If you’re in the business world, there’s almost no excuse to not have an online presence. For healthcare providers, this means at the very least having a website where potential patients can read about your practice, discover the treatments you offer, and having a way to contact you online or by phone.
But websites add little value to the practice if they never show up in search engine results, where patients are going to look for providers in their area or specialists for their specific concern. With as much competition in the digital space as there is today, it’s no longer competitive to simply “post and pray” that people will find your web content. It needs to be optimized if it has a chance to show up in search results for relevant users.
Getting your website in front of the eyes of well-qualified potential customers is what SEO is all about.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the method by which digital marketing professionals seek to enhance both individual pages and the website overall to help increase both the quantity of web traffic to the site as well as the quality of those leads.
With the development of complex algorithms that take certain keywords, phrases, questions, and even location data into every search made, it’s become increasingly complex to get your page to rank in the first few search results in Google (this is true for other search engines, but we’ll refer to them collectively as Google). These algorithms change constantly — Google’s algorithm is thought to update as many as 8 times a year — which means to stay up to date with the best practices for SEO requires constant vigilance and training. That’s why it’s important to partner with someone who can dedicate their time and thoughts to how to make each page of a website the best it can be.
Overview of SEO Best Practices
To succeed in the search engine marketplace, you must tailor your content to both the search engine’s algorithm and the human reader. On one side of this coin you have the technical aspects of a website: its structure, coding, and speed. On the other, you have the person’s experience on your website: design, quality of content, usefulness for their query.
There are too many rules of thumb to list every best practice when it comes to optimizing websites, but here are a few:
- Avoid “tricks” that try to fool Google
- Make pages that satisfy users with quality content and intuitive design
- Keep page titles clear and informative
- Align titles and descriptions with the content on that page
- Don’t plagiarize content
- Optimize the speed of the website
Best practices involve both the optimization of your website, also known as on-page SEO, as well as building so-called “off-page” factors like links from other websites to yours, brand awareness, social media strategy, and more.
Benefits of SEO Services
This high-level overview of SEO barely scratches the surface of what a well-optimized website needs to be competitive in search results. The strategy and execution of SEO takes commitment, often a large one that healthcare providers can’t do on their own. Digital Limelight Media can take this task and expand your website’s capabilities with our tools and DLM Insight to help you reach a bigger and better-qualified audience. Learn more about what we do and how we can help you with innovative marketing technologies by filling out our online form.