It is undeniable that SEO has been a revolutionary tool in digital marketing since its official emergence in 1997. With the emergence of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), many occupation fields have started to benefit from its advantages that may help them boost their numbers online. Healthcare sector is one the biggest sectors that rely on the proper usage of SEO online. It has been a fact that many patients would like to search for their symptoms online before consulting their physicians due to numerous reasons such as the time that takes to see a doctor and the examination costs. These confinements have been blocking the way of providing a better healthcare for the community and better patient-doctor relationships; yet, they have started to vanish with the widespread usage of SEO in the healthcare field.
SEO as a Tool for Digital Networking
Nowadays, almost all hospitals –from the largest to even some local institutions- have their own websites on the Internet, which provide many services to their patients. These services can vary from engaging online appointments for patients to offering online physician consultation services. Indeed, the fact that an online website provides such services to its customers is good, yet the visibility and accessibility of such medical websites are some important topics that should not be overlooked.
In the age of information and knowledge, the competition on the attraction of the potential customers has spread over to the medical field as well. To be able to survive in such harsh and ever-changing conditions, hospitals and medical centers must be able to adapt to recent conditions and be innovative in their services. This is where SEO steps in as the best option in this digital warfare.
Common Misunderstandings on the Concept
Hospitals and such medical centers can benefit from SEO in numereous ways. Yet, there are some things that need to be understood first. SEO indeed can help the institutions in many cases but the improper usage of SEO made by inexperienced individuals might result with a faulty campaign. For example, knowing the fact that SEO works via the usage of keywords and key phrases, unskilled SEO operators might make mistakes such as putting too many keywords into websites in order to make them more visible in online pages. While it is true that this is the key idea behind the SEO operations, putting too many keywords causes a confusion in Google’s algorithm and might result with a situation of even less –sometimes not at all- visibility online. So, this optimization practice must be done by skillful individuals or professionals, if possible.
Another common mistake is trying to implement an improvement on the entire website. Google’s search algorithm works by ranking the related webpages, not the whole websites. Knowing this, one should instead look for alternative ways, such as creating some landing sites for the website that will narrow down the subjects and make the patients’ online searches clearer and easier. Also, hospitals can benefit from this usage by categorizing the areas of expertise such as neurologics, orthopaedics etc. into some landing sites, which they can use long-tailed keywords to use SEO without causing any confusion in the algorithm.
Local listings and local SEO are another significant ways of reaching to more local patients around. According to the studies, more than %70 of the patients look for online websites before getting a professional’s help. During this process of searching, patients might encounter many different clinics or hospitals around the region where they live. One another thing that can be used by hospitals and medical centers is the proper usage of the local SEO.
Google allows medical businesses to submit both physical business listings and the listings of physicians that work there. Also giving detailed information about the doctors and medical staff might help with a higher chance of engagement with patiens online. Further info such as some personal details or the doctors’ contributes to publications may also be given in order to enrich the local SEO of the hospital.
Convenience is the Key to Success
Accessibility is yet another subject when it comes to the prioritisation of Google’s algorithm. Studies show that %44 of the patients tend to make appointments after searching online for their symptoms. This alone shows the significance of having a mobile friendly website. Also, Google encourages website designers to make their sites mobile and user friendly. Individuals can benefit from this facilitation that Google provides in order to promote their medical centers.
In verdict, it is fair enough to say that SEO may be used as a powerful tool for promoting medical businesses such as hospitals and local clinics. SEO operations can be improved by the implementation of further techniques. It must be noted that SEO is not a process that once it has been done it gets finished. A skillful and proficient SEO operator should be in charge of such process, and must be able to track and adapt to the newly emerging trends of search engines. This way, hospitals and medical centers can benefit the most from the usage of SEO and may enlargen their network of current and potential patients.