- What makes medical search marketing unique?
- Recent trends in medical search engine marketing
- How does medical search engine marketing help specialists attract more patients?
- The most effective strategies in medical search engine optimization (SEO)
- How important is website design for successful medical search engine marketing?
- What is the role of content in medical search engine marketing?
- How can doctors effectively use social media for medical search marketing?
- How to bring medical institutions in line with the requirements of medical search marketing?
- Best practices for optimizing medical search marketing for local search
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the essential methods for business development, and medical websites are no exception. SEO in healthcare can be considered a particular branch of internet marketing, as search engines highly demand these sites. At RegisTeam, we know which promotion strategies and methods produce the best results and approach each project individually. In this article, we will share some tips and secrets for the successful use of SEO in the health sector.
What makes medical search marketing unique?
In comprehensive medical marketing, SEO is one of the priority directions, as the use of competent strategies allows practicing physicians, clinics, and anyone whose business is related to medicine to take confident positions in SERP. This means that clients and patients will find you in search and see your company as a solution to their problem.
SERP stands for “Search Engine Results Page.” It refers to the page that displays the results of a search query on a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. The SERP typically includes a list of organic search results, paid advertisements, and various other features such as featured snippets, local packs, and knowledge graphs. The order and content of the SERP can be influenced by a variety of factors, including the search engine’s algorithm, the user’s location, and the user’s search history.
The uniqueness of medical SEO lies in the fact that promotion covers two categories at once – B2B and B2C. In the first case, it can be the sale of equipment, tools, specific drugs, and other items exclusively used by medical professionals. In the second case, there is a clear focus on patients – meaning the promotion of medical services or pharmacies. That is, there are absolutely different types of target audiences here, the duration of the sales cycle differs, and therefore completely different approaches and strategies are needed.
YMYL stands for “Your Money or Your Life,” and it is a term used by Google to describe certain types of websites that could potentially impact a user’s health, financial stability, or overall well-being. Medical websites are considered YMYL because they provide information about health and wellness that can have a significant impact on a user’s life. Therefore, medical websites are held to a higher standard of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
EAT stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness,” and it is a concept that Google uses to evaluate the quality and credibility of websites. For medical websites, EAT is especially important because users rely on this information to make important decisions about their health. To demonstrate EAT, medical websites should ensure that their content is accurate, up-to-date, and written by experts in the field. They should also provide clear information about the qualifications and experience of their authors and editors, and they should be transparent about their sources of information and any potential conflicts of interest. Additionally, medical websites should follow best practices for website design and accessibility, including clear navigation, mobile optimization, and privacy and security measures.
Recent trends in medical search engine marketing
In terms of SEO, healthcare is a relatively complex niche, where it is important to know how to compete and choose the right promotion strategies. We have compiled a few recent trends that will help you stand out from your competitors and develop your business online.
Specialization. As practice shows, medical centers with a narrow focus achieve greater success in promotion than clinics with a broad profile. This is because patients tend to trust institutions that focus on developing one area more than polyclinics.
Social media. Communication between doctors and patients on online platforms is much faster and more comfortable than over the phone, which is why the development of social media should become a mandatory component of healthcare SEO.
Personal branding. Usually, patients are more interested in finding a good doctor than just a clinic. Therefore, along with promoting the medical center’s website, we recommend working on the personal branding of specific specialists – maintaining a blog, social media pages, and so on.
Diverse content. In medical SEO marketing, voluminous articles are good for search robots and those people who know a little about medicine and want to gain new knowledge. Most patients prefer to watch videos, view infographics, or read short blocks of text to find the answer to their questions. The goal of the content is to showcase your professionalism, not overload the user with dry terminology.
Optimization for mobile devices. This includes not only adapting the website but also developing applications. They can become another point of contact with the patient, as well as a personalization element if created for specific needs (for example, for hypertensive patients, pregnant women, etc.).
Telemedicine. It is difficult to imagine digital medical marketing without online consultations. The ability to remotely connect with a doctor is very convenient for patients and saves time, so it is definitely worth emphasizing.
How does medical search engine marketing help specialists attract more patients?
