Patients have many ways to try and find a physician, but Google search is by far the most popular. Currently, about 81% of patients perform an online search before scheduling an appointment with a doctor.
For doctors, this means having a personal website focused on SEO is the best way to attract new patients.
Doctor Website SEO: How Does It Work?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is defined as the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website by ranking organically in search engine results (SERPs).
Let’s break this definition down into three parts:
1. Quality of Patient Traffic
Google wants to make sure they are sending patients to the correct website. And this also benefits you as a doctor so that you attract the right patients to your practice.
For example, if you’re a cardiologist, you don’t want someone who searches for an Ob/Gyn to come to your site.
This is the quality portion of doctor website SEO.
2. Quantity of Patient Traffic
As soon as you have the right patients clicking through to your site from those search queries, the more traffic you can have, the better.
3. Organic Search Results From Patient Searches
The organic search results are the non-paid for results that come up from patient searches.
For doctors, there is a lot that goes into a successful online marketing strategy. But the real question when it comes to doctor website SEO is how do you rank for these patient searches?
Below are three tips that will help you outrank the local competition.
Doctor Website SEO Tip #1: Perform Keyword Research
The key for doctors being successful with SEO starts with understanding keywords.
Many physician and healthcare websites make the mistake of assuming they know what search terms patients are using. Often, these are too generic and really just a short in the dark.
It’s an excellent investment of time and effort to conduct keyword research. Tools like SEMRush can help you discover precisely what and how patients are searching for the information you would want to rank for. Quite often, you’ll find so many great patient questions and long-tail keywords to focus on.
Doctor Website SEO Tip #2: Create Patient Friendly Content
Now that you know exactly what patients are searching for in your local area, you’ll want to create content that is designed to benefit them and optimize that content.
Outside of some general website content (about, service overview, etc.), I always suggest that doctors voice their content in the tone of their personality. The authenticity of this approach goes a long way in creating an attraction and trust for the patients before they ever step into the clinic. If your online personality is different from your in-person personality, it will throw them off.
If you’re looking for content ideas, here are three things doctors should blog about.
Doctor Website SEO Tip #3: Optimize for Local Patient Searches
Your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) should be consistent across your website and social media profiles.
Often, it makes sense to have the city and state in your site title so that it is automatically added to each page and post on your site.
Additionally, ensure that you have established and verified a Google My Business Profile, which is a critical element of ranking locally.
Doctors who have a great website and SEO strategy in place will attract more patients and attract more of the patients they want to work with.
If you are a doctor who needs help with an existing website or are just getting started, please feel free to contact me.