Quick Guide to Healthcare SEO
As more people look on Google and similar search engines for healthcare services these days, an optimized website for your office is more important than ever before. Word-of-mouth and recommendations only go so far. Search engine optimization (SEO) offers a budget-friendly and highly effective way to get targeted traffic to your website now and in the future. In order to reap the benefits, you must understand more than surface healthcare SEO practices. This quick guide can help.
Healthcare SEO Basics Explained
Search engine optimization for any industry involves a series of tasks designed to make a site rank higher in the results pages when people type in a certain keyword or phrase. If someone is looking for a podiatrist in Nashville, they will undoubtedly type in exactly that or some form of "podiatrist near me." They may also search for a specific service or medical complaint.
The SEO you perform both on your website and off makes it easier for those searches to direct that person to your healthcare office. The vast majority of people visit one of the first options on Page One of the results. Effective and localized healthcare SEO positions your site exactly where people are most likely to click on it. This delivers highly targeted traffic and increases the potential of getting a new patient on the books.
Benefits of Strong Healthcare SEO
Besides the potential for a lot more website traffic, healthcare SEO provides additional advantages over your competition. A properly optimized site improves the user experience considerably. After all, Google and other search engines boost visibility for sites with relevant content that offers high value to specific target audiences.
That should be the goal of any content you share online. This also increases the level of trust people have in your medical office or health-related business. The end goal is a more highly engaged consumer base eager to trust you with their most personal problems.
SEO also involves technical considerations related to your website code, image compression, and functionality. Decreasing load times, ensuring responsive and mobile-ready screen views, and high functionality improves both optimization and user experience.
Three Sides of Healthcare SEO
A basic understanding of search engine optimization for medical, healthcare, and wellness businesses is not enough to get all these benefits. Due to the complexity of the entire process, it makes sense to hire an experienced team from a reputable healthcare SEO agency to handle things for you.
The following three sides of healthcare SEO must all work together in order to give your organization the boost it needs to become well-respected and profitable in the local market.
1. On-Site SEO for the Healthcare Industry
Optimization techniques performed on the website itself help many different ranking factors. This part of the equation includes both content-based and behind-the-scenes elements. As mentioned above, fast load times, responsive layout for smartphones and mobile devices, and clean code all affect how search engines view your healthcare website.
- Title Tags – Each page needs an optimized title and URL to let searchers know what they will find if they click. Including geo-targeted keywords boosts your ranking.
- Meta-Description – This short summary should also include keyword phrases people who need healthcare services search for. Add major locations your office covers.
- HTML Tags – This category includes alt tags for images, headers, anchor text links, and more. Proper inclusion of long-tail keywords in prominently displayed pieces of text improves search engine optimization in general.
- User-friendly Navigation – While having a clear clickable menu focuses more on the on-site visitor experience, it can also help boost SEO in various ways. For example, a navigable footer on every page of the site and the inclusion of a Google site map add another layer of scannable content with high value for search engines.
For best results, check for errors, broken links, and outdated content frequently. Add unique, well-written, and optimized content regularly. Updating service offers or adding informational or entertaining blog posts is an excellent way to fuel ongoing healthcare SEO power.
2. Off-Site SEO for Health-Related Businesses
Optimization tasks performed off your website also help improve search engine results and site traffic. The main goal of all off-site SEO involves building backlinks that point to your pages. As long as these links are on reputable sites, Google sees them as a sign of sufficient value and credibility.
These links also provided other potential points of introduction for people looking for your type of healthcare services. For the best results, focus on the following types of linking strategies. Also, remember that poor-quality backlinks will hurt your reputation and rankings.
- Healthcare Business Directories – Online directories and review sites are excellent ways to improve your backlinking strategy and add to your positive reputation in your area. Patients use these to search for specific services they need and read reviews to make smart decisions.
- Industry News Sites – The best way to get information about your organization and a link to your website on medical or health-related news sites is to submit press releases for publication. These articles provide updates, new information, or announcements of interest.
- High-Quality Blogs – Guest posting informative and engaging articles on other health or medical websites that do not compete directly with your organization can boost SEO.
- Social Media Platforms – Every professional organization these days must create a strong presence on major social media platforms. They are an integral part of content marketing and a platform to build backlinks and engage with your target audience.
3. Local SEO for Medical and Wellness Centers
Since healthcare offices and related businesses operate in a specific geographic location, local SEO is a necessary part of the marketing equation. As mentioned above, people will search for a "podiatrist in Nashville" if they live near that city and need those types of services. Finding a podiatrist in Albany, NY will not help them at all. Local SEO allows you to target your efforts more precisely.
In order to optimize your business effectively for your area, claim your Google My Business profile right away. This offers both powerful SEO benefits and puts your office on Google Maps. Google ranking is determined by distance from the searcher's location, relevancy of services, and the online esteem of your office overall. Things like reviews, directory inclusion, and all the aforementioned optimization techniques all contribute.
Healthcare SEO involves on-site, off-site, and local optimization efforts. Within these three essential categories, many specific elements work together to improve search engine rankings. The main goal is to improve authority and get your relevant information in front of a specific target audience who is looking for the services you provide in your area.