Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t a luxury for medical practice owners; it’s a necessity. In the past, medical practice owners could succeed without a strong presence on the internet, but times have changed. If you’re a medical practice owner, you should make SEO a priority for the following four reasons.
#1 Increase Trust and Credibility
Finally, patients are more likely to trust your medical practice if it ranks high in the search results. After all, if a website ranks high in Google, it usually means it’s relevant and features high-quality content. The opposite can be said for low-ranking sites: if a site ranks low in Google, it’s either irrelevant to the respective search query, or it contains low-quality content. Regardless, a top search ranking can increase your medical practice’s trust and credibility, giving you an advantage over competing practices.
#2 Phone Books are Obsolete
Once an invaluable marketing tool for small businesses, phone books have since become obsolete. Statistics show that 70 percent of Americans today never even open them. In fact, some cities such as Seattle and San Francisco have proposed banning their unsolicited distribution to prevent unnecessary landfill waste.
Rather than using phone books to find medical practices and other local businesses, consumers today use the internet. Finding a medical practice in 600-page phone book can be time consuming and tedious, but performing a Google search takes less than a minute. If your medical practice doesn’t rank high in the search results, however, you’ll lose these prospects as potential patients.
#3 Cost-Effective Way to Attract New Patients
You don’t have to spend a fortune to attract new patients. Using SEO, you can build your medical practice’s clientele for a fraction the cost of traditional marketing channels. Once your medical practice ranks high in the search results, prospective patients will find it on their own. This means you’ll have a steady flow of web traffic, with some of these visitors converting into patients.
To put the importance of SEO into perspective, research cited by Search Engine Watch suggests the number one organic search ranking in Google receives 33 percent traffic while websites ranking tenth in Google receive 2.4 percent traffic.
#4 Increase Brand Recognition
Of course, SEO can increase your medical practice’s brand recognition. Every time someone clicks your search listing, they’ll see your medical practice’s name, logo and other brand elements. Over time, this exposure can help patients and prospective patients remember your medical practice. The next time they need a medical service offered by your practice, they’ll probably choose it instead of a competitor’s practice.
As you can see, SEO for doctors offers several benefits. However, it’s important to use the right tactics when optimizing a practice’s website for search traffic. Using outdated tactics may backfire by lowering your search rankings instead of raising them. By partnering with a professional digital marketing firm like SEO For Doctors, however, you’ll have an easier time climbing the search results and establishing your medical practice as a leading authoritative figure.