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The Digitalis Blog: Cutting Edge Healthcare Marketing

SEO for Medical Practices: 7 Mistakes to Avoid at All Cost

SEO for medical practices

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Thanks to the digital era, medical practitioners have several different channels where they can promote their work. There are currently hundreds of medical websites showcasing relevant content about different medical practices, which is extremely helpful for those potential patients who are looking to learn a bit more.

An optimized medical practice website also represents an excellent way to get new patients. Many users are going online to find local doctors to help them, making that a perfect opportunity for anyone with medical practice to reach out to those people.

If you’re looking to rank your medical practice website higher on the Google search results page, you’ve come to the right place! 

In this article, we will cover the most common mistakes doctors make when they’re optimizing their websites for search engines. Keep reading!

7 Mistakes To Avoid In Medical Search Engine Optimization

7 mistakes in medical seo

The thing about medical websites is that you need to implement a certain degree of search engine marketing if you want people to learn more about your medical practice (also called SEO for medical practices). 

According to a HubSpot study, approximately 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. While there are many doctors worldwide with a medical website, not all of them do a great job at promoting it, leaving the web pages in the lower part of the search rankings.

Keep in mind that you may be making these mistakes without noticing. Overall, if you feel your current SEO strategy isn’t helping you get any traffic or potential patients, keep reading!

Mistake #1 – Not Writing Good Content About Your Medical Practice

not writing good content

One of the most common mistakes people, in general, make when optimizing their webpage for the Google search motor is not writing good content.

Many SEO strategies pretend to write articles overstuffed with keywords and with too much technical information in hopes that the website pages rank higher on Google’s search results.

It’s vital to note that the first step to being a medical SEO expert is to write the best content you can. Start writing for people, not robots. In the case of healthcare SEO, a good rule of thumb to follow is to write the content as if you were the patient.

A regular patient is not likely to understand industry jargon. They need the content to be as easy to read as possible. The more digestible the content is, the higher your SEO rankings may be.

You may confirm this by looking at the top search results for your particular medical practice. Overall, you may notice that those websites with organic website traffic don’t have overly-complex keywords or content. Instead, these websites are filled with value-driven content.

The Solution

Look for creative and ’fun’ ways to educate casual readers about your medical practices. Articles that are meant to boost SEO for doctors need to be as easy to digest as possible. Not only you may be able to rank higher on most search engines, but you’re also going to get new patients.

[Read: The Content Ocean Strategy: Turning 1 Article Into a Sea of Online Content]

Mistake #2 – Not Using Keywords Correctly

not using keywords correctly

Apparently, many medical SEO marketers still believe that the more keywords the article has, the better. 

But here’s an expert advice: if you want to rank higher on most search engines, do your keyword research in a smart way. Remember, you don’t have to place every single keyword if they don’t feel natural within your content.

Some of the most common mistakes regarding keywords involve the following:

  • Over-optimizing (or keyword stuffing)
  • Not doing keyword research
  • Not using semantically-related terms
  • Disregarding long-tail keywords
  • Writing poor-quality content due to over-optimization
  • Not optimizing audiovisual content
  • Not writing proper title tags, headers, or Meta descriptions

The Solution

Take your time to do proper keyword research so that you know what the appropriate keyword density for each vital term is. Moreover, make sure you include those keywords naturally in your content. If your article feels too dense or complicated to read, it probably is over-stuffed.

[Read: The Essentials of Healthcare Marketing (A Beginner’s Guide)]

Mistake #3 – Not Investing In A Mobile-Friendly Website

not investing in a mobile-friendly website

One of the most effective SEO strategies people can use is optimizing their websites for mobile devices. While it may not seem like it, a study from 2020 revealed that there are more than 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide, 77% of Americans use these devices, and about 62% of those people have made purchases from these devices.

Thanks to those statistics, we can confirm that you must do your best to make your website mobile-friendly to reach more potential patients.

Boosting your website’s mobile-friendliness and making it more accessible can help you get new patients since you may have an easier time scheduling appointments or managing prescriptions online.

