One of the first things I noticed when I started Rethink was that there was usually MAYBE one clinic in a city that was killing it on SEO. They generally had no competition as most clinics seem to either not believe in Google (crazy, right?) or they had hired an SEO company that clearly had no idea what they were doing. (why is this so common?)
SEO really isn't as complicated as the people trying to sell you are leading you to believe. It's just A LOT of work. One note that I can't believe I have to make is that first off, you need a website for your clinic. It scares me that I am meeting optometrists in Toronto this week that don't even have a website. How is this a thing in 2018?
What I mean to say in the simplest terms, your clinic's online presence matters. If you're an older clinic owner who is jaded on digital marketing or just someone who doesn't believe it in, prepare to lose most of your new patients to the young up and comers who grew up with this stuff. They understand that people judge you by what they see online, way before they step into your clinic. 86 percent of patients conduct an online search before booking an appointment.
So what can you be doing to improve your clinic's SEO?
1. Stop Wishing and Start Doing Video
One of our top tier packages includes video marketing/YouTube. It's great to see so many clinic owners light up when they see this. But you can do this before you're ready to outsource your marketing.
We carry very powerful computers and great cameras in our pockets at all times. It takes 2 minutes or less to create a quick video. Give people a tip. Are you noticing a lot of people with headaches? Give them a stretch that could help. Become a person of value. Upload your videos to YouTube. I'm not sure if you know, but YouTube is a Google product. This should be no surprise that it's also a very powerful tool for SEO.
2. Optimize your titles, URL and descriptions
Which one of these is more descriptive?
Which one is catchy and friendlier to your potential patient leads?
Which one gives you a very good idea of what the website is about without having to click on it?
If you saw both in the search results, which one would you choose?
Critique your clinic's website using this way of thinking and if there is room for improvement in your titles and descriptions, this is your low hanging fruit and a great first step for getting better rankings.
3. Use Social Media or Fall Behind
We generally recommend Facebook and Instagram as the two platforms to start with for health care and wellness clinics (Google + as well as again, it's a Google product). Pinterest can be great as well, women are many times the household healthcare decision maker and they love this one. Twitter can be very effective as well.
Pay attention to hot topics, what are people talking about right now? Incorporate this into your posts and blogs (you better be blogging at least twice a month if you want to rank well on Google) This is also a great way to do keyword research for your SEO efforts.
Staying on top of these trends will also help you rank well on Google if you implement them effectively. If you're the person that people look to for answers, you've become a thought leader in your space. This will put your growth on hyper speed.
4. Lose The Huge Photos
What's it with clinic websites and massive pictures? You may think it looks good, but it's probably hurting your website's performance. One thing that impacts your ranking is your page's load time. Large pictures take a long time to load. It's really straight forward.
This not only hurts your ranking, this kills the user experience. If a potential patient visit your site and it takes forever to load, they are going to move onto the next clinic. That's the buying behaviour of the average person in 2018.
Ensure that your photos are great quality, have the correct aspect ratio, and work perfectly with all devices.
5. Utilize Your Meta Description
Many people seem to ignore or underestimate meta tags because it isn't factored into the Google algorithm for rankings. Don't make this mistake. Your meta tag description is incredibly important, when done well, it's great marketing. This is your chance to write an effective call to action and entice potential new patients to click.
I have seen many websites who were ranked number 1 get less traffic than number 4. The only reason I can think of for this to happen is because number 4 had better copy in their description. If your description is boring or underwhelming, people will be less likely to click your link. It's that straight forward.
So in conclusion, if you believe that SEO is only for online businesses, you couldn't be more wrong. We have clinic's who do 30-50+ new patients per month because they have decided to invest in SEO while their competitors sleep on it.
When was the last time you searched the Yellow Pages for something? When was the last time you Googled something?
If you'd like a free marketing evaluation for your clinic, contact Rethink Social customer support at firstname.lastname@example.org and get started today. We only work with clinic's that want to grow.