Audiology SEO: Are you speaking the right language?
Imagine you took a spring trip to picturesque Paris, France where the trees were in bloom. (Not Paris, Maine where there was still snow on the ground.)
The first day you decide to take a stroll down the banks of the Seine and find yourself asking a Parisian for directions. Which, by the way, will annoy them.
Then reality hits. Despite your 4 years of high school French, no one understands much of what you are saying. Instead of having a pleasant walk around the city you end up going nowhere. Clearly knowing the language spoken in whatever city you are visiting would be a big help.
Now, here’s the kicker: the same principle applies to your SEO.
What’s the biggest barrier to attracting new patients?
It’s building trust, right?
Do you know what’s the biggest barrier to getting found online?
It’s getting Google to trust you.
You may know how to build trust with patients, but do you know how to get Google to trust you and reward your website pages with traffic so you can be found by patients?
The first step is speaking the language, in this case having your site speak Google’s version of SEO. Don’t worry we’re not going to wander into SEO nerd speak here. We get it, the reality is, if you own a medical practice is you don’t need to know how SEO works anymore than you need to know how Parisian bakers make delicious baguettes. You just need to know who to hire, how they can help you, and what to pay them for.
Parlez vous Google?
Why is SEO important to your practice?
(12 second review)
Because without effective SEO, your site won’t be speaking Google’s language and it won’t get ranked correctly. There will be a breakdown in communication between what you see yourself as an expert in and what Google sees.
Which means patients won’t find you. Instead they’ll find competitors whose websites speak SEO fluently.
How do you pick the right SEO firm?
Pick one that speaks your language. Sounds obvious, but most SEO firms talk about the number of clicks and impressions they’ll generate for your practice. If that matters to you, that’s great. But 99.7% of all medical practice owners aren’t looking for clicks and impressions, they’re looking for new patients, new patient appointments.
To start, pick a marketing firm to help you with your audiology SEO that talks in the same language as you, in terms of getting more new patients in the door. A marketing firm that specializes in your vertical and speaks Google so you don’t need to.
What SEO services should you pay for? This is the important stuff hardly anyone does.
In the hearing aid market, there are a lot of new low cost hearing devices claiming to be every bit as good as a fully functional hearing aid. As you know, these devices work for some things like streaming music, but fully functional they are not.
The same is true in the world of SEO. Some medical SEO firms do the same thing. They sell you SEO but it’s only SEO lite, at best. Think lite beer or worse.
Avoid These Common SEO Mistakes
Another way you can think about this is simple: there are some common SEO mistakes that many firms make. You can make your life a bit easier (and your practice a bit more successful) by avoiding these mistakes.
Mistake 1: Not Being Clear about Your Audiology SEO Goals
Your patients want tangible results: hearing aids that improve their ability to hear and boost their quality of life. You need tangible results from your medical SEO company, too. They must understand what you want, and set up a system for tracking whether or not they’re getting results. Some obvious goals would include:
- Getting more patients through better local SEO
- Better search rankings when someone types “audiologist in your town” into a search engine
- Higher website traffic and more new patient phone calls into the office
Mistake 2: Not Demanding Helpful SEO Analytics
Again, let’s assume that the ultimate goal for your medical search engine optimization is to get more patients through the door who buy more hearing aids. Ask your SEO firm specifically how they track which keywords and key phrases are working—or not working—to drive more people to schedule appointments with you. Insist on seeing the data broken down for you.
MedPB has a very specific tracking and analysis system that directly connects the number of incoming patient calls and emails (both new and repeats) and links those calls directly back to our efforts. You see the concrete ROI.
If you aren’t getting good analytics, you’ll never know what you can do to improve your results.
Mistake 3: Keyword Stuffing and Awkward Keyword Placements
Over a decade ago, you saw this a lot: text on audiology websites that was peppered with [Your Town] audiologist to the point of silliness. Sure, it makes sense to mention that combination of words in logical places around your website. But if your SEO company is just dropping that all over the place where it doesn’t read naturally, Google and other search engines will recognize it as keyword stuffing and penalize it in search results—meaning potential patients won’t find you.
