When it comes time to find a doctor, many patients turn to Google for the closest, best option.

Your website, which appears in the list above, means patients are more likely to click through and make an appointment.

If your practice isn't at the top of the search results, someone else is.

Your competitors.

This means you may lose new patients.

Because of this, healthcare SEO is essential to any medical website.

If you're not benefiting from organic inquiries, you're basically passing these patients on to your competition.

By following the latest Google regulations for good search engine optimization, especially when it comes to health content, you can beat the competition and increase your digital presence.

Quality control

Many health professionals believe that pay-per-click or PPC ads are enough to get the visitors they are looking for.

However, when you start with PPC, tape your problem on. It will only be good in the short term.

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As a medical or healthcare company, you need to incorporate SEO into your digital marketing to bring potential patients to your website.

Consequent. And in the long run.

If your website and its content are not considered quality in the eyes of Google, your search exposure will suffer.

Speaking of quality: E-A-T and YMYL are two extremely important concepts for healthcare.

E-A-T stands for expertise, authority and trustworthiness.

The concept was developed to help third parties evaluate Google's search results.

While E-A-T isn't a direct ranking factor, E-A-T reveals a lot about what Google thinks is important – essentially what types of websites Google wants to reward with better search visibility.

E-A-T is very important for medical information websites.

The information and statistics you provide about medicine and health can have a direct impact on the potential patients who read it.

People visit and read your web pages for reasons to trust your practice with their health.

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Your information must be absolutely top notch and literally filled with expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.

Only then will you even have the chance to assert yourself well in the healthcare sector.

This leads us straight into the concept of YMYL, which stands for your money or your life.

YMYL as a concept essentially means any content that can directly affect a reader's health, finances, or safety.

Obviously, this concept is important to understand in competitive healthcare.

If your content does not meet these standards (e.g., it is inaccurate or has little information), it will be even more difficult for it to rank in search results.

The most important SEO strategies in healthcare

You must never outperform a site like WebMD.

However, if you focus on more long-tail keywords and location-based content, you can do moderately well here.

By implementing the right kind of SEO to get your doctor's office in front of the right users, you will put your website in a better position to outperform your competitors.

The following six strategies are the most important ones when it comes to healthcare SEO.

1. Use appropriate medical keywords

When optimizing your content, you want to choose the right keywords for your industry.

Your starting point should be the medical services you offer as most seekers are looking for them.

Tools like Google's Keyword Planner can help you find the best keywords for your industry and compare what is and isn't being searched for.

As in all cases, avoid including keywords in the content.

Google quickly understands this spam tactic and will penalize your website. Instead, place certain long-tail keywords in your content in a relevant, readable, and natural way.

Not only does this separate you from the WebMDs, but it also attracts the patients you want – those who live in your geographic area and are looking for the expertise you can offer.

2. Add lots of content pages

Your content pages should be full of high quality information that is optimized with your keywords.

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For the medical industry, you want your content to help make your audience's lives better or easier.

Whether it's a detailed description of your services or blog posts targeting that particular query, high quality content is essential for healthcare companies.

Google sets a much higher standard for medical websites than other industries.

This is because these sites may affect the future health, happiness, or financial stability of seekers.

Poor quality content on these pages can have dangerous or unintended medical consequences.

Always keep your target audience in mind when creating content for your website.

What are you looking for?

What information will help you most in this search?

By writing educational content in long form, Google recognizes you as an authoritative figure within the industry and thus increases your rank.

3. Optimize visual elements

Video is one of the most popular ways people consume content.

Web pages with videos can get more organic traffic.

And people spend more time on these pages because they watch the video.

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This increases a user's time on the page and indicates to search engines that something of value is on the page to users.

When optimizing your website for SEO, make sure to include relevant, high quality videos alongside your content where you can.

Whether it's a virtual tour of the facility or an informative video about a disease, many users are drawn to this content with more than 600 words in clear text.

You should also add a variety of images and infographics to your website. The more interactive and engaging your website, the more visitors you can attract.

Make sure that all images on your website include the appropriate alt text. Image-alternative-text helps visually impaired users and Google crawlers to better understand what is displayed on the page.

This can be a great opportunity to include some of your keywords. (But as with all SEO, don't overdo it!)

4. Optimize the speed, security and mobile use of the website

The speed, security, and ease of use of your website are all ranking factors.

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If your website takes longer than three seconds to load, a lot of people may pull back and go to a competitor who has a faster user experience.

Now it's important to mention that slow websites can rank high for certain queries. Google doesn't penalize an otherwise perfect website just for being a little slower.

However, optimizing your speed cannot affect the overall user experience.

Your website should take no more than two seconds to load, but ideally you should aim for less than half a second.

You can use Google's PageSpeed ​​Insights tool to check the speed of your current website. It also provides insight into possible fixes to improve your speed score.

Another important SEO factor is the security of your website. An SSL certificate helps encrypt your website and ensures that your and your visitors' data is protected from hackers.

If your healthcare company's website doesn't use SSL security, Google will penalize your rankings. This certificate is a must if you are accepting confidential patient information. Hence, there is no excuse that a website might not implement this.

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Most importantly, your website should be cell phone compatible. Most searches are now performed on mobile devices. If your website isn't optimized for them, users will choose your competitors' websites instead.

The best way to make sure your website is mobile optimized is to look good.

This means that your website will automatically adjust to the screen it is displayed on, reducing the risk of a poor user experience from device to device.

5. Off-site factors

Off-site indicators (such as links to your website and social media traffic) are just two areas that can help affect your search rankings.

While social media is not a direct ranking factor, it should be a top priority when it comes to offsite SEO.

The content of a social media page can significantly influence a patient's choice of hospital or treatment center.

Many users also consider social media reviews before scheduling an appointment.

You want to make sure that your social profile is up to date and relevant to your business so that users can find you and interact with you in a variety of ways.

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With links, you also want to make sure that spam links don't affect your SEO performance.

Use your favorite link building tool to review your existing link profile and analyze the links displayed.

Are they all from good quality, relevant sources? Or do a lot of them seem to be spam?

Disable unwanted links to clean up your link profile and improve your rank. (Just read this first.)

6. Local SEO

You also need to keep your Google My Business page optimized and up to date.

Patients want local services, and in order for them to find you, your company needs to appear in Google's local package.

This grouping of 4 to 5 companies is displayed above the organic search results.

On mobile devices, they're the only thing people see before scrolling.

The information contained in these listings comes primarily from your GMB page. Therefore, make sure that the following information is correct and available:

  • The business categories.
  • Your primary phone number.
  • The business description.
  • Your hours of operation (and any seasonal hours).
  • Your address or your service area.
  • Google reviews of your business.

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Another critical factor for local SEO is local quotes.

These are online mentions of your company that show your essential NAP information (name, address, phone).

Local quotes can come from corporate directories, social profiles, blog posts, newspaper websites, and other sources.

All of this will help your SEO efforts.

Conclusion

If you want better rankings on Google and more patients, you need to make sure you have a healthy SEO strategy in place.

Your doctor's office may take time to grow.

So the right approach can make all the difference.

By implementing the SEO strategies above, you are taking the necessary steps to secure your digital presence.

Nothing is guaranteed in digital marketing. However, if you keep an eye on the EAT and YMYL properties of your web content, you will be in a better position to outperform your competitors and thrive online.

More resources:

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Photo credit

In-post image: pixabay

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