PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising is a form of online advertising where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. It’s a for...
As the population ages, the search for quality healthcare services will increase. The internet has become an essential resource for people seeking information about medical procedures, providers, and reviews. A study showed that more than 57% of adults use online resources when researching healthcare options. That number has been rising and will likely move up to 100%.
That’s where medical SEO comes in. SEO is the process of optimizing a website for search engines so that it appears higher on relevant search results pages. Medical SEO can help businesses attract more patients locally and nonlocally when done correctly. Not only that, but SEO works for your business all of the time. When potential patients search, they'll find your practice and become more familiar with your business.
That's why SEO is essential for medical businesses looking to expand. This article will cover what medical SEO is, the benefits of SEO, and the most frequently asked questions regarding SEO best practices.
What Is Medical SEO?
When someone initially becomes concerned with their health, they'll typically begin with a Google search. Depending on their concern, they'll use different keywords to search. For instance, let's say a potential patient is experiencing shoulder pain. Then, they decide to search "shoulder pain causes" on Google. Your website displays at the top of the SERP (search engine ranking page) with an article providing practical tips for alleviating their pain. At the end of your article, your business puts a form to schedule a consultation at your practice. That's the power of content marketing and medical SEO. Of course, content isn't the only part of SEO. You can read our simple medical SEO guide to learn more.
Further, we can break SEO into three components: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
On-page SEO is optimizing different elements on your website to be visible to search engines and potential patients. That includes the title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and image alt text of your website. For SEO, you'll want to make sure that you're using relevant keywords throughout these elements on your website. However, don't stuff them in, as this will result in a penalty from Google. Instead, use them naturally so that it reads well to both search engines and people.
Content is an essential part of on-page SEO. You can do keywords and descriptions correctly and still not rank. That's because Google is trying to put the best content at the top of SERPs. If your content isn't valuable to potential viewers, Google isn't likely to rank.
Off-page SEO is building links to your website from other websites. Google sees link building as a signal of trustworthiness. The more links you have pointing to your website, the higher you'll rank on SERPs. Think of the most linked-to websites on the internet; YouTube, Amazon, and Wikipedia all consistently show up at the top of SERPs, depending on the keywords you search.
That's because of the backlink profiles and high domain authority these websites hold. In addition, these websites provide valuable content that keeps viewers reading or watching for long periods. That's a major component of SEO and falls under the on-page category.
Technical SEO is the final component and involves optimizing your website's infrastructure. That includes sitemaps, SSL (secure sockets layer), canonical tags, loading speed, and more. Technical SEO can be complex, so it's often best to hire an expert to help you with this type of optimization. However, our technical SEO audit has a checklist to get you started if you’re feeling ambitious.
Now that we've covered what medical SEO is, let's move on to the benefits of investing in it for your business.
The Benefits of SEO
There are numerous benefits of medical SEO, and we'll cover some of the most important ones here.
1. Increase in Traffic, Leads, and Patients
The first and most prevalent benefit is the increase in traffic, leading to an increase in patients. When you're ranking at the top of SERPs, you're getting in front of potential patients actively searching for a healthcare provider. Investing in SEO is one of the most effective ways to increase traffic and grow your business. And ranking at the top of SERPs leads us to the next benefit.
2. More Credibility and Brand Awareness
When you're ranking at the top of SERPs, your business and website's credibility increase. People are more likely to trust a website that's ranking on the first page of Google than one buried on the fourth page. Brand awareness contributes more to the click-through rate than most people realize.
3. Long Term Success in Your Area
Investing in SEO is a long-term strategy that will continue to pay off for years. If you're looking to grow and expand your business beyond the next one to two years, investing in SEO is your best bet. Of course, it's possible to lose your position at the top spot. That's why it's crucial to stay ahead of competitors by producing content consistently. However, once you're at the top, it becomes more challenging to lose your position.
Now that we've gone over some of the benefits of medical SEO, let's answer some frequently asked questions.
Which Is Better: PPC (Pay-per-Click) Or SEO?
The answer to this question is that it depends. Depending on your budget and allotted time, the answer could be either. However, if your budget includes PPC and SEO, we highly recommend it. That's because you get the best of both worlds—getting potential leads in the short term while also preparing your business for success in the long term. The full breakdown of PPC vs. SEO is a complex topic, so we discussed it thoroughly in a different article.
How Much Does an SEO Agency Cost?
Again, the answer to this question depends. SEO agencies can charge anywhere from $500-$5,000+ per month, depending on their size and their services. If you're looking for an agency to help with your medical SEO, we recommend starting with a smaller budget and seeing how it goes. You can always increase your budget later if you're happy with the results.
When Will I See Results From SEO?
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on numerous factors. For instance, the competition in your area and industry will impact the length of time. If you're starting from scratch, it could take 6-12 months to see results. However, if you already have a strong foundation and have fewer competitors, you might start seeing results in as little as 3-6 months.
The Bottom Line
Medical SEO is an essential investment for any healthcare business looking to grow and succeed in the long term. By ranking at the top of SERPs, you'll increase traffic, leads, patients, and credibility. If you're looking for help with your medical SEO, we recommend working with an experienced agency.