Google likes high-quality, high-value, natural, useful, regularly-updated content that helps people solve their problems. Your target keyword and phrase list should naturally spring from quality content and the natural search language your patients use. This will drive organic search results to your audiology practice.
Mistake 4: Using One Title Tag or Meta Description on Every Page
Let’s explain this one a little bit: You can see the title tag at the top of the tab open in your browser. If you have an audiology website with different pages for different services, each title tag should correspond to each of those services and not simply be a restatement of [Your Town] audiologist repeatedly. For example, a page about hearing aid fittings should say “Hearing Aid Fittings in [Your Town]”.
The meta description is a 160-character miniature sales pitch built into each page on your website—this unique text should contain keywords that should talk only about what’s on that particular page and not be a copy from other pages on your website.
These two simple SEO tactics make it easier for search engines to index your pages, and it also shows how relevant your pages are to your target audience when the share links on Facebook, Twitter, email or when they bookmark your website for future reference.
Mistake 5: Not Going Mobile
Just a few months ago, Google rolled out its mobile-friendly search algorithm that actually gives “mobile-friendly” websites a big boost in search rankings over websites that look horrible on mobile devices. One of the first things your audiology SEO team needs to do is make sure your website is mobile friendly—if not, get that fixed fast.
Mistake 6: A Poorly Organized Website Structure
Make sure your website has a clear site map, that none of the internal links are broken, and that it’s logically organized and easy to navigate. Not only do search engines like Google give preferential treatment to such websites, it sure helps your potential patients get what they want and makes it easier for them (and you) to share useful content over social media.
Mistake 7: Not Having Relevant, Unique Content
One of the most important, bottom-line issues with SEO for doctors and audiologists is that you need high-value, unique content. Think about it—if you were researching something, you’d want to find helpful, authoritative information that enhances your life and ability to make good choices.
Your potential patients want the same thing, and Google has their back with every new search algorithm updated to cull out useless content from their search results. Consider informative how-to blogs and even videos. Add to-the-point and helpful articles that people will want to share.
Effective SEO involves 2 key elements
At the risk of oversimplification, good SEO involves only two key ingredients. Sounds simple, but 86.53% of all medical websites aren’t using these two key SEO ingredients to optimize new patient acquisition. What are these?
1. A website built for SEO. One designed and written, from the get go, in Google’s language as well as from the patient’s perspective. Without getting into the nerdy stuff, the structure of the website, the copy, and site coding all play a part. This includes the little snippets of copy that show on Google searches about your site pages. Most SEO firms may do one of these but rarely all.
2. An up-to-date site, one that shows Google, month-in and month-out that you speak Google, and are continuing to demonstrate you’re the local hearing expert. Think of your site code and content this way. It’s like a loaf of (French) bread. When it’s fresh, it appeals to people. After a month on the shelf, it’s moldy and way past the sell by date.
How do you keep your website code and content up to date?
Here are the ABCs.
A. Google is constantly changing how it sorts web pages, and it’s key to track these changes and update your site code every few months.
B. Google ranks the value of websites like colleges rank professors who want tenure. Publish or perish. Which means to continue to be seen as the expert, you need weekly articles added to your site.
C. The same goes for your Google Business Profile. Google expects it to be updated regularly too with new content.
Why don’t most SEO firms do the above?
Because you need the right staff. And it takes a lot of time to stay on top of Google’s constant changes, write 4 articles a month, and manage your Google Business Profile.
Do you need to pay monthly for audiology SEO?
The simple answer is yes if you want your site to continue to speak Google and continue to generate new patient leads. If you’re working with a marketing firm that is doing the 3 things mapped out above, you should be getting a steady stream of new patients in the door. Which means the ROI on your SEO should be so high you’d be happy to pay monthly.
Here at MedPB our SEO helps drive down our clients’ cost per lead so low that many of our clients’ ROI is 8-1 and for some it’s 16-1. Yes, for every dollar they spend on SEO they make back 8 or even 16 in new revenue.
Want to attract more new patients with effective audiology SEO?
Let’s talk (uh… not in French, preferably).