Updated on 1/10/2024
If you’re looking to get your medical practice to the top of the Google searches, healthcare SEO is the strategy for you! When your target market is searching for the nearest healthcare facility, your business needs to be in the top 3 local pack in order to get more customers coming through your doors. However, when you’re a medical supplier looking for national coverage, your approach will be immensely different. Luckily for you, we have experience with both.
By implementing SEO for healthcare strategies, you are setting yourself up for success to receive more phone calls, form submissions, ultimately leading to an increase in overall sales and revenue.
Why Do SEO for Doctors and Medical Offices? It Can Be Pivotal in Boosting Sales
Did you know that the first organic search that is listed on Google has an average click-through rate (or CTR) of 27.6%? That’s why it is so important to get ahead of these SEO best practices so you will see more people inclined to want to click on your website over competitors.
So if you are ready to get started, Sixth City Marketing here to provide you with the ultimate guide to getting started with healthcare SEO. Keep reading for tips and strategies that will help you get started.
“John Sammon at Sixth City Marketing is the “go to guy” for SEO and PPC! John’s always been available when I have had healthcare marketing questions and he provides good insight on areas I may not have considered. I don’t ever fill out these, but John Sammon is just that good!” – Michael Buser, Teleradiology Consultants, LLC
Commonly Asked (and Unasked!) Questions on SEO for Healthcare Providers
What is Healthcare SEO?
SEO, also known as, search engine optimization is the same for every industry, but let’s simply start with what it means. Search engine optimization is the process of improving your website in various ways to increase the overall visibility of a website to Google and other search engines.
The practice of SEO for healthcare will help attract visitors to your website leading to an increase in site traffic with the potential turn those visitors into patients or customers.
How Does SEO Apply to Doctors?
Though doctors operate in many different niches, the goal of SEO for doctors is to get their practice more recognized online. When your office’s website has more of an online presence, this visibility will attract patients who are looking for answers to their inquiries. In many cases, these are prospective new patients who will come to your practice if you give them a good initial experience online.
Types of Healthcare Niches and How to Market Them
Ecommerce Website Selling Healthcare Products
- This would be a business to consumer SEO approach
- The best approach whether you have a specialized product or just a variety of products appealing to a customer is to use national SEO practices (which won’t focus on an area)
- You’ll want to make sure that you use best practices to map keywords to product pages and to product category pages on your website
Company Offering Outsourced Teleradiology Services
- This would be a business-to-business type of SEO approach
- The approach here would depend on if the company was targeting a specific region or not. If not, then a national approach would be key
- You want to definitely create pages for each of the services you offer and make it keyword friendly.
- It also may be good to write blog content centered around long-tail keyword searches that people may be seeking. This could also be writing blog posts about frequent questions your customers ask you in the sales process
A Family Medicine Practice Targeting a Specific City
- This would be a business to consumer SEO approach
- You’ll want to make sure that you create local search engine profiles on Google and Bing
- Add content that talks about the specific services you provide
- Create pages that highlight the Doctors on your staff
- Come up with a plan to ask for Google reviews from your patients (perhaps as an email follow up after a visit)
Why Creating a Google Business Profile is Important for Healthcare Providers
Creating a Google business profile is an easy and free way to help manage your online presence. When people search for healthcare facilities near them, it’s important that your one of the businesses that not only show up as a result, but provide valuable information such as a phone number, office hours, and more. This will provide credibility to your health care facility and ensures people are receiving the correct information.
For local clients, it is especially important to utilize a Google business profile so you can improve your ranking in the city you’re located in. With a profile created, you will be a part of the local pack on Google. This is when Google provides a list of healthcare businesses’ profiles on a map so users can easily look and compare facilities. Map listings stand out more than listings from a traditional search and it can help healthcare businesses gain more patients.
Important Things to Keep in Mind When Optimizing a Healthcare Google Business Profile
When completing your Google business profile, here are some key factors to keep in mind to help you rank high in Google’s local pack:
- Provide the necessary information – This includes the address, office hours, a phone number, social media profiles, and pictures, which are all highly important for healthcare facilities to be noticed by people searching on the web.
