SEO Basics Every Healthcare Practice Needs to Know
Updated: Jan 25
Ranking #1 on Google’s organic search result has an average click-through rate (CTR) of 31.7%, and this result is 10x more likely to get a click compared to the tenth result. (Backlinko.com)
Why is ranking at the top of search engines such an important factor for your practice?
It’s well-known that ranking #1 is significantly more valuable than any other position, but did you know that the top 3 organic results get more than half of the clicks? If, like most of our clients, your goal is to attract more patients to your practice website and increase your patient file, then ranking higher on the organic listings should be a priority.
How does SEO work?
Search engine optimization (SEO) starts with making small modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site's user experience and performance in organic search results. SEO is a bit complex at the 10,000 foot view, but we'll zoom in and simplify the basic steps to give you an understanding of how it works.
A Sneak Peek Into Our SEO Implementation Process
First, we brainstorm all the words and phrases that relate to your business. Then, using SEO tools, we perform keyword research, and that tells us which words people are searching for most often to find practices like yours. After careful analysis, we implement the keyword data onto your site, page-by-page. More specifically, we synthesize your keyword data and website content to carefully craft meta-tags following specific SEO guidelines to place within your site code and back-end tools.
"Title tags between 15-40 characters have an 8.6% higher CTR than lengthier ones."
Title tags and description tags are added to each page, as well as alt-tags, which are basically hidden captions behind your images that tell search engines what's in the pictures. Once that is complete, we do a full content review and carefully incorporate priority keywords and links throughout the pages of your site. Finally, we use some advanced SEO tools as the icing on the cake to implement Structured Data Markup which allows us to tell search engines exactly what kind of content they will find on your website. SDM leads to higher click-through rates, greater search visibility, faster indexing, and voice search domination. Basically, it helps Google understand your content better and faster, and can help enhance your site's visibility in search features.
"28% of searches for something nearby result in a purchase."
Let's Not Forget About Local SEO
Most practices want to attract customers from their local community. That's where Local SEO comes in. Local SEO is the process of improving search engine visibility for local businesses, primarily those with brick and mortar locations. By following Local SEO best practices we optimize local search and help prospects find your business.
So After My Website has been Optimized, Do I Need to Do Anything Else?
This is where most practices split into two categories: good enough and growth-minded. Can you rank higher in the search results after optimizing your website? Absolutely, it's possible to even grab the #1 spot for certain keywords! But most of the time, the competition is growth-minded and your keywords are popular, so you need to implement a consistent long term SEO strategy.
While it may disappoint to learn that everything you want from SEO can’t be achieved in an afternoon, this is simply a fact. To get true benefits out of your SEO efforts, steady progress and consistency is key! It takes time to build momentum, optimize content and continuously measure results.
Here's a screenshot showing website traffic for one of our orthopedic surgery practices. We launched their website in May of 2019 and we've slowly grown their monthly traffic from 550 to over 3,000 users per month - that's well over 400% growth!
What Are Some Long-Term SEO Suggestions?
The best long-term SEO strategy is to align the goals of your website with the goals of search engines. Here are some simple ways to increase your organic reach:
Create content that people want to read – high quality content is key.
Post on social media – and always link back to your website.
Make a list of topics based on your keywords and create new pages on your website.
Create a blog and set a consistent blogging schedule.
Create a link-building plan. Can you get more links to your site from local sponsorships or referring partners?
Crafting Your SEO Plan
It may be daunting starting from scratch, as it’s going to take time for SEO to get you where you want to be. However, it is so worth it to invest in the exceptional ROI that comes as a result! The cost of Search Engine Optimization varies, so it's important to consult with an SEO specialist who understands your practice goals.
SEO is complex and ever-changing, but you can easily understand the basics. Even a small amount of SEO knowledge can make a big difference! Download our free SEO Guide and workbook to get started.
If you need help implementing SEO for your practice, we are happy to provide a SEO audit and share our recommendations. Book a call with Wendy today to get started.