Did you know that search engines is still the #1 source for content traffic generation, outdoing social media by more than 300% (Source: IronPaper)? With more consumers using search to find information, locate local retailers and businesses, and seek answers for their problems, it’s vital that your practice implements sound SEO practices to boost chances of being found online.
You see, search engine optimization tactics bolsters your website’s ranking so your content shows up in Google when potential and current patients are looking for you. The good news is that you can easily incorporate SEO tactics to get your site in front of your target audience. Even with frequent algorithm updates, there are time-tested techniques that withstands these constant developments in ranking for search.
This guide shows the best SEO tips any medical or dental practice can use to increase brand awareness, heighten site visibility, and improve visitor engagement with your content.
6 Ways to Boost SEO
#1 Use Relevant Keyword Phrases
When creating your content, consider the keyword phrases that your audience is using to search for online. The ultimate goal in your content strategy is to publish posts that resonates with your target audience. You want to offer solutions, answer your audience’s most impressing questions, and be the “go-to” source in your medical niche. In doing so, you will attract ideal prospects to your brand that will help grow your practice.
Here is a quick guideline for your keyword strategy:
- Think about the common questions your audience has
- Use the Google Keyword Planner to glean keyword ideas for your content (check to see how many searches are performed monthly)
- Make sure that the monthly searches number has increased over the past 12 months. This lets you know the trend and if it’s a worthy keyword
- Leverage long-tail keywords since over 50% of search queries are 4 words or longer (Source: Wordstream)
- Develop buyer personas to help you get clear on your audience so your content relates to your prospects needs
#2 Ramp Up on Multimedia Content
Visual content like images, videos, infographics, live-streaming video, and slideshows has an amazing impact on reader engagement and SEO ranking. These content types enriches website experience and maximizes your online reach as you’re offering multiple ways for viewers to connect to your message. Additionally, multimedia keeps viewers tuned into your site longer, which positively effects SEO status. The longer visitors remain on your website, the more it alerts the search engines that your content is deemed valuable by your audience.
Yet, the real power behind increasing multimedia content is the ability to signal relevancy of your content by using keywords for your image file name, alt tag, title, description and caption. By including your keyword in these respective fields, it positions your visual to be found in the “Images” or “Videos” section of the SERP (search engine results page). You are further optimizing your content for search and providing different channels to be found in search.
Therefore, prior to publishing your next blog post, ramp up on visuals that complement your content to enhance the time spent on your site. Also, include the keyword in the image file name to amplify content exposure.
#3 Improve Website Usability
How easy can visitors navigate through your site? Are users able to simply find what they’re looking for? Is it mobile-friendly? Do your pages load quickly? Positive responses to these questions will greatly augment website experience, encouraging return visits and fostering engagement.
The following are ways that you can improve website usability to keep patients happy when interacting with your content while boosting SEO ranking:
- Google favors sites that are mobile optimized and penalize those that are not. Maximize on mobile traffic by ensuring your site is indeed mobile-ready
- Both Google and Bing take page-loading speed into account in their website ranking algorithm. You also run the risk of visitors leaving your site if they have to wait for your page to load. Increase page load speeds by using a caching plug-in, optimizing image sizes, and reducing your number of plugins
- A well-thought out site architecture which reflects clear navigation is vital to helping your visitors find what they want on your site. Make sure your content is simple to find
#4 Move your website to HTTPS, a secure site
Google announced they were giving a boost in ranking to websites that are secure, or have the URL that leads with HTTPS (https://example.com). The “S” in HTTPS stands for security. Google will give your website the slight advantage simply by adding this safeguard. Every little bit helps so be sure that your site is secured in 2017!
Follow this simple guide to moving your site from HTTP to HTTPS.
#5 Encourage Customer Reviews
A whopping 90% of consumers read online reviews prior to visiting a business and 92% of users will use a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating (Source: Business2Community)! Encouraging your patients to leave positive reviews will generate new business for your brand and play a direct role in your search visibility. The more 5-star ratings you have, the more online exposure you will receive.
To increase positive reviews, you’ll need to focus on creating an amazing customer (or patient) experience and politely asking for feedback after the appointment. Make it easy for your customers to give the review by emailing your review profile link to customers. Give clear instructions in your message to click on the link, easily register (if required) and provide a quick review.
You could also hold a fun contest on your Facebook Fan Page by asking customers to take a “selfie” while at their appointment. Tell them to share a quick testimonial of their happy experience with the doctor or dentist. Make sure they use your branded hashtag to maximize exposure. Choose a prize (perhaps a gift certificate) that’s enticing enough to get your audience excited about participating.
#6 Blog Regularly
The final way to boost SEO and website presence is committing to blogging consistently to create more “online real estate” and opportunities to be found in search. Companies who blog consistently have 434% more indexed pages than companies who do not and small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth that those that don’t. Regularly publishing content gives your patients fresh content to look forward to, while attracting new patients to your business.
There are several editorial tools that you can leverage like CoSchedule and Google Calendar to help you maintain a blogging schedule and steady presence online. Your target audience is looking for more of you…your blog content is a way to show up and give the people what they want…value!
Any practice can implement these SEO tactics into their content marketing for better brand awareness and visibility. Simply incorporate them now, remain consistent, and you’ll advance your website goals.