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A Healthcare SEO Guide for Hospitals, Clinics, and Private Practices

Healthcare Seo May 25 2024

90.9% of the US population uses the internet. Your patients are no exception. And before coming to your business, prospective patients run a Google search to compare you to your competitors.

Healthcare SEO is essential for modern businesses. Your patients and prospective patients are searching for your online. So, you need to ensure you are highly visible to them.

SEO can help improve your visibility on Google and other search engines. But first, you have to put the right strategy in place. That’s why we’re bringing you this guide.

Are you wondering why healthcare SEO is unique? Looking for the best SEO tools to use for a high-ranking website your patients will love? Then keep reading this complete guide for everything you need to know.

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is a tool used to optimize website content and copy to rank high in Google’s search engine. Also known as organic digital marketing, SEO can earn you virtually free traffic to your site.

For most industries, digital marketing is the main channel for attracting new customers and clients. Healthcare is no different. In fact, SEO may be even more essential for healthcare providers.

How Is SEO for Healthcare Different?

One of the most important factors for getting ranked on Google in 2023 is EAT. EAT stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. It is a major component in Google’s algorithm, especially for healthcare sites.

Google’s EAT impacts all industries. Yet, since this guideline first came out, it has impacted healthcare industry websites more than any other sector. Misinformation in the medical industry can literally risk lives.

The good news is that you can improve your site’s expertise, authority, and trustworthiness with SEO. A good SEO strategy incorporates expert medical advice, authoritative information, and trustworthy reviews to up your ranking.

What Are the Benefits of Healthcare SEO?

We said SEO can get you virtually free traffic, emphasis on virtually. SEO will cost you. You may have to pay an in-house team to manage your strategy or hire an SEO company that specializes in the healthcare industry.

Yet, the benefits of SEO for healthcare companies far outweigh the costs. Here’s why.

Attract More Patients

Have you ever wondered how new patients find your business? Studies show that 75% of patients start their search for a new provider with online reviews.

Improving your SEO strategy can make it easier for existing patients to find your site and leave a review. You can also incorporate email collection in your SEO toolkit to send out requests for patient reviews.

Differentiate from the Competition

It’s no secret that the healthcare industry is in a period of consolidation. From providers to payers, the competition is integrating and getting more profitable.

To compete, you have to set yourself apart from the competition. SEO can help you do just that. Using SEO to attract more patients is especially important for smaller and independent providers with fewer resources.

Grow Your Margins

According to Fierce Healthcare, industry margins are on the decline. The median operating margin for providers was negative 3% in April 2022, down 76% year over year.

One of the main reasons for the margin pinch is declining patient volumes. SEO will boost your patient base to help improve your profits.

What Are the Fundamentals of a Healthcare SEO Strategy?

The most important part of any SEO strategy is to understand your site performance. To do that, you first need to check your SEO score, also known as domain authority (DA).

Your website’s DA will give you a benchmark to start from. Make sure you also put in place some key performance indicators (KPIs) to track your SEO progress.

Otherwise, here are the most important aspects of a good healthcare SEO plan.

High-Quality Content

High-quality content is the backbone of all good SEO strategies. Content includes the copy and landing pages on your website. You should also consider publishing a blog with keyword-rich and authoritative articles.

Keywords should feature in all your content. SEO keywords are terms your patients would type into Google’s search bar when looking for businesses like yours. For example, “general dentistry” might be an SEO keyword to include.

Good User Experience

User experience or UX refers to the experience patients have when they visit your website. In 2023, browsers expect the following from a modern website:

  • Quick load time
  • Easy to navigate
  • Simple and minimalistic design
  • Accessibility
  • Mobile-friendly

These factors only scratch the surface when it comes to good UX. Working with a professional SEO company can help you stay in the know about future updates to UX best practices.

Local SEO

With the rise of payer networks, healthcare local SEO has become critical for healthcare providers. You do not serve customers all over the country or even your state. So, optimize your site for local patients.

How do you do that? Local SEO incorporates location (e.g., ‘dentists in New York City’) and ‘near me’ tags. When prospective patients search for professionals in their area, your business will come up.

Healthcare Social Media

Your website itself is not the only thing that goes into SEO. Offsite factors like authoritative links (i.e., backlinks) to your business website can also boost your ranking. You can’t always control who gives you a backlink, though.

What you can control is your social media traffic. Having a social media presence for your business is no longer an option in 2023. You can interact with your patients and collect social media reviews, building trust and authority.

Plus, social media is a great lead magnet. You will have contact information for many of your patients. That way, you can request reviews in exchange for things like discounts or other perks.

Need Help With Healthcare Marketing and SEO?

Healthcare SEO can help your business get the online attention it deserves. Use these tips to optimize your website for search engines. And enjoy benefits like more patients and higher profits.

Do you need help coming up with an effective SEO strategy for your site? Bipper Media is here to help. Schedule a free SEO strategy call with us today and find out how we can help you improve your online presence.

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