What is Medical SEO Marketing?  And Key Benefits Of Medical SEO Marketing For Doctors

92 Percentage of patients search for your medical services online.  When they search, they either type or speak “search words” – Like “TMJ Doctor Near Me”.  If your website shows up in the top results, this is called “High SEO”.  This results in more patients, higher revenue and hence higher ROI. If your website is not in the first page of search results, you are not likely to get any patients looking at your website, and hence “finding” you. This is called “Low SEO”.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a process and it takes a lot of time and quite a bit of money. SEO is complex and there are dozens of steps involved to help a doctor or medical practice achieve high rankings on search engines, namely Google search engine.  When a potential or an existing patient searches for a service or a type of a clinic, they turn to Google search engine 93 percentage of the time. They either speak to a device like Siri on an iphone or an Alexa device from Amazon, or they may type in text into a computer or a mobile device and may say “locations of urgent care in el cajon“. As a result of this question, request or search, the search engine displays useful information.  This is called search engine results page (SERP).  Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) are the pages displayed by search engines in response to a query by a searcher. The main component of the SERP is the listing of results that are returned by the search engine in response to a keyword query, although the pages may also contain other results such as advertisements. In the example below the top area with map is a part of the Local SEO. The bottom part has “Organic” results.  This part is free, meaning that Google does not charge to display your information  (without paying for Google PPC ads). SEO Professionals do their best to show up in these SERPS for targeted keywords. However, this is not an exact science, and requires many steps and TIME to achieve good results, and they can change drastically from time to time, your location matters, your past history matters, and there are over 200 different signals read by the search engine algorithms.

You can see the results in the figure below :

Speech Based SEO for Doctors

Speech Based SEO for Doctors

 

If a medical practice or doctor has excellent SEO rankings, does she still needs to do online advertising?

Online advertising and SEO (Search Engine Optimization)  are related and similar tactics, however they overlap with each other and are different. Many online advertising experts will argue that they compliment each other. We agree.  
Even with top SEO rankings for your medical practice,  SEO cannot replace online advertising, specially Google adwords (if done properly). Top SEO rankings do not replace online advertising, they complement each other. In the example below, from a real customer. Location of the medical practice is suburban area outside  major US city on the west coast, with medium competition.  They have excellent medical SEO rankings for all of the major services. In the figure below, during the month of Dec, Jan and Feb – online advertising is active with a budget of $1000 per month (80% Google, 20% Facebook Ads) – You can see the number of “new patient” leads is 753 new leads – total of 3 months. Now compare this with March, April and May  – With no online advertising  is 408 new leads during the 3 month period.  The difference is  345 less leads.  

SEO Based Medical Marketing ROI Calculated – Example

Based on existing data, conversion rate is 34% of new inquiries are converted to patients, this means 117 new patients are lost.
If each patient’s initial visit is $312  with a lifetime value of each patient is $4000 – this means that : 
Initial revenue of $36,504 is lost and lifetime value with 70% retention rate, $327,600 is lost  by not running online advertising.  
So conclusion is that yes, SEO is extremely important for your online success, but you should also consider online advertising, specifically, Google Ads and Facebook Ads. 
 

 

What is the basic foundation of good medical SEO for doctors? 

Content of your website, and structure of your own website is the number one factor in high SEO rankings.  High quality content, non-plagiarised content helps your SEO rankings to go to the page 1 of Google search. High quality content increases the domain authority of your website, which also results in higher rankings for your specific keyword.
 
 

What are the key benefits of SEO for doctors? 

High SEO rankings provide you with additional benefits also, namely branding, reputation, visibility and improving awareness of your medical services. 68 percentage of patients searching for your services will pay more attention to SEO organic results than sponsored results. Every dollar invested into SEO is likely to provide many multiples in return, however it takes time to see results and benefits. You must be patient and understand that it takes money and time to see the results from SEO investments.
 

How long does it take to get top medical SEO rankings? 

This is very difficult question to answer. Short answer is “it depends” on many factors. Among the factors, include but not limited to: 

0) Domain authority
1) Your competition and their own SEO
2) Location of your practice
3) Service being offered – every service and keyword has different competition
4) Website content quality and E-A-T score
5) Website structure
6) Structured information within your website
7) Links inbound and outbound
8) Quality of information on your website – does it add value to the reader – reader can be a patient or a search engine – both are equally important
9) Images & videos and proper tagging
10) mobile site page load – should be less than 3.7 seconds
11) User experience 
12) there are additional 200+ factors, according to Google’s CEO 

We will divide customers into three broad areas: 

1) Low competition – will start seeing results in first 2-3 months.
2) Medium competition – will start seeing results in first 3-7 months.
3) High competition – will start seeing results in first 6 or more months.

SEO optimization for higher rankings is a constant process, and not a one time “job”. 

