We’ve all heard it, if you want to attract more patients, you MUST improve your SEO!
To begin with, for those readers that are less tech savvy than others, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of your website in an organic (“natural” or unpaid) way.
Therefore, the above statement is fine and well, but how exactly is that optimization achieved? In our many conversations with Healthcare providers, we find that it falls upon many of these doctors to generate new business.
Fact, most doctors are extremely busy. To create and maintain their patient-centric information they often shift that responsibility on others. This action creates an unexpected problems. These “issues” arise on two fronts: You request an employee to handle the responsibility. However, if that staff member has a lot on their plate the task never gets accomplished. Or, you hire a freelancer, the work gets done but they don’t really capture your message or your essence.
Very often the doctors are the ones who write their sites blogs and articles to attract more patients. Frequently, the job gets done when the uninterrupted doctor has time to compose.
Sadly, in far too many cases the vital work of patient relations never gets done.
At the end of the day, there is an undeniable fact that a medical practice is a business. As such, it is subject to the same realities of every business — if you don’t get more patients, you go out of business!
Whether you are the person responsible for blogging or not, your content must attract patients! Moreover, it must draw those patients from a finite geographical pool.
Therefore if your content doesn’t draw patients in, your advertising is reduced to the equivalent having a billboard in the middle of the desert.
When we refer to “Content Marketing,” we mean creating and sharing valuable information to attract and convert prospects into patients. Additionally, impress them enough so that they emerge as repeat buyers of your service.
The type of content you share is closely related to the service you provide. In other words, you’re educating patients so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.
Examples of this would depend on your particular specialty, such:
- If your specialty is in sports medicine: Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff.
- If your specialty is veterinary chiropractic care, you may wish to write something like: Where Does My Horse Hurt? Consider writing a blog providing a hands-on guide to evaluating pain and dysfunction.
- If your specialty deals with pediatric chiropractic care, write about that, etc.
According to Whatisseo.com, “A successful search engine optimization campaign will have, as part of the improvements, carefully select, relevant, keywords. Then the ‘on-page’ optimization will be designed to make prominent for search engine algorithms. SEO is broken down into two basic areas: on-page, and off-page optimization. On-page optimization refers to website elements which comprise a web page, such as HTML code, textual content, and images. Off-page optimization refers, predominantly, to backlinks (links pointing to the site which is being optimized, from other relevant websites).”
I recently read an excellent piece that lays out these techniques beautifully. The piece is titled “5 SEO Tactics You Must Start Doing IMMEDIATELY!” written by
She writes, I know SEO isn’t everyone’s favorite topic, but if you want your content to rank in the search engines, it’s an absolute must.
1. Use header tags to show what your content is about
This may sound complicated, but trust me – it’s not. Header tags are simply headings used to indicate to Google and to your readers what your content is about. In the HTML of your page, header tags will look something like this:
<h1>This is my title</h1>
If you want your content to rank in the search engines, I would highly recommend using unique header tags. Here is a quick overview of how to use them to get your content ranking.
H1: Each page should have one (and only one) H1 tag. It will usually be the title of your page or post and is important both for rankings and for user experience.
H2: These are sub-headings that are used to break your content into more manageable chunks. They help your readers understand the progression of your content, and let the search engines know the main topics of your page.
H3, H4, etc.: These are sub-sub-headings! Generally speaking, your H1 and H2 tags are where you should be putting your focus. However, longer articles may benefit from the use of these sub-headings to break up long chunks of text.
2. Focus on writing longer content word count
It used to be that you could write short content (less than 400 words). Then you would target it towards a certain keyword, and get it ranking in the search engines. Google now prefers longer, more ‘meaty’ content that does a thorough job of covering a topic.
According to recent research by Searchmetrics, the average word count of the highest-ranking pages is 1,285. If you want your content to rank in the search engines, do a great job of covering the topic at hand. You don’t need to get hung up on achieving a precise word count. You do need to make sure you’re sufficiently digging into the topic and offering unique insights.
3. Make sure you use a variety of relevant words in your content
Over the past few years, we have seen a HUGE shift away from using keywords. While keywords in your title tag, headers and content are still important, Google now wants to see that you’re using a wide variety of other relevant words and terms in your content.
