Top 5 Tips for SEO-Friendly Medical Web Design

seo for websitesMaking your medical website search engine-friendly not only benefits your business, but your visitors, too. And while every healthcare organization is different, there are some key tips that should be taken into account to ensure an SEO-friendly medical web design.  

1. Make It Responsive

You only need to look at the figures to understand why a responsive medical web design is so important. People have become more comfortable getting information about their healthcare via their mobile devices. In fact, over half of all smartphone owners (62%) have used their smartphone to get information about a health condition in the past year. To take advantage of this, you need to have a mobile-friendly website; responsive design is the simplest way to achieve this.

A responsive design will automatically reshape itself to fit on any screen size, from desktop to laptop and mobile devices. This means that every visitor has the same user experience and there is no need to create multiple pages for different screen sizes.  

2. Optimize Your Images

When you do use images, you can optimize them with text to enhance their search engine visibility. Doing this also makes it possible for your images to be visible on Google image search results.

It’s easy to optimize images with text. First, rename the filename of your image to include specific keywords, such as “Montana Medical Services”. Secondly, create a caption beneath the image to explain what it is – a short phrase that demonstrates its relevance to the page is enough, such as “Montana Medical Services offers a 24/7 on-call doctor service in the local area”. Lastly, utilize the HTML code attributes to insert the image on a page.

3. Put the Key Parts in the Text

Search engines prefer text, which is why your content is so important. Make sure there is text on every page and use your keywords. While images and pictures are important, the Google crawler doesn’t recognize images with text. If your business name and address is contained within an image, make sure it is also somewhere else on the site in text format, such as the Contact Us page.

Text also relates to the SEO title of pages and the META descriptions so ensure these are also completed with your keywords.

4. Make Sure You Redirect

If you do a redesign of your existing website, it’s important not to lose any of the old pages. Customers will receive a “404 error” if they try and visit the deleted page, telling them that the old page does not exist. If the search engine crawlers see that this page doesn’t exist, they will remove it from the results, which can be disastrous for a business.

To get around this, use 301 redirects which tell the search engines that your old web page is now a new web page. This also ensures that you retain the medical SEO value of your old web page. If you have a WordPress site, you can use a simple redirection plugin that creates these redirects in the dashboard.

5. Have a Clear Navigation Structure

google webmastersGoogle’s Webmaster Guidelines outline the importance of a site with a clear hierarchy and text links with each page reachable from at least one static text link.

When considering your navigation structure, keep in mind that research has shown that for the best user experience, you should not go more than three levels deep – don’t make customers have to go to a category page, then a sub-category page, and then another sub-category page to find what they want.

For the main pages of your website, you should also create simple text links in the footers to ensure that the search crawlers don’t miss them.

Medical SEO is important not just from a search engine perspective, but from a customer perspective, too. Consider these five tips in your medical web design to make your healthcare organization’s website friendly for everyone.

Gretchen Kalthoff is a writer and marketing specialist for MWE. She is an expert in healthcare marketing and health IT with a special interest in increasing patient engagement through social media and healthcare technologies.
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