SEO, also known as search engine optimisation, has become a common marketing term. However, is it relevant to all sectors, including the medical sector? The answer is, YES.
When you think about how people search for information, it almost always starts with Google. What’s more, research shows that well over half of all users only pay attention to the first three results.
In essence, if your website isn’t one of the first three results or at least on the first page of Google, you’re going to be losing out on a lot of potential appointments.
SEO in a Nutshell
So, how does search engine optimisation work?
Search engines such as Google use algorithms that help match up a user’s search query to the most relevant and useful results.
For instance, someone searching for a plastic surgeon in Sydney will only see results for practitioners in that area. This means that if you’re hoping to attract more patients in your area, as well as patients looking for your specific services, you need to spend some time on SEO.
There are a lot of SEO tactics that you can implement to increase your chances of appearing on page one of Google. Ultimately, you want to indicate to search engines that your website has specific information to offer users and tell the search engine bots where to find it.
As a plastic surgeon, you want to establish your site’s authority on key topics and ensure that your location and contact details are clear and easy to find.
These are just the basics though. SEO requires ongoing time and effort, which is why so many medical practitioners outsource the task to a marketing agency
Why SEO is important to Plastic Surgeons
A strong SEO ranking can help you achieve several goals, including:
1. Enhance the Visibility of Your Practice
It’s highly unlikely for online users to venture to the second or third page of Google’s search results. If you’re not appearing on page one, you’re losing out on calls and bookings. The more you focus on SEO, the more visible your practice will be. This, in turn, will attract more patients.
2. Boost Your Credibility
Users want to know that they can trust a medical practitioner, clinic or brand and it all starts with how prominent that brand is online. A well-designed website that appears at the top of Google’s search results is seen as far more trustworthy than a site appearing at the bottom of page two.
3. Talk to Specific Patients
When Google ranks your site, it looks at each individual page. While this means each page on your site needs to be optimised, it also means you can create landing pages geared towards specific patients. This means surgeons can focus on specific procedures and offerings, ensuring the right kind of patient clicks through to that page. The more relevant a page is to a patient, the more likely it is they will book a consultation.
There are a number of digital marketing tactics you could focus on as a plastic surgeon. However, SEO will remain a core competency and it’s still one of the most effective strategies around today.
*Azuri Group actual client
SEO for Plastic Surgeons – Basic Tips & Tactics
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can boost your site’s presence in search results.
Mobile-friendly is the only way.
If your website is difficult to access and navigate on a mobile device, not only will you lose potential patients, but Google won’t rank your site very high either. Mobile friendliness is an SEO-must.
Faster is better. Online users have very little patience. If your website doesn’t load in a matter of seconds, they won’t hesitate to move onto a competitor site. Optimising website speed is a simple but effective tactic.
Create content regularly. Creating content is one of the best ways to keep bringing people to your site. It also shows Google that you’re an expert on a specific topic. Your content should be engaging, informative and it should be posted on a regular basis. If you don’t have a content plan, now is the time to create one. Content isn’t just blogs either. Videos, podcasts and infographics are all effective forms of content.
Use the right keywords. Keyword research is another important part of the SEO puzzle. Along with including keywords in your website copy, they can also be used in your code in the form of meta data. Meta data is what Google will read and use in search results – it’s the title and description for each page on your site.
Google My Business. Creating a Google My Business profile will increase your chances of showing up in the top search results, including map/local results. Your Google My Business profile will also tell searchers where to find you, how to contact you and what past patients experienced at your practice.
Be active on social media. Along with having social media profiles on the right platforms, it’s important to be active and engage with your followers on a regular basis. Only then will social media work in your favour and boost your SEO efforts.
Earn quality and relevant backlinks. This can be a time-consuming SEO effort but a very worthwhile one. The more high-quality websites link back to yours, the more it tells search engines that you can be trusted and that your content is good.
Increase website traffic. The more traffic you can send to your site the better – relevant traffic that is. Sending out a newsletter, posting content on social media and running PPC ad campaigns are just some of the ways you can increase website traffic.
To track your SEO efforts, don’t forget to install Google Analytics and Search Console. These two platforms will give valuable insights into your website’s health, your visitors and whether your tactics are having the right effect.
When used correctly, SEO is a powerful tool. If you don’t feel this is something you have enough time for, rather get a specialised professional like Azuri Group to assist you.
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