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Medical Practice SEO

SEO for Medical Practices: How to Pick the Best Keywords

Medical Practice SEO

Getting high search engine rankings and maintaining them demands consistent work over the long term. You have to stay up to date on search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, search engine results criteria, and the competition for rankings. For this post, we will focus on researching and choosing keywords, a key SEO practice.

Here are our four tips for doing the best keyword research.

1) Make A List of Keywords

Content is king. But identifying the keywords your medical practice needs to rank for comes before creating content. Consider the medical services you provide and compile a list of keyword phrases you would like to rank for. Note the keywords that are most unique to your medical practice are your core keywords.

2) Choose A Research Tool

Using keyword research tools can help you find the best keywords. Here are some popular keyword research tools that can expedite the research process.

  • SEMrush: Requires a subscription. You can try this marketing tool by signing up for a free 7-day trial.
  • Google Keyword Planner: A free tool, you can use it by setting up an Adwords account.
  • Moz: Requires a subscription. You can try this marketing tool by signing up for a free 30-day trial.
  • Ahrefs: Requires a subscription. You can try this marketing tool by signing up for discounted 7-day trial for $7.

With the right too in hand, we are ready to dive into competition research!

3) Research Your Competition

First, identify your local competition in your medical field and research their websites. Note the following:

  • Their ranked keywords.
  • Their pages earning the most organic traffic.
  • Their terms and phrases other practices also rank for.
  • The most popular keywords in your industry.

Based on this research, create a list of keywords that fit your practice.

4) Research keyword metrics

Now it’s time to take that list of keywords and ask a few questions about each.

1. What is the monthly search volume?

2. How difficult would ranking be (keyword difficulty score)?

3. Does it present any local search opportunities?

In general, the higher the search volume and the lower the keyword difficulty, the easier it is to rank for a given term. For example, an orthopedic practice in San Francisco wants to rank highly for the term ‘knee replacement San Francisco.’ That phrase has a high search volume, but also a high keyword difficulty. By contrast, ‘total knee replacement surgery San Francisco’ also has high search volume but is much less difficult.

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.

Physician Website

7 Critical Things Every Physician Website Should Have

Physician Website

Knowing what to include on your website can be intimidating. There are so many options—what’s most important? For patients looking for a physician, trust is a key factor. But so is convenience, accessibility, and reputation. These seven critical elements will help you convince potential patients that you can offer them what they need.

1) Clickable phone number at the top

Put your phone number near the top of your website, where it’s easily seen. Making it clickable is especially important, since it eliminates one more step between you and the patient.

2) Images of the facility for patients to look at and feel comfortable

Going to the doctor can be a nervous experience for any patient. Easing that anxiety can start with the website. Choose some images of your facility that reflect both tranquility and professionalism.

3) Images of the doctors

Putting a face to the doctor’s name starts building that all-important trust. Seeing the smiling face of the doctor who’ll be treating them is the first step in making a lasting connection.

4) Reviews from around the web on their website

How many times have you picked a restaurant based on the reviews? Word of mouth is a very powerful tool and placing select reviews on your website can go a long way to convincing a patient to choose your practice.

5) A blog to show they are industry experts

Patients want to feel confident in their physician, and there are several ways to go about instilling that confidence. Having a blog on your website shows that you’re keeping up with the latest developments in medicine.

6) Easy to fill out contact form to set an appointment

This seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes we get in our own way. Make it simple and easy for a patient to get in touch with your office. Or even better, add an online booking form to your website. Again, the less work the patient has to do, the more likely they are to choose your practice.

7) On-page SEO to get top Google rankings

In order for potential patients to visit your site, the have to find it first. Make sure your site is optimized to not only reflect the information you want to put out to your patients, but also to rank highly enough to come up first in Google searches.

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!

Surgeon SEO

Why Should Surgeon’s Practices Optimize Their Websites For SEO

Why Your Surgeon’s Practice Needs SEO

Whether you are an orthopedic, shoulder, cosmetic, or knee surgeon, the search engine optimization (SEO for physicians and doctors) goal is the same: To improve your medical website’s visibility in search engines. Put another way, the goal of SEO is to create the best possible experience for your website’s users. 

Here are three ways medical SEO benefits your practice:

1. Serves your overall marketing goals.

If your marketing goals include converting more potential patients (leads) into new patients, then you need to optimize your website’s design for SEO. Organic searches (also known as unpaid searches) account for 97.8% of all U.S. search engine searches. If that fails to convince you, consider this: The top search result of the first search engine results page receives 10x more clicks than the last result. Missing out on the main source of website traffic is too costly.

2. Improves your image in the eyes of potential patients.

Google has a 92% share of all search engine traffic on the internet, which means that their search engine ranking criteria are the most important. For Google, returning search results with high-quality content to users is king. Why? Because it motivates users to use Google again and again. And that’s why you need to focus on creating great content across every page of your practice website. 

Here are a few keys to creating high-quality content that improves Google search rankings: 

  • well-written text that clearly conveys each page’s purpose
  • keywords included but not overused (generally, keywords should be no more than 2-5% of text)
  • keywords sound natural, not forced
  • include various types of content like infographics, video, images, and research studies 
  • enough text (pages should have at least 300 words) 

3. Helps your practice remain competitive in the local market.

Recent Google studies show that 46% of internet searches have local intent and that four out of five consumers perform searches before purchasing. Local SEO is about optimizing your practice’s whole online presence so that it will appear near the top of local listings. This includes all listings in directories such as Google, Google Maps, Facebook, and Yelp.

The more positive Google and Facebook reviews your medical practice receives, the better your chance to rank highly. Hiring a company that provides excellent reputation management services can help you avoid negative reviews. 

 

ElevationMD SEO Services

We’re the medical practice SEO experts. Let us elevate your surgeon practice to the top of Google’s search engine rankings.