Sports medicine practices get new patients the same way most medical practices do: by word of mouth or internet searches. People who need a sports medicine doctor or clinic will often ask their friends or their coach first. If they don’t get a good suggestion that way, they’ll turn to Google.
Of course, if they do get a good suggestion, they’ll still turn to Google to get more information, confirm their choice, and get contact info so they can make an appointment. Your website needs to be findable, and that means you need SEO — search engine optimization.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is all about communicating well with search engines. If Google understands who you are and what you have to offer, Google will show your web pages to the right people.
When people are searching for a local business like yours, Google will show them your location on a map, too.
If search engines don’t get the information they need from your website, they won’t show your site to people searching for sports medicine practices. Since SEO can involve a different way of thinking about your website, you can’t be sure that your website will show up well in search if you don’t make the effort to improve your search engine optimization.
Start with an SEO strategy.
Your homepage must give a clear statement of what you have to offer and how people can get your services. All your pages should include the terms people use to find sports medicine practices like yours. Your content — the words you use on your website — is the most important element of SEO. Whether you’re building a new website or working with the one you already have, begin with a clear content plan.
The starting point for getting the right content on your page is identifying the right keywords. Keywords are the terms people use to search for the goods and services they need. For sports medicine, our research shows that these are some of the terms people often use when they’re looking for a doctor or clinic:
- sports medicine
- sports medicine doctor
- sports medicine physician
- sports medicine clinic
- orthopedic and sports medicine
- sports and exercise medicine
If you don’t use terms like these, but instead choose to describe your practice with words like “rehab” or “orthopaedics,” search engines might not be sure what you do. The term “rehab” is often used for substance abuse treatment, for example. Human beings might be able to understand what your practice does, but machines aren’t as good with human language as we are.
Also keep in mind that new prospective patients may search for specific services like knee reconstruction. Build a page for each of the procedures you provide.
Be aware of local SEO.
Once you have the right content in place, think about local SEO factors. SEO for doctors nearly always should focus on local search.
- Make sure your name, address, and phone number are clear on your contact page. We like to put them in the top right hand corner, too, so that people can easily find you. Some designers like to put them in the footer. Wherever you put them, make sure you’re consistent.
- Use the same format that you would use on an envelope. Some websites place address information in a single line. That can look good, but it’s not as good for local SEO.
- Check to be sure that your contact information is consistent on all the pages you can find that list your information. This may include local directories as well as sites like HealthGrades.
- If you’re mentioned on any websites, request a link to your website. For example, if a local gym lists you as a resource, ask if they’ll add a link to your website.
- Include local information at your website. Don’t go with sentences like, “Serving Fayetteville, Springdale, Johnson, Bentonville…” and 19 other local towns. This looks shady to search engines and to human visitors. Instead, mention local events you’re sponsoring, local sports teams you serve, and similar local connections. This helps search engines understand that you’re part of the community, as well as providing useful information for your prospective patients.
Need help? We’d love to work with you. Contact us to start the conversation.