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29 Jun 2017

7 Healthcare SEO Trends Dermatologists Can’t Ignore

It’s time to make the yearly marketing budget for your dermatology practice. What should you put the most effort and expense into? Expensive print ads, TV commercials, printed banners and flyers?

Maybe. But, the most important aspect of your marketing strategy should be your SEO strategy.

But, the most important aspect of your marketing plan should be your healthcare SEO strategy. The best thing you can do for your business is getting it found on Google.

The good news? An amazing SEO strategy is cheaper and more effective than any of the other traditional marketing techniques around.

The best place to start in any online marketing strategy is with trends. Here we go over 7 of the current SEO trends that will most benefit your dermatology practice.

Top 7 Healthcare SEO Trends and Tips

Use All the Tools You Have

If you have a website you’re certainly using Google Analytics. Google recently made major updates to this incredible resource.

Google has just released a brand new “Home” in analytics with tons more info than before.

They have also removed the cap from Google Data Studio and you can now run unlimited reports. This is great news to pinpoint exactly what your audience wants.

Content is Truly King

If you’ve been doing this for awhile you will have noticed the change in healthcare SEO practices over the years.

Older healthcare SEO gurus would tell you to add tons of keywords and a bunch of links that made no sense. That it didn’t matter what the content said only that it had all the keywords you wanted it to rank for.

This could not be any farther from the truth nowadays.

Search engines are smart and continue to get smarter. You’re rewarded for having quality content that has been properly optimized for healthcare SEO.

Google is looking for things like context clues, proper sourcing, actual good info. The fluff of yesterday with 45 occurrences of “peanut butter treats for dogs” in an article about dog kenneling is no longer gonna cut it.

In fact, covering a single topic in-depth (2000 words or more) will give you better results than 10 short fluff pieces that offer no real value.

Offer value to your patients and partners. Provide quality content on topics they care about. Make sure you’re doing quality keyword research before deciding on topics. You will be rewarded with rankings.

Mobile Optimization

Having your website mobile optimized has never been more important for your healthcare SEO strategy.

At the beginning of this year, Google went through a massive algorithm change. Dubbed “Mobilegeddon” this change basically made it impossible to get to the first page without being optimized for mobile.

Tons of sites got knocked down in the rankings.

If you’re not optimized do this now. You can test if your site is mobile optimized here if you are unsure.

Not optimized? If you don’t have someone on your healthcare SEO and marketing team that handles your website you’ll want to get a professional for this. It can be a tricky business.

Use Your Microdata and Schema

Schema and Microdata is a set of information all the search engines utilize to determine the quality and rankings of your website.

It is a very powerful tool and you can provide lots of relevant healthcare SEO data in your markup like:

  • Hospital or Practice Information
  • Address
  • Contact Information
  • Surgery Specialties
  • Treatment Specialties
  • Certifications
  • Employees

Utilizing this background data makes your site more easy to crawl and more relevant to search engines.

AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages

AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, is something to consider if you’re going through the trouble of optimizing your site for mobile anyway.

You’ll mainly want to consider this if your site includes a store. You’ll want to AMP the product pages before other pages.

While healthcare SEO isn’t generally shopping heavy, your dermatology practice may sell a line of sunscreen or moisturizer. Definitely put those products online and AMP those pages up.

Get into the 3-Pack: Focus on Local Search

You’ll notice that Google looks different during your search for a business lately.

Say you type in “Dermatologist in Chicago, Il”. Your first 3 results will be three local businesses and a Google map.

This is affectionately referred to as the “3-Pack” for local search. Getting on this list is imperative for getting your local business seen.

Since this is at the very top of the page, the ads are right below it, and the organic search results are below them. If you aren’t optimized for local search the highest placement you can have is number 4. That’s not that great.

Using an SEO expert with a proven technique is your best bet on getting into that 3-pack.

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews: Yes They Are Still That Important

To put it bluntly, you should ask every single patient that walks into your practice for a review.

Have your Google listing posted in the office. Take everyone’s email on the sign in sheet and have them opt-in for a newsletter. Blast the link out to the email list.

Set up a protocol to email a review form to your patients after every appointment.

Make this a priority. When trying to get into the top search results, especially for local search, having as many reviews as possible is super important.

Now, don’t be tempted to hire that guy who messaged you on LinkedIn that he could get you 50 five star reviews for $20. Those are fake reviews. Google knows the difference.

Too many five star reviews actually look super fishy to Google.

Make sure your patients are encouraged to provide honest feedback and a couple sentences as to why they gave their star rating. This will not only help your rankings but will also help you improve your hospital or practice.

Where Do I Go From Here?

Now that you know what to do you have to implement it.

If you don’t already have an SEO expert or development team, reach out to one in your area.

They can advise on the best SEO strategy for your specific needs.