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4 Tips to Build a Healthcare SEO Strategy

With 89% of potential patients searching for healthcare providers on Google, a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is critical to the success of your practice. However, knowing where to get started with SEO can be intimidating.

How can healthcare practices build a solid SEO strategy to get started with if they aren’t already SEO experts?

The healthcare SEO experts at Forge Apollo in Philadelphia are here to break it down into categories to help you strategize what to tackle first. These are the real-world SEO tactics we use on our websites to earn rankings and organic traffic.

What is Healthcare SEO?

Healthcare SEO is a combination of elements on and off a practice’s website that optimize it for appearance in search results of relevant search queries. This includes the following basic categories:

  • Website Architecture & Design – These affect page speed, user experience, and search engines’ ability to crawl the website.
  • On-Page Elements – Everything on a page, like the content, images, meta titles, and descriptions, helps visitors and search engines understand what that page, and the site as a whole, is about.
  • Local Listings, Directories, & Reviews – Off-site elements like local listings and directories can affect how your practice appears in search results.
  • Backlinking – When another site links to your site, that can provide signals that your site is credible.

What makes SEO for healthcare unique is the level of trust and credibility required to win a patient. Healthcare has a more profound impact on a person than buying basic products and services. So, practices must put in the work to build that trust through their online presence.

4 Key Components of a Healthcare SEO Strategy

When building an SEO strategy for healthcare marketing, these are the four major components medical practices should focus on.

1. Website Design & Development

60% of patients will check a healthcare practice’s website before booking an appointment.

The right healthcare website design can attract potential patients, help them quickly find the information they need, and build credibility for your practice. A website is also the crux of an SEO strategy. Yours should include the following:

  • Hosting, architecture, and design that allow for fast page-loading speeds
  • Optimized HTML tags, such as meta tags, headings, and alt tags
  • Internal linking between pages
  • Clearly organized site architecture
  • Schema and structured data
  • High-quality, helpful content displaying E-E-A-T

2. Creating Helpful Content Optimized for Keywords

The ultimate goal of search engines is to prevent helpful information for a user’s query so they keep coming back. They also prioritize sites that provide fresh, regularly updated content because it signals that site visitors will get the latest and most accurate information.

So, the best way to appear for a specific search is to create genuinely helpful content optimized for that search term.

Use keyword research to help pick topics with good search volume but aren’t too high in competition. Then, use those keywords in headings and throughout the content as you write. Content should also display E-E-A-T, which stands for “Experience,” “Expertise,” “Authoritativeness,” and “Trustworthiness.”

3. Local SEO

The key to reaching patients in your service area is local SEO for healthcare. This optimizes your practice to appear for searches like “cosmetic dentistry in [town name].”

There are two primary ways to optimize for local SEO.

1. On Your Website

Use the following to optimize for local SEO on your website:

  • Have an accurate address in the footer
  • Add local keywords, such as “plastic surgeon in Philadelphia” to your content
  • For multi-location practices or systems, set up a landing page for each location

2. Local Listings

Set up local listings, such as Google Business profile, Zocdoc, Yelp, Bing, and more, with a consistent Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP). Consistent contact information helps search engines and users better understand where you are and how to contact you.

4.  Reputation Management

Reviews are extremely or very important to 74% of patients. When potential patients search your practice or providers’ names, what they see matters.

Respond to all reviews, positive or negative, to demonstrate that your practice prioritizes customer satisfaction.

Use a reputation management system to request reviews. Positive feedback posts directly to your public listings. Negative feedback comes to you to handle privately.

Healthcare SEO Services from Forge Apollo

Creating (and following!) a healthcare SEO strategy doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. Partner with Philadelphia-based marketing agency Forge Apollo to reach more patients in your service area through SEO for the healthcare industry. Contact us today to get started.

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