Sometimes, we get this question:
Does SEO really matter in healthcare?
The Answer is Yes, It Does.
SEO is one of the most important aspects of medical website design, yet it's often overlooked or put on the back burner. It doesn't matter whether you are a healthcare clinic or any other type of business; healthcare search engine optimization (SEO) is a great asset when your goal is to increase the number of patients, as well as the kind of patients, walking through your clinic doors and converting to new patients.
Some healthcare clinic admin and physicians wonder why they would invest time and money into something that doesn't directly bring them revenue. The answer to this question lies with physician credibility, patient volume, and medical treatments and procedures.
The higher your online ranking, the more patients will find you on their own accord, which means more revenue for the clinic and its physician partners.
If this fact alone isn't enough to convince you that high rankings are important, then consider this example. A study conducted at the University of California in San Francisco found that if a physician is ranking on the first page of Google for their specialty, they will receive 80% more requests for an appointment than physicians ranking on the 10th page.
And it's gets even better when physicians are ranked #1. Not only is being ranked #1 a traffic magnet for that search query, but it symbolizes patient perception and behavior when selecting the best physician or clinic of that specialty.
So what do you need to do to ensure your healthcare website and SEO reaches its full potential? It's actually quite simple. The following essential elements will boost your site's visibility and improve patient flow through your doors:
A Responsive Website Design
Mobile traffic accounts for approximately 25-60% of all website traffic, according to comScore. If your website isn't optimized for mobile devices, then you are missing out on a large portion of potential clients.
The best solution is to have a mobile responsive website that automatically sizes and renders content to the viewers specific screen.
Also, be aware of Google's page speed algorithm factor. If your site is not optimized for mobile devices, Google will not rank your site very well on mobile device search.
"Backlinks" are links pointing back to one's webpage from another page, article, or blog post on the web. For example, if we posted an article about how SEO in healthcare matters, and linked my article on this page so visitors could find it easily, it would be considered a backlink.
Search engines look at these links as votes for authority and quality; the more quality links you have pointing to it, the higher chance you will rank for related keywords. This is why building up relationships with other healthcare professionals, such as medical societies, peers, and healthcare marketing companies, is crucial.
The more high-quality resources you share across the web about your specific topic, the better chances you will have for ranking on top of search engines like Google.
Do you know what exactly is bringing new patients to your clinic? WebMarkets Medical does, through conversion tracking. Here we identify what brings phone calls and form fills, resulting in new patients from Google search, Google Advertising, social media, Google Review traffic, direct search, etc.
What Else is There?
Of course there are many other reasons, these are just some of the major factors that go into improving a website's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) to obtain new patients. Getting started can be somewhat intimidating, but if your site ranks below page one for any competitive keywords it's not doing its job.
Like all things in life, it takes time to see results so remember to stay patient while building up your online reputation by focusing on quality content over quantity. Other important aspects of healthcare SEO include keyword research, writing compelling content, and keeping your website updated with fresh, well-written posts.
SEO can't completely replace a doctor's bedside manner, but it goes a long way in providing the best possible medical experience for patients and their families. So if you want to be the only healthcare practice that people choose, make sure they find you.
For More Healthcare SEO Information
If you are a physician or clinic administrator, contact WebMarkets Medical directly if you have any questions about this article topic or others. Request a demo for further consultation for your specific healthcare clinic needs.