Why Most Medical SEO Doesn’t Attract Patients
Tired of looking at an empty waiting room?
What’s the fastest way to get more appointments?
It’s to attract more patients to your website, which is obvious, but the real question is how do you do it. What actually works?
You may have gotten a few if not a hundred calls from so-called SEO firms which claim to have a magic formula for helping your website get more visitors, but the truth is it’s not magic but content, expert articles, that makes the difference.
Why Your Medical SEO Efforts Aren’t Working
Most SEO tactics are focused on keywords and technical issues, and ignore the key element that works to attract more patients. It’s true that in decades past you could just stuff your site with the keywords patients search for but that no longer works.
Google has started to pay attention to whether you’ve got great content on your site. How do they do this? Google looks at time on site and on page. If it’s low, and people aren’t sticking around to read your copy, then Google gives your site a lousy ranking.
Keywords Alone Won’t Cut It
Now don’t get me wrong, paying attention to things like keywords is important (and we’ll talk about that in a minute). But they shouldn’t be your focus. SEO strategies, especially for doctors, need to have a different approach. The difference lies in how the articles and content are written.
Articles work, because they give you a chance to have a conversation, albeit a virtual one, with your patients and potential new patients. When you use your articles to entertain your patients, you’ll capture their attention. Then, when you describe one of their key concerns and present one brilliant insight, you’ll have established your credibility.
Do this right, and you create a perception of need and a hunger to resolve their medical concerns.
If you’ve never written an article like this before, what you’re writing is an advertorial. While your goal is to generate an appointment, that’s not how you want to begin. First, you need to create the context by defining the problem, so that your medical services are the logical conclusion.
Here’s the simple formula we use, and you can use too.
1. Write Articles Your Patients Want to Read
The goal of any article you write is to get as many people in your target market as possible to read it and contact you. With this in mind, spend up to 50% of your time picking a topic and title that will grab readers’ interest.
Then spend 25% of your time writing the lead paragraph and the remaining 25% of your time on your article.
That’s the suggested rule. I usually spend a half hour picking a topic from a list I’ve prepared in advance plus a title and an hour writing the article. That’s just an hour and a half a week. The more people who read your article, the better your overall SEO will be.
2. Focus on Patients’ Problems
If you want to get the attention of your patients—start by writing about the common problems your clients experience. Think of the biggest problems your patients have, and write an article about how to solve them.
If you’re an ENT, you could write about common signs of a thyroid problem. If you are an audiologist, you could write about how to manage tinnitus.
If you’re still stuck and can’t come up with an idea for an article, let your patients tell you what to write about. When you talk to them on the phone or in an email, ask them, “What’s your biggest health concern?” Then, take their responses and use them as the basis for your articles.
To generate ideas for articles, jot down your observations and reactions after every patient meeting or conversation. Cull your list of ideas and start with the ones that will be of the most help to prospects. If you can’t come up with any ideas at all, use a survey to ask questions that will generate more information for articles.
Imagine the questions your prospects and clients ask themselves or should be asking. These are the questions people tend to Google. Use these as the topic for an article.
3. Then Optimize for Medical SEO
Put the patients first and not only will your organic traffic grow organically, more of those visitors will decide to call you and set an appointment. You’ll also improve your SEO because your writing will use natural phrases (instead of “keyword stuffing”), which is favored in Google’s latest algorithm. Once you have your content focused on your patient’s concerns, it’s time to think about SEO best practices for doctors. We’ve put together a Medical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Cheat Sheet to help you keep track of all the details.
Sound like a lot of work?
Coming up with expert content to write each week and taking the time off from seeing patients to write it and post it is a HUGE job. Which is why at MedPB we do it for you.
Ready to attract more patients with medical SEO?