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Updated: January 19, 2023

Medical SEO 101: 10 Tips to Improve SEO for Medical Websites

We’re experts in SEO for the healthcare industry and have seen first-hand how it offers the best returns on investment for medical practitioners. In this blog, we’ll explain how to increase your leads with a few SEO tweaks.

What Is Medical SEO?

How medical SEO works

Medical SEO (or Healthcare SEO) improves the ranking of healthcare websites in major search engines so healthcare practitioners, treatment centers, and hospitals can reach more potential patients searching for their services.

Every time a search occurs on Google, its algorithm decides which pieces of content to rank first based on keyword selection and other factors.

The goal of search engine optimization is to improve the quality of your website and marketing content so search engines rank you higher within search results. This increases online visibility, and the number of organic leads your web content receives.

Common tasks associated with medical SEO strategy include creating and optimizing high-quality content around specific keywords, ensuring your medical practice website is technically sound, and building a strong backlink profile and local SEO presence.

Just because the accuracy of online health information is dubious, doesn’t mean the internet isn’t an excellent resource for finding practitioners. Google searches are increasingly replacing word-of-mouth referrals with nearly as much as 70% of patients searching online for a “doctor near me.”

Getting online is the easy part. The difficult part is getting noticed. That’s why healthcare SEO strategy is so important to the vitality and longevity of your healthcare business.

Just because the accuracy of online health information is dubious, doesn’t mean the internet isn’t an excellent resource for finding practitioners. Google searches are increasingly replacing word-of-mouth referrals with nearly as much as 70% of patients looking for a “doctor near me.”

Getting online is the easy part. The difficult part is getting noticed. That’s why medical SEO is so important to the vitality and longevity of your business.

Healthcare SEO Benefits

SEO, or search engine optimization, can be a powerful tool for any business, but especially for healthcare businesses. SEO helps to boost visibility and increase search engine traffic to your website, which is especially important for healthcare organizations. SEO can help you reach new potential customers and improve your overall online presence. It can also help you stand out from competitors in the competitive medical industry.

With SEO, you can optimize your website content to target the right customers and make sure they find you first. You can also use SEO to create more engaging content that will keep customers on your site longer. In addition, SEO can help you track client behavior and use it to create a better and more personalized experience. You can build trust with potential customers, showing you care about providing them with the most up-to-date and relevant information.

In short, SEO can be a powerful tool to boost your presence in the medical industry. With the right strategy, you can use SEO to reach more customers and establish yourself as a leader in the industry.

Better Quality Leads

Medical SEO produces qualified leads because it’s 100% inbound and targets specific audience segments interested in your medical services. For instance, if a prospect types in a word or phrase that relates to your specialization or facility, your web pages should pop up and draw them into the sales funnel.

More Brand Authority

While SEO drives consistent traffic to websites, it also strengthens branding. SEO is all about optimization and providing the best user experience. Google and other search engines take note of websites with high volumes of traffic and rank them higher because they appear credible and better serve online visitors.

Better Brand Awareness

Consistently appearing in search engine results pages boosts online visibility. The higher your website is, the quicker you draw qualified leads to your business. When executed well, SEO for medical websites provides regular exposure to potential patients. According to the Rule of Seven, prospective clients have to see or hear a marketing message at least seven times before they engage with a brand, so the more visibility, the better.

Cost-Efficiency

Inbound leads derived from SEO cost 61% less on average than those from outbound methods. Organic traffic drives more than half of all web traffic, and SEO helps you capture your market share without breaking the bank. Once you implement a strong SEO campaign, it works 24/7 with minimal maintenance, so long as the right strategy is in place.

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Climb the search engine ladder – rank higher on Google with SEO solutions guaranteed to work

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What Makes Healthcare Marketing Unique?

Healthcare marketing is an emerging field that has changed rapidly in the past few years. The industry has evolved thanks to new technologies, social media, and changing consumer habits.

The healthcare marketing landscape is quite different from other industries because it is a complex field with numerous stakeholders: patients, doctors, nurses, hospitals, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies, to name a few. Healthcare marketers must be able to understand the needs of each stakeholder while also understanding how they can speak to them through various channels such as print advertising or television commercials.