One of the methods of SEO in healthcare is the use of low-frequency keywords, “long-tail” queries, which allows for precise targeting of the intended audience. Additionally, using descriptions of symptoms in the text on service pages and blogs, such as “red spots on the skin,” can help patients understand what kind of illness they may have and enable them to make an appointment with the relevant specialist immediately.
Medical marketing in search engines is complemented well by personalization methods. These include retargeting campaigns, proper user segmentation, targeting patients’ friends, and so on. When different promotion methods are skillfully combined, the audience can be significantly increased and converted into real clients.
The most effective strategies in medical search engine optimization (SEO)
Our healthcare SEO agency develops individual strategies for each project, but we can briefly outline the main steps in the promotion.
- Collection and clustering of the semantic core. The keywords should not only be relevant, but also readable, sound natural in the texts, and not look like spam.
- Content filling of the pages. In addition to texts, you can shoot videos and publish photos – everything depends on the focus of the services. By the way, publishing videos in SEO for clinics is one of the best ways to keep visitors on the site. You can place a virtual tour of the medical center, an informational video about the symptoms of a disease, tips for maintaining health, etc.
- Technical website optimization. Loading speed (ideally less than 0.5 seconds, otherwise users will go to competitors), security (having an SSL certificate is mandatory), and adaptability all play important roles.
- External optimization. Increasing the link mass is one of the steps in promoting any project, but you need to monitor the quality of donors.
- Local SEO. The presence of the clinic in Google My Business is a mandatory component of marketing in healthcare, as it allows patients to find you faster and display your site above the results of the regular issue.
How important is website design for successful medical search engine marketing?
The design of a medical website should be both concise and attractive, convenient for visitors and search robots. In many cases, user experience is one of the main factors in decision-making. For example, the contact form and information should be prominently displayed, but if it is a banner and it pops up too often, it becomes annoying. Clear navigation helps patients quickly orient themselves on the website and find the information they need, while search engines can effectively index pages.
What is the role of content in medical search engine marketing?
Content plays a crucial role in digital marketing for healthcare. The main requirement for content is quality, so it’s ideal if the articles are written by a practicing specialist. If this is not possible, the texts created by copywriters should be reviewed by experts. It is recommended to add the author’s name, position, and links to their social media profiles and other relevant articles if a real practicing physician from your clinic is writing them. Otherwise, indicate that the information has been verified by an expert, such as a dentist with 10 years of experience.
How can doctors effectively use social media for medical search marketing?
Working on social platforms as part of medical practice marketing should be done in conjunction with SEO promotion. This provides wide-ranging opportunities for targeting specific audiences, highlighting news and promotions, providing additional points of contact with patients, and even a platform for consultations and appointment scheduling. Another effective tool is the use of bots in messenger apps, which allow for the quick provision of information and connection with a live consultant.
The main metrics for measuring the success of campaigns in medical search marketing are similar to those in other niches and include:
- Organic traffic (visitors from search engines, with branded traffic excluded for clarity) and its value;
- Search visibility and positions for relevant queries;
- Conversion rate;
- Referring domains;
- Number of indexed pages and indexation errors;
- Core Web Vitals metrics (related to page speed and user experience);
- Website performance evaluation.
We track these metrics using various tools (such as Google Analytics, etc.) and regularly present clients with the results in convenient reports.
How to bring medical institutions in line with the requirements of medical search marketing?
Medical websites belong to the YMYL category, which means they have a direct impact on the well-being and life of users. Therefore, it is crucial for them to comply with EAT factors, which stand for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Search engines evaluate the overall quality of the content based on these parameters. The better the evaluation, the higher the site’s ranking in search results. Publish reliable information on your pages that fully answers users’ queries, and make sure to verify it before posting to meet the requirements of search engines.
Best practices for optimizing medical search marketing for local search
Medical SEO services must include local promotion because clinics or private medical practices cannot be used exclusively online, as patients will come for an in-person appointment to solve a problem or get tests done. Optimization for local search is achieved by filling out the profile in Google My Business, which includes company data, a brief description of services, hours of operation, contacts, address, map location, etc. Keep track of the data’s relevance and don’t forget to update it if anything changes.
