Let’s start this article with a rhetorical question – ‘Would you like to get 300% more new patient appointments without burning a hole in your pocket?’ Of course you would! Now to the more difficult question – HOW?
Short answer – Search Engine Optimization!
Long answer – Well, that’s what this article is about.
Thousands of American medical practices jump on the SEO bandwagon every year. This article will also tell you why you should if you haven’t. Let’s acquaint you with the basics first.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an organic internet marketing technique to improve a website’s ranking on search engines. SEO emerges as the most effective and reliable web marketing strategy if you look at ways to tap into potential patients searching for a practice. Though you may use paid marketing techniques, local newspaper ads, and word-of-mouth to spread the word about your business, these methods aren’t enough.
But SEO does that. Here’s how.
A search engine optimization consultant optimizes your website for search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. When a search query relevant to your practice/industry/location comes up, the search engines find your website to be a valuable and relevant result and throw it up higher on the results page. For instance, if you have an optometrist practice in Los Angeles and a user searches for ‘an optometrist in Los Angeles, ’ an SEO consultant optimizes your website content and keywords. Then, your website would likely appear as a top search result for that query.
SEO services improve your online visibility for users proactively looking for your services and are most likely to become your patients. This organic search has no upfront costs.
Search engine optimization is a great way to get your name out there, connect with potential patients, and establish yourself as an industry authority. Here’s why search engine optimization is crucial for a medical practice.
While all aspects of SEO are fundamentally interconnected, local SEO focuses on how searches are filtered for specific geographic regions. Its goal is to bring traffic to a website from a particular geographic area. When a user does a local search, search engines tailor their results to provide rapid access to their needed services. Local SEO marketing optimizes your website for such searches. It pushes you up the ranking ladder, improving your visibility among potential local patients that could be quickly converted into YOUR patients.
Despite the rise of telemedicine, most healthcare providers practice in their offices and visit patients in person. So, this makes local SEO optimization even more critical for tapping patients seeking in-person treatment.
Local SEO helps you improve the number of leads and conversion rate from local searches. Also, getting your practice featured in Google’s local 3-pack, Google Snack Pack, or Google Maps Pack may improve the number of your customers and, ultimately, your revenue.
Moreover, understanding the importance of 10 blue links is essential for SEO practitioners.
These links refer to the ten organic search results that pop up on a search engine results page (SERP) in response to a user’s query, and most of the time, these links are the primary source of organic traffic to a website.
Local SEO helps you secure a spot in the local 3-pack and put your practice in front of thousands of potential patients with an urgent intent in your area – the easiest way to convert potential patient leads!
Several variables determine the cost of hiring SEO services in the U.S. Let’s go through the most important:
How big your website will determine how much you have to spend on small business SEO services; a small practice with a 5-6 page website should expect to pay less than a large hospital.
A dentist’s website in a suburb with little competition might quickly get to the top of local search results with a modest investment in the SEO services of a digital marketing agency. The same tune-up for an identical practice will take longer to complete in a big city with plenty of competitors.
You should expect to spend more on digital marketing for doctors if you have no pre-existing digital footprint, such as a brand-new website with no domain authority or search engine rankings. Your site’s technical merits will only matter if it loads slowly and vice versa; what matters is the quality of the backlinks that the older site has garnered.
The more things you require are handled by the SEO expert at your medical marketing agency, the higher your bill will be.
What you spend on the SEO services of a medical marketing agency will depend on the quality of the service you are looking for. But if you’re looking to tap one of the top medical marketing companies, you should expect to pay a premium price for their services.
Your SEO budget will also be impacted by the location of the medical marketing agency you work with. For instance, the cost of living and the cost of doing business in New York City is exorbitant, and these factors would affect the quote you receive from an SEO company based there.
In 2022, the average monthly cost of an SEO project headed by a competent search engine optimization consultant could range from $500 to $5,000, depending on its complexity. Consider the six factors discussed above to find an affordable healthcare marketing agency.
SEO and PPC are contrasting techniques, but they work well together if planned and executed by a PPC agency/SEO Expert. Ads and unpaid results coexist on SERPs. Eighty percent of a site’s traffic comes from unpaid and sponsored searches (53 percent organic, 27 percent paid search). Increase the likelihood of a potential patient visiting your site by tapping them through two avenues.