The healthcare marketer’s job is not just about providing paid ads and campaigns; it’s about understanding the consumer and what motivates them to make decisions about their health.

10 Tips to Improve Your Medical SEO

No matter the size and specialty of your medical practice, these SEO tips will provide a high degree of local market visibility and improve your bottom line.

1. Improve Your Healthcare Website Speed

Site speed improvement

Every website owner wants their site to rank well on search results pages. However, not many people know that a site’s speed can affect its SEO ranking.

Good site speed is the foundation of a good user experience, and it can lead to more time spent on-site and higher conversion rates. A fast site also means that the search engine crawler will spend less time crawling your pages, which in turn means your content will be indexed quicker, and your rankings will improve.

For your information, 47% of people expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less. When patients visit your website, their first impression is based on how fast it loads. If it’s too slow, they’ll leave and go directly to your competitors.

Additionally, website speed is a prominent search engine ranking factor. Google will rank a slow-loading website lower, regardless of how good its content is.

The easiest way to determine your website’s speed is to use the Google PageSpeed Insights (PSI) tool. It reports on the performance of your website on desktop and mobile and suggests improvements.

2. Produce High-Quality Medical Content

Medical content is vital if you want to rank high in search results pages. Remember: quality medical content is the key to a successful website.

Since medical content is so important, it needs to be created with care and attention. This care, as well as the right keywords, will ensure that it ranks higher in search results pages and provides accurate information for users. There are two main aspects to quality content:

  1. Each page on your website and every content marketing asset must serve a clear function.
  2. The content must be original, well-written, and researched.

To search engines, quality content gives searchers what they’re looking for (delivers value). For businesses, it drives traffic and sales.

Quality content is well-researched, planned out, and strategically created to answer your patients’ questions. A staggering 7.5 million blogs are published daily, so the only way to stand out is to create the best content possible!

Google’s E-A-T algorithm ranks content according to expertise, authority, and trust and is a good guideline to follow when developing your content strategy.

3. Make Sure Your Healthcare Website Is Easy to Crawl

Be sure your site is easy to crawl

Crawlability is the extent to which a website can be found and indexed by search engine crawlers. It is one of the most important factors in determining how well a website ranks in search engine results pages.

As Google has started using its artificial intelligence to rank websites, it has become even more important for SEO professionals to make sure that their client’s site is crawlable.

This is part of technical SEO and entails:

  • Having a logical website structure;
  • Interlinking internal web pages and blogs; and
  • Getting rid of broken links.

As a healthcare SEO agency, we often come across poor link structures that hinder search engines. Always ensure your website’s internal link structure helps search engines understand the relevance of certain web pages, as well as the relationship between pages.

4. Optimize Your Medical Website for Mobile Devices

Mobile optimization is not just about having a responsive website. It’s about making sure that your website is optimized for all aspects of the user’s experience, from loading speed to search engine visibility. Mobile optimization can be challenging and time-consuming, but it can also be an opportunity for organizations like yours to stand out in an increasingly competitive market.

The healthcare industry is faced with the challenge of optimizing content across multiple channels, and mobile is hugely important because of the integral part it plays in consumers’ daily lives.

Did you know over 50% of website traffic comes from mobile devices? Both search engines and people using smartphones and tablets favor mobile-optimized devices. In fact, Google indexes the mobile version of all websites.

Websites optimized for mobile use ensure users have a great experience regardless of the device they’re using. This type of optimization alters your website content for ease of use and accessibility and improves rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).

5. Use the Relevant Healthcare Keywords to Create Content

Effective medical SEO marketing starts with relevant keywords. These are the words and phrases your potential patients enter into search engines. In the marketing world, we call them “search queries.” The use of relevant keywords in content creation is a major factor in Google search engine optimization. Using relevant keywords will help a page rank better on search engine results pages. The higher the ranking, the more traffic the site will receive.

It is important to note that there are two types of keywords: long-tail and head terms. Long-tail keywords are phrases that are descriptive or specific to a particular topic. Head terms typically refer to broad topics and have high commercial value. When optimizing your content for SEO, both of these types of keywords should preferably be used.