- Offer a list of your services – Google gives you the opportunity to list the specific services provided at your facility. For example, a local physical therapist office might list different services such as sport rehabilitation, post-surgical rehabilitation, pain relief techniques, and more.
- Include several categories – Google gives you the option to list different categories for your practice. This contributes to overall local rankings and helps convey to web users what kind of healthcare facility you are. This webpage has a list of all available categories and is updated monthly.
- Collect reviews – 94% of people use online reviews to evaluate a healthcare provider. Reviews are a huge factor for when people are determining which health care facility they want to visit and Google values it as a ranking factor.
- Understand how location effects rankings – Your Google business profile uses your exact location for rankings. A lot of local businesses who are 5 miles from a city aren’t able to rank within the city. This is important to keep in mind when understanding the local pack on Google.
What Keywords Should I Be Targeting?
How do I use keywords for SEO?
Using keywords for SEO is just one of the ways Google can recognize what the goal of your webpage is. So depending on what your office or hospital specializes in can determine what keywords you are going to sprinkle within your content.
For example, if you are a podiatrist, you could consider adding keywords such as “foot doctors in [city name],” “podiatrists in [city name],” or even “foot specialists” and other general terms in order to attract people looking for foot doctors.
Don’t know where to start when it comes to finding the best keywords for your doctor’s office? Check out our blog post regarding how to determine effective keywords for SEO purposes.
At What Point in Business Should I Start Doing SEO?
The sooner you start implementing healthcare SEO strategies, the better. Whether you’ve been in business for 25+ years or are just getting started, the time is now. While SEO can take time to show results, you will start to see an influx of phone calls and form submissions, so you’ll want to make sure your business is prepared to handle increased volume.
Can I Implement SEO if I Have Multiple Locations?
The short answer is absolutely. One of the beauties of search engine optimization is that it is extremely specialized and locally driven. You can cater your site copy and keywords your targeting to specific areas which help each of your locations rank better locally.
How Do I Know if My Competitors are Doing SEO?
Performing an in-depth analysis of your competitors is a fantastic way to help craft your SEO strategy. Even just a simple search on Google to see where your competitors are ranking can help you get some additional ideas of what you can be doing better. Here at Sixth City, we utilize a tool that allows us to conduct in-depth competitor analysis.
Why You Should Invest in Healthcare SEO
According to a research study conducted in 2017, investing in online marketing services can truly pay off because search engines were patients’ primary way of searching for medical providers.
Not to mention, here are the percentage of healthcare consumers that ran an online search before scheduling an appointment for a given field, according to LSA Insights:
- Physicians – 71%
- Surgery – 71%
- Hospitals – 69%
- Clinics – 67%
- Physical Therapists – 84%
- Chiropractors – 61%
- Optometrists – 74%
- Dentists – 71%
These statistics convey the significance of having an online platform that is customer friendly and gives people the opportunity to call, make appointments, and find exactly what they’re looking for.
Here are 10 more healthcare stats that display the importance of having a positive online presence and investing in SEO:
- 70,000 healthcare searches are performed every minute
- 77% of patients used search engines when selecting a hospital
- 32% of healthcare facilities lack a local listing
- Only 44% of people who researched hospitals on mobile devices were able to schedule an appointment
- 71% of patients find a new doctor by researching online reviews
- 60% of website visitors click through a site that displays relevant healthcare information that they are looking for
- 94% of people believe that the reputation of a healthcare facility is important to them
- 71% of people won’t take action to book an appointment with a healthcare facility if their website lacks the kind of information they need
- Online searches drives up to 3x more visitors to hospital sites than non-search visitors
- 64% of patients book a doctor’s appointment through the office’s website
Industry-Related Directories for Doctors
When potential patients are looking for new providers, or a doctor in a specific field, they will likely want to compare and contrast a variety of professionals before making a choice. One of the easiest ways they can do that is by looking at sources that list multiple professionals at once:
As you can see in the above example, there are sites that offer lists for users to browse. Being listed on these sites, with links pointing to your own website, can not only help you to be found more often, but can also improve your site’s backlink profile. Creating backlinks to your website is a key aspect of improving your own website’s overall SEO equity.
