This is part two of our blog series all about your website. Did you miss the first one? Read it here.
Now you have to put that beautiful new website to good use by bringing in patients who are looking for a new doctor. For this to happen, these patients need to find you on the vast world wide web. You can accomplish this through Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
Let’s start by explaining a few things about the Internet. The majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Although social media and other types of traffic can generate visits to your website, search engines are the primary method of navigation for most Internet users. This is true whether your site provides content, services, products, information, or just about anything else. If these search engines cannot find your site, or add your content to their databases, you miss out on incredible opportunities to drive traffic to your site.
What exactly is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. Since over 50% of millennials are searching online for their next physician you want to make sure your practice comes out on top.
The process of SEO has many steps, some you may be able to accomplish yourself, some you may want the company that developed your website to assist you with. I recommend though that you always stay part of the process as no one knows your business like you. Here’s a few of the ways to improve your SEO ratings.
Find the keywords search engines attribute to your site. You can use the free Google Keyword Planner tool, which can be used to input your website's home page URL and review the keyword ideas Google provides, then visit the other search engines and do the same for them. Once you have keywords, look to make sure nothing is missing. Be sure to think like your patients would if they were looking for a doctor. For example, most would not know how to spell ophthalmologist so they would put in eye doctor or eye surgeon.
Meta Tags are the one to two lines that appear on a search results page under your website name. Include one or two keyword phrases that describe your practice, and keep under 160 characters. (Keywords and meta tags are done through your website development site).
Provide great, up-to-date content - do not let your website get stagnant. Make sure your content is constantly updated and think about adding something to the site that is updated daily or weekly, like "Current News" or a Blog.
Make sure if you are using social media, like Facebook or Twitter, that you are always providing links back to your website pages. Have you been considering social media but not sure where to start? Check out our blog about that.
These are a few ways to get you started on the road to SEO. If you would like more tips that are specific to medical practices you can download the whitepaper – SEO 101 from the website, Physician Practice.
If you have any questions on getting started in SEO, OCMS can help. We offer a complimentary consultation to our members on any asset of your website, SEO or marketing practices. Give us a call!