You would think that being a dedicated doctor would be enough to keep your medical practice up and running, right? Wrong. In these competitive times where you get business online, you need medical clinic SEO, even if you excel at…well…saving lives.
So what is SEO for a medical clinic?
Does YOUR business need it?
How can you use it to beat your competitors?
The short story: We’ll share an overview of how you can tackle search engine optimization for a medical practice in this blog post.
The long story:
Let’s stick to the short story for now.
What is SEO for a Medical Clinic?
If you have been following our blog for a while now, you will have read up quite a bit about SEO, or search engine optimization.
But if you haven’t, we’ll summarize it for you.
In a nutshell, SEO comprises of practices that help you rank better on search engines including Google, Yahoo, Bing, and so on.
By helping you do that, SEO indirectly helps you achieve massive improvements in visibility, traffic to your site, conversion rates, brand image, and much more.
But do you really need to go through all that trouble to get patients to choose your clinic?
You absolutely do. And we’ll tell you why.
Here’s Why You Need Medical Clinic SEO
The simple reason is, your competitors are doing it.
When someone searches for a medical professional in their area, you want to be the first result on the page, not your competitor.
Or if not the first result, you should at least be on the first page.
The only way you will be able to grab the top spot is if you are indulging in SEO for a medical clinic.
But that’s not all – through medical clinic SEO, you also get to experience enhanced visibility and manage your reputation among other things.
So what are you waiting?
This medical SEO guideline is waiting to be put into action – let’s get started!
Discover Your Audience
If you’re a gynecologist, you know for a fact you won’t be targeting men with an acne problem (lol).
As a medical professional who specializes in a particular field, you KNOW who your patients are.
They’re people with teeth problem if you’re a dentist, people with kids if you’re a pediatrician, people whose eyes give them trouble if you’re an ophthalmologist.
But you need to dig a little deeper and create a profile that contains the demographic of your target audience, their interests, the kind of platforms they are most active on, and so on.
This will help you throughout the process of creating and implementing an SEO strategy for the clinic.
Let’s say you find that your patients are mostly women in their 50s and 60s – you would target them on Facebook as opposed to platforms that are more popular among the youth.
If you aim to reach out to teenagers and young adults about acne-related information, on the other hand, you would have a wider range of options. You could consider reaching them on Instagram and Snapchat, as well as Facebook, YouTube, and other popular social media platforms.
The bottom line is that it is essential to know your audience to the core so you can know where and how to reach them.
Engage in Impeccable Keyword Research
If you know even a little bit about SEO, you will know that keyword research and incorporation is one of the most important aspects of medical clinic SEO.
You want to rank for the keywords people are searching for.
And while it is more difficult and costly to rank for the more popular keywords (the ones with the highest search volume), you can find keywords that are relevant in your niche and a little easier to rank for.
There are also different types of keywords you should consider. Let us discuss two of them here:
- Longtail keywords:
The reason that longtail keywords work for a medical clinic is that they are a lot more specific than shorter ones and show greater user intent. So for example, someone searching for “Cardiology clinic in New York City” is likely to visit one in the near future.
- Location-specific keywords:
Someone living in New York city won’t search for “eye clinic.” Instead, they’ll search for something along the lines of “eye clinic in New York.” So you should try to rank for location-based keywords.
But where exactly should you be searching for these keywords? Here are some of the best tools you can opt for:
- Google AdWords – Keyword Planner
You can find some other great options here.
For a more detailed guide on how to do keyword research for a medical clinic, hop onto this brilliant resource.
We have also covered keyword research in detail in the following two blog posts – check them out!
Indulge in Local SEO
– Local keywords
The first thing you need to do is to incorporate local keywords into your text. We talked to you about this above.
– Google My Business Listing
Another very important thing you need to do is to set up a Google My Business, or GMB listing.
What a GMB listing does is that it manages your presence across the search engine, as well as on Google Maps.
So when a person searches for your clinic online, they immediately get all your basic contact information on the right hand side of your page. They also see your location on Google Maps, so you’ve made it easier for them to give you a visit during a difficult time.
But even if someone is not searching for your clinic by name, you can appear on Google as a result of their query.
As an example, we typed “medical clinic in Charlotte” in Google and this is what appeared as a result:
These clinics have all created listings in Google My Business and Google shows their details to people searching for the relevant keywords.
This is, thus, not just an option. You can’t do without a GMB listing nowadays.
Just make sure that once you set it up and optimize it, you keep it updated so it is most helpful to people who may be searching in a crisis situation.
You don’t want someone who is potentially hurt or in pain to be going to an old address or calling an inactive number.
– Local webpages
If you are based in multiple locations, you should create separate webpages for each of these locations.
The goal is for your website to show up when people search for location-specific keywords. And that is the best way to do this.
There are many other local SEO strategies you can make part of your plan (some of which we’ll even discuss below) but these are the ones you can get started with.
Ace Site Security, Mobile-Friendliness, and more in Technical SEO
Technical SEO is a very important part of medical clinic SEO.
And that is because regardless of what industry you belong to, the experience your user has with your website matters!
We’ll quickly go through a few aspects you need to take charge of!
– Site Speed
Make sure your webpages load up without taking too much time if you want visitors to stick around. If they don’t, your target audience has plenty of other options (your competitors)!
