Search Engine Optimization, SEO, has been around for nearly 20 years now. But digital marketers sometimes forget the value and importance of a well-optimized website.
Consumers have come to rely on search for everyday decisions— from where to eat to which doctor to choose. And Google has responded by displaying those answers in a wide arrange of formats, like “Quick Answers” and product carousels. This, plus the increasing dominance of paid search ads and social media feeds, has increasingly pushed down search results.
While these changes may appear to make having a well-optimized website less important, the opposite is true. Google is simply changing the appearance of high-ranking organic results and presenting them in a friendlier manner, better suited for mobile, speed, and clarity.
Therefore, companies that can optimize their websites to take full advantage of these new features easily dominate search results. They do this by adding company, product, and even medical schema; employing twitter cards and review snippets; and making the most of Facebook open graph tags. Not only do these changes bring their website into the spotlight, but they increase consumer engagement and decrease their ad costs. By providing the type of content that consumers are looking for and understanding their search intent, companies can take a larger share of the largest digital channel in the marketplace: organic.
Take a moment to evaluate how your hospital’s search results appear in Google. Begin with a branded term search. Does your health system appear, and do you dominate the page like MD Anderson? Do you appear for branded searches at all? If you don’t, then you need to optimize your website immediately.
Where can you start optimizing?
1.Take advantage of Google’s free resources. Create a Google Search Console Account for your domain and read through the feedback Google gives you. Some of the messages might be warnings. Never ignore these!
2.Help Google index your website. You can do this by submitting a current sitemap and a robots file to Google through Google Search Console. These are well known to improve organic results. If your agency tells you otherwise, run away quickly.
3. Use schema! Google is not a person—its algorithms need a little help “understanding” the meaning of your content. This is where schema comes in. For instance, Google doesn’t know whether your ‘cancer signs in men’ page refers to medical symptoms or zodiac signs; you have to make it clear by assigning medical schema.
The takeaway: SEO has better ROI
Consumers are now aware that ads appear on the top of Google search results and typically click on the organic links that appear below them. While the click-through rate for most ads is 1.9%, the click through rate for the best ranked website is over 32%, and those clicks don’t cost you.
To put it simply, don’t ignore SEO. Organic search results are still the single largest digital channel. Ignoring the organic channel is the same as ignoring half of your market. Dominating organic search results ensures that you can reach the maximum number of potential customers without having to continually increase you paid budgets to maintain your lead funnel. After all, your best marketing channel isn’t paid!
About us and this blog
We are a digital marketing company with a focus on helping our customers achieve great results across several key areas.
The SEO Physician, is a healthcare SEO agency that specializes in patient acquisition for healthcare systems, ambulatory surgery centers, and physician groups. The SEO Physician is owned and operated by Pero SEO, Inc.