It was once absolutely true that the doctor who has a great bedside manner and made local housecalls was almost assured of success. However, in only a generation the world of business has changed beyond recognition.
Today what can make or break a practice is the savvy use of the Internet – and in particular, just how well a medical doctor can take advantage of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
So why would medical SEO for doctors be so important? Firstly because SEO is at the heart of ensuring that a medical practice website appears high in the search engine rankings. there is a saying that the best place to hide a dead body is on page three of the Google search results – because no one ever looks there.
Research backs up this opinion. Those who are using a search engine to locate goods or services will very rarely search after page one or two. Those who harness the power of SEO will make sure that their website appears on page one.
SEO relies on practices such as harnessing the power of keywords in the copy that is used on the website (and in content such as meta tags that are attached to images and video). The formulation of those keywords can however be a challenge – and so can the measurement of the success of the SEO efforts). SEO practice requires vigilance and constant fine-tuning in order to achieve the desired results.
Just what are the results of medical SEO for doctors? Of course, harnessing the power of a search engine is only the first step. The careful formulation of SEO keywords and phrases enables the practice to attract a constant stream of new patients. Given how competitive the online environment has become SEO is not something that is ‘nice to have’. It is simply a business imperative.
The challenge lies in the fact that professional SEO efforts require specialist knowledge. It is a field that is constantly evolving. Measuring the success of those efforts also calls for analysis that relies on software and metrics that are often not in the core skill set of medical practitioners.
Smaller practices will also not be able to tolerate the impact on the bottom line that would come from retaining the services of an-house marketing specialist. In these cases, the best option is to outsource the function. the key is not to ignore the power of SEO – but rather to take a logical and strategically sound approach to its practice.