– Site Safety
As a healthcare professional, you know better than us why the security of the people visiting your site comes first. You cannot afford to compromise on the https://.
– Image optimization
The images you use must be large enough to be clearly visible but not too large as to slow down the page. This is one of many considerations as you optimize the images and graphics on your site.
What you want is for your webpages to be easily crawlable so that bots can gather information about the site. Create an XML sitemap, use robots.txt, and organize your site structure in a way that allows for easy crawlability.
Most people nowadays conduct searches on their mobile devices – who can get out their laptop to use Google? Your site needs to be properly optimized to give these users a smooth experience. Someone who is experiencing a health issue doesn’t have the patience to deal with distorted images and run-off-the-page text.
Technical SEO isn’t easy. It is just what the name says – technical. Which is why you may need some help. Get in touch with our technical SEO experts to make it a part of your medical clinic SEO strategy.
But for now, read more about it here.
Blog – and other content solutions
Here’s the deal: the first thing a patient searches for is not going to be a medical clinic or professional.
Let’s look at this with an example. Suppose a person sees a red rash develop on their collar bone, which refuses to go away after days of monitoring.
What do you think is the first thing they are going to search for online? Probably something along the lines of “persistent red rash on collar bone.”
Then, if they feel that they need professional help to tackle the issue, they will start looking for dermatologists close to them.
Now let’s say you’re a dermatologist. You need to reach the patient at the first step, not the second. How can you do that?
Well, that’s quite simple if yours is the blog post the person landed on when they first tried to find more information about their health issue. Already, you’re one step closer to the individual choosing you as their medical provider in this case.
Where are we going with this? You need a great blog that addresses the issues your potential patients may face. Providing value to them here will mean they remember you when they need help in the future.
But this isn’t just restricted to blog posts.
Content across your website, social media channels, and other places across the web should provide value to potential patients AND people whose issues may be solved at home with your advice.
Make sure you write for the audience you discovered in the first medical clinic SEO step we shared with you – if they aren’t interested in the information you are providing them, it is of no use.
And as a medical professional, be responsible in the way you curate your content.
Inform, don’t scare.
Encourage, don’t coerce.
Focus on helping, not getting “customers.”
Check out these blog posts for content ideas you can modify according to your needs:
Use Social Media Smartly and Link it to Your Site
It is a given that you won’t directly be “selling your services” across your social media platforms.
The LAST thing you want to do is to make it appear like you are waiting for people to need your expertise.
Instead, what you want to do is help people realize that they might need medical help from a professional.
Similarly, you want to provide solutions to any concerns they may be having, making it evident that these solutions are coming from a certified healthcare professional.
If your solutions help someone facing those issues, they will definitely remember you if they ever need a medical professional for a more serious issue.
So that’s one thing – talking about symptoms, preventive measures, and things that can be done at home.
The other thing you need to do as part of your medical clinic SEO is to link your social media to your site so that you can divert the traffic back to it.
For example, let’s say you are a physiotherapist. You post an infographic on your Facebook page educating your target audience about some basic exercises. You can then link back to a webpage on your site that has more detailed information.
Citation building helps you make sure that information regarding your business is spread out all across the web.
You want your phone number, address, email address, clinic times, and specialization among other things easily available to people who may need them. And the best place to have this information is in online directories and other similar resources.
But this has to be done smartly. Having a listing for your medical clinic in a Law directory makes no sense.
Here is a list of some great citation sites for medical practices in the US:
Needless to say, you do need to make sure that your citations across these sources and others are updated and accurate at all times.
Ask Your Patients to Give You Online Reviews
Reputation management is a major part of the healthcare industry.
Think about it: what is the first thing you do when you need to consult a medical specialist?
You Google, sure. But what else?
You ask around! You ask your friends and family and get recommendations for the best person in the vicinity.
Reviews, though, have now mostly gone online. Which is why you need positive reviews from your clients that give an accurate description of the experience they had with you.
Needless to say, don’t opt for fake reviews or those that have been tampered with. You have a responsibility to your potential patients for their health and misleading them is nothing short of unethical and out of the question.
– Focus on Link—Building
Building links is an essential part of SEO for a medical clinic because it plays a major role in enhancing your visibility and driving traffic back to your site.
There are a number of ways you can get links back to your site as a medical professional.
Here are just a few of them:
- Curate content for other sites – Because you are a professional in the field with a certain amount of experience, you can share that expertise by writing pieces for other sites.
- Volunteer – By volunteering your services to the community for free, you can get noticed (online and otherwise).
- Answer questions – Answer health-related questions on platforms such as Quora and link back to your site at the same time.
- Post useful content of your own – Your blog and other content should be so good that other people link back to it from their sites.
- Sponsor events – This is one of the more expensive ways to get visibility but unlike the old days, sponsoring someone in this day and age means you will get mentions (and backlinks) online too!
Whichever method you go for, make sure you get links from popular, trustworthy sites, otherwise you’ll end up doing more harm than good.
SEO for a Medical Clinic – Hit or Miss?
All these medical SEO techniques can help you gain visibility, traffic, and a positive image.
Once you have these things, you will automatically start seeing yourself become a top choice for people when they need medical help.
And that is what SEO for a medical clinic is all about.
Did you find this medical SEO guideline helpful? Great!
If you still have questions, though, reach out today and we’ll answer them all!