How can medical institutions attract patients based on specific demographic characteristics using medical search marketing?
The best results for promoting medical centers and clinics can be achieved by combining search marketing with demographic targeting, a strategy that involves segmenting users based on specific characteristics such as gender, age, education, income level, marital status, nationality, etc. First, it is necessary to carefully study the audience and then develop campaigns aimed at specific groups. As a result, you will achieve high user engagement and, accordingly, conversion.
Our medical SEO agency uses classic methods and a creative approach to promote sites in this area. We always study the project carefully and immerse ourselves in your business to find growth points and achieve the best results. You can evaluate our work by reviewing our case studies.
SEO CASE: Doctor’s Website Promotion
Search traffic growth from 493 to 4625 people.
Service: SEO promotion
Project topic: personal website of a urologist-andrologist
Period: from 04.04.2018 to present
- increase positions for important keywords and clinic recognition;
- increase traffic from organic search results of search engines;
- increase the number of consultation requests and service orders through the website.
Promoting healthcare organizations can be a difficult and even fruitless process for a website if you don’t approach it with the right knowledge, tools, and guidance. We have experience and developed comprehensive solutions for healthcare internet marketing that enable doctors, medical practices, and large healthcare organizations to surpass their marketing goals in attracting patients from organic search.
Optimizing the doctor’s website for patient convenience.
Providing comprehensive information will guarantee the conversion of users into patients and even loyal clients of your clinic.
Therefore, the first thing to work on is the content structure on the service pages and providing comprehensive information that may interest visitors to the medical website. Improving your patient’s experience on your website will significantly increase the number of potential clients and their retention.
Your website design should have individual features, high page speed, be mobile-friendly, and be interactive.
During the project, we identified the following errors on the website and carried out work to correct them, all of which will be described in this case.
There were unprofessional photos in the service category on the website. For example:
The presence of such images does not add to the clinic’s image and looks unprofessional. After analyzing the websites of competitors in this area of medicine, all images were replaced with general medical photos.
The feedback forms looked unfinished and didn’t fit into the overall design of the website.
For customers who want to “book online,” our marketer has developed a booking form. If the user has any questions, they can write them in a special form and receive a response by email or phone.
A service without a price doesn’t convert well in the medical industry. It would be a definite plus if you also indicate the duration of treatment or procedures.
Competitors use the semantic design on their service pages and work on various types of commercial blocks. For example, one of the commercial ranking factors of a website is the presence of prices. To address this, a multi-component pricing table was added to each of the service pages:
To increase the time users spend on the pages, we implemented a video block on the topic:
To address informational queries and drive traffic to the website, we implemented a section on the site called “Patient’s Memo or Information on Diseases”. It provides comprehensive information on all aspects, including stages, treatments, diagnosis, removal, therapies, etc.
We started promoting low-frequency and mid-frequency queries by working on semantics that did not make it into the main core. To achieve this, we implemented a new section on the site called “I’m interested:
Implementation of this block allowed us to significantly expand the number of phrases that the site ranks for and led to an increase in website traffic:
With the implementation of this block, we were able to work on additional semantics, i.e. those queries that we do not track in the position monitoring system. For example:
- Treatment for necrospermia
- Treatment for penis condyloma
- Burning sensation after urination
- Blood in the urine.
This significantly increased the growth of traffic to the promoted site. Analytical data on the dynamics of the growth of key queries to the site:
General website statistics:
To confirm the expertise and authority, we added a link to the author in each article and provided brief information about the specialist to confirm their expertise.
A well-structured and well-functioning blog can and should generate organic website traffic.
2. Developing an adapted version for mobile devices
According to research, about half of the traffic in the medical services industry comes from mobile devices, and the conversion rate from phones is in the first place. Therefore, in order not to lose potential clients, the website must be adaptive and fast.
As analytical data shows, the main source of the traffic to the site comes from mobile devices.
During the analysis, it was discovered that the website’s page layout for mobile versions is implemented incorrectly. The elements overlap each other, making them unreadable.
