Now’s the perfect time to supercharge your medical practice website and overall marketing strategy with SEO (search engine optimization) — and with good reason. Around 77 percent of patients use Google and other major search engines to kick off their journey to a doctor’s office. And with Google processing well over 2 trillion searches each year, SEO has become too crucial to ignore.
Your medical practice will likely see results when you pay more attention to your healthcare SEO. First, you’ll likely improve the digital presence, increase website traffic, and build a reputation for your medical practice. Eventually, you’ll boost your appointments.
Keyword research is an integral part of any sound medical practice SEO strategy. Today, we’ll focus on tips, tactics, and best practices for choosing the best keywords for your medical practice.
First Things First – Why Bother with Keyword Selection for your Medical Practice SEO?
Here are the top three reasons to put serious effort into keyword selection for your healthcare SEO plan:
#1 Rank above the fold to get more traffic for your medical website
Search engines like Google are responsible for most traffic for websites. You need to rank above your competitors in Google’s organic search results. After all, many searchers don’t look beyond the first page of Google results.
Potential patients do the same when looking for a medical practice. So, if you don’t rank highly in search, prospective patients will go to your competition’s website. According to Digital Authority Partners, choosing the right medical SEO keywords is the first step toward ranking your practice highly in Google, Bing, and other search engines. In return, you will pull in more web traffic.
#2 Take your medical practice marketing to the next level
Don’t expect your practice website to come up in Google results if you don’t match your web pages and content to users’ search intent. A big part of keyword selection is studying search intent. It also involves choosing keywords that align with your practice.
Don’t forget about readability and engagement. You’re golden if you choose terms that tell what you treat, your location, and what makes your practice stand out.
#3 Attract the right audience
Medical practices vary greatly based on size, what they specialize in, and location. Keyword selection will allow you to emphasize these factors to target a suitable patient base. In addition, you’ll be able to tailor your keywords to match your ideal patients, so your practice website and contacts can appear in their search results.
Attracting the right audience is essential to the continued growth of your practice. For example, you don’t want to focus on keywords like “knee replacements” unless you have an orthopedic surgeon in your practice.
With keyword selection, you’ll focus on keywords that are meaningful to your practice so that you can rank highly in relevant Google search results and attract suitable patients. It’s all about drawing high-quality traffic to your practice website, helping you outperform your rivals.
Questions to Ask When Choosing Keywords for your Medical Practice SEO
#1 Which services are requested the most by patients?
Your practice likely provides many different services. That’s undoubtedly true with general physician practices. However, not all your medical services get the same level of patient traction.
It would be best to put patients first in every aspect of your medical practice marketing. After all, patients will continue to play an increasingly important role in today’s consumer-centric healthcare industry, according to Forbes Magazine.
Prioritizing your patients is now more critical than ever, especially when you want to optimize your medical practice website for search. Think about your ideal patient’s needs, conditions, and symptoms and select keywords accordingly.
You’d want to choose keywords that match the most common symptoms, conditions, etc., which you treat. In other words, what medical procedures or treatments do you commonly perform?
Your medical practice should appear in search results for these relevant keywords and semantic keywords and questions containing your target keywords. When that happens, patients searching for these symptoms and conditions are likely to find your practice, visit your website, or get in touch with you.
#2 What are your practice’s most profitable services?
As a healthcare provider, you aim to help patients. However, your medical practice needs to turn a profit to stay afloat, just like any other business. Therefore, it pays to keep profitability in mind when choosing the keywords to focus on in your SEO strategy.
It would help if you committed a more significant chunk of your SEO plan to keywords that contribute the most to your practice’s bottom line. For instance, if vaccinations are pulling in more money than annual physicals, you should dedicate more effort to keywords like “flu shots in Lincoln Park.” Potential patients looking for these services will likely find your practice when searching online and are likely to book an appointment with you.
#3 What services do you wish your practice to stand out for?
Your practice probably offers a myriad of medical services, from lab testing to screening & treating conditions like diabetes. But what services make your practice stand out from your rivals? Select keywords based on cornerstone services known for your practice.
Selecting the right medical SEO keywords will help prospective patients looking for your best services to find your practice search engines. So before you choose keywords for your medical SEO plan, consider the niche you want to carve out.
When you’ve created a sound SEO strategy and decided on the direction you would love to take your medical business, be better positioned to select keywords that back your core mission.
Most healthcare providers use medical terms in their everyday conversations without giving them a second thought. However, the majority of patients aren’t privy to clinical lingo. Therefore, considering complex medical terms will likely not get much web traffic when selecting the right keywords for your medical practice.