Blogging is an essential part of marketing in today’s digital-centric world. Each time you publish a blog post, you are providing fresh content that is relevant and exciting to your current and potential patients. But, the internet is cluttered with an enormous amount of information that your potential patients could stumble upon (while you remain hidden) in the pursuit to find the answers to their questions.
So, how do you ensure that they find your healthcare blog in their searches? By following these 7 search engine optimization (SEO) tips, you will increase your search engine credibility and allow your healthcare blog to be found online.
1. Answer Your Patients’ Questions
The key to being found online is to write about your patients’ pain points. What do they encounter throughout their daily routine? What questions do they ask themselves regarding healthcare treatments? What information about their symptoms are they craving? Knowing the answers to these questions and providing them within a blog post will allow your prospective patients to stumble upon it in their search results.
Let’s say you are an eye care center specializing in outpatient procedures such as LASIK and cataract surgery. Your target audience for your next post is prospective LASIK patients. What questions are they asking and what answers are they actively searching for?
An example blog topic you could use is “LASIK Eye Surgery: Because You’re Sick and Tired of Wearing Glasses.” Writing content on your target audience’s topics of interest allows patients asking those questions online to find the answers you provide.
2. Conduct Keyword Research
Conducting keyword research as a part of your healthcare marketing strategy allows you to identify the long questions and statements patients are searching, and shorten them into searchable phrases. By using Google AdWords, or simply the auto-fill option in a Google search bar, you can identify the short phrases high volumes of online patients are using.
The keywords we could use in the blog topic previously mentioned are “LASIK eye surgery” and “wearing glasses.”
Once the keywords are identified for your blog post, use them throughout the body of the post and in the URL, title, meta description, and alternative text (alt text). By doing this, it gives your blog post the opportunity to show up in the search results of patients using those keywords.
3. Stick to One Topic
Each blog post should revolve around one specific, keyword-focused topic. When your blog is filled with a ton of buzzwords, it makes it hard for search engines to identify what the page’s purpose is. Ultimately, this can decrease your credibility with search engines, pushing you further and further down page results.
Once you identify your keywords for a blog post, keep it to that specific topic. It will not only make the search engines happy, but your visitors will be receiving detailed answers to the questions they asked, deeming your healthcare Brand as a reliable and credible source.
4. Optimize Your Images
Images draw the reader’s eye to your blog and help visually identify the subject of the post. Since search engines do not see images the way we do, it makes it difficult for them to tell what the post is about. By optimizing your images and using alt text, you can provide this identity to search engines and help increase your chances of being found online. Adding a keyword-focused alt text to each image will help tell the story to search engines.
Say you have a blog about finding the right LASIK eye surgeon and you want to drop in an image of a patient with glasses searching for results on her laptop. Instead of keeping the alt text as a generic “IMG97391” phrase, edit it to say something like “LASIK Eye Surgeon” or “Finding the Right LASIK Surgeon”. This will allow the image to be found in search results, leading patients to your healthcare blog.
5. Incorporate Internal and External Links
Search engines like to give credit where credit is due, and you should, too. By incorporating both internal and external links into your blog, you allow search engines to identify your pages as a reputable source.
Add internal links to website pages about your company, products/services, or previous blog posts. Not only will this provide SEO credit, it will also give your visitors the opportunity to explore other pages on your website. Make sure the links you include are relevant to your blog topic and are linked to searchable keywords.
Another way to get SEO credit is to link to external sources. Did you include a statistic from a reputable source in your blog? Add an external hyperlink to the source. While this may seem counteractive since it could potentially take visitors off your page, it will provide credibility with search engines.
6. Add the Final Touches
The SEO tips listed above are only a few of the items to get your healthcare blog started. Some other items to keep in mind when optimizing your blog for search engines is to add a meta description, include over-arching blog topics, build a user-friendly design, and incorporate keywords in the title and URL. Adding these final touches will be the icing on the cake to your optimized blog.
7. Repeat (And Repeat Often)
Another item that search engines look for when rating websites is the number of total pages, plus new pages on websites. This means that constantly adding and updating your website pages is a necessity to getting your website and your blog in your patients’ top search results.
But this seems like a lot of work, right? And, won’t all the pages clutter up your website? When you add a blog to your website, it eliminates the clutter of adding new pages constantly by placing them under your “Blog” tab every time it publishes. Create a schedule and publish blogs as often as you can. Try to aim to publish weekly, and you should see an increase in your website traffic immediately.
Increasing your SEO strategies can seem like a daunting challenge, but with these simple SEO tips, you are on your way to the top of your patients’ search results. Learn more about SEO and inbound marketing with our free eBook, Tools of the Trade: 7 Fundamentals to an Effective Inbound Marketing Campaign.
Integrate your current strategies with fresh inbound marketing ROI based ideas to increase patient volume for your practice. Let's touch base and I will put the Hult Team’s experience to work for you. You can contact me at 309-673-8191 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and together, we can create a better focus on your healthcare Brand.