Nowadays, we can go online for practically anything. Whether you need new shoes, a car, or an idea for a new sushi restaurant, a quick online search will get you where you need to be. But did you know that people are also going online to select their doctors? This is why medical SEO, a digital marketing strategy to make healthcare practitioners more visible online, is so critical in today’s market.
But what is medical SEO? And how is it different (or similar) to traditional search engine optimization? If you’re a doctor or work in any branch of the healthcare industry—look no further. With effective medical SEO, you can rank better online and reach more potential patients than ever before.
Here, we’re diving into the world of medical SEO. First, we look at defining this important aspect of digital marketing and how medical SEO is related to traditional SEO practices. We then answer the question that every healthcare practitioner should consider: do doctors need medical SEO?
WHAT IS MEDICAL SEO?
Medical SEO is a specific branch of SEO that focuses on serving those in the healthcare field. SEO, or search engine optimization, works to improve the ranking of websites as they appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) like Google. By aligning your site with the qualities that search engines are looking for in “good” sites, you’ll rank better and make your site more visible to online users. Since the overwhelming majority of clicks occur on just the first page of Google’s SERP, there’s simply no real estate that’s more valuable for online businesses. In short, SEO is your ticket to get on page one.
Medical SEO focuses on improving medical websites, such as those for general practitioners, specialists, or even hospitals. Medical SEO experts understand that these websites require a unique approach when it comes to SEO practices and they have developed specific strategies to improve medical websites.
HOW IS MEDICAL SEO DIFFERENT FROM TRADITIONAL SEO?
In many ways, medical SEO is similar to traditional approaches to SEO. At its core, the goal of medical SEO remains the same: improving your website and helping you to rank as high as possible on SERPs. This is done by adhering to best SEO practices, such as generating high-quality and original content, using the right keywords, and making overall improvements to the quality of your site, including page speed and security.
However, there are also key differences when it comes to SEO for medical practitioners. In many ways, SEO is even more important for medical websites. Why is this? Well, Google understands how important (and potentially life-changing) information about your health and wellness can be for an online user. Thus, Google and other search engines hold these types of sites to an even higher standard. SEO experts refer to this higher bar as YMYL, which stands for “your money or your life.” For any website that falls into this YMYL category (generally those that would impact your physical or financial well-being), Google has a very high page quality standard that the websites must meet. Just think about the potential damage that could be caused by a top-ranking website that shares misinformation or dangerous health tips.
In addition to the YMYL standard, medical SEO has a few additional differences compared to traditional SEO. Another common acronym in the SEO world is EAT, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. While these qualities are important for any website (in terms of SEO rankings), they are especially critical for medical websites. And it makes sense, right? Of all the services you want to trust in, isn’t your doctor and healthcare provider the most important? This is why it’s important for medical websites to publish authoritative content, generally written by professionals in the field, that is accurate and clear. Gaining positive patient reviews is another way to develop trustworthiness for your medical practice online.
DO DOCTORS NEED MEDICAL SEO?
In our world today, almost every kind of transaction or service can be found online. Just look at Amazon. Brick and mortar retail stores have been closing left and right in recent years because Amazon makes it so easy to purchase almost any product online. With convenience, fast shipping, and competitive prices, most shoppers simply don’t see the need to leave the comfort of their homes anymore when they need something.
And now, the web has even transformed how we find our doctors. According to Intrepy, a top healthcare marketing firm, roughly 80 percent of patients searched online for a doctor or medical information before making a decision. By searching online, a patient can easily assess the healthcare practice, research the doctors, and even scan through previous patient reviews. They can do all this and more without ever even getting into their car.
Whether a general practitioner or a specialist, the goal of a healthcare provider is to connect with the right patients. Medical SEO helps you do this by ranking your page for relevant keywords and search terms. In many ways, the goals of healthcare providers align with that of search engines: connecting people to the information and services they’re looking for. By using SEO practices to rank for the appropriate search terms, such as “Denver chiropractor” or “personalized chiropractic care,” you won’t just be getting more potential patients, but you’ll be getting the right patients.
CONCLUSION – DO DOCTORS NEED MEDICAL SEO?
If you’re developing a digital marketing strategy, hiring an SEO agency should be a core component to your plan. With a thoughtful and carefully planned approach to SEO, your website can shoot up the rankings on Google and other search engines, allowing your site to gain valuable online exposure. When your page is ranking well, it’s only a matter of time until the clicks—and the conversions—start flowing in.
But SEO isn’t just for ecommerce businesses. Even doctors and healthcare providers stand to benefit from effective SEO practices. By improving your website and aligning your pages with SEO values, you’ll connect with more patients than ever before. Since more and more people are using the web to find their doctors, you can’t risk being left out of the digital marketplace any longer.