It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to self-diagnose symptoms, you’re looking for a place to buy a specific brand of multivitamin, or you’re shopping for a new primary care provider — you’re going to use a search engine. Eighty percent of internet users search for health information, according to a study released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. That’s most likely a low figure. Everyone needs an online presence, even if you think that your profession is exempt from common SEO practices. SEO for medical specialists is not completely different from general SEO for doctors, but there are some important considerations.
You’re the expert
You know the technical terminology and the most accurate phrasing for symptoms, diseases, parts of the body, etc. People may not search for the terms that you identify as your most obvious primary keyword.
Patients might search “heart attack” when they actually mean “heartburn”, and Google searches for “heart attack” outnumber searches for “myocardial infarction” 15 to 1.
Do your patients know they need a otolaryngologist? They’re more likely to search for things like “ringing in ears” than “tinnitus”. Even knowing to search for the informal “ENT” requires a certain level of familiarity with your field.
You can certainly include the most accurate and technical terms in your content, but focus on procedures and problems. Do your best to include the common terms patients search for, too.
Know your audience
Your target market might be clinics or primary care physicians, not just patients. Maybe you want to reach both medical professionals as well as potential patients. The content at your website and your SEO practices should reflect this.
Own your niche
Don’t overlook the linkbuilding. Google says that content is the most important element in rankings, but links are number two.
Focus on getting high quality links from respectable sites that are relevant to your specialty rather than a high volume of low quality links. Gaining links to your website from local hospitals, news sources, health grade websites, or colleges gives you a real advantage.
“If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.”
Feelings about SEO often turn out to be self-fulfilling. If you feel as though a website and an online presence aren’t that important for your practice, and you put in the minimum effort — maybe having an office intern build your site and handle your social media — you’re not going to get good results. SEO will seem like a waste of time that provides no value for your practice.
However, if you believe in the importance of SEO for doctors, and you put the time and effort into building your online presence and optimizing for search, you will see positive results. Your success will reinforce your opinion that digital marketing is necessary for your practice.
Basically, you get out what you put in to your SEO.
Consider professional healthcare marketing services. In the same way that a medical specialist provides the best care in her field, an SEO specialist provides the best SEO results. Haden Interactive specializes in content marketing for doctors and companies in healthcare and wellness. We offer HIPAA-compliant blogging, social media management, lnikbuilding, search engine optimization for web content, and a full range of SEO services.