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Retailers and restaurants aren’t the only businesses that have taken a financial hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Small, private medical practices and physicians around the country report significant declines in revenue due to the sudden absence of in-person visits—and telemedicine has picked up only a small part of the slack.
The Medical Group Management Association found that 97% of the 724 medical practices surveyed reported a negative financial impact. Moreover, other surveys show that 68% of practicing physicians in Texas had to cut their work hours, while salaries were reduced for 62% of the practices due to COVID-19.
Additionally, 35% of medical practices said they had to furlough staff, and 22% of practices made permanent layoffs.
So the question now is, how can medical practices soften the blow of the economic recession on their practices?
Seeing as 77% of potential patients use search engines prior to booking an appointment, medical practices can leverage the power of search engine optimization (SEO) to secure the coveted top positions in search results and, thus, increase their search visibility.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how doctors can use SEO to drive traffic to their websites and convert that traffic into patients for their local private practices.
When patients are looking for a doctor in their vicinity, the first thing they type into Google is “doctor near me.” The keyword “doctor” has variants depending on the specialty, for instance, “eye doctor near me,” “family doctor near me,” “ENT doctor near me,” etc.
Medical practices can create multiple service pages for their website based on these variations and make sure these keywords are strategically incorporated.
In addition to targeted keywords, make sure you incorporate the name of your city, town, region, or neighborhood into your landing pages and other content. Follow Google’s N.A.P. (name, address, phone number) rule for this purpose.
With time and consistency, your practice might just show up in Google’s 3-Pack, dominating local search results. This can make a huge difference in increasing consultations or appointments and driving overall practice growth.
Reviews and testimonials are a big part of healthcare marketing. After coming across your practice’s website, visitors often head over to online review sites, such as Yelp, or social media platforms to find out what previous patients have to say about you.
Therefore, make sure you feature a reviews/testimonials page on your site. Incorporate first-party reviews—those that people have given directly to your practice. It’s also a great idea to feature third-party reviews, which are pulled from sites such as Yelp, Google, and Facebook.
Assuming that you’re already listed and have claimed your Google My Business (GMB) profile, it’s critical that you optimize it to ensure people receive the correct information about your medical practice.
GMB also gives you the opportunity to unlock critical analytics that can further help you improve your SEO efforts.
By providing accurate details—such as the address, the contact information, and relevant photos of your practice—you help search engines display an accurate picture of your practice.
Note: Make sure the information on your GMB profile matches that on your website.
SEO strategy takes time and commitment, which is why it’s worth hiring an advertising and marketing agency that can take over your SEO efforts with a lead-focused strategy.
Find out more about our paid search advertising services and professional SEO services today. Call (832) 321-3196 for a free SEO assessment.