar domains, and establish partnerships – you can do this by offering free tailored content on their sites that link back to yours. This is great for your SEO value and for reaching new readers.
- Focus on what the specific end-goal will be of using your product or service (often treating symptoms).
Don’t Neglect Mobile
With mobile now capturing the majority of searches, Google has implemented mobile first indexing. This means that rather than only judging sites by their desktop versions, mobile versions sites are now accounting for a large proportion of ranking decisions. There are a few ways to make sure that you’ve addressed this.
- Use Google’s mobile-friendly test to determine how mobile friendly your site currently is.
- Use responsive design. This ensures that your site adjusts intuitively to any size screen.
- Don’t use Flash. In tech time, Flash is older than the dinosaurs. It has been phased out of best practice years ago, is slow to load, and is bad for SEO.
- Make sure relevant metadata is present for both desktop and mobile versions of the site.