Ever Googled medical practices in your city and wondered why some rank
higher than others?
It’s not luck. Clinics that rank better invest in content marketing and
search engine optimization (SEO) to drive more traffic to their websites.
Here are five ways to show up above your competitors in the search engines:
1. Make use of both paid and organic traffic
With more web traffic comes higher visibility and more booked appointments;
but do you know how that traffic finds you? Traffic drivers typically fall
into two categories:
• Organic traffic
finds your website without the help of paid advertising. It results from an
investment in building credibility and trust with search engines, social
platforms and other websites. Common traffic drivers include:
· Search engine optimization
· Referrals from other sites
· Social media shares
· Blogging and thought leadership
• Paid traffic
finds your website through purchased advertisements and sponsored
placements. The results are almost instantaneous. Paid traffic drivers
· Pay-per-click ads (e.g. Google Adwords)
· Banner ads on other websites
· Social media ads
· Sponsored/promoted content
A best practice for many organizations may be to use both organic and paid
2. Optimize your website
Your website is both the public face of your organization and arguably its
best salesperson, but you won’t win any new patients if no one can find it.
Optimize content for both the search engines and for prospective clients.
Keep in mind that Google is now incorporating user experience as a ranking
The best websites have:
This includes content, URL structure, meta-descriptions, title tags,
image descriptions and more.
Fast load times and a friendly user interface are essential. Your
website should be easily navigable and offer clear calls to action on
every page that instruct visitors what to do next (e.g., “Book a Free
Consultation” or “Learn More.”)
have exceeded desktop searches in volume. This means your website
should be responsive across all platforms.
Local SEO makes it easier for local users to find you. You’ll need to
make sure search engines know where you are and what areas you serve.
If your clinic has multiple branches in different locations, it’s
important that each of those is locally optimized. Each location should
have its own unique page optimized for driving directions, nearby
“NAP” stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. It’s crucial to have
these elements correctly coded on your website and consistent across
3. Focus on content
Quality content is the backbone of a successful website. It’s what draws
new visitors in, earns you attention from your community and keeps
satisfied patients coming back for more. The only way your website will
rank well on search engines is with a foundation of high-value content.
Your content should roughly align to three principles:
1. Content should be driven by research. Take into account
what content your audience wants, then use a tool (like
Google’s Keyword Planner
) to compile and refine a list of keywords that you can build your content
2. Content should address your patients’ concerns. FAQs
make great material for blog posts and e-books. You can also come up with
topic ideas by reviewing the questions people are asking on websites like Quora.
3. Content should fill a gap. If you serve a niche that
others don’t, you’ll uncover more backlink opportunities and face less
competition for your keyword rankings.
4. Build quality backlinks
There are lots of ways to build links. Once you’ve conquered things like
high-quality directories and physician profile websites, you’ll need to
work on more resource-intensive tactics to separate yourself from the
Guest blogging and contributing educational content to credible websites
are great ways to win some backlinks for your website. You can pitch
stories to editors or offer yourself up as an industry expert for quotes
Make sure that the websites you reach out to are trusted and share topical
relevance to your own content. Doing this exposes you to their existing
readership, further establishes your credibility and builds trust in your
own services by association.
5. Measure what’s working
Don’t base your marketing decisions on gut feelings. Look at the
numbers—the right numbers—to understand which marketing channels are
working and which ones are dead ends.
Monitor which keywords people use to find your website with
Keyword Rank Checking
apps. Using tools that track local and non-local terms or those that let
you narrow your search down to specific map listings or zip codes will give
you a better sense of your local and regional performance.
The only way to withstand the test of time is to make sure that you’re
offering the best link-worthy content and make it easy to share.
Shareef Defrawi is president and founder of
. The original version of this article appeared on his