Search Engine Optimization and PPC advertising both need essential data for A/B tests. A healthcare digital marketing agency combines the benefits of both approaches by exchanging information between the two campaigns. PPC provides a great testing ground to measure the effectiveness of keywords in ad text with a target demographic. Medical marketing companies use the highest-performing keywords in their organic content for sustained performance.
There are numerous benefits a digital healthcare agency could bring for you by using SEO and PPC to complement each other for a comprehensive search marketing strategy. Here is an overview of how their differing strengths can be leveraged to deliver the best results for digital marketing for doctors:
Although paid ads are the first thing internet users view, organic content consumes more space, i.e., ten snippet slots on the page. Features like FAQ schema, Google Maps pack, knowledge graphs, and rich snippets provide more opportunities to appear on the first results page.
SEO has no direct cost; search engines supply the placement in organic search results for free. Therefore, it is a more cost-effective method in the long term than sponsored search, which entails direct expense.
Click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate (CVR) are two key performance indicators (KPIs) in digital marketing. Research suggests that organic results had a CTR of 31.7%, whereas sponsored advertising only garnered a CTR of 5%. But here’s another critical stat for Digital Marketing for Doctors – sponsored searches have a 1.5x higher likelihood of converting.
PPC advertising campaigns provide an in-depth investigation of keyword trends and search volume. Use the “bought keywords” in the headers, title tags, meta descriptions, and amplified blog material you wish to promote to boost the quality of organic content.
The combination of PPC advertising and small business SEO – are the essential tools to reach potential patients based on their location, age, gender, income, and other demographic and interest criteria. A small business SEO & PPC Agency helps you utilize granular targeting and minimize budget waste.
Despite its advantages, SEO has some risks, as your website’s position in search engine results pages (SERPs) might fluctuate in the short term. On the other hand, PPC marketing may incur a significant ad expense without delivering the expected volume of leads.
SEO can improve brand trust and customer retention, and PPC can increase revenue in a short time. Combining SEO and PPC campaigns can create an effective strategy that boosts traffic, generates leads, and enhances ROI.
SEO is the digital marketing equivalent of an orthopedic arthroplasty; it looks easy in the hands of an expert but is quite difficult to execute. We understand that hiring an SEO expert may seem like a significant financial commitment initially, but working with medical marketing companies brings many benefits, such as the following:
SEO is a complex process, and that’s putting it mildly. It takes years for an SEO professional to become an SEO expert. As a medical practitioner, you would simply not have the knowledge and skill to curate and implement an SEO strategy. An SEO agency has a team of highly experienced small business SEO experts on its payroll. They’d also have a team of specialists in other forms of digital marketing to create a comprehensive and -effective medical marketing plan for your practice. Most importantly, an internet marketing company knows how to get things done on a limited budget-
There are so many moving parts and algorithm updates in an SEO campaign that it is difficult for some SEO professionals to keep up with them. If your job postings don’t attract the best prospects, you’ll have to spend more time reading through applications and conducting interviews. That’s a lot of time that might have been spent on other, more critical tasks.
Suppose you work with an internet marketing company. In that case, they’ll assign a senior search engine optimization consultant to your project, and the SEO expert will manage your campaign so you will have time to spend on other activities.
It may seem counterintuitive, but if SEO is not implemented correctly, it may do more harm to a website than no SEO. 2 approaches to SEO differentiate good search engine optimization consultants from the bad – white hat and black hat SEO. White hat SEO improves the website’s ranking and keeps its presence in search engines. Every medical marketing agency endorses this method.
However, black hat SEO involves a lot of malpractices, the use of which is forbidden and could potentially lead to paying heavy penalties.
Hiring the SEO services of a healthcare marketing agency would give you the comfort of knowing that you won’t have to put up with any of these gimmicks.
Search engine optimization is vital to any overarching medical marketing plan. SEO turns your website into a platform for attracting and converting hot leads. Here’s a quick recap of the benefits of SEO as a tactic in digital marketing for doctors:
As you go, you’ll find that SEO isn’t a cookie-cutter operation but one that, if executed well, would pay off in spades. Hiring a top digital marketing agency to implement the tips discussed in this article will help you improve your visibility, generate more leads, and build a steady stream of new patient appointments.