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SEO or Search Engine Optimisation involves several digital marketing strategies. Their purpose is to improve your clinic’s exposure and visibility on search engines, so that potential patients can find you easily. Not only that, but search engine optimisation can help grow your patient base and establish your clinic as a leading business in your area.
The idea behind SEO is simple: these strategies improve your rankings on search engines. Being on the first page of Google Search results has enormous value, since barely 0.80% of Internet users scroll to page 2 – which means that failing to take SEO seriously could make you invisible to more than 99% of your potential clients.
This article offers a guide to SEO for healthcare businesses like clinics and medical practices. But before we dive into the top SEO techniques for clinics and healthcare organisations, let’s briefly address the key benefits of SEO.
Trust is absolutely essential in business, but particularly so in medical practices and clinics. Patients need to trust your business and staff, since their health and well-being are at stake.
A well-designed SEO strategy can help build trust and credibility among potential patients and create the basis for strong and lasting relationships with them.
As a bonus, patients who trust you are more likely to refer you to friends and family, acting as your ambassadors and bringing more business at no extra cost.
Good and consistent SEO means a higher ranking on search result pages, which in turn means increased online visibility for your clinic or healthcare organisation.
Differentiating your business from the rest is always a key success factor, and much more so in extremely competitive markets, such as London.
As your clinic becomes visible online and known to potential patients, you will start getting more leads and enquiries. And it’s not just a matter of quantity. A solid SEO approach can generate high quality leads and attract prospects who are ready to invest in your services.
Brand authority plays a crucial role in the patient decision-making process. If your clinic has an active and established online presence, a user-friendly website, and tons of informative and relevant content, leads will be more likely to become patients.
What’s more, search engines take this into account when it comes to allocating rankings. For example, Google’s EAT algorithm assesses web pages based on Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, which can be built through carefully planned SEO.
Your online user experience is just as important as your clinic patient experience - and is an important ranking factor. Ultimately, SEO is all about delivering what clients want and constantly raising your standards to meet expectations.
In the healthcare context, this means having a fully functional and easy-to-navigate website and a reassuring online presence. Let’s see how you can achieve this.
Creating and maintaining your business profile up to date is a simple step, and yet many companies fail to capitalise on this SEO-boosting opportunity or have incomplete business listings.
Google My Business is the modern-day online equivalent of traditional business listings. Complete profiles 70% more likely to receive an actual customer. For optimal results, make sure your Google My business listing includes:
- Address and phone number
- Current opening hours
- Photos and videos of your premises
- A link to your website
- Highlight your services
- Replies to every review and answers to questions posted online
Without keyword research, your digital marketing efforts and budget could end up being wasted, as you’d never reach the right patient.
Here are some pointers on choosing the right keywords for your online SEO content
- Use keywords that potential visitors use to find you on Google Search – use Google Keyword Planner or Google Insights to get started.
- Include long-tail keywords. These are relevant short sentences like “laser eye surgery specialist”.
- Ensure keywords target a mix of perennial and trending topics
- Monitor social networks to see which keywords related to your services come up first in search results.
Business blogs are a fundamental SEO tool. Recent statistics show that businesses that blog frequently get more website traffic and generate higher ROI than those who don’t.
Blog posts containing high quality, informative, and educational content raise your business profile and establish your brand as a leading voice in your industry.
Make sure you create and follow a blogging schedule – minimum once a week, but it’s best to see how often your competitors are posting.
Your clinic’s blog posts could include:
- Topics that your current patients ask about.
- In-depth explanation of your treatments.
- Interviews with happy patients.
- Health tips and advice.
A friendly and active social media presence can boost your SEO. This is an alternative channel you can use to promote your brand and showcase what you stand for in terms of patient care standards and quality of service. Some ideas to consider include:
- Share your blog posts.
- Display mentions and reviews.
- Do live Q&A sessions or virtual walk-throughs.
- Publish patient success stories.
- Post promos or exclusive discounts.
Local SEO can be a lifeline for small businesses in competitive markets, and especially to those offering in-person services where proximity and ease of access are important. Surveys confirm that in 20% of all cases, a local search leads to a same-day conversion.
To get the most out of each local search, ensure your content targets your location (e.g. “laser eye surgery in London”). Also, ensure your Contact Us page is up-to-date, including opening hours, address and phone number. Even better if you have a Google Maps snippet so site visitors can immediately see where you’re located.
The technical aspects of your clinic website are also a SEO ranking factor. Some basic areas to consider are mobile friendliness, overall site responsiveness and speed, site architecture and website security. To ensure you deliver the best possible user experience, it’s best to have a technical audit done by a specialised SEO agency, and take it from there.
In this guide, we’ve discussed several tried-and-tested SEO strategies for clinics that can being more visibility to your business and expand your patient base. These strategies range from ensuring your site is up to technical standards to publishing high-quality and relevant content on your website and social media accounts. To ensure these techniques deliver optimal results, contact the experts in SEO for healthcare.