In addition, SEO for doctors depends on:

1) Clinic Industry Knowledge and Content Writing Skills

2) Expertise in Search Engine Algorithms, Digital Best Practices, and Patient Behavior

3) A Dynamic Software Platform Designed to Adapt to Changes with Trends and Technology

4) World Class Support behind Your Technology System

Achieving top SEO rankings for medical practices and physicians is a process and not a simple one-time setup. It is time-intensive, requires deep knowledge about your own medical practice and Search Engine technology, costs both money and time to get real results, and it never stops for your medical practice.

Is Mobile site important for SEO rankings?

Yes. Google has started reading your mobile site first, for user experience, site speed and SEO content. Google even offers a site to check the speed of your mobile website. Your mobile site should be mobile optimized and must be designed for mobile conversion. 82 percentage of the patients are likely to find you on their mobile device.

 

Why is GOOGLE SEO important for Doctors?

Google search engine is the most accurate search engine, in our opinion. There are dozens of good search engines, but our data shows that over 92 percent of the medical related searches by patients occur on Google search engine in US and Canada. Hence Google is very important for the success of your medical practice.
Every medical practice and doctor’s office needs digital marketing in order to acquire new patients and service existing patients. It is naive to think that SEO only helps with new patient acquisition. If you have a stellar SEO, you will also see higher patient engagement, in addition to opening doors to new patients. Top SEO rankings will also reduce your total acquisition costs per patient and our data shows that return on investment is remarkable for every dollar spent on your own SEO. Your online online presence should always start with concentrated effort on your SEO rankings.  Brand awareness is another side benefit of top SEO rankings.

How Much Should You Pay for SEO of Your Medical Website?

How Much Should You Pay For Medical Website Design, Website Hosting, Support, Design Services, SEO – Search Engine Optimization, Local SEO, Content Marketing, Content Creation For Healthcare Clinics, Physicians & Doctors? Typical pricing for good companies, with proven track record is $2000 to $10000 one time setup. PLUS there are monthly fees to maintain and keep the content current.  Here is a very good SEO Pricing page to read.  If you have a single location, expect to pay $350 to $800 per month for proper, professional content and SEO updates for each month.  However, this SEO service and additional 20 services and apps are included in the GOLD service.

Is There Any ROI From SEO Investments For Physicians?

Results and ROI from SEO investments can be quite substantial – however, it is not guaranteed. Let’s review a real example. Baseline is the starting point with the launch of new we GOLD service for medical practice. Starting with Month 1 –  March 2019 – This medical practice has no online advertising budget. They have been spending approximately $800 per month on off-line media advertising with minimal results, and unable to measure any success from offline traditional marketing. The previous website was created by a local web development company without any A/B conversion testing. This company has been charging $350/month for Website hosting and management of occasional Facebook posting. The practice owner is the physician himself. Competition has increased significantly over the last few years. This caused the doctor to go to Google and search for “online advertising for doctors”  and found PatientGain.com as the first organic SEO listing.

Month 1 – Go – Live with GOLD Service – 14 Web leads, 56 phone calls. Total leads 70.  This is the base-line.

Month 2 –  SEO changes starting to take effect – 9 Web leads, 128 phone calls. Total leads 137.

Month 3 –  SEO Rankings increased  – 21 Web leads, 137 phone calls. Total leads 158.

Month 4 –  SEO Rankings increased  – 15 Web leads, 182 phone calls. Total leads 197.

Month 5 –  SEO Rankings increased  – 16 Web leads, 224 phone calls. Total leads 240.

To calculate ROI and total return, please read this page. 

Note: Figure below is from the real customer dashboard.

 

Medical SEO for Doctors ROI Example 34

 

Foundation of SEO or Search Engine Optimization for Doctors 

PatientGain.com has created several products and offerings to help you achieve great SEO – Search Engine Optimization for your medical practice. Focus is on results which means new patients, this means top Google rankings, with significant focus on mobile search results and mobile marketing. Google search engine is the most accurate search engine with the best algorithms for search results. Majority of the world searches on Google. So for SEO for doctors, you must focus on Google first, and start with quality conversion website and add  Unique, High Quality Content – This means Non-Copied, Non-Plagiarized Content. Your content must be at least 96% unique. Content should be on-topic, and relevant.  For example, if your website is about your Medspa, list each services on a separate page with proper headings, images with proper tags, and then content that supports the heading of the page. Provide links when appropriate.  

Use only original content. 

In this following example, the content quality will fail, and PatientGain.com will not add low quality content to your website.

SEO for Doctors Example 1

Medical SEO Techniques

Your target audience is Search Engines and Potential Patients – They are both equally important. Your content should be designed to attract both.

