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Nowadays, no matter your business, industry, or sector, your competitors are battling it for those all-important top Google SERPs (search engine results pages) rankings online. A well-thought-out and researched medical SEO strategy places your business in the best position to attract more users to your website, raise brand awareness, and hopefully increase conversions.
Did you know that organic search accounts for over 50% of all search traffic? That means over half of your potential audience are finding products and services similar to yours via a search engine query through Google, Bing, or similar. Nothing else will if this doesn't tell you how crucial medical practice SEO is.
You’ve probably started conducting some basic research about SEO for medical practices and found it overwhelming with an endless list of implementable things. Unfortunately, search engine optimization can be a minefield if you attempt to tackle everything at once. What you’ll learn in this article are the most critical elements that provide the foundations for the best medical SEO campaign and strategy.
Top Medical Search Engine Optimization Tips
1. Keywords & Unique Content
You need to produce unique, keyword-optimized content that sets your website apart. Search engines like to see that you’re posting informative content frequently. It shows them your business is active, the information you’re sharing is up-to-date, and the content is relevant.
However, you’re not just catering to search engines – you must remember your target audience. To ensure the right people see your content, you need to select topics that are important and interesting to them, focusing on features that are hot topics now or will be in the future.
So, how can you please both search engines and users with your content? Keyword optimization. Firstly, you need to know how to conduct keyword research and discover your target audience's keywords. Often, these focus on location, treatment type, or symptoms. Tools such as Semrush and Ahrefs are perfect for this.
From here, you need to incorporate your chosen keywords into your content, but do it naturally, don’t pack them into sentences where they don’t make sense. Make a plan and decide which keywords you will use on different pages, enabling you to target as many as possible. You should keyword optimize content across your entire website, including main pages, landing pages, blogs, and press releases.
2. Website Design & Technical Optimization
No matter what, SEO for medical websites should factor in both on-page and technical SEO. Falling into the realm of technical SEO, the design of your website, its responsiveness, and page loading speeds have a significant impact on your rankings. While these elements of SEO make your website more friendly for search engine crawl bots, they enhance user experience massively.
With over 50% of searches now conducted on mobile, you must ensure your website is responsive to all different screen sizes. When users lands on your website, they should see a visually appealing and easy-to-navigate user experience.
If your website isn’t responsive, text may be hard to read, they may need to scroll left or right to view all content, and clickable elements may be too close together. If they experience any of these problems, there’s a high chance they’ll give up and leave your website searching for something better.
Site speed is second on the technical search engine optimization for medical practices agenda. In the modern era of technology, we’re used to being presented with the information we want to see instantly, not waiting around – we’ve grown to be impatient, and Google knows this. Therefore, the slower your website loads, the worse your ranking will be. Ways you can ensure fast loading speeds include:
- Reduce image file sizes – compressed and optimized images load faster.
- Use caching and lazy loading – when a user has visited your website once, elements are cached ready for their next visit, so they don’t need to load twice. Lazy loading presents the top of the page first, meaning a user doesn’t have to wait for the entire page to load before they can see your webpage.
- Avoid lots of third-party code – the more HTML code your website carries, the longer it takes to load. Use a tool such as Google Tag Manager to compress third-party code.
3. Linking Strategy
Every serious SEO strategy includes considering the links on your website, including internal links, backlinks, and outbound links. Here's an overview of these three types of links and their role in optimizing your site for search engines.
Internal linking connects one page on your website to another page. As a result, this is important for both crawl bots and users. As for the user journey, you ensure that no page is a dead end.
Within the body of all pages, you need links to other pages and strong calls to action, meaning a user is never left confused or not knowing what page they need to go to next. Additionally, it makes it easier for crawl bots to discover and index every page on your website. The more pages indexed the higher chance of ranking for your desired key terms.
Think of backlinks like a review. Google sees someone else linking to your website as your content recommends it as valuable. It can be hard to encourage people to link to your content, especially if you’re a small business. However, if you create compelling and relevant content and promote it effectively, you’ll see results.
It’s not all about volume with backlinks, though. Yes, it’s great to have many other websites linking to your pages, but they need to be high authority domains. Again, Semrush provides an excellent overview if you want to learn how to get started with sourcing backlinks.
Outbound links are linking your content to another website. So, you might be thinking, how does sending someone away from my website help me?
If you link to high authority, reputable websites, Google sees that you have used credible sources to create your content, meaning the information you’ve given is accurate and reliable. Google exists to provide users with information, meaning the more credible you seem, the better.
Building the perfect SEO campaign and strategy takes a while and a lot of learning. However, implementing the above will set your medical practice apart from many of your competitors, helping you fly up the rankings and pick up that boost in website traffic that your hard work deserves.