An important part of your online credibility is ever-increasing online visibility – what’s your SEO game plan?
The Internet has changed the way we shop, communicate and do business. It seems like there’s a website or app designed to cater to our every whim, eliminating the need to travel to our convenience store or local pharmacy. Everything is practically at your fingertips. From UberEats’ General Tso’s Chicken to mail-order Covid-19 testing, just Google it (Bing it, Yahoo it or Reddit it…) and watch it magically appear on your doorstep. But you have to find it, and to get it found, your content needs search engine optimization (SEO) and an SEO game plan.
Every healthcare practice can benefit from SEO
In health care, we find physicians, services, and health care practices alike. We search online, read community reviews, check Yelp reviews, and scour directories.
This is why running a medical practice requires an online presence and marketing efforts to connect with potential new patients. After all, the best healthcare provider in the world is of no use if no one knows where to find them.
Word of mouth about your business practices has grown from company water coolers to searchable online community groups, chat rooms and online directories complete with hashtags, links, opt-ins and landing pages. And it’s never been more important to create an online strategy to reach the people who need your services the most. Well, where to begin ?
An SEO game plan strategy for your practice, regardless of size
SEO means tilting Google’s search engine results in your favor when someone searches for a product or service that you provide.
When someone searches for a chiropractor, you ultimately want your chiropractor business to appear in the top 4 results. That way your practice, rather than someone else’s, is more likely to get a phone call or a click to your website for more information.
Although it sounds simple, remember that your business is competing for placement with millions of other businesses and chiropractors just like yours. So how does Google decide which companies will appear on top?
Paid search versus organic search
Google’s search engine ranks businesses in two ways for search results queries: paid search and organic search, with the difference somewhat obvious.
- Paid search results are the listings that require a fee for the search engine to list their link for a particular keyword. A widely used form of paid search is pay-per-click (PPC) where you pay each time someone clicks on your ad link. The price increases according to the competitiveness of the keyword.
- Organic Research results are pulled by search engine crawlers that rank your website based on relevance. This is calculated based on the keyword matches in your website pages and the number of links to your website from outside sources. Ranking at the top of organic search is most optimal because not only is it free, but people are more likely to click on organic search results than on results that appear as paid search.
No business is too big or too small to benefit from an SEO strategy. However, the most important question is, “Where do you want to take your business?” as this will determine your game plan and SEO goals.
If the idea is to increase the number of patients and increase revenue, then a top search result on Google is crucial. If your practice relies solely on referrals and the current revenue stream meets your expectations, a more complex SEO strategy may not be necessary for you.
SEO strategies vary in size, from simple blogging and keywords to hiring an outside marketing company or SEO expert to provide an arsenal of data-driven marketing tactics. Regardless of size, every healthcare practice should incorporate the following organic SEO practices to optimize search rankings:
- Get Google reviews from happy customers. The first thing potential patients do to find out more about your company is to check out the sites. Find out where your patients are looking to find you and make sure your business is there.
- Add new content to your blog. Google reads new blog post pages as an update to your website, giving your site preference in search. Adding links in your blog posts to other pages and blog posts on your website also improves your website’s search ranking.
- Write about the services offered by your practice on your blog. Use real language in your blog posts that is likely to be typed into a Google search browser to find information. This retrieves your blog post as a result of a search query leading directly to your website.
- Post new images on “Google my Business”. Keep directories up to date with properly titled images and relevant information, including times and location. List all services, products and offers.
- Stay relevant in your community. The world has never been so connected as it is today via the Internet. Everything you do in the real world, from volunteering to supporting schools to sponsoring local events, is shared online and comes back to your business. Look for external links from your community to your website.
- Write articles for local newspapers and magazines. Stay ahead by offering your wisdom as an industry expert. Not only does it keep your name and business practices top of mind, but it also provides an opportunity to digitally link media to your website, which improves your website’s search ranking.
Grow your practice with advanced SEO strategies
Your SEO budget will be determined by the height of your business goals. You can start small by buying Google Ads and setting aside a monthly budget, or take it a step further by hiring a marketing firm or SEO partner.
- Buy relevant keywords with Google Ads. Head to Google’s Keyword Planner to find out which keywords are best for your practice. Simply drop the names of services or products related to your business. The results will give you a long list of keywords, how often they are searched for, and the price and level of competition for the keyword. Look for words or phrases that you can ultimately own that aren’t very competitive or don’t break the bank. Find the balance of relevant words with low competition. You can refine your search by keyword on the right to help you narrow down your results. Once you’ve narrowed down your search, test them out with a Google Ads plan designed to drive traffic to your website. You can also use these keywords on your website to help the website be found in search.
- Perform a website SEO audit. Hire an SEO expert to go through your business website and optimize it for search engines. Expect your website content to be optimized with proper title tags, meta descriptions, keywords, links, backlinks, loading speed, and image titles. Once optimized, your website will work quickly and efficiently, ready to show up in search.
- Hire an SEO company for a more complex ongoing SEO effort. If you are looking to increase your income, you will need to expand your reach to generate more business in your practice. This requires a more advanced SEO strategy that is implemented for you, constantly adjusted and refined for optimal results. It’s not about the size of your practice or your company’s ability to sustain the effort, it’s about your company’s business goals. This is particularly useful for multi-site practices offering a high return on investment.
Start building your website search ranking now
Building your credibility online is the digital equivalent of building your professional reputation in real life. It’s important to incorporate technology as part of your business growth model with an SEO game plan because old school, traditional methods of obtaining business leads have been abandoned.
Today, patients are gaining confidence in service providers who have the online visibility, trusted reviews, and easy-to-access information they need. Once you’ve optimized your website and started directing traffic directly to relevant content on your site, you’ll be amazed at the number of views and leads that come to your website and, in turn, through the door. from your office.
RUSSELL GREENSEID, DC, is a chiropractor, principal shareholder and chief of staff at Metro Healthcare Partners in Brooklyn, NY He is a trusted attorney and a respected voice in the field of chiropractic with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY He resides in Short Hills, NJ, with his wife and two sons. To visit metrohealthnyc.com for more information on Greenseid and his multidisciplinary team of professionals.