For healthcare clinics and medical offices, having your website rank on the first page of Google’s search engine is a challenge. Back in the days of Yahoo GeoCities, Friendster and Myspace a facility could rank their website with search engines by strategically adding some keywords. Then, they would simply wait for the search engines to crawl and index their practice’s website.
But times have changed. Now the internet is a busier and more complex place. Modern SEO principles require more than just placing a few keywords on your site and then waiting for Google, Bing or Yahoo to find you. With this in mind, here are 3 ways to improve your website’s rank on Google.
Improvement #1: Title Tags & Meta Descriptions
Pay attention to your website’s title tag and meta description. If you are not sure what these are, do not worry. Every time you search Google for information, the search engine results page (SERP) displays various title tags and meta descriptions. The title tags are links at the top of each search result, while the short description immediately under it is the meta description. Once a search engine like Google has indexed a site, it will automatically generate tags and descriptions for most websites.
However, these do not always display your website in the best light. You need to make sure the title tag and meta description are uniquely optimized for your site. Using current SEO principles, a website’s title tags and meta descriptions should contain that site’s keywords. However, this does not mean that you should just repeat your keyword over and over again. The key terms should look like natural text that is intended for humans and not just search engine algorithms. So, create title tags and meta descriptions that people actually want to click on and read.
Improvement #2: Content Creation
Content is king! This is not a new expression, but it is still true today. Successful websites, blogs and articles focus on delivering great content. People want to read engaging articles and learn new information. This means producing good, relevant content. In addition, algorithms like Google’s Panda will actually focus on the quality of content that is on a web page. Google sees itself as an editor or gatekeeper for the internet. They want users on their search engine to have a good customer experience.
Short, poorly-written websites are penalized by Google’s search algorithms. Google does not want to promote spammy websites across the internet. Their goal is to answer user’s queries as quickly and accurately as possible. Low content web pages do not usually answer any serious questions, so Google sees these pages as low-value websites. Any website deemed low-value by Google, will not rank well on its search engine page. You do not want search engines seeing your practice’s website as a low-value offering.
Improvement #3: Google Search Console
The final improvement is to signup for and utilizes one of Google’s better free tools. In fact, many of the best SEO principles involve setting up and harvesting data from Google’s numerous tools and applications. But, in this article, we will only focus on one of these tools which is called Google Search Console or GCS. Using this application will allow you to actually see how keywords and phrases actually perform on Google. Search Console will show how much traffic each of your web pages is receiving.
GCS, as well as Google Analytics, are great ways to see what parts of your website are actually generating impressions and clicks. Click thru rates (CTR) vary by industry, with medical and healthcare websites having a rate that averages around 3.5%. By using Google Search Console, you are able to see what topics and search terms are creating the most traffic. This will help you create content for your website that is more interesting to users. Again, what makes this even better is that this powerful SEO tool is free! However, setting things in your Google account dashboard will take some time.
All of the previously mentioned improvements are based on current SEO principles. As with many aspects of SEO, increases in a website’s performance will not happen overnight. But with persistence and focus, a website’s organic search results will improve. Good SEO is more of a marathon versus a sprint.
At ABCS RCM, we offer experienced medical billing, credentialing and online marketing services for healthcare practitioners. For additional questions about this topic or other healthcare revenue cycle management questions, please contact us.