Searchmetrics found that ‘proof terms’ and ‘relevant terms’ have become increasingly important for achieving high rankings. These are words that will be naturally included if you’re doing a great job of covering a topic.
For instance, if you’re writing about web design, you’ll naturally include words like the internet, website, and design. Or in your case, pain management, adjustments, back pain relief, etc.
Again, if you’re focused on providing a great user/reader experience and covering your topics in detail. In so doing, you will naturally include these types of words in your content. If you need extra help to make sure you include lots of related words and terms, I recommend using a keyword tool like Ubersuggest.
4. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
You’ve probably heard about Google’s recent move towards making mobile-friendliness a ranking factor. This was referred to by some as ‘Mobilegeddon.’ To put it simply, since April, sites that aren’t mobile-friendly will have a very, difficult ranking in mobile search!
Not sure if your site is mobile-friendly? Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. If it turns out your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, consider switching to a responsive website design. A great resource for this is Fiverr if you need help with this task. If you have a WordPress site, you can even use a free plugin like Jetpack to instantly convert your theme to a responsive design!
As you can see, I wasn’t exaggerating! This is a very powerful post! Three cheers to Ms. Garst!
One additional consideration to ponder is the security of your site. Whether it be through Instagram, or any other social media platform, ultimately you want people to visit your site. However, you want people to feel secure when dealing with you online.
An important consideration will be to upgrade your website from a Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to a Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).
I know this may seem to be a lot to digest (technologically speaking). Actually it’s not that horrible. Allow me to briefly explain: You’ll notice that on your web address it will be something like “http://www.XYZ.com.” The HTTP is the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP; the ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted..
There was an excellent article that appeared in Entrepreneur Magazine that provided an excellent pro/con explanation of benefits and disadvantages of both. The piece written by Tony Messer is called HTTP vs. HTTPS: What’s the Difference and Why Should You Care?
“Let’s face it, until recently, HTTPS was really used only by e-commerce sites for their payment pages. Things can get confusing, and the question many business owners face is whether or not the hassle of switching to HTTPS is worth it.
Simply put, the strongest case for switching to HTTPS is that you are making your website more secure.
If you’re using a content management system (CMS), like WordPress, or you have any other login where you host any kind of sensitive data, then setting up a secure HTTPS login is the absolute minimum precaution you should take.
In reality, HTTPS is the basic price of security these days. It’s the very minimum you can offer your visitors.
Aside from security, HTTPS also improves trust.
According to research performed by GlobalSign, more than 80 percent of respondents would abandon a purchase if there was no HTTPS in use.
That’s fine for e-commerce merchants, but does HTTPS improve conversion and trust for businesses which don’t take online payments? There is evidence that the use of security seals can improve lead generation by over 40 percent.
Not only do your visitors pay attention to your site’s security, but so does Google Security is at the heart of what Google does these days. That’s why the company has listed HTTPS as a ranking factor.
So the biggest reason to switch to HTTPS is to future-proof your website. Sooner or later, you’re just going to have to bite the bullet, and make the switch.”
At the end of the day, what is being presented goes to the heart of patient attraction. As said at the onset, if you can’t compel enough patients to come into your office — you die!
Your content must be strong, easily accessible, and informative (presented in the language of your patients). Your content is your advertising, and your headline MUST compel and captivate!
Morris Hite (advertising legend and member of the Advertising Hall of Fame) said it so eloquently when he said:
“The headline is the most important element of an ad. It must offer a promise to the reader of a believable benefit. The headline must be phrased in a way to give it memory value. Moreover, advertising is salesmanship mass produced. No one would bother to use advertising if they could talk to all their prospects face-to-face. But they can’t.“
I hope this post has taken a bit of the mystery out of optimizing your site for the search engines. To read the entirety of the piece, simply click on 5 SEO Tactics You Must Start Doing IMMEDIATELY!
We understand that learning and applying these vital techniques for the growth of your practice takes time; and as a busy medical provider, you may not have that time to spare. However, if you can get away from the frenzy of your practice for just a few minutes, we may have an excellent solution for you in order to solve many of your promotional concerns!
We invite you to learn how Steve and Claudio can help you immediately increase the success of your practice, give them a call at 916.750.6319.
From the desk of Claudio Gormaz for StevenVonLoren Marketing Strategists, Direct: 916.750.6319; Amazon Author Profile, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org