4 Strategies for Medical SEO
Updated: Sep 20
Although patients will ultimately meet their doctor in person, their search for the right healthcare provider often begins on the internet. A study by doctor.com involving over 1,700 U.S. adults found out that four out of five respondents have utilized the internet to perform a medical-related search in the past year.
Google Health Vice President, David Feinberg, is quoted by The Telegraph saying that an estimated 7 percent of Google's daily searches are health-related. This means that Google receives over one billion health-related questions every day.
According to Dr. Feinberg, people head to Google to ask questions about health conditions, medications, symptoms, and insurance. In that case, Google organizes the world's health information accordingly and makes it accessible to everyone. Healthcare providers who get their websites on Google with the right information stand to drive more internet searchers to their practices than those who don't.
Getting Your Website on Google Isn't the Destination: Getting on the First Page is
After realizing that getting their websites on Google is one surefire way to increase brand visibility, medical practice owners go ahead and create good-looking websites for their practices. But does having a beautiful website translate to high website traffic?
While having a beautiful website will undoubtedly get you on Google, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will get the amount of traffic you hope to get to your website. What's the secret?
Well, to increase brand visibility and realize true practice growth in today's highly competitive business world, you must get your website on the first page of Google. Apparently, 75% of online searchers don't scroll beyond the first page on a Google search. That means that you can't afford to have your practice's website ranking on the second, third, or fourth page.
Medical SEO Strategies to Rank High on Google
Further research suggests that the top listing in Google's organic search results gets 33% of the internet traffic, with traffic decreasing from there. This means that medical practices that show up at the top of the first page on search engine results pages (SERPs) are highly likely to get the clicks needed to boost practice awareness and land more new patients.
The important question here is – how do you get your practice's website to rank high on the SERPs? Any successful digital marketer will tell you that you must have some effective SEO strategies up your sleeve. But, you don't need just any SEO strategies, but SEO strategies that work best for healthcare practitioners. The following are the four tested and proven strategies for Medical SEO:
1. Master your Keywords
A good keyword strategy starts with looking at yourself and your business. What services do you offer? Where? Why? What is the message you want to send out there in this world? It all comes down to promoting your business well enough that when someone types those words into Google, Twitter, Tumblr—or wherever they go if its not one of these sites-- your site pops up first.
Many small-to-medium sized medical practices find success in a geo-targeting SEO strategy. Geo-targeting allows you to create a marketing campaign based on the location of your target customer. For example, if you are a plastic surgeon based in Los Angeles, geo-targeting would include creating content and advertisements with location-based keywords. Overall, it will assist you in better ranking in your locale.
2. Optimize your Site for Multiple Languages
According to the United States Census Bureau, 13.4% of the U.S. population is black or African-American. Data also reveals that Hispanic and Latino individuals make up the most rapidly growing segment of the population. By 2050, these seemingly minority groups will represent nearly half of the total U.S. population.
Does your medical practice take these minority groups into account? If not, your practice may be aging and at risk of dying. One of the steps that your practice can take towards ensuring that you're accessible to minority populations is providing valuable healthcare information in different languages. This is where multilingual SEO comes in.
Multilingual SEO is the process of optimizing website content for different languages to make your website searchable by people of different ethnic backgrounds. If implemented correctly, multilingual SEO can improve your site's overall SEO ranking. How does multilingual SEO improve a site's SEO ranking? You ask.
Statistics indicate that nine out of ten internet users choose to visit a website in their language if the option is available and that 72.4% of them are more likely to buy a product or service from a website that has information in their own language.
The majority of internet users choose to visit websites with information in their own language because they find them more user-friendly. One of the factors that determine how search engine crawlers rank websites is the user experience. The better your website's user experience is, the higher it will rank in the search engines.
As tempting as relying on Google translate is, don't use it. While non-English speakers can utilize it to translate the contents of your site, they will not get superior results in terms of great content. To boost the user experience, you should implement a dedicated multilingual SEO strategy that involves using dedicated URLs that include a language indicator.
3. Create Content for Voice Search
Voice assistants are rapidly becoming one of the favored methods of finding relevant information online. According to predictions from Statista, the number of digital voice assistants will reach 8.4 billion units by 2024.
Further research from emagine shows that healthcare is the second most active industry for voice search after food and beverage. If these findings are anything to go by, healthcare providers must account for voice search habits in their overall healthcare SEO strategy to grow and maintain traffic from search.
So, how do you boost your website's chances of being included among the top voice search results? For starters, you should use conversational language and create content that answers common questions. This means using keyword phrases that mirror common voice queries. You should also consider creating an FAQ section that provides information centered on real questions patients are likely to ask.
4. Earn Authoritative Backlinks
Links have always been an important factor in how search engines rank websites in their SERPs. Search engines like Google essentially perceive each link to a website as a vote of confidence in the quality of the content therein.
In any case, if other sites are willing to cite your website as a source, you must be offering information that's of value. Therefore, the more backlinks you have pointing to your site, the more trustworthy your site will appear, and the more likely it will rank high on the SERPs.
How do you get robust backlinks for your medical website? Some of the strategies that will earn you authoritative backlinks include answering health-related questions on forums such as Quora, getting your content included in resource pages, getting your website listed on health directories, etc.
Need Help Implementing Strategies for Medical SEO? DearDoc Can Help!
As a healthcare provider, you certainly want to deliver the best possible care to your patients. To achieve this, you must handle many things to ensure that your medical practice not only runs smoothly, but also grows and thrives in a highly competitive industry. Oftentimes, you need the help of other professionals to achieve your goals.
While you understand the importance of establishing a strong online presence for your medical practice, you may not have the time or the expertise to implement strategies for Medical SEO. This is where DearDoc comes in. We also provide a range of advanced tools to modernize how healthcare providers interact with new and existing patients.
Contact us today to learn how you can grow your medical practice within a short time.
Would you like to learn even more about SEO? Download our Ultimate Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Medical Providers and discover how to boost your website rankings and increase discoverability.