If you’ve been researching digital marketing for doctors, you’ve probably seen the term “SEO” time and again throughout your research.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical process to enhance your digital presence and bring new patients to your door. However, you may be wondering: is SEO something I can work on myself, or do I need to involve an SEO company?

We’ve created this guide to teach you everything you need to know about SEO for doctors. Read on to learn what SEO is, why it’s important, and how to get started with SEO yourself.

Is SEO Worth It in 2022 and Beyond?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing your website’s search engine rankings for specific keywords related to your practice. For example, if you own a medical practice, you’ll want to appear at the top of search results for keywords like “doctors in (my city)” and “doctors near me.”

The importance of SEO grows each year as more and more websites enter search engines, use SEO practices, and rise to the top of search results. As a result, if your medical practice does not utilize SEO processes to enhance your web presence, you probably lose potential patients to the practices that appear at the top of search engine results.

SEO is not only important in 2022 but will remain important for years to come. This is because search engines like Google have changed how they rank web pages, now using special algorithms to determine which pages will appear first.

Keeping up with SEO trends will remain essential as these algorithms change and more medical practices in your area begin utilizing SEO.

Why Is SEO Important to Doctors?

SEO is especially important in the highly competitive healthcare industry. If your healthcare practice is like many, you probably compete for business with at least a few other similar practices in your area.

Additionally, many people discover new medical practices through the internet. Most people do not read print advertisements or search for new businesses in phone books anymore. As a result, your internet presence could be the only way prospective patients can learn about your practice.

As a medical practice, patients are money. You need to do everything you can to bring new patients to your door, and SEO is one of the most important steps you can take.

How To Do SEO in Healthcare or Medical SEO

The best way to improve healthcare SEO is to essentially work backward. First, think about what keywords and search queries users will search to find new medical practices. Then make sure your medical website ranks for those terms.

You can start by thinking about the different terms people may search to find your specific type of practice. For example, if you are an optometry practice, users may search for the keyword “eye doctor” or the keyword “optometrist.”

However, SEO for doctors includes more than just keyword usage. Your SEO also depends on factors such as your:

  • Page loading speed
  • Domain authority and age
  • Written content
  • Visual content
  • Backlinks
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Website accessibility
  • Website security
  • Social media marketing
  • Google Ad or Google Adwords presence

It’s okay if you don’t know how to achieve these goals. We’ll walk you through a few steps you can take to improve SEO for doctors.

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How To Do Local SEO for Doctors

Local search engine optimization (local SEO) is a more refined process that enhances your search engine rankings when people in your geographical area search for your type of practice.

Most people prefer to visit doctors in their general area, leading them to include local search terms like “near me” in their search engine queries. You’ll want to include “near me” terms like “doctor near me” or “dentist near me” in your web content to increase your rankings.

However, you’ll also need to create a Google My Business profile to enhance local SEO. Google My Business is your business profile that appears on Google when people complete a local search for your healthcare practice. It includes your name, contact information, photos, reviews, Google map location, and a link to your website.

We recommend creating a Google My Business profile for your medical practice and for each doctor within your practice.

SEO Services for Doctors – 5 DIY Starter Tips

Ranking higher in Google search results doesn’t need to be overly complicated or challenging. While some healthcare practices prefer to hire a local SEO service, outsourcing your digital marketing isn’t always necessary. You can take several steps today to increase your search result rankings and become more visible to potential patients.

Below are a few DIY starter tips for beginning your doctor SEO strategy on the right foot. You don’t need to be an SEO expert to achieve the following steps to improve your rankings in search results:

1. Grow Your Google Reviews Effortlessly

Your online reviews can play a significant role in persuading potential patients to choose your practice. Every favorable review you receive can act as an effective digital marketing tool.

However, your Google reviews can also contribute to your search engine rankings. Google considers the number of reviews your practice has when developing its search results pages. As a result, the more positive reviews your practice has, the greater your authority and the higher your rankings in search results.

Asking your current patient base to review your practice can be challenging, so we recommend using automation software like Weave to streamline the process. With Weave, you can send an automatic review request to each patient after their appointment. Then, Weave will notify you every time you receive a new online review.

2. Claim or Update Your Free Business Page on Google

As we mentioned, your Google My Business (GMB) page can also contribute to your digital marketing and SEO for doctors. This profile is often the first thing potential patients see when searching for your practice. If the information is incorrect or outdated, it may paint a false picture of your medical practice or make it challenging for users to contact you.

We recommend completing a Google search for your practice right now to review the content that appears in the GMB profile. You’re off to a good start if the information is up to date. If not, you can update it by following these steps:

  1. Head to Google My Business and create an account or log into the account you use to manage your profile.
  2. Select Info.
  3. Select the section you would like to edit, then change the necessary information.
  4. Save your changes.
  5. Google may take up to 60 days to update the information, so we recommend making any necessary changes as soon as possible.

3. Use Email To Increase Website Traffic

Sending emails to current and potential patients is a form of content marketing, an essential step in the digital marketing process. Some people are more likely to read email content than engage with social media content or direct mail. As a result, sending frequent emails is an effective way to engage with your patient base.

However, you can also use email content to increase your web traffic and enhance doctor SEO. The emails you send to patients should include content that makes them want to visit your website. A few ideas for how you can increase web traffic with emails is:

  • Introduce an exciting announcement or special deal and invite readers to visit your website to learn more
  • Include links to your social  media and website at the bottom of each email
  • Invite readers to visit your website to schedule an appointment online

4. Offer an Appealing Website

The physical structure of your doctors’ website also contributes to your technical SEO. The more technically optimized your website is for users, the higher it will rank in search results.

You can improve your organic SEO for doctors by enhancing several elements of your website and online presence. A few steps you can take include:

  • Enhance your website’s mobile-friendliness
  • Use related keywords in your written content
  • Increase your loading speed
  • Create a healthcare provider blog
  • Make your website easy to navigate
  • Use an appealing color palette and font

Overall, you want to do everything you can to encourage users to stay on your website as long as possible. However, achieving the goals above can also lead your website to rank higher in Google search results, making it more visible to potential patients.

5. Explore Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an SEO service that allows you to track and examine your website traffic. This tool is incredibly valuable in the medical marketing world, as without it, you cannot fully understand how your website is performing and what changes you need to make.

If you’re unfamiliar with Google Analytics, you can take free courses through Google to better understand this tool. Once you know how to glean data through Google Analytics, you can begin creating new goals and changing your digital marketing presence to reflect them.

Weave can streamline your marketing and SEO strategy and help you rank higher in search results. Contact our Weave team today to request your free demo.