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Originally Posted On: https://bippermedia.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-seo-for-doctors-in-2022/
Did you know that the top result on Google gets ten times as much traffic as a result of sitting in the number ten slot? For that reason alone, a good search engine optimization strategy can be transformational for any business.
If you manage a medical website, you might wonder how you can get ahead and win those prestigious top slots. After all, so much established health information is already on the internet!
We have all the answers here, with our ultimate guide to SEO for doctors.
Audit Your Existing Site
SEO might feel a little bit of a dark art, but the reality is more straightforward than you think. If you want a top Google ranking, you’ve got to present SEO content that’s better than anything else that currently appears on that first results page.
So your first task when tackling SEO is to establish how you currently perform in the eyes of Google and Bing. The easiest way is to get an SEO audit service or pay for an SEO tool to assess your search performance.
You can also use Google Analytics to get a feel for the keywords currently bringing you the most online traffic.
Another performance metric you’ll want to check is how well your site does in terms of speed and usability.
The Google search console is a valuable and free resource for this. It will also provide alerts for any errors on your site (something that could potentially hurt your SEO ranking).
Research Your Industry and Competitors
Assessing your current site will give you a baseline. Your next step is to see how you compare against your close healthcare competitors. You should also use this time to research what’s working well across the medical industry.
Start by looking at keywords and rankings. You want to find the keywords your closest competitors rank for and the sort of traffic they’re getting for those keywords.
Suppose they aren’t keywords you currently use on your website. In that case, this is an excellent opportunity to note down that word or phrase and produce content that targets that particular phrase.
For your industry research, you want to focus on trends. What keywords are most popular this year, and which are on an upward trajectory?
Trending topics are an excellent opportunity to rank on Google, providing you get some content published before your competitors start writing about the same subject.
Plan Your Content Strategy
Now it’s time to take your research, audit, and begin working on your site. First, you should list popular keywords you want to target.
You need to find a sweet spot of highly relevant keywords (ones your target audience are likely to use) and ones that aren’t too competitive.
That’s because large, well-established websites like WebMD often dominate Google’s most highly competitive terms.
Keywords without as much competition are like low-hanging fruit. They will allow you to improve your rankings and get organic traffic. One way to find less competitive terms is to go for long-tail keywords.
These are longer, more specific phrases (like questions) that your target audience might type into Google. You might also want to target local SEO to help potential patients find your business when searching your area for doctors.
Once you have your list of keywords, you can start planning content. Type each search phrase into Google to see what content ranks at the top.
That will tell you about the quality and subject matter of those articles Google ranks highly. Use this as a template for your content.
Optimize Your Site
Writing great original content will get you one step closer to that top spot. But it’s not the only thing you have to do if you want to rank above your competitors. You’ll also need to optimize your site. That is sometimes known as on-site SEO.
On-site SEO includes all your optimization work for each page, such as adding your target keyword to your page title, description, and within image alt tags.
It also includes other things. For example, presenting well-structured content with headings, sub-headings, and relevant images.
Plus, you should work to make your website more accessible, such as making sure it’s mobile-friendly and that pages load fast. You can get tools to help you check these two things.
Finally, you’ll want to ensure you have plenty of useful internal links in your content. That helps provide signposts to Google, so they understand when your content is most relevant to their users.
Get Inbound Links
Even when your website is perfect, it won’t guarantee a high ranking on Google. That’s because search engines use other criteria to determine if a website is relevant and reputable. That is known as off-site SEO.
Your main priority with off-site SEO is to get high-quality, well-known websites to link to you in a natural and topical way to help you grow your backlinks.
For example, suppose you have an article on heart health. In that case, you’d ideally want a reputable news website to write a report on heart health statistics and link it to your website. That’s how you boost your ranking.
One way to do this is to run an outreach campaign to other websites in your niche. Let them know about a relevant article on your website and suggest they might like to link to it.
Alternatively, you can pitch a guest post idea to other website owners. Another technique used by major brands is a PR campaign. That’s where you publish a press release to a distribution network, hoping to get picked up by an online news channel.
Monitor Your Progress
Once you have an SEO strategy, the work doesn’t stop there. SEO is fast-moving, and while you might rank for a keyword this year, you aren’t guaranteed that spot for years to come.
After all, your competitors will do the same thing as you and try to outrank your published content. So it’s essential to continually monitor your SEO performance to maintain high rankings and to spot new opportunities in your niche.
SEO for Doctors: the Potential is Huge
Don’t believe that the gold-rush days of SEO are over. Your healthcare business still has massive potential to get found by your customers. Use our SEO for doctors guide to make a start today.
We’re here to help you achieve those traffic goals sooner. Our expert SEO team is ready to talk to you, so head here to book a strategy call with us.