So perhaps you already have a great website for your medical practice. No doubt it took a bit of time, money, and effort (some back-and-forth with the developer and so on) to get it looking the way you wanted it. Now you thought you can set back and watch the patients arrive en masse? Unfortunately not. As you may already know, there’s more to getting online referrals than simply having a great medical website. You can have the best website in the world, but if patients can’t find it, then it’s all but redundant.
In short, more and more patients are now searching for their next doctor online. The place they start is with search engines. And which search engine is the most popular? Yep, you guessed it - Google. Google has a staggering market share with 67.5% of all online searches in the USA.
For those of you not wanting to spend a fortune with Google adwords, there is the option of organic search engine optimization. This means the process of positioning your site as high as possible on Google’s search results for NON-sponsored content. Here are 5 quick tips about how to get your site in Google’s top 10 organic results: 1.First of all, you need to find out what your target patients search for when they are looking for your services. For example, if you’re an urgent care center in Tampa, do they search for “urgent care Tampa” or “Tampa urgent care”? Or perhaps they search for “urgent care center Tampa”? There are many possibilities and it’s important to find this out before you go to the effort of optimizing your site for potentially the WRONG keywords. There are several online tools to assist with this, such as Google’s keyword planner. 2.Optimize your site with the keywords - but not too much! How often does your website contain the keywords which your target demographic are looking for? Naturally, if you want your site to be found by patients searching for ‘urgent care Tampa’, then it makes sense to have this phrase on your website and not just once. However, a word of warning, the old school tactic of simply writing ‘urgent care Tampa’ 1000 times on a page will not get you to the top of Google. In fact, it may have the opposite result. Google - quite understandable - is trying to deliver the best possible customer experience in terms of finding what they are looking for. So they want the most relevant content to come top of people’s search results - NOT bad content which has cheated the system to come top. So this is something important to keep in mind when optimizing your site. Always ask yourself, am I providing good and relevant content to my target demographic? 3.Create strong backlinks. Another factor Google looks at when deciding how high to position your site is your number and quality of backlinks. Understandably, if your site is linked to by websites with high authority, then Google interprets this as meaning your site is a site which may be of interest to its customers. Conversely, if your site has no links - or only low-authority links - then your site is less likely to appear in Google’s search results. Once again - a word of warning - when building backlinks Google knows when you are manipulating the system. Backlinks need to be of a good quality. A sudden jump of 200 backlinks in a week may well catch the attention of Google’s bots (aka Panda and Penguin) which are patrolling for excessive SEO manipulation and may punish your site’s page rankings accordingly. 4.Get social. Writing articles and posting them on your website and social media has two great simultaneous effects. First of all, building up audiences on social media sites will promote your message to the online community. The bigger your online community, the better. Secondly, creating online links and dialogue with thousands of potential patients online also helps increase your SEO, due to the increase in backlinks. Furthermore, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have high page authorities, which means they are ‘good’ backlinks. 5.Track your progress. You’re busy treating patients and don’t have time to Google all of your keywords everyday, then scour through all the pages to find your site to see if you’re making progress or not. What’s more, your browser reminders your browsing history, so that will affect your search results (so if you do test it yourself, be sure to search in private browsing mode to rule this out). Alternatively you can use one of the many online tools available, such as Ranktrackr.com or SerpYou.com. Redcastle Services specializes in helping physician practices increase their number of online referrals. As part of this, we also specialize in medical SEO for physician practices. For more information, please Contact Us. For more info about Medical SEO click here To read our latest blog post about Medical SEO Services for Doctors click here For more info about Medical Website design please click here