Content is the King for your Medical Practice Website

Focus on content that benefits your prospect and existing patients. This means that  unique, quality content on your own website/mobile site is the king – Content means Text, Images, Tags, Keywords, Videos, Video tags – This is useful information that your prospects and customers can benefit from. Mention and focus on benefits and results that you offer for your customers, show examples, and show reviews and patient feedback. You should have your patient services, offers, specials, and promotions on your website to entice new customers. Create pages that lead a visitor to request more information, and capture their email, phone number etc. Make sure to constantly add new content and keep your website interesting for potential leads, and list your business in appropriate directories so it’s discoverable. Page speed can be an important factor ( according to Google ).  HTTPS – Secure encryption hosting of your site can be an important factor ( according to Google ). There are two hundred factors – according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, but PatientGain.com recommends that your contents still the most important factor. Here are additional Medical SEO related items you should focus on. This list is designed so you understand that your have 2 audiences

No 1. Your Patients 
No 2. Search Engines

Item no 1. Quality of your content and age of the domain/website with relevant content makes huge difference. Google algorithm’s E-A-T emphasis is all about providing useful content to users. For example, if you are setting up a new site, and if have a domain/website which has been on WWW for 3 years and Google, Bing, Yahoo have catalogued your website (even if you do not have good rankings – and you are on page 3) you are better off working and improving this site than creating a brand new URL/domain.  Age matters – in this case its like wine – older = better chances for improving SEO. But also remember that Domain Name and Domain Content History must be similar ( not same ). What this implies is that if your domain is 3 years old and had its content related to Medical Devices – product based, and you want to use the same domain for a Plastic Surgery website, you should not expect good results immediately. Google search engine algorithms have a relevancy score index.  If this score is high, you are likely to get good results. If your Google search engine engine relevancy score index is low, you have to build it.  To build this score, you have to have quality unique content. Content should be relevant to the subject and should provide useful information to the reader. 

Item no 2. Layout of the website, specifically your mobile site.  Proper tags, construction, H1, H2 and paragraph text matters.  Every page should be created with care, love and attention.  Best results have been achieved by adding proper H1, H2, Images ( with proper tags ) and paragraph text. Followed by sub-headings, paragraph text, with images mixed.

Item no 3. Content of each page. Copied or plagiarized content is like shooting yourself.  If you must have copied content, you should have “NO-FOLLOW” tags.  This tells search engines to ignore the page. Humans (your patients) can still read the pages, but search engines should ignore it.

Item no 4. Content of Google My Business page. Your Google My Business (GMB) is extremely important. There are additional 11 steps are required to make sure that your GMB page is effective. Once this is done, then do the exact same steps for Facebook Business Page and then Yelp listing page.  The information on these 3 directories should mirror what is on your website. Directory listings and inbound/outbound links are also important.

Item no 5. Content of Social Media. For doctors and medical practices, Facebook is still the no 1 source of  new patient leads (not counting Google Search). Facebook, Yelp, Linkedin and Yahoo/Bing are very good places to make sure listings and reviews are showing up.

Item no 6. Content of  your online Reviews. For doctors and medical practices, patient reviews can either make you a hero or a zero. So number of positive reviews matter to patients but for search engines, what is written by patients matters.  There 12 steps we recommend you should follow for maximizing positive reviews and minimizing negative reviews.

Recent SEO algorithm changes from Google are focused even more on content.  E-A-T Algorithm for medical websites has a big impact on the SEO of your medical website.

There are three words to remember E-A-T for good medical SEO website. 

E Stands for medical Expertise in the subject matter. For example if your website page is about Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) – do you have useful information about the subject matter. 

A Stands for medical Authority in the subject matter. This refers to the qualified, authoritative content and possibly the author of the website page. 

T Stands for Trustworthy source or organization. This refers to the fact that is the website can be trusted. How good is the rest of the content on your website. For example if there is doctor’s bio present on a medical website. Are there any other references to this doctor in other media outlets. Are there links pointing back to the bio of the doctor. There are many other factors that determine the trustworthiness.

 

Introduction To BERT From Google Search, For Medical SEO  

Medical SEO Voice Search Optimization For Doctors

We are “Speaking” to devices, like Siri from Apple and Alexa from Amazon. More and more patients are searching online using these devices and digital assistants. Search engines such as Google are placing a higher emphasis on voice search optimization. After all, the point of Medical SEO is to rank medical websites accurately so patients can find the best information for their search query as accurately as possible. Hence “BERT”.  Google announced an open-source neural network-based technique for natural language processing called Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, or BERT, for short.

The way Google provides search results has gone through many different adjustments and algorithm changes. Where we are today is light years from where we were a decade ago. There are advances in search engine technology every year, and the changes Google makes to its search algorithm isn’t even always announced. This ends up leaving website owners to figure out on their own what they need to do to optimize their website for search.

There are billions of search queries every day that Google provides search results to users. Many of these search queries are common and are things they see every day. These searches have a good history of successfully providing relevant results to the people who search for them. However, there are some searches that Google has never provided results for. These challenges have forced Google to build ways to provide results for searches they’ve never seen before. Adding problems to search is that people don’t always know exactly what they are looking for to begin with. There may be a misspelling, misuse of words, or other problems that don’t quite get the search query just right.

Google has worked for years, making its search engine respond better to natural language. In fact, many people would use specific keywords in their searches to help Google provide them the right results. Previously, the search engine had trouble handling complex queries and queries that are conversational. However, that has changed with new advancements in search at Google that allow a better understanding of natural language while searching. Last year, Google announced an open-source neural network-based technique for natural language processing called Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, or BERT, for short.

Online Medical Marketing