3 Things Doctors Should Do for SEO Right Now
Improve Site Copy
When was the last time you really examined your website from a patient’s point of view? Take a step back and put yourself in their shoes, and really read your website’s copy – on the homepage, services pages, contact page, etc. – and see if the information you are sharing is helpful and clear, relaying key info prospective patients would want to know.
We often find that many doctors’ websites are very bare when it comes to copy. Having strong copy can not only help your SEO efforts, but it can also encourage patients to reach out for an appointment.
Provide Helpful Content
Having a blog on your site has been a longstanding SEO approach that can open the door to potential patients. Not to mention blogs can also help you get more backlinks to your site. You could write posts such as “5 Early Signs of an Oncoming Cold,” or do a write-up on anything you have been researching. Utilizing your knowledge and expertise can really pay off on the marketing side, as helpful content is deemed extremely valuable in Google’s newest ranking system.
Become a Credible Source
Did you know that journalists are always looking for quotes from reliable medical professionals to use in their writing? Not only that, but you can have their requests sent straight to your inbox so you don’t have to do the heavy lifting.
Thanks to resources like Help a Reporter Out (HARO), Qwoted, and many others, you can get more mentions (and links) in articles from great outlets across the web that can help improve your online presence!
How long does it take to see results for SEO?
Once you have updated and further optimized the copy on your website to be SEO-friendly, it will take a couple of weeks for popular search engines to accurately crawl, index, and rank your new pages. So don’t be discouraged if you do not see results immediately! Though the process takes more time, the results of your efforts should produce leads, and help your site drive business for years to come.
Have any additional questions regarding SEO for your doctor’s office? If so, please contact our team directly and we can answer any of your inquiries. We look forward to hearing from you!
Learn More SEO for Healthcare Knowledge
Understanding what certain terms mean can better help you comprehend some of the strategies we will implement for your business. Check out these definitions to broaden your knowledge of SEO.
- On-page, Off-page, and Technical SEO – These are three different variants of search engine optimization that encompass numerous strategies and tactics. On-page deals with adjustments made directly to your website pages. Off-page is everything done off-site to increase rankings. And lastly, technical is adjustments made to your website’s code to improve its strength and visibility.
- Local Optimization – If your business deals with just local customers, such as a doctor’s office would, then you would benefit from local SEO practices. Local optimization involves additional SEO practices that have a specific locational focus, instead of national.
- Metadata – Have you ever wondered what dictates which title and description displays on search engines for your website pages? This is due to metadata, which is a technical aspect of your website. Metadata can be uniquely optimized to include keywords and enticing language.
- Goal Tracking – In Google Analytics, you have the ability to set goals based on certain parameters. We use this goal tracking to tally form submissions, phone calls, chatbots, and more in order to see our success in your campaign.
4 SEO Tactics You Can Do Right Now for Your Practice
To get a leg up on your competition before you partner with an SEO agency, try and knock out the following tactics for boosting your current marketing:
- Enhance Your CTAs – Calls to action are a design for conversion practice that we recommend for all of our SEO clients, as it can help drive users to convert. Making your phone number stand out can especially help. You want to have some sort of call to action on every page to make it easy for potential customers to reach out.
- Add More Copy to Key Pages – We often see with new clients that they have neglected to incorporate a solid amount of copy on their product or services pages, the pages more important to their business. We recommend having at least 500+ words of copy that is optimized with the terms you wish to rank for. It is also important to note that the copy should be unique to each page and should utilize keywords for the specific product/service the page refers to.
- Check Your Website Speed – Did you know that how fast your website loads can not only affect where Google ranks you, but also can make potential customers turn away from your website if they get impatient or think it’s broken? Use this tool by Google to see how your site grades.
