Why do SEO for Medical Websites?
Some doctors are confused when they publish their new website and their practice is not immediately flooded with new patients. They forget that there is a big difference between having a website and having a website which is easy for patients to find. The process of making your website easier to find on search engines is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO for medical websites is very important. After all, what good is it having a website if patients cannot find it?
SEO for medical websites - why is my website not showing up on Google search results?
There are several reasons your website may not be showing up on Google search results. No ones (except Google employees themselves) knows the exact algorithm which Google uses to determine website rankings, however the following are commonly agreed to be important:
1. If it's a WordPress site, ensure the "Discourage search engines from indexing this site" is not checked
This is an obvious one, but important nonetheless. To find this option, go to "Settings" in the WordPress dashboard, then seelct the sub-category "Reading". You will then scroll down to see it. Ensure that the box is deselected.
2. Upload a Sitemap
A sitemap helps Google to index your site correctly. The sitemap can be uploaded via Google's Webmaster Tools / Search Console.
3. Site URLs
Does your website use URLs which contain the keywords you are targeting? Inserting the keywords into the url will help Google to see that your page is relevant to that particular keyword.
4. High quality, relevant content
Does your page contain high quality content which is relevant to the keyword? If a patient searches for a keyword and finds your site, will the page be relevant to them? It is increasingly believed that Google is using the bounce rate to determine the relevance of the content. In other words, if a patient leaves your site immediately, then Google will think that your site is not relevant to the keyword which that patient searched for.
5. Age of your website
Is your website brand new? If so, this may decrease the chances of it ranking high on Google search results. It is believed that older domain names are more likely to rank higher.
6. Number and quality of backlinks
A backlink is a link on another site which links to your website. It used to be believed that having a large number of backlinks is beneficial to rankings. However, it is now believed that the quality backlinks is more influential. But what does 'quality' mean in this sense? In short, it means how much Google can trust it. It is sometimes referred to as Domain Authority or Trust Flow, but it is easiest to explain with examples. If your site has a back link from a credible organization, like the American Medical Association then this backlink will be worth more than a link from an unknown blog with just 100 pageviews per month.
7. Frequency of new content
Is your site "alive"? In other words, can Google see that new content is being added to it regularly? It is believed that this is an additional factor which determinesrankings.
There are still many other factors which determine the SEO of medical websites, however the above factors are some of the most important. They may explain why your site is currently not appearing on the first page of Google search results.
What can I do to improve the SEO of medical websites?
There are many ways to improve the SEO of medical websites. Remember that the end result is to provide a website which patients will find useful and relevant to what they are searching for. You should use the aforementioned categories as a guide, however always keep that end result in mind.
Also, be aware of 'black hat' SEO practices. As doctors, you probably already get hundreds of emails a month offering to get your site top of Google for a very cheap price. These companies are often using black hat strategies, which may initially increase your site's ranking, but in the long run can see your site get penalized by Google. Be sure to only contract with SEO companies which use authentic and honest SEO strategies which get your site legitimately to the top of Google based off good content, not tricks.
SEO for Medical Websites - How long before my website appears on the first page of Google search results?
The time it takes to get your medical website to the top of Google search results will depend on several factors. First, how competitive are the keywords which you are targeting? The more competitive they are, the longer it will take. Second, where are the keywords currently ranking? If they are already close to the first page of Google, then this will expedite things. However, as a general guide, the time it takes can vary from 1 month to 12 months, depending on the above factors.
What is the difference between Google Adwords and Organic SEO?
Google Adwords are the sponsored listings which show up at the top of Google searches. Companies pay for their sites to appear here. Organic SEO, by contrast, refers to positioning your site in the 10 Google results below the sponsored listings. These are also known as the 'organic search results' or the 'real search results'.
One of the main differences between Adwords and Organic SEO is the cost. With Adwords, you pay for each click. However, with organic SEO, you do not pay per click. Furthermore, with Adwords, as soon as you stop paying, then your site stops appearing in the search results. Organic SEO, by contrast, is longer lasting - once you are in the real search results, your site will likely stay there for at least a couple of months.
Which generates more patients - Google Adwords or Organic SEO?
The answer to this question depends on your budget. If you have an unlimited budget, then Google Adwords is a great option. You can immediately rank at the top of Google and get patients finding your site. However, you will likely have to pay between $1 to $5 per click. A few thousand clicks later and this can add up!
Organic SEO is more affordable and can still provide a great flow of patients. Organic clicks still outnumber Adwords clicks, so that suggests there are a greater number of patients available via organic SEO, as opposed to Adwords.
For what medical specialties does Red Castle Services perform SEO for medical websites?
We provide SEO for medical websites of all medical specialties, including:
- SEO for Cardiology
- SEO for Chiropractors
- SEO for Dentists
- SEO for Doctors
- SEO for Medical Practices
- SEO for Occupational Therapy
- SEO for Orthopedics
- SEO for Pain Management
- SEO for Plastic Surgery
- SEO for Urgent Care
- And all other medical specialties - see Medical SEO
How much does SEO for medical websites cost?
Many companies charge thousands of dollars for SEO for medical websites. However, we believe in having longterm relationships with our doctors. We want to get them to the top of Google - then help them to stay there. This is why we charge modest monthly fees, so that doctors can keep us as their digital marketing partner in the longterm. View our SEO pricing.
SEO for Medical Websites - Further Information
Red Castle Services specializes in Online Marketing for Doctors, including Medical SEO, Online Reputation Management, Medical Website Design. If you are interested in SEO for medical websites, please Contact Us.