Medical Website SEO Mistakes
How to get good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings for your medical website. Avoid these 10 specific mistakes. High SEO rankings for your medical website is a process and not a one time task
Optimizing your medical website for search is the lynchpin for any successful medical marketing plan. Also known as SEO, this marketing strategies’ overall goal is to raise the organic ranking of your website in search engines. These listings are free, so if successful, proper SEO work is incredibly cost-effective in the long term. SEO is an ever-changing world. What worked years ago will get you penalized today, and what works today may not have been even on anyone’s mind a year ago. The key to good medical SEO is always staying updated with the latest trends and changes. Below are some common mistakes medical practices make with their SEO.
Some Good Examples of Medical SEO
Your audience is new potential patients, existing patients AND search engines. They are equally important.
Mistake 1: Copying Content From Other Sources
The content on your medical website needs to be yours and not from another source. Search engines will penalize your site for plagiarizing content from another source. Your content for your website should be written for your website. If the vendor of a treatment, equipment, or pharmaceutical company provides you copy for a service you offer, you are best served to rewrite it for your website. Don’t make the mistake that many other sites make by copying and pasting content from another company. It will hurt your overall website rankings. If you must add content, make sure it is properly tagged with “NO-FOLLOW” tags.
Mistake 2: Content Is Not Focused On Your Keywords
The keywords you are focusing on for your content page needs to be addressed. The keywords you are putting into the content needs to match what you are talking about. For example, if you have a page that you want to rank well for x-rays, it needs to speak about x-rays and only x-rays. Many medical practices mistakenly combine services onto one page. This makes it challenging to establish the critical keywords for the page, hurting it’s overall ranking. If you feel you do not have enough content to justify a page for a service, then it is time to create more content for that page. However, be sure to create high-quality content. Writing to write something so you can insert some keywords will do little to improve your organic rankings.
Mistake 3: Missing Important Website Tags
While the regular web visitor will not see website tags, they are crucial in helping a search engine understand what is going on. Tags help identify parts of your site, so a search engine knows what it is looking at and not guessing. Some tags you need to have for your website include:
• H1, H2, and (if needed) H3 tags
• Image Tags
• Title Tags
• Alt Text Tags
Mistake 4: Bad Internal Linking
Internal links on your medical website are a great way to help support your SEO value. Top-performing pages should have links elsewhere to your content. However, much like keyword stuffing, please do not overdo it! You want the links in your content to make sense, be on-topic, and spread throughout your content. A page with a bunch of links or every word in a content page linked to something else that will be frowned upon. This tactic is usually a red flag for a search engine that a website is using fraudulent methods to boost their rankings.
Mistake 5: Keyword Stuffing
Keyword stuffing occurs when you overuse your target keywords and phrases. “More the merrier” is not a tactic you should employ when inserting keywords into your content. Your goals should not be hitting target keywords in every single sentence of your medical website. At one time, this could produce results, but today search engines will penalize you for this tactic. Use your keywords naturally throughout your site, and you will be rewarded with good SEO value. Search engines today are taking context and natural language more into consideration, so make sure it makes sense where you put your target keywords. This should not be confused with important phrases required for WCAG and Section 508 ADA Compliance. Every page on your website must have certain phrases for ADA compliance. See Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), available from W3C at https://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/. W3C is a non-profit, international community where member organizations work together to develop web standards.
Mistake 6: Wrong Keywords and Phrases Selected
Have you chosen the right keywords to focus on for your SEO work? There might be some standard medical terms you use with your colleagues, but are these the terms and phrases your patients use when searching for information? You want your content to contain the same words and phrases patients use when searching online for their healthcare solution. While it is essential to use the medical terms for a sprained elbow, you should also include “tennis elbow” as that term is commonly used by patients when researching their symptoms. Also, do not forget to target “long-tail keywords,” which are very specific. While you certainly want to rank well for “Doctor,” that is a very competitive and broad keyword. “Doctors with Saturday hours” on the other hand is very specific, and if you are someone who offers weekend hours, this is a chance for you to rank well on that phrase.
Mistake 7: Quality Back Links
Your medical website needs to have other sites link back to it. When other established websites link back to you, it will improve your site’s overall SEO value. Ensure the website that is linked to you is also ranked well and considered an authoritative source. Do not have your website linked on “link farms” that have page after page of links to websites. Try to link back to any page that links to you so you can send some traffic their way. Some quality places to get backlinks include:
• Social media channels
• Media outlets
• Business Directories
• Organizational Directories
• Websites ending in .gov, .edu, or .org
Start with these backlinks:
- Google my business page
- Facebook business page
- Local chamber of commerce
Mistake 8: Not Using Social Media Influencers
Getting others to share your content on social media channels is a great SEO tactic. You can drive incredible traffic to your website if you get promoted by an online influencer. The traffic and clicks you get to your site will get noticed by search engines, boosting your organic rank. Even your patients might be mini-influencers if they become brand advocates of your medical clinic. Engage with bloggers and others and build a relationship with them so they can occasionally talk about your medical clinic.
Mistake 9: A Website That Is Not Optimized For Mobile
If your website does not provide a user-friendly experience on mobile devices, you are fighting with both arms tied behind your back. Mobile-friendly websites are given priority in many search engines. Even if your website looks great on a desktop, it will suffer in organic rankings if it does not perform well on a smartphone. Your website must be easy to navigate on the phone, provide information that is easy to read and load quickly. Slow load times will hurt your organic rankings. For every second it takes for a website to load more people have hit the “Back” button and begun looking at other healthcare choices.
Mistake 10: Not Analyzing Results
You will never know if your SEO improvements have done anything if you do not track your results. Your website must have analytics so you can analyze if your work has increased web traffic. Analytics and keyword tracking services are a great way to see if your SEO work is paying dividends. Keep in mind that this will not be something that will change in hours, overnight, or within weeks of your updates. You need to compare results after a few months to the previous months as well as the traffic you had the year before if you have access to it.
The experts at PatientGain.com can help you with the Search Engine Optimization of your website. We have years of experience and have helped many clients improve their overall organic rankings. Call today and speak with our specialists about how we can help your medical practice’s website rank better in search engines using the latest SEO tactics.