Getting traffic online is one of the best ways to market hospitals and healthcare-related businesses in the current digital age; in this article, we will go over exactly what Medical SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is, how to utilize it, and other ways of driving traffic to your healthcare website.
What Is Medical SEO?
Put simply, Medical SEO is the optimization of your health website so that it gets more traffic via Google Search (and other search engines such as Bing).
More traffic to your website means more customers, and more customers means a bigger and better business. Whether you are simply a hospital trying to establish your brand or you sell a medical product, there is absolutely no reason to look over SEO as a way to get your name out there.
You can improve SEO by:
- increasing page rankings from your site.
- targeting keywords that your site is ‘powerful’ enough to compete for the first page.
Depending on the authority score of your domain or how polished your SEO-game is, the process of getting your sites pages on the first page of Google can be difficult.
Although search engines are free, you will likely have to allocate part of your marketing budget in order to be successful online; according to an article, the SEO industry is estimated to reach $80 billion in 2020. This means competition is fierce and that now, more than ever, your SEO for your site must be near-perfect if you hope to stand a chance.
Not only will it cost money, but SEO takes time! Yes, unfortunately, it is (usually) not possible to throw up an article with properly formatted titles and expect it to pop up anywhere near the top ten rankings, let alone the top hundred. Since the medical field is so large you will have to execute proper SEO strategy as well as you can… then, it will take months to rank.
The good news is this; when you do have an article ranking in the top three spots on the search engines, assuming it is a moderately high traffic keyword, you will have an influx of traffic coming to your site 24/7. Once your article ranks, it is essentially ‘working for you’ every day of the week – at no cost to you. As you can guess, this is why the SEO-game is so attractive to websites; when you do it properly, the upfront work pays off exponentially.
Let’s take a look at how to drive traffic to your health niche site, not only by SEO but from paid traffic as well.
How-To Drive Traffic To Health Niche Site
Driving traffic to your health niche site can be done organically (SEO) or by paying for ads.
First, let’s examine how to drive traffic with SEO.
Here are the best practices to optimize your search engine performance for your website:
- Create unique content (plagiarism is not only unethical, but damaging to your website – once you get ‘dinged’ by Google for duplicate content, your website will suffer).
- Create useful content (all articles and content should be tailored to the reader – what do you think would help them the most? What is their intent of visiting your page? Make sure your articles leave the readers feeling satisfied and engaged from top to bottom).
- Target the right keywords (use tools such as ‘Google Keyword Planner’ or ‘UberSuggest’ to find keywords that are worth targeting – make sure they are not too competitive or too low traffic).
- Create a site map (this is what tells search engines how your website is laid out – this will ensure that your website is ‘indexed’ properly and your pages can rank. Look up ‘website indexing tools’ to find free software to help you do this online).
- Utilize local SEO (if you are doing SEO for a hospital or a physical location, this is key – target keywords that include your area so that when someone in your immediate location is searching for the service you offer, your business page appears).
- Use social media (search engines also take into account how often your website is shared on social media, so make sure you have pages/channels on all the big platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
Now, let’s explore the world of PPC advertising.
PPC (which stands for pay-per-click) is a form of online advertising where you pay for everytime one of your ‘ads’ is clicked. As opposed to SEO, where clicks come organically and free of cost, PPC means you are paying for traffic.
Oftentimes, PPC entails search engine advertising.
Have you ever searched a term on Google and noticed certain pages ‘stuck’ to the top? They have the word ‘Ad’ somewhere next to it, because it is an advertisement – they are paying to show up at the very top of the rankings. This means you can start gaining traffic much faster than with SEO… the obvious downside is, it costs money.
SEO vs PPC: Which Is Better?
SEO and PPC are both viable methods for advertising websites online.
When comparing the two, they each have upsides and downsides; with SEO, although it is free, it takes time to rank and the rankings can sometimes change unexpectedly as the front page is always changing. With PPC, it is more stable and fast but it costs money to use; also, the ad costs don’t always stay the same since they change as well.
Also, you can read our post about SEO vs. PPC comparison and be sure that neither method of advertising is better than the other. Both SEO and PPC advertising should be used for your hospital and healthcare website’s online presence in 2020 and beyond.