What is medical SEO! If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times — you need SEO. You’ve probably heard the term many times, and read over and over that SEO is a must for your website. But has anyone explained exactly what it is, or why you need it?
If you’re in the healthcare industry you need your target customers or patients to find your site. And that’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.
Once upon a time, SEO for medical practices was this special elixir. It would make a site “magically” rank higher on search engines like Google and Bing. These days, it’s really no secret potion — SEO is absolutely critical for every healthcare business with an online presence. That’s why working with an agency who understands healthcare marketing strategy is so important.
When your SEO is done right, you can drive troves of potential patients and clients to your website.
What Is medical SEO and How Does It Work?
It might seem mysterious, but we’ll break it all down for you. SEO is composed of two major parts: Onsite optimization and offsite optimization.
On-site optimization is all about making your site search-engine friendly. It starts with identifying relevant keywords for your site’s pages and then crafting the right content to match. This helps search engines understand and crawl your website with ease.
Some of the most important elements of onsite optimization include:
Strong page title tags and descriptions
These are the first things search engines see when they crawl your website’s pages, so it’s really important that they’re optimized. They should be relevant to the content on your site — without overstuffing your keywords in.
Adding image descriptions into the code of your site, known as “alt tags,” ensure that pictures aren’t just on your site for the show. This tactic is a ‘go to’ move for most experienced SEO experts who want to take advantage of low hanging fruit. Alt tags eventually turn the images into powerful SEO boosters.
Simply put, if your web pages don’t have links to other pages within your site, search engines will crawl each page and then leave. The practice of internal linking means search engines will also crawl, and then index the other linked pages. Internal links also help search engines understand your site better, which is a big SEO win for you.
It’s key that you make sure you’re not mistakenly blocking search engines from crawling your site. Ensuring that your website can be effectively crawled, and not waste crawl budget is key. Thankfully, there are tools that help identify these roadblocks.
Relevant, useful content
This one speaks for itself — you need your site’s pages to reflect your business and keep your audience in mind at all times. Each page should be inherently useful to your customers and potential customers. It should help answer commonly “Googled” questions they may have based on your initial keyword research.
Off-site optimization means promoting your site via other websites. The more reputable sites that link back to your content, the better — this tells search engines that you have a high-quality site with good content, and that gets you a higher search results ranking.
Here are a few of the ways healthcare providers can accomplish offsite optimization:
As an expert in your business, you’re also a “subject matter expert.” That means you know what you’re doing and exactly how to do it. That knowledge is valuable to other sites and blogs. Offering to write for them with links back to your site, you’ll boost their relevant healthcare content while upping your SEO results.
Social media marketing
It might seem like a completely separate strategy, but social media and SEO are very much intertwined. You need social media channels for your business to promote your website to followers, which catapults your SEO and leads many more visitors to your site.
Keyword optimized press releases: It’s not for everyone, but if your business has regular announcements to make, skip the paper and create digital releases that embed your best keywords. Then, distribute them through digital wire services like PR Newswire and Business Wire. They’ll share your releases with news sites, generating respected links back to your website.
Why Does Your Healthcare Company Need SEO?
In today’s digital world, you simply can’t afford to skip SEO. Patients are online all the time across lots of devices, and they’re using Google as their own personal shopper.
You might have heard the phrase “content is king,”. One of the big reasons for that is search engines and how they’ve changed over the years. Some of the old ways of achieving SEO results, many of which violate terms of service, known as “black hat” techniques (the use of aggressive healthcare marketing tactics that focus only on search engines and not a human audience) are out, and useful, relevant content is in.
This increased focus on strong content brings all the onsite and offsite optimization strategies into play. Without them, your site doesn’t stand much of a chance when customers are researching products and companies. And the fact is, other medical businesses are going to integrate SEO strategies — you have to surpass the competition in order to stand out.
If you want to generate sales and build up your customer base, you need a smart SEO and inbound marketing strategy led by a healthcare marketing agency that understands how to execute it. Together, you’ll be able to increase traffic to your website and help your company flourish.