An Introduction to SEO for Doctors; Terms You Need to Know
A Brief Introduction to SEO for Healthcare Professionals; Terms & Definitions You Need to Know
If you’re a doctor or other medical professional, and need a quick tutorial on what SEO for healthcare professionals means, and the role it plays in your business, you’re in luck! For the next few minutes, we’re going to go over SEO and how it relates to the healthcare industry. We’ll discuss what some terms mean, and how you can use certain strategies to grow your practice. Ready to get started? Let’s go.
Even if you’re not planning on getting involved in your small business’s website at all, it’s important that you know the basic terms and concepts of SEO—which means Search Engine Optimization by the way—before you choose any SEO for doctors agency or sign any contract. This is because you want to be familiar enough with what you need so as to ensure that company is going to provide it for you.
Understanding SEO for Doctors & Its Role
Essentially, if you don’t walk into a deal with a modicum of knowledge and a working grasp of what you’re paying for, you put yourself in a dangerous spot for getting ripped off, overpaying or choosing the wrong type of package. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some basic terms and concepts for SEO.
What a great place to start! As mentioned, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it encompasses all of the methods and techniques used to help search engines find your website. Search engines take queries from customers and use “clues” inside of each website to determine how relevant that site is for the query. SEO work is simply putting these clues into your website—although that is over simplifying. The more relevant your site is for your customers, the higher up on SERPs (search engine result pages) you will rank, meaning more traffic and eventually, more sales.
• On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO
It’s important to note that SEO for doctors has many divisions of labor, but we should touch on two of the biggest under which all the other subdivisions fall: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Off-page SEO is everything that occurs on the server side, or in other words, the side clients can’t see. On-page SEO happens on the client side of the server. So for instance, HTML coding, the URL, title tags and meta tags all take place off-page. Content, keywords and images all take place on page, hence the division of labor.
A big factor in SEO is keyword optimization. This is basically creating content that search engines will pick up on when people enter queries containing that particular keyword. For example, if you groom dogs in Tampa Bay, you might have content written around keywords like “Tampa Bay dog groomer” or “poodle groomer in Tampa Bay”.
• Content marketing
The keywords in the content alone isn’t enough. Content plays a huge role in driving traffic to the site because of how SEO works with search engines’ algorithms, but it plays an even bigger role in your sales. Getting the lead to the page is only half the battle—getting them to stay on the page and then converting them to a client, that’s the job of great content, a pillar of good SEO practices.
• Link Building
The way that search engines gather information about websites is based not only on the relevance—or what you know—but also on your links—or who you know. For that, search engines analyze the sites that you are linked to. This happens in two ways—you put links to their sites on your site—outbound links—or other sites link to your site from theirs—inbound links. Both types of links are important to have as it shows that you are a legit website that is an authority in your niche. The larger the websites you are linked to, the more you are “tapped into their vein” when it comes to ranking for particular queries. The more links, the better—but built gradually over time, not all at once.
• Article submissions and blogging
Two of the more popular ways to build links is through article submissions and blogging. Article submission is simply writing articles and submitting them to article directories. The articles are informative and help establish yourself as an authority in the field. In the author bio box, you have a link to your site and people who read your article are more apt to come visit since you have answers they need. Blogging can take place on your own site or on others’ as a guest blogger. The points is still basically the same—engage potential clients and direct them towards your site with a call to action (CTA) at the end of the content.
Article submissions has fell out of favor with the search engines in the past, but with the rise of the LinkedIn publishing platform, it seems to be coming back-and yes, at a higher level of quality.
• Social Media
Finally, we’re fairly sure that you know and even use social media, but using it as it pertains to SEO and small business websites is a horse of a different color. Social media platforms are great generators of traffic so integrating them into your website will boost your rankings in the SERPs (search engine placement results). This can be achieved through third-party platforms that post to all your social media sites or by having a social media manager run your accounts. It’s important to have social media buttons and widgets on your site as well, since those boost SEO scores in the end.
Well, that’s it! Congratulations, you’ve graduated SEO 101 for Doctors. Now, it’s time to make the decision on whether you want to proceed through each grade, go on to college and then grad school, finally being able to run your small business website on your own, or whether you just want to pay someone to do it.
No matter what you decide, it’s important to remember that the more you learn about SEO, the more you’ll be able to monitor your website. Unfortunately, this will take time away from your business operations, something that not too many small business owners can afford.
Has this lesson helped you decide that you want to hire a healthcare SEO company to handle all this for you? Get you loads of traffic to your site, get your phone ringing more? No problem, just contact me, and we’ll talk.