SEO for Doctors: Why It Matters

In the past, word-of-mouth referrals and repeat patients were the most reliable ways to grow and sustain any medical practice. But in the age of the internet, online strategies are now the number one way to market healthcare services. 

More and more people are turning to Google to help them find the medical care they need. With that in mind, SEO for doctors can help private practices reach a wider audience, find new patients, and build a trusted digital presence that lasts.

So, what is SEO? The term stands for “search engine optimization,” and it relates to how well your website ranks on Google searches. You have likely used Google to find a service or product yourself. Those companies also use SEO to show up in early rankings. You can boost your practice’s SEO by building a high-quality website and creating excellent content, but the process can be a bit complicated and labor-intensive. For this reason, many healthcare providers hire marketing agencies to handle SEO for them so that they can focus on what matters most — their patients.

However, even if you decide to go it alone, you can use SEO to start growing your web presence as a physician and reach more people looking for your services in your city.

How Important Are Search Engines? Google It

Search engines are the most popular way to find information. An ever-increasing number of people search for medical websites and providers online, often choosing those who appear near the top of the Google search results. So, if you’re a physician who wants to grow your business, an SEO-friendly web presence is vital.

With proper SEO, search engines can find (index) your practice’s address, phone number, and other contact information for people who need your services the most. This makes it easy for potential patients to reach out to you for appointments or questions. 

Additionally, search engines will show your practice’s reviews to users, which can help you build a positive reputation in your community. According to a 2020 survey, a whopping 79% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. As you start to collect good reviews, potential patients will see them and trust your practice more — without ever stepping foot in your facility.

SEO is priceless for any medical practice’s long-term success. It allows you to generate more web traffic, build a positive reputation, and become more established throughout your community.

SEO Helps You Reach Searchers With Intent

The importance of SEO goes beyond just getting your private practice’s information out there. When you properly optimize your medical website, you’ll appear at the top of Google search results for patients searching with intent to make an appointment with a doctor.

For example, as a cardiologist, SEO can put you at the top of the search results when someone types “cardiologist near me” into Google or another search engine. Anyone searching for that term is likely considering booking an appointment with a cardiologist, and proper optimization helps put your practice right in front of them.

Traffic Is a Good Thing When It Relates to Your Medical Website

It’s estimated that 97% of people learn more about local businesses on the internet than they do anywhere else. High web traffic is crucial for any business because it translates into clients, and in the case of medical providers, patients.

Medical websites that appear at the top of Google are more likely to be clicked and book patients. What’s more, research has shown that 75% of internet users don’t even click past the first page when viewing their search results. That means getting your website to the top of the search results is one of the best things you can do for your private practice’s success.

While SEO for doctors and practices can be a long process, the traffic generation benefits can add up for years to come. 

SEO Statistics 

When considering whether to optimize your medical website, here are some important SEO statistics to think about:

  • 76% of people who search for something nearby visit a business that appeared in their search within a day. For medical providers, a high ranking on Google can directly translate to same-day calls to book appointments.
  • Your brand awareness can increase by 46% simply by showing up early in search results.
  • 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new business or product when searching on their phone.
  • 72% of internet users in the U.S. have used a search engine to learn more about a health question in the past year.

With these numbers in mind, it’s easy to see how valuable search engine optimization is for helping potential patients find your practice.

Overall, higher traffic on your page equals better results. You’ll receive more calls, contact form submissions, and appointments. Beyond that, people who discover your practice through a search engine may even recommend your services to friends and family.

Become the Leader for Lead Generation

SEO can bring more eyes to your private practice’s website, but if you want to take your digital marketing a step further, you can use the increased web traffic to generate qualified leads on potential patients. 

Many people are at different stages of their health journey. Some may be looking for professional health advice, but aren’t quite ready to head to the doctor yet. They might have questions about symptoms or conditions in your realm of expertise. You can attract these people to your website by answering their questions with high-quality, relevant content on your website.