- Create, Claim, or Verify GBP Listings – If you already have control of your Google Business Profile, then you are a step ahead. If you don’t, search for your business on Google Maps and click on the button to claim the profile. If you can’t find your business, you can create a listing.
“The team at Sixth City is second to none!! Starting with the owner John and all his teammates I’ve worked with I have nothing but glowing things to say! I felt that they cared about MY business growth as their #1 priority even if it wasn’t always best for their bottom line. They are passionate about and great at what they do. If you’re looking for a team to help with your business, don’t look any further. This is the team that will feel like an extension of your own business!” – Dr. Paul Mikhli, Beachwood Dental
How We Help Your Practice with Medical SEO Services
With increased competition, contending with spammers on Google Maps, and various other factors, performing healthcare SEO marketing is harder than ever, but this is where we step in. Here are some of the custom healthcare SEO services we can provide to medical practices:
- Local Listing Optimization – When you search “hospital near me” or whatever category your practice falls under, where do you show up on Google Maps? Making sure your Google Business Profile is claimed and optimized is a crucial part of getting more customers in your area.
- Spam Fighting – While being on Google Maps is incredibly important, another major aspect of local healthcare SEO involves cleaning up fake listings and removing spammers who may be taking away potential patients.
- Content Optimization – The content you have on your website is not only important to hook customers, but also should be written with Google in mind as well. From strategically placed keywords to page layout to copy choices, there are a variety of things our writing team considers when giving your website content a makeover.
- Link Building – As a tactic to strengthen the authority of your website over your competitors, we conduct thorough competitor analysis and pair it with creative strategies to build more backlinks to your website, which are valued by Google.
- Technical Adjustments – From making sure all your photos have alt and title tags to writing eye-catching metadata for all of your pages, there are numerous things we can do behind the scenes of your website to improve your online presence.
- Proper Data Tracking – If you don’t already have Google Analytics installed on your website with proper goal tracking in place, we can configure it to ensure that we can both see the success of your campaign in terms of form submissions, phone calls, traffic, and more.
- Competitor Research – One of the most important parts of implementing effective SEO for your company is having a good understanding of what other businesses in your industry are doing that make them rank above you. From keywords to backlinks to even page length, we assess a variety of factors to see where we can fill in the gaps on your website.
Sixth City Marketing Is Different from Other SEO Agencies
Our medical and healthcare SEO experts stand out in many ways. Here are a few to keep in mind:
- Our work is all custom
We approach every business with a tailored plan of action for B2C and B2B brands, and our strategists, writers, and designers never use cookie-cutter approaches.
- We are a close-knit team
Our in-house staff works effectively together to provide the utmost quality in all of the work that we do.
- We don’t just do SEO
If you ever want to expand to paid marketing, or give your website a facelift, we can offer additional packages to cover these needs.
- Our knowledge is always growing
Google is regularly changing their algorithm, and new trends and techniques emerge all the time. You can trust that our team stays on top of these changes to provide the best services possible.
- Data is always top of mind
Since we know you want to see an ROI in our services, we send you monthly reports highlighting the results of our efforts.
- Our goal is to supplement your sales pipeline
Our main goal is to help your business get more leads that your sales team or staff can then convert into new patients or customers.
- We serve businesses all over the nation
Our main office is located in Cleveland, but with our other locations in Columbus, Indianapolis, Chicago, and Pittsburgh, we can help you no matter where you are.
“We called on Sixth City as well as a number of other company’s to make a proposal for a new look, and a better run WordPress website for the Lake County Health District. They were low pressure, more problem solving, and step up where we needed, but also let us do things that we needed. In the end our new look is a very functional well branded site, and they were professional, knowledgeable, and precise with their help in our website build. We went through all of our own content, and up our game as well. So we are pretty pleased with the result.” – Lake County Health District
Come See What Healthcare SEO Marketing Can Do for You
Implementing an effective and successful SEO for healthcare strategy is crucial to kickstarting your business’s growth rate. If you’re ready to increase you online presence, contact us today for further info on how we can get you more patients through SEO services. We look forward to speaking with you!