We hid unnecessary navigation elements in the adaptive version.
For mobile users, it is better not to show too long stretches of text, so we created a lighter version of the content for mobile devices. Previously, users on mobile had to read such a stretch of unstructured content:
One of the next stages of work on content structuring was placing all the necessary information for patients on the first screen:
The text was placed below these elements. The following information is displayed on the first screen of the adaptive (mobile) version and on the desktop:
Each service contains brief information about the procedure, preparation for procedures, contraindications, the doctor, equipment, the cost of treating the disease, and a registration form.
3. Clinic Reputation
The reputation of an individual clinic is of enormous importance. After geolocation queries for clinics or doctors, reviews are the second most popular branded query:
The absence of a positive reputation does not make your website low-quality. However, if many trusted sources speak negatively about your clinic or your doctors, it is likely to hinder your promotion on Google. To create a positive image of the doctor, work was done with reviews. A reviews block was developed on each service page.
The presence of reviews on services is an important factor in ranking medical (and not only) services. Just like reviews on products affect the decision to purchase, reviews on provided services affect conversion. The reviews section should contain as many positive messages as possible with a brief description of the received service and the date of the appointment.
Additionally, a separate page with all reviews about the doctor has been implemented.
4. Developing additional functionality for the doctor’s website
An active “ASK A QUESTION” form. This functionality is UGC – free content for your website. UGC (User-generated content) is original content created by the audience. To work on this technology, we have developed and implemented a separate section:
In this section, your patients and website users can leave their questions of interest, and the doctor answers them, informing the patient about further possible diagnostics. The implementation of this functionality has allowed:
- increasing the time users spend on the site, which is a positive signal for search engines;
- increasing the percentage of trust in the site not only from the user but also from search engines;
- additionally, this is another stage of interaction with your user, which can be decisive in making a decision regarding the service.
There is a technology in SEO website promotion called semantic design.
When collecting the semantic core for a medical website, queries that have non-commercial intent are often missed:
The semantic design of a website is designing a web resource taking into account the semantics of the demand for services.
This block consists of active links to expanded information about the disease. It is implemented based on the principle of interlinking with secondary pages. From the information pages, there is a backlink with an anchor to the commercial page.
Thus, it is possible to monopolize the search results. For example, when searching for “prostatitis,” there will be several relevant answers in the search results:
- our URL about symptoms;
- our URL about treatment;
- about prevention;
- and so on.
A medical website must confirm its expertise, authority, and reliability with its functionality, appearance, and content.
Since this website provides videos and 18+ content, it is necessary to inform visitors about it in the form of an informational banner with a warning and buttons: “I am over 18” and “I am under 18”.
We recommend using rich snippets for all our SEO projects, as their implementation increases the page’s click-through rate (CTR). Here is an example of a rich snippet that we have implemented for this doctor’s website.
Medical marketing for doctors has become local – this is a fact that requires no proof. And even though people are willing to travel for a good doctor, their primary need is to find a specialist close to their home or workplace.
To achieve this, we optimized the urologist’s pages in such a way that they were well-structured and contained local ranking signals on the pages.
As a result of all the mentioned actions, the website takes first place in search results and generates 90% of organic traffic to the website.
RegisTeam has a unique experience in promoting medical websites to help you attract the patients you need from the internet. As a certified Google partner, we adhere to the highest Google standards both in terms of ethics and project promotion results. This is evidenced by the analytical data of the presented project.
So, what was the starting point for this project? Traffic and positions were at a very low level, and the site structure and pages were not well developed. Google classifies medical websites as YMYL sites, which are subject to the E-A-T algorithm. These parameters were not taken into account on the site at all. The main goals set before the RegisTeam were to increase the doctor’s recognition and to double the organic traffic.
As a result of our work, we achieved the following RESULTS:
This constant dynamic in website promotion can be achieved through the development of the right SEO strategy. Promoting medical services on a website is a complex and competitive niche, which requires special requirements from search engines (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness). Only years of experience and clear recommendations from the RegisTeam SEO specialist can attract users to the site and convert them into regular customers.