Internet usage is at an all-time high. According to statistics, 175 new websites are launched every minute worldwide. It would translate to roughly 252,000 new websites each day. But how can your website stand out and thrive in this chaos?
If you are a website owner or have an online presence, you might have already heard how important Search Engine Optimisation is. SEO increases the visibility of your website, which results in increased traffic and the possibility of converting visitors into paying clients.
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The Importance of SEO for Medical Practices
Is SEO any different for medical professionals? The short answer is yes. This is because search engines have a whole different set of criteria to evaluate medical websites. There are severe restrictions on both what you may say and what you cannot say, and there are severe repercussions if you violate them.
This might seem like too much to handle, but the good news is that it is well within your grasp. In this article, we have compiled 12 tips to nail the SEO for medical practices.
1. Understand your existing traffic and keyword density
Before you develop an SEO plan, the first thing you need to do is assess your current situation. For this, you can use tools like Google Analytics, Piwik PRO, or Adobe Analytics.
Determine the keyword density of your webpages, identify the top performing keywords, and track visitor traffic.This would help you to understand what is working and what isn’t. And make sure you monitor your progress.
2. Fix an SEO goal and be aware of your target customers
The second step is to fix an SEO goal. While doing this, one must be aware of their target customers. For example, if you are an ophthalmologist, your prospects would essentially be searching for eye care. Your keywords should be around the same, as should be your content.
One must also have short-term and long-term goals. For example, say you currently have 60 visitors a day. Your short-term goal may be to bring in 150 new visitors this month.
3. Know the latest trend in keyword search
Keywords are central to SEO. But how can we zero-in on high-quality keywords? This requires keyword research. Relevance, authority, and volume are the three criteria for conducting keyword research.
If a keyword fulfils the searcher’s needs, it is relevant. To be authoritative, you have to be quoted by others and backlinked. An example in the health sector would be Mayo Clinic. The MSV (monthly search volume) reflects the total monthly searches made for the keyword across all audiences. However, beware of keyword stuffing.
4. Relevance of title tags and meta descriptions
A title tag is simply the headline of your webpage. It can be clicked, when it appears on a search engine result page (SERP). Title tags should not exceed 60 characters, according to experts, so that they are not cut off. According to research, 90% of titles will appear properly at this length.
A compelling meta description provides a succinct summary of the webpage. It encourages users to click the link. These summaries are expected to be detailed enough to introduce the content of the page.According to experts, the ideal range for a meta description is 50 to 160 characters. Anything longer might be cut off.
Meta descriptions have no real effect on how Google ranks websites in web searches. However, they can affect click-through rate, which is why upgrading them is considered an important medical SEO technique.
5. Expand your online presence
As a medical practitioner, it is important that you utilise all avenues that can improve your visibility. Ensure that you are listed in Google My Business, and claim your profile. Also, verify and update your details, including name, location, phone number, and website.
You can also have a business page on Facebook and Instagram, and add similar details to it. Apart from this, if you are listed on relevant provider listing platforms like practo or justdial, or if you have been reviewed in a review directory like doctorsreview or 365doctors, make sure you claim your profiles and third-party reviews there.
6. Hyperlinks are important
Search engines pay attention to the hyperlinks on your page. Linking the relevant information, or a keyword, is a great way to improve the SEO score. An ideal way to approach this is to hyperlink those keywords that are not in your URL, page headings, or title tags. At the same time, overusing hyperlinks or irrelevant ones can lower your SEO ranking.
7. The EAT ranking
When it comes to SEO for medical practices, EAT is crucial. The acronym stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This is how Google measures the quality of your page, and it’s extremely important for websites catering to the health sector.
To improve your EAT score, you have to upload accurate, up-to-date content. Also, ensure that your content demonstrates your medical competence.
8. Site map can be a game changer
A site map serves as a website’s blueprint. Additionally, sitemaps inform search engines which pages on your website are most crucial. There are a lot of tools like Yoast SEO and Google XML Sitemap that can assist you in building a sitemap.
As said earlier, links are a key part of how Google finds websites. Now, if you have a new website with a few external hyperlinks, then a site map can actually be a game changer in terms of improving your SEO score.
9. Follow the YMYL rules
YMYL, or Your Money Your Life refers to the content that has the potential to negatively affect the reader’s happiness, health, or safety if it is provided incorrectly or untruthfully. This is a critical aspect of SEO for medical practitioners.
It is necessary that experts write YMYL material. And as said earlier, pages with YMYL content should ensure a high EAT score. Basically, make sure your content has quality and you are not spreading misinformation.
The rules of SEO might change with a new update. But some basic principles, like the ones listed here, remain intact. You can be at the top of your SEO game with consistent effort.