Many patients turn to Google when they need to find a doctor for medical SEO services. Having your site appear at the top of the search results list increases the chances that patients will visit it and make an appointment. Conversely, if your clinic site is not at the top of the search results, your competitor’s site is there. This means that you can lose most of the new patients. After all, if you don’t capitalize on organic queries, you’re giving those patients away to your competitors.
This is why medical SEO is essential for any medical website. By paying attention to up-to-date search engine recommendations on what to do for good SEO, especially for medical content, you can outperform your competitors and see your online popularity grow.
Many clinics believe that contextual advertising (PPC) is enough to attract the patients they need.
However, starting with PPC is like putting a band-aid on a wound. This will be good and useful only in the short term. Therefore, you should include SEO in your marketing to bring more potential patients to your site.
Consistently. And in the long run.
If your site and its content are not considered quality in the eyes of Google, Yandex, and other search engines, your ranking will suffer. Regarding quality, Google’s two extremely important medical concepts are EAT and YMYL.
EAT (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, abbreviated as EAT). It means competence, power, and reliability.
The concept was created to help third-party evaluators evaluate Google search results. Although EAT is not a direct ranking factor, Google considers these parameters important.
EAT is very important for any web page containing information about a medical marketing agency. The information and statistics you provide about medicine and health can directly affect the lives and health of those who read them. They visit and read the pages of your site because they are looking for reasons to entrust their health to your clinic.
Your information should be first-class, filled with knowledge, authority, and reliability. Only then will you have a chance to take a worthy place.
This brings us directly to the concept of YMYL (eng. Your Money or Your Life) – “Trick or Treat.”
YMYL, as a concept, basically means any content that can directly affect the reader’s health, happiness, financial stability, or safety. This concept is important to understand in the competitive field of medicine.
If your content does not meet these standards (for example, it contains inaccuracies or lacks information), it will be even harder to rank in search results.
The Most Important Medical SEO Strategies
By using the right SEO techniques to ensure that targeted patients find your clinic, you will improve your site’s position and stay ahead of your competitors.
The following six strategies are the most important regarding medical SEO services.
Use relevant medical keywords
When optimizing your content, you must choose the right keywords for your industry. Your starting point should be the medical services you offer, as this is what most patients will be looking for.
Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and Wordstat.Yandex.ru (keyword research) can help you find the best keywords for your industry by comparing what users search for more often than they don’t.
As a reminder, avoid the indiscriminate inclusion of keywords in the content. Search engines will quickly catch on to this spam tactic and penalize your site. Instead, put specific long-tail keywords into your content in a relevant, readable, and natural way.
You will begin to attract the patients you want – those who live in your geographic area and are looking for the specialized skills you offer.
Add lots of quality content
Your pages should be full of high-quality content optimized for your keywords. In medicine, the main goal is for your content to help make life better or easier for your audience.
High-quality content is king, whether it’s a detailed description of your services or blog posts targeted at a specific search term.
Google sets much higher standards for the medical pages of medical sites than it does for other industries. This is because these pages can potentially affect users’ future health, happiness, or financial stability. That is, low-quality content on the site can lead to dangerous consequences.
Always think about your target audience when creating content for your site:
- What are they looking for?
- What information will most help and answer their question?
Google recognizes you as an industry authority and will rank you higher if it finds detailed educational content from you.
Optimize your visuals
Video is one of the most popular ways people consume content. As a result, pages with videos can get more organic traffic.
People spend more time on these pages because they watch videos. This increases the time the user spends on the page and indicates to search engines that there is something of value on the page for users.
When optimizing your site, be sure to include relevant, high-quality videos in your content where possible and appropriate.
Whether it’s a virtual tour of your clinic or a video of a procedure, most users will prefer video to text.
You should also place various images and infographics on your website. The more interactive and attractive your site is, the more visitors you can engage.
Ensure all your site’s images also contain a short description (alt-text). Image alt text helps visually impaired users and Google crawlers better understand what is displayed on the page.
Also include some of your keywords here. (But as with all SEO, don’t overdo it!)
Optimize your site
Your website speed, security, and mobile usability are ranking factors.
If your site takes more than three seconds to load, many people may exit without waiting and go to a competitor with a site that works and loads faster.
That being said, it is important to note that slow sites can rank high for certain queries. This is because Google doesn’t penalize an otherwise perfect site for being a bit slower than others.
But optimizing the loading speed of your medical site certainly won’t hurt the overall user experience. Your site should take about two seconds to load, but ideally, you should aim for less than 0.5 seconds.
The Google PageSpeed Insights tool is great for checking your site’s current speed. It also provides information on potential fixes to help improve your speed score.
Another important SEO factor is the security of your site. An SSL certificate helps encrypt your site, protecting your site and your site visitors’ data from hackers.
Search engines will find you if your clinic website does not use SSL protection and lower your rating. This certificate is required when receiving confidential patient information, which is important.
And the most important thing is that your site is mobile-friendly. Most searches are currently performed on mobile devices, and if your site is not optimized for them, users will also choose your competitors’ sites instead of you.
Responsive design is the best way to ensure your site is optimized for mobile devices. This means your site automatically changes to match the screen it is viewed on, reducing the risk of poor user experience from device to device.
External indicators, such as links to your site and social media traffic, are just two areas that can help influence your search rankings.
Social media, while not a direct ranking factor, should be one of your top priorities regarding off-site SEO. The content posted on a social media page can significantly influence a patient’s choice.
When it comes to links, you should also check periodically to make sure your site is free of spammy links that could potentially hurt your SEO performance.
Use your favorite tool to check your existing link profile and analyze them. Are they all from quality, relevant sources? Or do many of them seem like spam?
Opt-out of unwanted links to clean up your link profile and improve your rankings.
You also need to maintain information on the pages of Google My Business and Yandex. Handbook up-to-date.
Patients in 95% of cases need clinics in their locality or even area, and for them to find you, your clinic must be displayed in a local search.
This group of 4-5 companies appears above organic search results. On mobile devices, this is the only thing people see before scrolling.
The information contained in these lists comes primarily from your business profiles on Yandex and Google, so you should ensure that the following information is accurate and up to date:
- Company category
- Your main phone number
- Description of the clinic
- Opening hours
Another critical factor for local SEO is local links. These are mentions about your clinic that display your basic information (name, address, phone).
Local links can be from business directories, social profiles, blog posts, newspaper websites, and other sources.
All this helps your SEO.
If you want to improve your search engine rankings – and get more patients – you need to make sure you have a good SEO strategy in place. And remember that finding the right approach can take time.
Nothing is guaranteed in digital marketing, but by keeping the medical content requirements (EAT and YMYL) in mind, you can outperform your competitors.
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