Medical Practice SEO Penalties

7 Tips for Medical Practices to Avoid SEO Penalties

Medical Practice SEO Penalties

Though achieving a top three spot in search engine results doesn’t happen overnight, losing high rankings does. That’s because Google and other search engines penalize for mistakes and deliberate attempts to manipulate their search rankings.

Here are seven ways your practice can avoid SEO-related penalties.

1) Create high-quality content

Search engines exist to show users good content that satisfies their search queries. Create unique, valuable content and search engines will reward you with high visibility.

2) Hire a reliable, professional SEO firm or expert

Why make mistakes that can cost your practice when hiring an expert is so much more cost-effective and good for your ROI? On the flip side, an SEO professional can help your practice quickly climb up the search engine rankings.

3) Optimizing for the right keywords

Your site may have a page that ranks highly for keywords such as ‘5 Tips for Hiring the Right Personnel for Your Surgeon Practice.’ The content may be excellent but ranking highly for search terms that bring website traffic but no foot traffic to your practice is useless. Instead, focus on ranking highly for competitive terms like ‘best orthopedic surgeon in Tampa, Florida’ will help drive website traffic and new patients to your practice. Also, avoid trying to rank for broad, highly competitive SEO terms such as ‘best orthopedic surgeon.’ Instead, focus on longer phrases of more than four words (also known as ‘long tail’ keywords).

4) Optimizing metadata and tags

Title tags give an overview of the content of a page for search engines and site visitors. It’s easy to overlook metadata and title tags, which can be flagged and penalized. Check the title tags of all of your pages to ensure there are no duplicates.

Meta descriptions are the maximum 160-character descriptions in search results under the title tags. They summarize the content of a page. Duplicate meta descriptions give the wrong description of a page, which leads to lost views and rankings penalties.

Free tools such as Screaming Frog and Google Webmaster Tools can search for duplicate content on your site.

5) Optimizing website for mobile

Most of the traffic nowadays comes from mobile phones. Having a site that is fast performing and easy to use on a mobile phone is a critical SEO ranking factor. Also, from the potential patient perspective, having a site that loads slowly leads to a higher bounce rate (rate at which site visitors leave before taking action to purchase, subscribe, book, etc.).

6) Optimizing for local search

For medical practices, competing in the local market is essential. Optimize your on and off-website presence for local search. This entails using keywords that include city, town, or other geographic designation, including service area in HTML tags, and optimizing  business listings on Google My Business and other directories such as Yelp.

7) Earn High-Quality Links

For SEO purposes, the quality of links coming into your site is more important than the quantity. One quality link can boost your ranking in search engines, whereas poor quality links can harm it. Aim to build relationships with other businesses that have high domain authority and excellent overall reputations. Never try to boost your domain authority and search rankings with paid links.

Medical Google Business

Why Your Medical Practice Needs an Optimized Google Business Page

When internet users search for local businesses in Google, they see search results that start with Google Maps and Google Business listings. Google Business listings include the name, address, phone number and other important information for businesses on Google search results pages and Google Maps. These listings dominate local Google results. 

Below are several reasons to have an optimized Google Business listing.

1. It’s free.

That’s right. Google charges your medical practice NOTHING to create a business listing. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there are millions of fake listings created by spammers. You can search for any fake listings associated with your practice and report them to Google.

2. Rise above the search competition.

Local searches account for 46% of all Google search queries. But many businesses don’t claim their listing, and many other businesses leave their listings incomplete or unmaintained. Google auto-generates businesses listings for businesses with unclaimed listings, and these listings are not optimized. Google’s ranking algorithm rewards businesses with optimized search listings with higher search engine rankings. This includes regular, non-Google Business results.  

3. Build reputation with customer reviews.

Medical practices and other businesses have a much better chance of ranking highly in Business listings with positive reviews. Of course, the threat of negative reviews is always real. But practices can control this to some extent by hiring good reputation management companies. These companies send patients online surveys after their visit. The surveys only invite patients who leave positive feedback to complete a Google Review. This way, patients who feel negative need to go out of their way to leave a negative review.

4. Give the public an easy way to reach your practice.

People are often in a hurry, on the go, impatient, or all three at once. When they search Google for a local business on their phone, they expect to see a phone number and other relevant information in the search results. No offense, but they don’t want to visit your website. An optimized Google Business listing has direct links to phone numbers, directions, maps, and more. 


Local SEO Optimization by ElevationMD

If you were still on the fence about claiming your practice’s Google My Business listing, we hope this post nudged you off. We are an experienced digital marketing company ready to optimize your business listings and help you rank highly for local SEO. Give us a call today!