Healthcare is one of those industries that will never disappear. As long as people roam the Earth, they will need doctors, hospitals, and healthcare clinics. But do not let that lull you and your organization into a false sense of security. Your organization still needs to compete. More importantly, it needs to compete online.
Healthcare SEO is how you do that. Here at WebTek, we leverage the latest white hat SEO practices in conjunction with special techniques and strategies that we have developed specifically for the healthcare sector. From our perspective, healthcare organizations do best online when they focus on strong organic results.
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The Patient’s Journey
Using Google research data, follow the patient’s journey from the time they notice a condition, research a treatment, decide on a provider, and book an appointment. How to be found at every stage of the cycle, make an impression, and land the patient.
Why Your Site Isn’t Converting
Now that you have traffic to your site, capture more patients by maximizing the number of visitors who contact you or book an appointment online–from User Experience, to calls to action and offers, and showing off your practice.
There are two types of results that appear on search engine results pages (SERPs):
If your healthcare organization is not competing in the organic search arena, it is not competing at all. Your organization’s site needs to appear on the first page of organic search results for your chosen keywords. If it doesn’t, the chances of customers finding your site through a search engine fall drastically.
To ensure that this does not happen to our customers, we focus our SEO efforts on three main things:
All three are equally important. If you are working with an SEO agency that doesn’t give proper attention to all three, it’s time to find a new agency.
On-page SEO seeks to optimize every aspect of every page on your website. Be it the homepage or one of your blog posts, there are elements that search engines see that your visitors may or may not. These elements are often described as being ‘under the hood’. Each one contributes to how well a page ranks on SERPs:
Combined with the actual title, a title tag tells search engines what a particular page is about.
A description tag is a hidden tag that summarizes content for search engines. Tags are typically about 160 characters.
Keywords are still the primary ranking factor for search engines. We research keywords extensively, guaranteeing that the client’s site competes well for the most productive keywords in that client’s industry.
Outbound links, also known as backlinks, are second only to keywords in terms of their importance. We know how to use outbound links judiciously, combining them with anchor text that improves search engine understanding.
Search engines love site maps because they make web crawling more efficient. If your site doesn’t have a recognized site map, it’s not taking full advantage of how search engines crawl the web.
We use image tags to tell search engines more about the images on your site. The tags improve SEO performance by giving search engines more information.
A site’s content determines its relevance and importance to search engines. We develop content that meets and exceeds search engine standards.
Responsiveness is the ability of a website to display properly on a variety of devices. Google now ranks for it.
Google also ranks for speed now. The faster a page loads, the more favorably Google views it.
The nature of healthcare marketing demands that websites be packed with reliable information but still be easy to navigate. To that end, WebTek also puts effort into improving the user experience for healthcare industry websites. We want visitors to leave a client’s site knowing they had a positive experience.
Off-page SEO has but one purpose: to drive traffic apart from the search engine arena. In order to do this, we employ a number of white hat strategies built around the concept of outreach. Our off-page SEO techniques include:
There is no greater tool for reaching a vast audience than social media. We work with our healthcare clients to conduct outreach on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites.
Just as on-site blog posts and informational articles are important, so is off-site content. We utilize guest posting opportunities to create backlinks that drive traffic.
Few industries benefit from press releases
quite like healthcare. We utilize press releases to keep customers abreast of important events, client announcements, news, etc. Skillfully
crafted press releases rank very well on SERPs.
Healthcare enterprises that do not take advantage of online directories are wasting a huge opportunity. Directory listings can drive quite a bit of traffic.
The rise of online reviews has been both good and bad for the healthcare industry. Our clients enjoy reputation management services designed to make sure that an organization’s reputation stays positive.
Everything we do off-page is based on the concept of driving traffic to the client’s site. In healthcare, off-page SEO is critical to success. Healthcare organizations have a lot of competition, and customers do not always find sites via search engines.
Healthcare is somewhat unique in that, despite being a global industry, it is almost always accessed at the local level. People do not look to visit doctors or have procedures done at hospitals outside their local areas unless it is an emergency. This indicates that local SEO is more important to healthcare than most other industries.
What is local SEO? It is a collection of tools and techniques we can utilize to improve results in local searches. For example, we want visitors to find your site when they ask Google about a doctor, hospital, or specialist in their zip code. Local SEO techniques include:
Directory listings are not only an off-page SEO tool, they are also one of the most important tools for local SEO. One of our goals for local SEO is to ensure that healthcare organizations are listed on as many local directories as possible.
Citations are like directory listings, but not as involved. Citations give visitors important information including a healthcare organization’s name, address, phone number, and so forth.
Local SEO can be used to encourage patients to leave positive reviews on the most relevant review websites. Real reviews from real patients goes a long way toward boosting an organization’s local profile.
A meta-description is that little snippet of text that appears just underneath the title in search engine listings. Local information will make a meta-description stand out in local organic searches.
If your organization’s website is not competing locally, you are missing out on a ton of traffic. It makes no sense to invest in SEO if your provider isn’t working on local results. Remember, all healthcare is local in nature.
PPC advertising is the most cost-effective way to advertise online because you only pay when people click your ads. Every click represents a conscious decision by a consumer to learn more. That means every penny you spend on PPC is producing some kind of reaction.
While it is true that 90% of all search engine traffic is generated from organic results, paid advertisements do have a place in healthcare SEO. The key is to come up with strategic ad campaigns that produce results at a reasonable cost. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads represent one way to do it.
We utilize PPC on search engines and social media sites. Through strategic keyword analysis and long-term planning, we launch and maintain PPC ad campaigns on behalf of our healthcare clients. We monitor the results of those campaigns as well, modifying our strategies and techniques with each new campaign in order to improve performance.
None of what we offer would be of any value if we did not analyze the results of our work. Therefore, data analytics is as important to healthcare SEO as it is to running a healthcare organization. Our state-of-the-art data analytics literally track everything. From keyword traffic to how much time a person spends on your site, we follow it all.
Through detailed reports that make sense of all the data, our team can find out exactly what’s working. We can improve those areas that get results while dispensing with those that do not. Over time, we end up with a highly efficient SEO program that delivers.
Healthcare SEO is a long-term proposition. Do not expect a few blog posts based on recent keyword searches to achieve overnight results. They will not. If you are in this for the long haul, WebTek can make healthcare SEO work for your organization.
If you would like to know more, please contact us at your earliest convenience. WebTek’s senior team has more than 50 years of combined experience in the healthcare digital marketing field. Our entire team is dedicated to ensuring that your healthcare organization competes online.