As a dermatologist, how do prospective patients find you?
Once upon a time, your customers might come across your clinic by chance or through traditional marketing means such as word of mouth, flyers, and radio stations.
Fast forward to 2017, those strategies have been replaced.
Success belongs to ones who optimize their business online presence.
In other words, it’s SEO.
Behind every high-ranking website is a SEO plan well executed.
Search Engine Optimization, commonly known as SEO, is the key to that magic spot on the first page of Google. It gives your dermatology clinic the essential advantages to thrive in a cutthroat world of competition.
Yes, there is a long list of factors you need to get right in order to make Google like your website.
There’s also a significant amount of effort and time involved.
It seems like a daunting task.
But SEO is no rocket science. There are basic concepts you can easily understand and apply to your business.
So with no further delay, here’s the essential guide to creating the perfect dermatology SEO plan.
Your SEO-Friendly Dermatology Website
A website is the stepping stone to creating a pleasant online experience for your potential visitors. Think of it as the online representative of your clinic.
It is also great for starting and maintaining conversations with your patients. It’s the place for people to learn about you and what you can offer.
A beautifully optimized dermatology website consists of two critical elements: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
So whether you’re starting fresh with a new dermatology website or your existing website needs some spices to boost the search ranking, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
On-Page Dermatology SEO
On-page dermatology SEO helps search engines to see and understand your business. The task involves optimizing individual web pages, everything from keyword research to content readability.
The good news is you have a much greater control over on-page SEO compared to its counterpart. Here’s a short and sweet list of fundamental factors you should address when working on on-page SEO for your dermatology clinic.
1. Page Hierarchy
A website is like a family tree — it needs to follow a structure.
Well-organized websites enable users to navigate from one page to another smoothly. This is critical for user experience. A patient will certainly get frustrated if your dermatology website can’t seem to point him or her to the most relevant information they need.
Search engines also favor sites with clear, good structures.
The rule of thumb is simple: the most important pages should be at the top.
Smaller headers should be nested below bigger headers. Only use H1 tags for blog titles or else Google might penalize your website.
2. Evergreen, Quality Content
Your content should be relevant to the audience. If you run a dermatology clinic, your content should specifically about issues and queries related to dermatology.
Long-form content (blog posts with at least 500 words) usually works better. Make sure it’s useful, fresh, educational, and regularly updated.
A website with well-written, quality content gains trust — from both users and search engines.
3. URL Optimization
Google doesn’t like URLs stuffed with more than 10 words long.
Together with hyphens, it gets much worse.
Try to stick with 3-5 words in your URLs. Google algorithm won’t give additional words much credit.
Make sure your primary keywords are in the titles. Best to put them in the beginning of the title tags, but only if it makes sense. Keep your title tags under 70 characters.
Content interlinking enhances user experience. Google loves it when you connect relevant content through internal and external links. Make sure you only link to credible external resources.
Including images, infographics, and videos helps lower bounce rate and boost the perceived value of your content.
Relevant use of multimedia keeps users engaged, making them more likely to spend extra time on your website.
Don’t forget to properly label your image file and the ALT text field. This simple task is the quickest and most effective way to increase your ranking in image search pages.
6. Mobile Optimization
Perhaps you’ve heard about the increasing importance of mobile compatibility. If you ignored this in the past, it’s time to give it a serious look.
According to findings by StatCounter, in 2016 mobile and tablet devices officially overtook desktops for internet usage.
This means you need to go a few extra miles to make sure your website is friendly and fully optimized for mobile devices.
Pay attention to key factors like page speed, distance between touch elements, flash usage, font size, and local search.
Start with responsive web design — Google loves it and it enhances user experience. It’s a win-win.
Off-Page Dermatology SEO
Off-page dermatology SEO consists of elements that are mostly out of the boundaries of your website. You actually have much less control over this factor. That said, you should not ignore its importance.
In general, off-page SEO is associated with link building, social media marketing, and social bookmarking.
In other words, off-page SEO is about building external relationships for your site.
This way search engines can return the high quality, relevant, and trusted results to the searcher. For instance, if your website is mentioned or shared among a community of people who care about dermatology, Google will give it more credit.
Local SEO for Dermatologists
It’s important to know the nature of your business and how it differentiates itself from the competition.
If you run a dermatologist clinic, your focus should be on a local audience.
Instead of competing for generic keywords such as “dermatology”, try to target more locally-related keywords.
Say if your clinic is in Chicago, you should include “Chicago”, even the name of the specific area in your list of primary keywords.
Being relevant makes it much easier for Google to send local qualifiers and suitable traffic to your website.
Wrapping Things Up
SEO is constantly changing.
As Google continues to tweak its search engine algorithm, there are always new strategies and practices.
However, these are fundamental elements that have stayed over the years. They build a perfect dermatology SEO plan for your website, ensuring your prospective patients will have no trouble finding you.
Do you want to create a long-lasting online presence for your dermatology clinic? Contact us today to learn about how we can help take your practice to the next level.