In today’s exponentially growing and rapidly changing digital marketplace, Search Engine In today’s rapidly changing digital marketplace, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a necessity in every industry. This pertains to the process of optimizing a website to rank as high as possible in the organic search results on Google and other search engines. And you need a good medical practice SEO checklist to get started on the right path.
For the healthcare sector, SEO is a highly effective and cost-efficient way to establish a stronger digital presence, promote medical services, deliver better patient engagement and retention, and advance patient care mission.
It has become even more important especially as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc across the globe. This, in turn, has created an unprecedented demand for the healthcare system to keep up with digital transformation and adopt innovative technology in healthcare delivery.
Further, as the medical industry becomes more competitive, it is only imperative for medical providers to boost their online visibility and stand head and shoulders above other practitioners by leveraging digital solutions and building or refining their master digital footprint.
Below, you’ll find a basic checklist to help you build a strong medical SEO strategy, refine your digital front door and deliver a more seamless patient experience. Let’s dig in!
An effective healthcare SEO strategy starts with creating the right medical website. Remember that it is the foundation where all other SEO initiatives are built upon. Aside from having a smart, functional, high-quality and fluid design, your website needs in-depth and page-by-page optimization.
- Create a website that features a straightforward, intuitive, easy-to-navigate information architecture.
- Each page on your website must have its very own title containing important keywords. Every page must also have unique meta descriptions.
- A robust but simple keyword search function is also a must to ensure that users can easily find what they are looking for.
- Comply with the guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ACT), and make sure that the website is perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.
- Use excellent visual assets such as high-quality photos and videos to better engage the users.
- Consistently produce relevant, engaging, up-to-date, and informative content.
- For your homepage, include basic and general keywords and phrases that are pertinent to your practice and medical services.
- Include a dedicated About page that contains information about you as a medical practitioner, your business, location of your practice or clinic and other identifying and contact information such as email address and phone number.
Another vital box to tick off your medical practice SEO checklist is identifying relevant keyword phrases. is identifying relevant keyword phrases. Know what your target patients typically search for, and how they search for the medical services you provide.
This can be done through gaining insights directly from your patients or utilizing patient search data. You may also use keyword research tools such as Google Adwords, Quora, and Google autocomplete to determine which among them have the best ranking potential and see where a particular keyword or phrase ranks in terms of search volume and difficulty.
Be strategic in prioritizing high-volume keywords by looking at the ones your competitors are currently ranking for (or the other way around) and narrow down your search to your target geographic region.
Finally, select the ones that are more relevant and aligned to your medical practice and check alternative keyword phrases that can be more effective and will give your website a better strategic advantage. Place these keywords at the front of page titles, in the headings and/or subheadings, and withing the body of each content.
Next on your medical practice SEO checklist is Google my Business. Much has been said about GMB but yes, claiming, verifying and optimizing your GMB profile and third-party listings or directories are crucial in your SEO strategy.
You can check out all our previous posts:
How To Optimize Google My Business Profile: 5 Key Points To Remember
Claiming Your Google My Business Listing: 5 Easy Steps To Verification
Now that you have your website, it’s time to set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console.As part of Google Marketing Platform, Google Analytics enables you to track the number of website visitors, audience demographics, their behavior, amount of time spent on your website, nature of their visit, unique pageviews and many more.
In fact, there are over 10,000 metrics that you can track within Google Analytics to help you assess your website and online marketing efforts.
Meanwhile, Google Search Console (GSC), or formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, allows you to track your website’s visibility and organic reach performance on Google free of charge. In this platform, you will be able to check and generate information how often users saw or engaged with links to or content from your webpage, including:
- Clicks or the number of times users clicked on the link to your website from Google Search Results.
- Impressions or the number of times your website appeared in search results.
- Average position. This is the average ranking of your website for one or more keywords.
- Click-through-rate (CTR), refers to the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions your site received.
Using these data, you can analyze the effectivity of your keywords and assess which among them generates a high CTR and brings users from the search engine results page (SERP) into your website. This will eventually help you optimize and curate your on-page content to generate high-value traffic.
Aside from SEO performance, Search Console lets you monitor the health status of your website including coverage issues, technical errors that may damage your rankings, crawl errors, violation of Google rules, mobile usability issues, speed and more. It also allows you to submit a sitemap information and request for recrawls. All these reports are essential to measure your healthcare SEO campaigns, fine tune content strategy and help improve search ranking.
A strategic, top-notch content marketing strategy is definitely essential in SEO – another must-have on your medical practice SEO checklist. For healthcare providers, content marketing uses a user-friendly model and primarily revolves around creating and communicating medical information to the public.
Curating healthcare content, however, is quite challenging and delicate. To do it right, you need to:
- Define your target clientele and note down how you can benefit your prospective audience.
- Create meaningful , comprehensible content that are relevant to your niche.
- Simplify a health topic by producing more creative and interactive content such as infographic, videos, polls, etc.
- Focus on your specialty. Doing so will help you build and maintain trust with your patients, and strengthen your place in the industry.
- Spend ample time to research about the current issues, trends and breakthroughs in your field of expertise.
- Be accurate and specific in all aspects. As much as possible, use pertinent and proven data to support your claims to prevent misinformation and disinformation.
- Make your brand more humane to reach your target patients on a personal level. One effective way to do this is by creating compassionate healthcare content as well featuring stories of your patients (with their consent), staff and other members of your organization.
To improve visibility and help you rank as high as possible in SERPs, you need to acquire as many high-quality inbound links to your website as possible. Link building strategies include content marketing, email outreach, broken link building and link reclamation, social engineering and public relations.
Make sure you tick these things off your medical practice SEO checklist along with other multitude of SEO techniques and watch your website rise the ranks to the top of organic search engine results.