Keeping up with Search engine optimisation (SEO), in particular Google SEO is a complicated, time-consuming challenge. At least that is what most SEO “experts” or companies will tell you. But the key Medical SEO steps have not changed for many years. For information on what you should focus on to make your website effective, check out this recent article "4 things your clinic website MUST have to be effective"
In this article you will find four critical mistakes the majority of clinic websites are making these days. These mistakes will kill your Google rankings, meaning that expensive advertising is needed if you want any visitors you can market to.
Not writing for your website readers
It is very easy to talk about how great your clinic is to potential customers but they are generally not interested in your profile or clinic. Potential customers want to know about what they are interested in, the questions they have, the fears and challenges they have behind a decision they are making.
Knowing your customer and what they are interested in impacts how you promote your website to them. This is right in the target of SEO marketing. How you decide on the keyword(s) to target, articles to write and information you put on your website are all impacted by what you know about your customer.
So how do you know what your customer wants? Have a read of this article to discover exactly what makes your customers tick: How to know everything about your clinic customers
Ignoring the long tail keywords
It is very easy to chase the high volume keywords such as breast augmentation or Botox that have tens of thousands of clicks per month. Many clinics chase these high volume keywords in the hope that they just get 1% of the traffic to their website. Unfortunately this is not the way that Google works. Virtually all of the traffic from these high volume keywords go to either paid search or PPC advertisers or the top three ranked websites for these terms.
“That is a bit disappointing to hear I have to be in the top three to get any traffic”. Well it could actually be a blessing in disguise. We are going to let you in on a little secret here; the high volume keywords like breast augmentation are not usually the searches that involve much buying intent. That is 99% of the people searching for breast augmentation or aesthetic as keywords are either at the beginning of their search and not sure what they are looking for or it is a medical student researching for a university project…
The keywords you should be targeting are the long tail keywords. These are phrases that a searcher (who knows what they are looking for) type into Google. These phrases are usually their ideal outcome, that is if a website comes up with exact or close to the phrase they typed in, they click to that website because that is what they are looking for.
An example of a long tail keyword could be “Breast augmentation surgery Sydney book a consultation”. The reason this is such a great keyword phrase to target is you have the procedure the potential customer is interested in, the location and they are looking to book a consultation which means they are close to making a decision.
Creating duplicate information or content
One of the major ways to loose points with Google is by creating information on your website that is duplicated once, twice or even worse on every page of your website. The usual suspects with duplicate content are in the title tag or title of each page.
If you go to Google search box and type in site:www.yoursite.com (obviously put your website address or URL after site:) and make sure there are no spaces anywhere. You will then come up with a list of all of the pages on your website and the page titles/ title tags. If you look down the list and see the same words, ie the name of your clinic or lead surgeon then you are duplicating information.
A title tag or page title is one of the ways Google determines what that page is about. If they are all the same then they will think every page on your website is about the same thing.
Getting low quality links to your site
If you ever get a call from a company saying they can get you 10,000 links to your site so Google will put you up their rankings, hang up immediately!
There have been many changes in the way Google selects pages for certain search words or phrases. Many of these you need not worry about, but the overall theme Google is moving towards is higher quality, unique content that they would be proud to recommend to a visitor. So if you go the high volume, low quality shortcut route on content or links, you will suffer with your Google creditability.
The major problem with taking shortcuts is that it penalises your entire site, not just the shortcut you took with low quality links or content. You might have been doing some great white hat SEO for the last two years but that will all be down the drain with a poor decision on low quality.
So, develop and publish high quality, unique content on your site every week and you will get the high quality links from readers and websites that matter. These links will be worth any number of poor quality links from questionable websites.