Once users are on your website, offer them guides on different conditions, access to free webinars, or other relevant, downloadable content (something of value) in exchange for their email address. Then you can continue to provide them with free, useful content straight to their inbox.

These prospective patients may not need to book an appointment right now. But with a well thought out lead generation strategy in place, your practice can remain top of mind as both a medical provider and reliable resource for their health.

Traffic Goes Up, Costs Go Down

The truth is that it often takes time to see the results of SEO in your practice. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. Unlike traditional advertising campaigns, SEO is a stable, slow-growing form of marketing that will bring you higher traffic for years to come. With increased traffic, you’ll be able to spend less money on other forms of marketing later on. People searching for doctors will come across your site organically thanks to the web presence that you’ve built over time.

Increased web traffic can make a world of difference for any business — and it’s much more cost effective than continuously running ads or cold calling to gain new patients. 

Effectiveness of SEO Compared to Other Forms of Marketing

Here are a few of the things you can expect from SEO compared to traditional web advertisements:

  • You will build authority around your business. If your website appears at the top of Google’s search results, it lends a sense of credibility and trust to your practice’s name. 
  • You can generate valuable leads at a lower cost over time. With more potential patients viewing your site, you have more opportunities to build relationships through email marketing. 
  • Search engine optimization provides a long-lasting bang for your buck. SEO is a strategy designed to produce results over time. Unlike ads that only run for a few days or weeks, it can help patients find you on Google and other search engines for years to come.

All of this is not to say that Google ads or pay-per-click campaigns aren’t useful. In fact, they’re also great forms of marketing for medical websites. But overall, the best strategy for bringing in new patients is a combination of different marketing avenues, and SEO for doctors plays a significant role in that success.

The Bottom Line on SEO for Doctors

If you’re a physician who wants to grow your private practice, digital marketing and SEO may not be the first things that come to mind. All healthcare practices need effective strategies to build their reputations and bring in patients. And with so many people using search engines to find medical services near them, SEO is one of the best strategies a physician can invest in.

A well-optimized website that ranks high in search results promotes trust and generates a stable flow of traffic that evolves into leads and new patients down the line. It can help you fill your appointment book effortlessly and spend less money on outbound marketing in the future.

If you want to get started building your company’s online presence, Officite is an option that offers expert service packages to help you create a website that ranks on Google. You’ll receive an SEO-optimized medical website, access to a doctor’s portal, HIPAA compliant email and forms, and more.

Click here to learn more about our packages and pricing, or book a consultation today. 

6 Medical Website Features Every Doctor Should Know About

To run a successful private medical practice, you need to go about the business of medicine smartly. You shouldn’t stick to the old style of ticking dates on calendars, piling up medical records, or waiting and waiting for a patient to fill out paper forms. These processes just slow you down in a high-tech world.

Thanks to the internet, you can now reach more patients and run your medical practice more effectively by using a medical website. With a medical website features, you can place your practice before patients across the globe and offer them important information about your services. 

One key objective in private practice is to turn inquiries into appointments. Websites for doctors can help keep their visitors informed and show them why they need medical services. It can also help to save front office time when patients can book appointments online and fill required forms from their homes. 

You’ll need medical website design features for patient education, appointment booking, and case updates. However, designing a professional medical website requires immense expertise. An effective website needs to offer an experience that has visitors enthusiastic about engaging with your private practice. Experienced web developers like Officite have the expertise to make sure vital features are designed specifically for your website. 

How do you know if your medical website has all the features it needs? Here are six medical website features that doctors like you need to know about.

1. Patient Education

Patient education is a great way for health practitioners to provide information to patients and caregivers. It encourages proper health behaviors and sheds more light on healthy living and wellness. By featuring educational content on your website, patients can access information and learn more about your private practice. 

You’ll become a resource for patients seeking answers. When they often find solutions on your website, they will come to trust you. Because of the informative articles, infographics, and videos you share, they will be more likely to refer friends and family to you. Eventually, your search engine rankings will improve, and your website will become a go-to platform for potential and current patients. 

