Ranking on page one of a search engine like Google has never been more competitive than it is now, even for local businesses. With constant algorithm updates from Google, it is absolutely crucial to stay on top of your website and the latest search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, both generally speaking and drilling down to specific industries like the field of healthcare. There are more ranking factors constantly being added to Google’s algorithm, and it’s not only about keywords anymore. New opportunities arise constantly to earn backlinks, create more user friendly sites, and get people the information they are searching for. Medical offices can seriously leverage search engines and benefit from them if done the right way.
1. High Quality Content
Search engines like Google are smart, very smart. What once was a game of meta tagging and keyword packing is now a more sophisticated algorithm that does everything it can to put the best content at the top of a search engine result page (SERP). Do yourself a favor and don’t waste your time trying to trick Google, and really put in the work and effort to make your website and its content be the best it can be in terms of quality. Stick to the guidelines of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T). Here’s what medical offices should take away from E-A-T:
- Frequently update your news and blog section with relevant information.
- Have your doctors either write the content, or review it before it goes live. Attribute each article to a medical professional as either the author or a disclaimer that it’s been “medically reviewed by” a healthcare professional.
- If you don’t have access to keyword research tools, try to write content on the questions you think people are asking.
- Keep it simple with straightforward answers, and integrate photos, graphics and/or videos to help answer the more complex ones.
2. Updated Map Listing
Google and Bing give business owners the opportunity to completely control what displays on their map listing, including photos, hours, contact information, and even promotions. Bing Places for Business and Google My Business can be utilized to give your patients accurate information that is displayed in the knowledge graph to the right of search engine results.
3. Website Health
If your medical office’s website is old and outdated, kiss your dreams of earning that “featured snippet” spot goodbye. The featured snippet is known as position zero on Google. This highly sought-after spot is featured at the top of the search results page and provides a clear, well-written answer to the search query. Search engines like Google are now using mobile-first indexing, giving more points to websites that provide their users with a fast loading and mobile friendly experience. Your website’s “health” or “score” all depends on the quality of the content and ease of use that it provides to the users on all devices. Interactive elements, smooth navigation, a balanced mix of in-depth and question & answer content, and clear calls to action (CTAs) all play a part in how your website will rank on search engines.
4. Be Everywhere
There is no end to the amount of sites that list local businesses, including medical offices. Be sure that everywhere your medical office is mentioned that you’ve reviewed it for accuracy, and most importantly, that it includes a link to your site.The greater number of high quality backlinks you have, the more authoritative your site is viewed, as far as search engines are concerned.
Warning: Follow these tips and you just might notice an increase in calls, emails and patients at your medical office.
If you think you may need a bit of help with any of the above, contact us to learn more about how we specialize in helping medical offices compete in their local markets on search engines.
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