The more new patients you have calling the easier it is to grow your practice. So how do you get more new patients calling without expensive medical advertising?
The simple answer is to make it easier to get found in Google. That’s where 73% or more patients start their search for a health provider. Each month people make over 10.3 billion searches using Google. Almost 80% of these searches are people looking for products and services. Depending on your market, this could be dozens or even hundreds of patients who are searching for your medical services each day!
Two questions we’ll be answering for you:
- How can you get your share of patients to pick your practice?
- How come your practice isn’t showing up above the competition?
The secret about SEO is that, the basic steps needed to attract new patients and get more new patients calling isn’t complex. We’ll tell you exactly what to do but not every SEO company and hardly any medical practices actually do these 3 steps.
That’s right, most SEO company services are just a scam. They don’t provide the essential services that work because it takes too much effort to do the detailed work needed to get great results and get more patients. Sure, if you live in a one horse town with no serious competition they can get your site listed, but their limited approach doing just on page SEO won’t work in most medium to large population areas.
Use the list of SEO tasks below as a checklist and if your current SEO firm isn’t doing them, you should fire them today.
3 Shockingly Simple Ways to Improve Your Search Results – That Almost No One Does
Writing Web Page Metatags That Work
Most healthcare SEO firms know that you can control how your site is listed in Google by editing your page title and description metatags. The problem is they don’t take the time or have the brains to write these to prompt anyone to click on your practice when a patient finds it in Google.
Which means, it doesn’t matter how great the rest of your website is, because if patients don’t click on the link for it in a Google search they’ll never see it. Obviously this is an important aspect of SEO for doctors if they want patients to schedule appointments!
Here’s a sample of title tags and description tags which should never have seen the light of day (edited to protect the victims of this type of SEO sloppiness).
Pauline B. Gault – Stamford, Connecticut – Home
With the establishment of Dental Associates by Pauline B. Gault, in 1984, Pauline began providing comprehensive dental services to…
The medical speciality isn’t even in the title tag and clearly no description tag was written leaving Google to just grab the first few lines of text on the page.
Instead the title and description tag should be written like a direct response ad to give prospective patients a reason to call your practice. For example:
Helping You Hear Better in Stamford CT
Discover how easy it is to be part of the conversation. Our trained audiologists are here to help you hear better. Call today…
See the difference?
Well written title and description tags can easily double or triple the number of new patients that find you and are motivated to call your practice. Now the challenge is finding an online marketing firm that will actually take the time and has the talent to make this essential fix for you.
Writing and Adding Fresh Content Weekly
How can you get and keep to rankings on Google? The simple answer is to play by their rules. Google regularly checks your site to see it is being updated weekly and providing helpful information to your target market. If it’s just showing the same content from 3 months ago or longer, Google dumbs down your ranking.
The best way to keep Google happy and keep your site showing up at the top or searches is to write and add expert articles to your site each week. Of course you’ll want most of these to include the keywords your patients are searching for and to provide answers to commonly asked questions.
The problem with this straightforward strategy is… what?
Yes it takes time and is a lot of work!
If you’re like most medical professionals you’re already busy and don’t have time to write an article a week for your website, much less keyword optimize it for Google and post it on your blog. Which is exactly why most SEO firms don’t do it either.
Medical practices that add fresh content to their blogs have 434% more indexed pages. And practices with more indexed pages generate many more leads.
In fact over 50% of online marketers say content generation is the single most effective SEO strategy, yet most online medical marketing firms don’t do it. Go figure.
Want more patients to find you online? Find an online marketing firm that adds fresh content weekly to your website.
Managing Local Listing Accuracy
The problem with the vast majority of online directories is they don’t care whether your business listing information is accurate or not. They just spider your site and to find your business name and add it to their directory, and if it’s partial or out of date – they don’t care. But you should!
When Google, goes to verify your practice and finds a variety of addresses, spellings or phone numbers for your practice, – they dumb down your rankings again and exclude you from the high visibility spots.
What are some of these “free” directories?
I’m sure you’ve heard of some like Yelp, or Healthgrades but your practice may also be listed in dozens of lesser known directories like, www.localsaver.com, www.nextdoor.com, www.angieslist.com, www.yellowpages.com, www.localyahoo.com, http://manttus.com, www.localstack.com and dozens and dozens more.
Which can be a good thing for attracting patients, if your business listing is 100% accurate. And is a bad thing if it’s not.
You could assign one of your front desk staff to spend a few hours a week, to checking all these listings and contacting each to get them to correct them – or you could sign up with an online marketing firm that automatically manages it for you 24/7.
It may seem like a small thing to fix, managing your local listings, but from our research it’s one of the top three ways to help more new patients find you.
SEO Bonus Tips
Video Can Increase Patient Leads
Adding a video on your homepage increases the chances by 74% that Google will put your practice on page one of a search. Not mention it helps patients can get to know you, builds trust and gets more patients contacting your practice.
Want more Medical SEO Tips?
Here’s the SEO Blog we follow, but you might find it easier to read The Medical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Cheat Sheet. Of course, if you just want a healthcare website seo specialist to do your medical seo for you, talk to us.