You need medical website features like patient education — which could serve as a patient’s first call when they need information on a medical condition, disease, or impairment. And since they’ll get the details before visiting a doctor, it will minimize the time spent with the doctor. 

The physician website should also be designed in a way that allows you to easily update it with the latest medical information.  

2. Blogging

Blogging is a good way to answer questions that patients often ask. You can use search engine optimization (SEO) tools to find out which questions people often ask about your area of medical expertise. SEO can show you which content is relevant at different periods (i.e., COVID-19). By addressing topics that pertain to your practice and sharing relevant information with prospective patients, you’ll demonstrate that you have the expertise they need.   

A blogging feature makes your medical website a trusted healthcare resource that readers are excited to visit. By visiting your website regularly, readers will want to visit your private practice when the need arises. You can also link your blog posts on social media, a powerful platform for spreading information and advertising your services. 

Health professionals can also keep patients engaged with discussions, opinion polls, and various original content. Boosting traffic to your website with varied, engaging content means more visitors that become patients.

3. Online Booking

To better utilize your time and resources, you need to know how to organize appointments. A physician website design featuring online booking will help you utilize time, energy, and other resources. It will also help prevent burnout for physicians and office staff.

You and other staff members will know what, or who, is scheduled next, and who needs to cover it. 

The online booking feature reduces a patient’s waiting time and improves their satisfaction as the pre-appointment work is completed from their home at their convenience. They can access a simple interface that allows them to book appointments on your calendar.  

With online booking, routine checkups — such as dental appointments, cancer screening, counseling sessions, and family planning services — become easier. Your office calendar will be synchronized and your staff will get automated notifications, so you’re up to date on cases and don’t miss appointments.

4. E-Commerce

Apart from educating patients on why and how to acquire medical care, you need to make sure they easily have access to medical products.  Professional medical websites with an e-commerce feature can sell recommended products to patients online. Without walking into your office, patients can pick up medications and other products that can help them improve their health. Also, your website becomes an online store that works with popular marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. 

The e-commerce medical website design feature allows you to market your products without limits. You can also grant discounts to patients who already get their treatments from you. Your patients will obtain medical help quickly, and your practice will make more profits without any extra work. 

5. Secure Email and Forms

With the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created the Privacy Rule ( HIPAA). The latter informs patients about their privacy rights and how much control they have over their health information. Patients often want assurance that any information supplied through your medical website is secure and confidential, as well as beneficial to their treatment.

A medical website design that enables patients to fill forms online will reduce staff workload and help minimize the time that patients spend in your waiting room. You’ll be able to integrate forms into your website and communicate better so that patients can receive timely medical care. Beyond saving your time and theirs, you need to ensure that the information filled on such forms is protected by encryption technology. 

By keeping medical and contact information safe, you’re offering patients peace of mind, and they’ll be more open to engaging your services. 

6. Doctor Portal

Medical website design features help patients learn more about improving their health. Patients have the opportunity to complete certain processes before going to your office. 

Doctors also benefit from the website by using the doctor portal feature. Doctors can interact with their patients before they even arrive at the office. The doctor portal allows doctors to access their emails, manage web content (with the help of other staff members), review web statistics, track their appointments, send periodic newsletters to patients, and even send e-cards to current or prospective patients.

This feature allows patients to contact their doctors without eating into medical professionals’ off-shift time. 

Get Started on These Features Right Away

Your medical website should fit your practice like a glove. You need features like blogging, secure email and forms, online booking, SEO for doctors, Facebook ads, and more to easily reach new and current patients from anywhere. 

A physician website design should have features like the doctor portal and reputation tracker as part of a user-friendly website design to help improve how you present your services to patients.

Professional medical websites need the above features, and even more — like intelligent reviews, call scheduling, and customer support — to meet the unique needs of medical practitioners and the expectations of their prospective and current patients.

For a successful practice, you need a feature-packed medical website, and expert designers like Officite can help you figure out how to use website features to improve the engagement and satisfaction of patients who come into your practice.

Schedule a consultation with Officite to discuss your unique needs today.