Eight in ten online health seekers say they begin their search at a search engine like Google, so it makes sense that you want to increase the chance that they will find your website when they search for information.
There are many tactics you can use to drive more traffic to your website and while the following list is not exhaustive, these are some of the ways I have used to increase my own visibility online.
1. Audit Your Competitors
Start by drawing up a list of ten top websites in your niche. If your competitors’ websites are more streamlined, functional and fresher than yours, they may be drawing in more patients with a stronger online presence. Make a list of their sites and critically evaluate them in terms of look, design, and functionality. Do they include a blog? Helpful checklists? Pre-registration forms patients can fill out to save time before their appointment? An online appointment system? Screenshot the design features you think work well and think about how you might incorporate them into your own website.
2. Sign Up For Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool which will help you identify how well your website is performing over time. Use it to monitor your site’s performance. Has it declined over time? Are there fewer people coming to your site? Do they stick around or “bounce” off your site too quickly? Bounce rate is a contributor to your site’s search rankings, and it refers to the amount of time someone is on your site before “bouncing” off to another site. If you have a lot of people who look and quickly click away, it tells search engines you don’t have useful information on your site. This information helps you plan ways to improve your site’s performance and visibility.
3. Tailor Your Site’s Information To Reader Needs
Is your website nothing more than a glorified brochure? To attract patients to your website, you should be prepared to add more value in the form of information. What kind of information are potential readers looking for? Identify the most frequently asked questions in your practice and create blogs, videos, and FAQs for your website to answer those questions.
4. Use Keywords Strategically
It’s important to include the right keywords on your website if you want to rank higher for particular search terms and increase your online visibility. Keyword research is vital because identifying the terms people are searching for will determine the kind of content you create and the way you will optimize it.
Recommended Reading: How To Find The Best Keywords For Your Website
5. Optimize Your Site For Local Search
If you want more people to find you online, you need to optimize your website through good search engine optimization practices. And if you want to attract new patients, your website also needs to be optimized for your local area. When someone uses the internet to locate a Medical Practice nearby, it’s critical that your website appears in those results (searches on mobile devices containing the phrase “near me” has skyrocketed in recent years).
Recommended Reading: Why and How You Should Optimise Your Medical Website For Local Search
6. Optimize Your Site For Voice Search
The majority of patients searching for information on the web still trust search engines but the way people search for information online is changing. Increasingly, people are using voice search on their smartphones, tablets or voice assistants (like the Amazon Echo or Google Home devices) to search for information on the internet (yet another compelling reason to make sure that your site is optimized for mobile).
In essence, voice searches are largely about answering questions. Here are some tips to consider while generating content for voice activation devices:
- Write in a conversational tone
- Use long-tail keywords
- Account for misspelled/misinterpreted words (sometimes Siri or Alexa can misinterpret what you’re saying).
7. Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Responsive
Having a mobile-responsive site (ie one that automatically changes its layout and placements of certain menus and buttons automatically) is important because firstly, over half of patients search online for health information on their smartphone, and secondly, Google now gives ranking priority to those sites that are mobile friendly. In fact, Google has stated that it will penalize websites that aren’t mobile-responsive, so if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’ll likely lose out significantly in the organic search rankings. To check if your site’s design is responsive, enter its URL into this Google tool.
8. Include A Blog
Companies who blog receive a whopping 97% more links to their website. Incorporating a blog on your site is relatively easy; the challenge lies in consistently creating fresh content. If you are struggling to come up with new ideas on a regular basis for your blog, then this list of 16 content ideas should help get you started.
9. Drive More Traffic With Social Shares
By making it easy for visitors to your site to share your content, you increase the likelihood that they will take this action. When more people share your content, you increase the chance of driving more visitors to your site.
Your website is pivotal to your digital marketing strategy. And with more patients than ever searching online for you, it’s imperative that your website is optimized for them to find you. It takes time and resources to optimize your site to deliver the best experience possible, but if you are serious about how your business performs, you need to get serious about the performance of your website too.