The Solution

Unfortunately, not everyone is a mobile programmer, so making your website optimized for mobile devices may be easier said than done. Still, if you have the budget for it, you can hire an expert who can help you optimize your website’s design and speed for any devices, including tablets and smartphones.

[Read: Medical SEO Guide: How to Top Search Engines (Successfully)]

Mistake #4 – Not Checking Your Website Speed

not checking your website speed

What happens when you go into a website that takes too long to load? The chances are that you leave it and look for another one; that also happens with your website’s first page. 

Keep in mind that the average loading speed for a website may be up to 8.66 seconds. However, most medical SEO experts recommend your website have at least a loading speed of three seconds or less.

A lot of people who implement digital marketing strategies often forget to optimize their website’s loading speed, which can greatly affect healthcare website traffic rates.

The Solution

If you’re already making SEO efforts for your medical practice’s website, spend a bit more time optimizing it so that it loads faster. Some of the most common strategies to make include the following:

  • Enabling compression
  • Reducing redirects
  • Leveraging browser caching
  • Removing render-blocking JavaScript
  • Improving server response time
  • Optimizing images and videos

Mistake #5 – Cheating Your Way Into Earning Backlinks

cheating your way into earning backlinks

Whether you’re going for local SEO or international SEO for medical practices, earning backlinks is one of the best ways to boost your online marketing and rank higher on any search engine. To put it simply, backlinks are links that other authoritative websites put on their articles to link to your page.

While you don’t need backlinks to rank your medical services or healthcare business higher, they may help a lot in helping you get more traffic or more patients. However, many people desperately wanting to improve their SEO rankings try to create private backlink networks, which is considered ’cheating.’ The problem with making that strategy with your medical SEO is that Google can give you a penalty if it notices.

The Solution

Logically, don’t purchase backlinks. The best way to earn these vital tools for your medical SEO is to implement better and relevant keywords to get more site visitors. Those strategies involve writing high-quality content. As mentioned before, Google rewards those who implement organic SEO strategies, and writing good content is one of them.

Mistake #6 – Not Updating Your Medical SEO Strategy

not updating your medical seo strategy

If we could simply make a good strategy for SEO for doctors, appear on Google’s first page, and call it a day, that would be wonderful. Unfortunately, the internet evolves every single day, and if we sleep on it, your website can easily go from the first page to even the third one.

One of the most important things about creating content and optimizing your organic search results is to keep track of Google’s algorithm trends. Your content marketing and SEO must adapt to improve your ranking factors, and the best way to do that is to monitor your website’s performance over a particular period.

The Solution

In essence, writing good content may already give you the upper hand in medical search engine optimization, but if you notice your website isn’t performing as good as it was before (even if you invested in Google Ads), you may take a closer look to your metrics and discover what’s going wrong with your content.

Mistake #7 – Copying Someone Else’s Content

copying someone else’s content

It should be obvious to this point, but you should never, ever copy someone else’s content. We know it may be tempting to go into other healthcare providers’ websites and replicate what they did to get their website rank higher.

While you can take someone else’s valuable content as inspiration, you must give yours another spin. If you want to achieve better rankings for your healthcare practices’ website, you must write 100% original content. Keep in mind that if Google finds out you’re copying other websites, you may get a penalty.

The Solution

Be creative! It’s challenging to create something new from general topics, but it’s not impossible. As mentioned before, try to find more creative ways to increase patient engagement through relevant and exciting web pages.

Other Important Mistakes in SEO for Doctors You Should be Aware Of

While the mistakes mentioned above are critical to avoid if you want to get patient leads or improve the performance of your paid ads, there are other small details you may consider if you want to make your content the best it can be. Some of these additional mistakes include the following:

[Read: Healthcare Marketing Consultants: Are They Worth Hiring in 2022?]

Bottom Line: Make the Most Out of Search Engines!

make the most out of search engines

Implementing paid or organic SEO for medical practices may seem complicated, especially if you don’t have experience with it.

However, these SEO tips may help your medical website rank higher on search queries and help you reach out to a potential patient.

If you improve your international or local SEO for medical practices by avoiding the mistakes listed above, you’re likely to see much better engagement and results for your website!
For more cutting-edge information and tips about healthcare marketing, follow the Digitalis blog.

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