Google never fully shares its algorithms, and there are hundreds of ranking factors that go into how Google determines where your page will show up in patient keyword searches.
We know that Google will continue making changes in its algorithms to better meet the needs of patients who are searching for health-related information. This can make SEO for doctors feel like a moving target.
However, there are some consistent Google ranking factors that are the most beneficial for doctors to focus on. Even future algorithm updates should continue to utilize some of the primary factors I will outline below in some way.
These top Google ranking factors for doctors are:
- Quality content
- On-page keyword optimization
- Mobile-first website design
- Website speed
- Internal links
- External links
These ranking factors are not in any order of importance, but they do all play a role and having SEO success.
The first basic principle of SEO is having great content. You simply can’t list a keyword on your website and expect to rank for that search. Content is king, as it has been for over a decade now.
Having great content geared toward serving patients will be a requirement as long as SEO is in place.
On-Page Keyword Optimization
At this point in time, keyword research and optimization are still critical components of ranking in Google searches.
Once you have great content created, you will want to implement some best practices for optimizing your on-page keyword distribution.
Mobile-First Website Design
“Mobilegeddon” happened all the way back in 2015, but there are still many physician websites that have not yet incorporated a mobile-first design.
Because more people now use their mobile device for online search instead of a desktop, Google’s algorithms grade your website based upon how well it performs on a mobile device.
Designing your website to perform well on mobile is a critical component of ranking online today.
Along the same lines of having mobile-first indexing, Google has had website speed/page speed as a ranking factor since 2018.
The bottom line is, the slower your website loads, the lower google will rank you.
Fortunately, improving your website speed is something that is relatively easy to do and can even be as simple as moving to a better hosting provider.
By linking to other content on your site, you are signaling to Google that you feel content on your site is valuable. Furthermore, it also helps Google better find the pages on your website.
As an example, notice the various links that I have included in this post. Yes, this benefits me from an SEO standpoint, but it also helps you, the reader, quickly access additional information that might be helpful.
This is something that is very easy to implement and will pay dividends in multiple ways.
Links to sources outside of your website will continue to be a ranking factor for doctors. When creating content on a specific topic, think about what other sites you can include a link to in that piece. For example, if you cite a particular study, include a link to that study.
Again, this is helpful for the reader and a top ranking signal to Google. Plus, you’re teaching Google to associate yourself with that type of information.
You also want backlinks coming into your website as well. Backlinks are simply when other sites link back to you. Software tools such as SEMRush can help you identify backlinks opportunities quickly and reach out to the site owners that may be interested in linking back to you.
While there are many different factors, this short list highlights some of the top Google ranking factors for doctors.
These factors should influence how you structure your site and your content.