If you are a medical website owner, you want to be in the top 10 search results on Google and Yandex. Why? – Statistics show that 73% of patients turn to search engines if they need a doctor, and 89% turn to search if they have health problems. And 55% click on one of the first lines in the search results. So you lose to competitors if your site is not in the top three.
The way out of this situation is to order the site’s promotion in the TOP from professionals. Unfortunately, over the past two years since the release of Google’s “medical updates,” the rise of such sites has become very complicated, and professional skills and knowledge are indispensable. So let’s look at what affects the success of promoting a medical website.
Why invest in medical website promotion?
With the digital revolution in consumer services, potential patients are looking for hospitals, clinics, doctors, and treatment centers online and using mobile devices. Unfortunately, if you are not on the first page of search results, your potential customers go to competitors.
Some doctors believe it is enough to order contextual advertising for Yandex to attract customers. Direct. And this method works: if you need to attract customers quickly, it is impossible to add a thousand pages of quality content at once quickly. But this is a limited approach: contextual advertising without SEO is like putting bandages on a deep wound. This may solve part of the problem in the short term, but sustainable results must be achieved.
What is needed to bring the medical website to the top?
Well-defined ranking factors determine the success of promoting a medical website design. Let’s list the most important ones.
- The site must be fast, secure, and mobile-friendly.
- Compliance with the requirements of search engines.
- The site should be optimized for important search queries
- The clinic must prove its authority and expertise by confirming the status of doctors
- The authority of the site must be confirmed by third-party sources: directories, directories, social signals
- Accounts in Google My Business and Yandex Directory must be 100% filled
Now let’s look at each item separately.
Clinic site performance optimization
Speed, security, and mobility are the three main technical factors determining the promotion’s success. If the site loads longer than 3 seconds, users refuse to pack and go to other sites. Search engines consider this, and a slow site drops out of the top.
Security requirements have also recently become a mandatory requirement for sites, especially in topics related to the health and money of visitors. The site must at least be accessible via the secure HTTPS protocol. In 2020, this was already a mandatory requirement.
The same goes for adaptation for mobile devices. Mobile traffic makes up about 70% of all traffic. So people will go to another site if your site is not adapted for smartphones. Search engines also consider this: Google uses the Mobile-First algorithm, which considers the mobile version to be the main version of the site.
Search Engine Compliance
If once it was possible to use texts written by non-professionals for SEO promotion of a medical website, now this no longer works and is even punished. High-quality content should help the target audience improve their lives and provide confirmed truthful information. In healthcare, this is especially important since the health and even life of the audience depend on it.
The Google Search Quality Guide outlines the basic requirements for content:
- Content should be created for users, not for search engines;
- do not mislead users;
- tricks designed to improve search rankings should be avoided;
- you need to focus on the site’s uniqueness, value, and attractiveness for visitors.
Google’s biggest demands are on YMYL – “Your money, your life” sites, the financial and medical website that can affect users’ happiness, health, and financial stability. Unfortunately, the standards for such topics are very high: low-quality pages can be dangerous. So Google filters such sites from search results.
Medical website optimization by keywords
Search engines learn to understand user intent based on known data, but keyword optimization is still an important factor in SEO success. For example, you must create optimized content for the right keywords to promote a medical website to the top.
Each field has its specifics, but for medicine, you can use some basic framework for keywords. Example:
- Allergist + city
- Allergist + city district or district
- Asthma treatment + city
- Services + allergist + metro station
You need to understand that for a big city, binding to a given area is important. Then, of course, they will go to a specialist with a name to the other end of the city, another city, and even another country. But promotion through local SEO, when search results are generated based on the user’s physical location, remains very important for the promotion of medical institutions. We will return to this point below.
Other important keywords are searched statistics systems, Yandex-Wordstat, and Google Keyword Planner. With their help, you can get a list of real search keys and their characteristics. We discussed data collection in detail in the article on working with semantics.
Keep in mind that search engines can punish spam keywords. Therefore, an experienced SEO specialist should compile the terms of reference for preparing text content.
The site of a medical clinic must prove its credibility.
One of the most important ranking factors for search engines has always been the site’s authority. Many characteristics define it. Previously, it was about the age of the domain, its history, the number of links from authoritative sites, and the technical condition of the resource. After the release of “medical updates,” new requirements appeared.
Search engines strive to promote only trusted sites: real-life clinics and medical centers where certified, certified specialists and healthcare professionals work.
The site’s content dedicated to health and medicine must be written by a specialist with documented knowledge and skills. No anonymous materials: everything said must be signed by the real name of a person with a scientific degree, certificates, experience, and authority.
Please pay attention to how the doctor’s profile is filled out in the screenshot above: all information about his education, specialization, length of service, and work experience is presented. In addition, there is a link to more information. Again, all data is checked and confirmed. Content created by an expert has much more weight for search engines than any “untitled” text or article signed by an unknown author with no proven reputation or authority.
In addition, the content should contain links to supporting materials, case studies, links to expert data, and scientific articles.
Third-party sources confirming the status of the clinic
Of course, not every doctor or clinic can be found in authoritative sources like Wikipedia. However, basic reputation tools are always available.
First of all, they include:
- social networks
- authoritative directories and services
- specialized medical forums
- review sites
- the developed link profile of the site
Be sure to start the pages of your clinic or social media in medical marketing. They are needed not only for advertising: this is one of the ways to communicate with patients.
Work with reviews. As a rule, people often leave only negative reviews on their initiative. This can be bad for the reputation of the clinic. In this case, it makes sense to contact an Internet reputation specialist (SERM), who will be able to competently level the negative and solve the problem with the representation of the institution in the search.
Accounts in Google My Business and Yandex Directory
Search engines try to show the user’s request to institutions close to the user. As a result, the number of search queries containing the phrase “next to me” is growing yearly. For patients close to you to be able to find you, you need to register an account in Google My Business and Yandex Directory.
This data will appear not only in the database of search engines but also in map services. For example, for each geo-dependent request of a commercial nature, Google first displays advertisements and then a “package of maps,” where it shows several clinics near the visitor. On a smartphone, users only see this without scrolling down.
We have described in detail the work with GMB in a separate article.
This works even if the clinic does not have a website: you can create a mini-site in the service, place basic information and reviews, communicate with your clients, and publish news there.
Keep in mind that in addition to search engines, users can use other services to find the nearest clinic, such as Zoon or 2GIS. It is also worth adding official information about your institution there. Search engines also use this information.
Search engine promotion of medical institutions is one of the most difficult areas of SEO. We have described the main tools, and now you have a general idea. But to use this data, we also need a comprehensive site audit, competitor analysis, and prioritization.