Using tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and Google Keyword Planner can help you figure out which keywords are most relevant to your healthcare organization. Why does this matter? Well, if you’re a mental health practitioner, you want to avoid popping up in local searches related to cardiology.

As a starting point, you can also think of the types of things a potential patient might Google when seeking your health services online.

6. Earn as High EAT Ranking as Possible

We briefly mentioned the importance of Google’s E-A-T algorithm before. E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. It’s one of the ranking factors Google uses when determining overall Page Quality Ranking.

Achieving a high E-A-T score requires more than using the right keywords. If you want Google to better understand your expertise, you should make your medical credentials clear and easy to find on the web.

Then, when it comes to authoritativeness, having a strong backlink profile and getting your content reshared adds to your authority, as do branded searches (when patients search for your name or practice).

Lastly, acquiring positive online reviews will bolster your website’s credibility.

7. Utilize Google My Business and Other Healthcare Local SEO Strategies

Using Google My Business and other local SEO efforts for a healthcare site is critical, as they help build a reputation in the sector. Doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare professionals can utilize these techniques to market their medical practices. Establishing credibility with these strategies can help to generate leads from new patients.

There are many benefits to using Google My Business and other local health SEO strategies for your business. These benefits range from increased traffic to getting higher rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). Utilizing these strategies also helps to lower the cost of marketing a business because it is less expensive than other traditional marketing techniques such as print advertising or television commercials.

All you need to do is sign up for a free Google My Business account. Listing your practice in other business directories also helps improve your local SEO rankings.

If you want to pop up on the first page of local search results for doctor information, you need to make sure your details are correct, consistent, and up-to-date across Google and other directory listings.

8. Make Sure Your Website Is YMYL-Compliant

YMYL stands for “Your Money or Your Life” content. It’s how Google refers to web pages and content that potentially have a negative impact on the quality of people’s lives or finances. These websites are of the type that requires a high degree of trust and authority. Examples include websites that provide medical, financial, or legal advice.

A website can be YMYL-compliant in two ways:

  1. By providing a disclaimer where they state they are not qualified to provide any type of medical, legal, or financial advice
  2. By providing contact information for the person who is qualified to provide such advice.

In terms of medical SEO, it simply means your webpages must strive to have the highest E-A-T scores possible. Therefore, your website and marketing content should focus not just on meeting search intent but also being authoritative and trustworthy.

As a medical practitioner or organization, you are already knowledgeable in your field. So, optimizing your content to meet YMYL standards merely entails presenting it the right way to search engines.

9. Include Pictures of Your Staff and Facilities

As a leading medical SEO company, we can tell you from a marketing perspective that being able to put a face to a brand or practitioner has a positive impact on professional medical sites.

For most patients, dealing with health-related issues is laden with anxiety and can feel clinical (Pardon the pun!). However, adding a human element makes your practice seem more approachable.

Images also help with healthcare SEO as they can be optimized with keywords and strategically placed to make content more compelling or increase click-through rates. When new patients see strong visuals, they engage much more than they would with text alone.

10. Make Sure Your Medical Website’s Navigation Is Intuitive

A website that is confusing or poorly designed and structured creates friction and tests users’ patience. Contrastingly, an intuitive website directs search engine users to take important actions and provides a pleasant experience.

Intuitive design is integral to better conversions. When you’re using an intuitive website, you know exactly what to do. In this sense, the design is invisible because you never have to stop to think about what to click on next.

Google is a great example of user-centric and intuitive design. It’s virtually impossible to use the website incorrectly, and there’s hardly any learning curve for new users.

Looking to scale or increase your revenue? SEO is proven to grow your business
Looking to scale or increase your revenue? SEO is proven to grow your business

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Conclusion

There are many advantages of SEO for medical professionals, such as increased website traffic, greater brand recognition, and higher patient volumes. Thus, implementing the above tips can make a huge difference to your business.

If you require any assistance with healthcare SEO services, our medical SEO company can help. Comrade’s comprehensive SEO services for healthcare include website optimization and ranking for specialties in both organic search results and Google Maps.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Stan Bogdashin
Stan co-founded Comrade Digital Marketing and serves as its marketing strategist and IT expert recruiter.
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