Are you struggling to get new patients in the door of your audiology clinic or healthcare practice? Search engine optimization (SEO) of your website can help. Medical SEO can increase the number of new patients who find your website and call to book appointments.
But driving new patients to your website can be frustrating. If only it were as simple as a keystroke! There are many details to understand and it’s hard to know where to focus your efforts.
We created this Medical SEO cheat sheet to make it easy for you. Use these 5 steps to build your online presence and reputation and appear at the top of the search engine results to attract more new patients.
1. Fast Site Speed
If your medical practice website loads slowly, it will negatively impact your search rankings—so it’s important that your site load quickly. In fact, nearly half of potential new patients expect your site to load in two seconds or less. And the longer the page takes to load, the more visitors will abandon it altogether.
Using a speed test tool, such as Pingdom or Speedtest, can help you determine your website’s page load time. Another good way to improve your medical SEO is by checking the load time of a few competitor websites; there are free tools you can use to do this. You want to make sure your page load time at least matches—and preferably beats—your competitors.
2. Proper Meta Tags
Meta tags are an important part of healthcare SEO. Make sure to follow these guidelines when creating meta tags on your practice’s website:
- Title tags: These tags show the title of your site or page in search engine results. Try to keep title tags to 60 characters or fewer, since this is the maximum number of characters Google will display.
- Meta descriptions: This is the snippet of information search engines will display in results, below the title tag, to give visitors a preview of what your page or site is about. Search engines also crawl this description to determine what types of visitors to send to that page or site. There is a 160-character limit, so keep these brief, as well. Use synonyms or related keywords rather than primary keywords in the meta description.
3. High-Quality Content
Quality content is one of Google’s most significant ranking factors. In other words, producing relevant, well-written and insightful content is crucial to success with medical SEO—and will help your site climb the search rankings. In fact, up to 81% of marketers plan to produce more original written content in the future.
Comprehensive content drives traffic from long-tail keyword searches—that is, longer search terms that include more than just the keyword—to your medical practice website. In addition to being well-crafted and useful, this content must be:
- Targeted to the specific audience you’re trying to reach
- Easily shareable by email and social media
- Optimized for a keyword with a high search volume
- Optimized to provide the best user experience, so users can easily the find the most important information and answers to their search queries
- Responsive across all types of devices, including smartphones and tablets
- 2,000 words long or more, well-researched and providing sufficient detail
- Valuable and engaging to readers
- “Fresh,” meaning updated regularly and, when possible, about current events and trending topics
4. Easily Crawlable Site
The term “crawlability” describes how well a search engine can navigate all the pages of your site and crawl your text content. That means:
- Your site architecture must be logical and easy to navigate
- Internal pages and blog articles must be interlinked
- None of your links should be broken
Another important part of improving crawlability is having a proper URL structure. This involves:
- Using real words, not IP addresses or binary numbers
- Not changing old URLs (this will break the links)
- Including dates for articles and blog posts
- Using keywords
- Using generic, descriptive titles rather than specific ones
- Looking at how other notable practices in your specialty are structuring their URLs, and modeling yours after them
5. Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Design
Today, over 31 million Internet users in the U.S. go online exclusively using a smartphone. That means your medical practice website needs to be optimized for mobile. Make sure the online marketing company you hire to design your website creates it using responsive design, which allows your site to display the same way regardless of what type of device it’s accessed on.
Sites that aren’t mobile-optimized can suffer in the search rankings, as Google’s algorithm favors more accessible sites. In fact, Google offers a free tool you can use to check the mobile-friendliness of your medical practice website.
SEO for doctors involves a lot of moving parts. By following this cheat sheet, you can ensure your site climbs the search rankings and can be easily found and accessed by everyone—especially new patients, who will contact your practice to book appointments.
Need more help driving traffic to your site and attracting new patients? Contact MedPB today!