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Updated: October 05, 2022

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

Do you struggle to attract new patients online? Are you worried you're falling behind other medical practitioners when it comes to digital marketing?
Healthcare search engine optimization is the answer to making sure your website shows up when potential patients search for keywords related to your specialization.

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 improves the ranking of medical websites in search engines so healthcare practitioners, treatment centers, and hospitals can reach more patients looking 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 include creating and optimizing high-quality content around specific keywords, ensuring your website is technically sound, and building a strong backlink profile and local SEO presence.
Key Benefits of Medical SEO for the Healthcare Industry

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.

Investing in quality healthcare SEO offers the following benefits:

Better Quality Leads

Medical SEO produces qualified leads because it’s 100% inbound and targets specific audience segments interested in your 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.

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

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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 the Website Speed

Site speed improvement

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 Content

Publishing high-quality content is part of healthcare search engine optimization. There are two 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 Website Is Easy to Crawl

Be sure your site is easy to crawl

An important aspect of SEO is crawlability, or how well search engines can navigate pages on your website, index, and rank them.

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 Website for Mobile Devices

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 Keywords

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.”

Using tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and Google Keyword Planner can help you figure out which keywords are most relevant to your business. Why does this matter? Well, if you’re a mental health practitioner, you want to avoid popping up in 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 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 users search for your name or practice).

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

#7. Utilize Google My Business and Other Local Listings

Local SEO for medical clinics and practitioners increases your website’s visibility for prospective patients who want healthcare services in your area.

The benefits of local SEO include:

  • Increasing foot traffic;
  • Becoming a viable contender for patients in your area;
  • Reducing advertising costs; and
  • Attracting the right patients to your practice.

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 search rankings.

If you want to pop up on the first page of a local query 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 is an acronym for “your money or your life.” 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.

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 are 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 potential patients see strong visuals, they engage much more than they would with text alone.

#10. Make Sure Your 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 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

Book a Free Consultation

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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 engine 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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