No great sports team has ever won a championship without a game plan. Can you imagine Bill Belichick saying ”Gentlemen, let’s go out and wing it today.” (as a Broncos fan, I wish he would have).
The same holds true when it comes to marketing yourself online. You need to have an effective, specific physician SEO strategy if you want to rank over your local competition and attract more patients, especially your ideal ones.
Here are five tactics for having an effective physician SEO strategy.
1). Define Your Ideal Patient
This is one of the opportunities I love most about online marketing. You have the opportunity to attract the patients you want to see more of.
Identifying these patients on the front end is also mission-critical for succeeding with SEO, as it essentially creates the road map for the content you will need to create.
Here are some questions you will want to consider:
- What type of patients do I want to see more?
- What are the typical demographics of these patients?
- What questions do these patients ask when they’re in my office?
- What is my local market opportunity?
- What is my competition doing to attract these patients?
- In what ways can I create an excellent online experience for these patients so that they choose me over the local competition?
2). Define Your Content
Now that you know the types of patients you are trying to reach, you can begin brainstorming ideas for content on your website.
Each patient/procedure type should have its own dedicated web page on your site. The content on these pages should be helpful, relevant, and in-depth. This is a fantastic way to demonstrate your expertise before patients have the opportunity to meet you in person.
Answering common questions that these patients have is an excellent place to continue with regular posting.
3). Define the Keywords You Want to Rank For
Now that you have your ideal patients defined, as well as an overview of content ideas, you need to perform keyword research. The reason being is that you need to know and understand how patients are searching for those topics online.
Simply creating the content without knowing what specific keywords you need to rank for is akin to Bill Belichick “winging it.” It won’t work (and frankly shouldn’t happen).
Once you have the specific keywords, and I recommend one focused keyword per page/post, then you can structure that content in a way you can begin to rank for those patient-related searches.
For our full-service clients, we use three different keyword research tools to help get the most accurate picture. But if I had to pick only one to use, it would be SEMRush.
4). Optimize Your Page Titles and Metadata
Unless you’re a closet nerd, technical SEO probably isn’t your thing. But one of the most significant steps you can take to help boost your rankings is to include your keyword in the page title and in the metadata.
This not only helps to inform Google what your page/post is about, but it is also the first thing your patients will see when they’re searching online. This is a great way to make a positive first impression by communicating to them that your content is what they’re looking for.
5). Establish Your Website as Your Home Base
Most, if not all, of the content you produce and share should originate on your website. Why? It’s the one place online that you can control. It’s your “country” and home base.
I think of social media accounts as “embassies” and use them accordingly. The reason being is that you have no control over how Facebook, Twitter, etc., will handle your account. At any moment, you can be shut down and de-platformed, even if you did nothing wrong. You’re entirely at their mercy.
While social media certainly has valuable opportunities for physicians to market online, you don’t want to build your house on a rented lot.
Winning with online marketing doesn’t need to be hard, but you do need to be intentional. Following these five steps will set you up for having a successful physician SEO strategy.