With the rapid evolution of SEO in the last few years, medical SEO is feeling the impact. From 2011 to 2014, Google implemented a series of updates to its search engine algorithms. Consequently, sites that are easy-to-navigate, have an attractive design, offer an enhanced user experience and host engaging content are moving up Google’s rankings.
What does this mean for your medical practice and medical marketing services in 2015? The main takeaway from 2015 is that not only are these changes being consolidated, but they are also creating a more conceptual shift in marketing practices for physicians overall.
Important shifts in SEO
Firstly, although healthcare marketing is often slow to adopt digital practices, ignoring the new SEO paradigm in no longer viable if you want your site to remain visible and rank highly in search results.
Secondly, we are witnessing an important shift towards a more integrated, holistic approach that focuses on the users’ needs and behavior. If your website is critical for your business – both on and offline – then in 2015, SEO is aimed at not just marketing for physicians, but also at educating and empowering patients.
Healthcare marketing: attracting more patients
The end goals of medical SEO are becoming clear, but how do you attract more patients to your site? Here are some important techniques seen in 2015 that could benefit your practice and help you achieve your healthcare marketing services’ objectives.
- Killer content – Google likes sites that have readable and informative content. Therefore, in 2015 content is still king; it should not only be high-quality but also highly relevant to the user.
Tip: Integrate medical SEO with a content marketing strategy to create dynamic-rich content that encourages interaction with the user, i.e. infographics, videos, podcasts and user-generated content.
- Keyword phrases rather than keywords – Google is paying more attention to a phrase that matches keywords typed by a user and a phrase on a webpage rather than a keyword per se.
Tip: Keep the phrases conversational so the whole phrase is understood and anchor text links back to your site should be integrated naturally.
- Linking through brand mentions – Link building remains a key activity for all SEO, but it is now about quality links, not quantity. Google takes into account “implied links” through brand mentions, words on another page that reference your brand or company without necessarily using a hyperlink.
Tip: Ensure your links are authentic, that they come from a wide range of credible sources and establish your expertise through quality content.
- Responsive and mobile friendly – Although not new, it is becoming a priority in 2015 as four out of five consumers now shop using smartphones. Additionally, Google will soon penalize sites that are not mobile friendly.
Tip: Ensure your site is readable and accessible from every device and online platform, and optimized accordingly.