Marketing your new independent practice can seem like a daunting venture. How will you reach new patients? How will they find you? One very effective marketing method, which is also one of the most efficient methods, is to take advantage of search engine optimization (SEO). Your patients typically search for a new provider online. When you use the right SEO keywords, you can rank your new practice high on their search results page (SERP).
Why is SEO important? Why is knowing what kind of keywords to use important?
In today’s digital world, patients use online resources twice as much as they rely on personal referrals when searching for a new physician. When they search online, SEO keywords will help your practice come up at the top of the search results and patients will be more likely to click on your website to learn more.
When thinking about the type of SEO keywords you should be ranking for your new practice, think about how you want your patients to think about your services and your image. What are the words they might use in their search? Consider how you would search for a new service for yourself or your family. You might put in a few words or phrases, or you might ask a question. These are all considerations for the way you include keywords in your website, blog posts, and other online information.
Ranking high in the search results is important, but even more important is having the right information on your website when the new patient clicks through. Those patients who find your website through their online search will be more interested in what your site tells them about you, your team, and your practice, including what type of services you offer, the insurance you accept, and other pertinent decision-making information they need.
Some SEO strategies you can implement include:
- Publishing meaningful content on your site and your blog posts that answers new patients’ questions.
- Optimizing content for keywords to ensure that your website and services rank higher in the SERP.
- Optimizing content for local searches, since most of your new patients will search for a provider that is convenient for them.
Your SEO strategy will depend on those keywords – and on not overdoing their use. Brief words or phrases, such as “primary care physician” or “family practice” will be important. Also helpful are long-tailed keywords, those phrases that are longer and often phrased as a question. For example, “where is the nearest primary care physician?”
Keywords can also include the specific types of services you provide, such as:
- On-site laboratory
- Convenient scheduling
- Online scheduling
- Preventive services
- Well checks
- Geriatric care
- Chronic conditions
It is up to you to determine how you want to be seen online, in terms of which words you prefer to come up most frequently when new patients search for a physician.
The keywords should be organic and natural. Do not force them into your content or overdo their use, which can have the opposite effect on search engine algorithms. In addition, if the new patient does land on your website, the content there should be easy to read and informative. It should not read as though it were written for Google.
Although it may sound complicated, the basic consideration for SEO keywords for your new practice is they reflect the type of patient you want to attract. Determine how you want patients to find you, what you want prospective patients to know about you, and condense that into the keywords that are most relevant for your practice and your patients, so they’ll be more likely to find you online.