A website is only useful if people can find it. Google Think statistics state, prior to booking an appointment, about 77 percent of patients used search. Looking at these ever-rising numbers about consumers who turn to the web to choose a physician and find health-related information, it is imperative for you to develop a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Well, you might think that you already have a well-designed practice website for online health consumers. But the fact is, a website is only useful if people can find it. The healthcare industry is progressively adapting to the online marketing era and there is high competition for search traffic. An effective SEO strategy can mean the difference between a full waiting room and an empty one. If your website doesn’t rank well in the search engines, it can mean your patients/potential patients may turn to your competitors whose website ranks higher.
The numbers of people who research on the Internet before making a decision to book an appointment are increasing exponentially. Without proper SEO, people may not be able to locate you online and chances are high they may choose your competitor over you for booking an appointment. An effective SEO strategy increases your search engine ranking and overall web presence, which allows you to be found when a potential customer conducts an online search.
What is SEO?
Wikipedia defines SEO as the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. It helps website owners to have a better website visibility. In general, the earlier (or higher-ranked on the search results page) and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.
SEO is therefore the most important part of an Internet marketing strategy that helps to draw more website traffic and improve search engine rankings. It involves thorough knowledge and smart use of keywords along with content optimization as the essential ingredients to ensure a website is positioned better. SEO is quite cost-effective compared to other marketing strategies that can help generate a generous return on investment, thereby cutting down marketing costs.
Search engines use algorithms to rank websites, and these are always changing and keep evolving along with search engines. So it’s imperative to not only adopt effective SEO strategies, but also to update them constantly to stay ahead of the competition. It requires a deep understanding of website analytics, keyword search, keyword analysis and organic SEO implementation. By increasing your website’s search engine relevance, your patients/potential patients will easily be able to find your practice on search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.
Why is SEO important?
Strong knowledge + steady implementation of SEO = Smart content optimization
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As search engines update their search algorithms, it changes the way they look at websites. Therefore, having a strong knack for SEO is important to generate content, which is useful for the audience and gives you an edge to rank high on search engines.
Exponential rise of smartphones, tabs and local search optimization
Various research studies and statistics have shown an upsurge in the use of smartphones and tablets to access the Internet. With this dramatic explosion in mobile usage, users will largely search for their health options right in their hand. What this means for you is that if you don’t rank higher in search engines, chances are more that anyone searching you online will not be able to find you easily. Therefore, you may lose many potential patients for your practice.
Your competitors are doing it
Healthcare online marketing is teeming with competition. As more and more physicians, dentists and hospitals are realizing the ever-increasing impact of online marketing, they are putting robust efforts into stay ahead of the competition. SEO is a never-ending process. If you aren’t moving with the pace of online marketing strategies, chances are high that you’re losing ground to a competitor who is. Don’t let your competitors out-maneuver you by ignoring this valuable tool for your business.
Stay ahead and get noticed! Plan an effective SEO strategy to prevent your website from being buried by your competitors in the search engines. Build a positive online presence and brand equity through SEO.