When looking for a healthcare provider, doctor, or product, many people search Google for the nearby or most appropriate option. If your website appears at the top of the list, you will likely get a lot of traffic to attract users. If your site is not at the top, you can assume that you will lose new customers/users to your competitors.
A healthcare website achieves its purpose when it provides a great browsing experience and exciting content and helps attract more patients. If your site is well positioned on search engines, then you can get all the results more efficiently.
It may be challenging to carry out an effective medical SEO strategy. Running a website at the top of organic search results simply brings immense benefits. However, it isn’t easy to do in a short time.
A good SEO strategy in the health sector requires knowledge of on-site, off-site, and local optimization techniques. It protects the website from the use of black hat SEO techniques that can damage the positioning and, consequently, also the image of a medical portal.
Research has shown that health and fitness sites affected by medical updates do not comply with the rules that Google has made mandatory in its search quality guidelines.
Obviously, you need to improve your healthcare website before launching it. However, if you see a decrease in traffic and conversions, review the quality of your SEO/healthcare practices.
Today’s insight is dedicated to the most common on-site optimization techniques for a healthcare website.
What is on-site medical SEO?
On-site or medical on-page SEO is the set of techniques that allow you to internally optimize a medical website. It, therefore, refers to interventions to be carried out on the site itself and not on external portals. In a nutshell, on-site medical SEO refers to factors that you can directly monitor and on which you can always intervene. We are talking about elements such as:
- Meta tag;
- Site speed;
- Mobile optimization;
- Daily routine
- Internal links;
Meta tags are elements of the HTML code of a medical web page that play a fundamental role in SEO. The most important is the title and description tags. Both are directly visible on the search engine results page.
The title is the clickable part: the description is not. But description consists of an in-depth analysis of about 160 characters that summarizes the web page’s content. Optimizing the title and description tags is vital as it directly affects clicks and, therefore, traffic to your healthcare website.
The speed of the site, the result of the speed of every single page that composes of it, is a measure of the average page loading time. This is a ranking factor that can greatly affect your search engine presence.
Speed has become an even more decisive factor. If a patient is looking for information about your health services but can’t access the page in a few seconds, he will tend to leave your site.
The contents of your website must be “responsive,” i.e., compatible, with all devices, both Desktop and Mobile. The design of the pages must therefore be able to adapt to the different screen sizes of your patients’ devices.
It is true that it should not be abused, but the keywords you want your medical page to rank for must still be present. Use them sparingly in the text and, where possible, also try to use related synonyms and keywords.
Example. If the keyword on your page is “breast cancer “, alternate its distribution by adding the same keyword to the plural or other keywords such as (“breast cancer symptoms”, “breast cancer survival rate”, “breast cancer in women”, and so on).
Header tags are also an important ranking factor. The H1 and H2 tags are the most used, but they can go up to H6. They help communicate the details of the topic addressed on a web page to search engines.
Typically, each health page or article consists of at least one image. We assume that Google is not (yet) able to recognize the content of an image for itself. You will have to help him by optimizing the alt tag and possibly the filename as well.
The web page address is often overlooked, but it is good to pay due attention to it. An optimized URL is such when it is “speaking “, that is when it is able to communicate the content of the page clearly enough.
Example. If your page deals with the prevention of cardiovascular diseases in women, create a URL like “Example.com/seo-for-medical-website”. Avoid entering function words (articles, pronouns, prepositions) and focus on the content words (verbs, nouns, adjectives, and possibly adverbs).
In order for all pages of your hospital or clinic website to be reachable, it is vital to link them internally. Each page on your medical website should link to other pages and, in turn, have links from other pages.
When scanning medical websites, search engine crawlers are primarily looking for links. So, the more links, the more likely it is that your website’s most important (but not limited to) pages are indexed.
Be careful not to overdo the anchor text. Here is the same speech we did for keywords returns. Do not connect to other pages, always aiming at the identical link text. Each page’s link must be varied as much as possible, obviously consistently.
Creating new content but also updating old ones is essential to keep the doctor’s office website fresh and dynamic. A practice that helps you to be frowned upon by search engine algorithms but also by your patients.
We close with another on-site element of great importance. The sitemap is an XML file that is nothing more than a sitemap in a fairly intuitive way. Creating a sitemap means inviting search engines to crawl the URLs listed within the same sitemap.
In line with the content added to the site from time to time, it may also be necessary to update the sitemap.
SEO on-site: the added value of your medical website
Working well on your healthcare company’s on-site or on-page SEO allows you to build a solid website to help you achieve your business goals. We know how difficult it can be for a professional who already has a thousand work commitments to find the time to update himself on these topics and implement an adequate strategy.
This is why you should consult with a Healthcare SEO agency specializing in digital medical marketing and, in particular, SEO. It’s the best way to get desired results from your healthcare facility’s website in the medium to long term.