If your clinic website is being ignored by Google, chances are your clinic is being ignored by potential clients, too.
40% of healthcare businesses don’t survive more than 5 years and those that do often struggle with thin margins and an inconsistent client base.
Why are so many health and wellness clinics closing? In a word: competition.
Competition does a lot to enhance industries and drive innovation.
The upside? Competition creates savvy consumers that know what they want, which makes them easier to reach with targeted marketing.
The downside? Competition makes it hard to keep customers and build loyalty.
Offering healthcare services further complicates things. Nobody wants to be sick, and going to a clinic is something most people would prefer to avoid. Only 61% of Millennials choose to see a PCP (primary care physician) when they have a problem, and the numbers are only marginally better for other generations.
To run a successful healthcare clinic, you need to market it. To market it, you need to optimize your website to convince potential patients to opt-in.
The problem is most advice on the topic is generic, and doesn’t always work for healthcare clinics. Your industry is different. Your client’s expectations are different. So your approach needs to be different.
Collide Digital specializes in helping small to medium-sized healthcare clinics and service providers attract the right clients. Here are 9 tips from the pros to help you optimize your clinic website.
How to Optimize Healthcare Clinic Websites
Optimizing a website isn’t a simple one-step change, and it isn’t something you only do once. It’s a constant and immersive process, which includes making the site robust, informative, functional, and easy to use across multiple devices.
Optimization also looks at how well a site guides a visitor through the process, from landing to becoming a loyal repeat patient. The end goal is to drive more business in than you can handle. A busy clinic makes for a healthy public.
1. Evaluate the Clinic Website
Put yourself behind the keyboard and look at the site with clients’ eyes.
What do you like about your site? What don’t you like? Having a good User Experience (or UX) is crucial, especially when you’re dealing with people who are sick or distressed.
Is what you offer immediately obvious? If you had a specific question in mind, could you find an answer to it within 10 seconds?
This type of evaluation shows you what your site is lacking in comparison to what you think you are offering.
Repeat this periodically to make certain you’re still on track.
2. Understand your Competitors Position
Type in a quick search on a private browser for ‘healthcare clinics near me’.
Do you see your site? (If not, you need to up your Local SEO game. For tips on how to win at Local SEO, check out our What is Local SEO & Why You Need It post.)
Take a look at what your competitors are offering, how they position themselves, and how they deliver content.
Think about the most common questions you get from clients, everything from your hours and location to specific issues that you treat. Did you find the answers to these questions faster on your competitor’s site than your own?
Seeking information from brands is a fundamental way health consumers build trust. If your competitors are answering your client’s questions better and faster than you are, you need to improve.
You don’t want to mimic the competition but you do want to know what they’re doing and understand, from a potential patient perspective, which one is better, and why.
3. Drive Home Clinic Branding
The end goal of a clinic is to provide healthcare to people. Obviously you want to turn a profit and ensure the longevity of the business as well, but your primary goal is patient health.
But what are you offering to a patient? What do you do that’s different, better, or more unique than your competitors? What is your brand?
Focusing on this core question drives everything from wording to website design. You want who you are and what you do to be obvious from the moment someone lands on your site.
To help develop your brand, think about your clinic or practice. Is your healthcare clinic for research, maintenance, or emergencies? Does your brand pitch toward professional, or do you emphasize your friendly staff instead?
Knowing your brand gives you the ability to tailor every aspect of the site and your content to promote and perpetuate your clinic’s brand. Strong branding builds trust, and trust is the foundation of any clinic/ patient relationship.
4. Optimize Search Results for Healthcare Clinics
To climb the ranks of Google search results you need to diversify your content and sprinkle in the keywords that you want to rank for.
Ideally, you want to target keywords that have high search volumes and low difficulty levels. In reality, few of these exist. You’ll need to get a little more strategic, such as focusing on long-tail keywords with low competition and search volume to rank quickly, and then targeting the short-tail, high volume keywords as part of a long term SEO strategy.
Optimizing for Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) ensures that Google can find you, and display you to searchers (i.e. your future clients).
Remember, people don’t just look for ‘clinics near me’. They also look for answers to specific medical questions. Find out what your audience has questions about, and answer these questions, for example in a blog.
A handy side-effect of offering strategized, unique content (like a blog) is that it demonstrates your expertise and allows you the opportunity to demonstrate your brand, all while building trust with your audience. Trust, especially in the healthcare field, is the bedrock of a successful brand.
It’s a win-win strategy for the patient and the clinic.
Also, be aware that if your clinic ever moves locations, you’re in for an uphill (but not unwinnable) SEO battle. Check out our SEO Case Study about how to solve this very problem.
5. Showcase Healthcare Services
Patients want to know that a clinic offers the tools and services they need. If you specialize in a particular area, have a certain type of specialist on staff, or have paid a lot for specialized equipment, make sure people know about it!
One of the most important technologies to have, and to advertise, is telehealth. Even before the current pandemic, the option to visit a physician remotely appealed to 71% of patients.
An optimized website tells people about your unique offerings, skills and services. Especially if you’re offering telehealth, virtual visits, or online consultations, an optimized website shows that you have the tech-savvy skills to ensure it works smoothly.
6. Test Speeds
On that note, you want to check how quickly the site loads across several devices. Remember, most patients are looking for you on their phones and mobile devices, not desktops. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile, and that it loads quickly (in under 3 seconds) on every device.
If your site is slow, you need to fix it- NOW. Check out our report on the most common Reasons Your Website is Slow, and How to Fix it.
Many visitors are keen to get off the home page and into the areas they are looking for, so make sure that your links load first and that your internal site map helps direct people to where they need to go swiftly.
7. Highlight Clinic Patient Reviews
People trust others that are in their situation. If your site is nothing but official offerings and slick, well-defined content, it can ring hollow.
You want to show that your services matter and that your clinic makes a difference in your community. This approach comes with multiple bonuses: it works well for organic searches, improves your Local Search ranking, and prompts current patients to let you know how you’re doing.
Many times reviews and comments are only the highs and lows. Make a dedicated effort to show the spectrum of experiences by encouraging your clients to leave honest reviews on sites like Google and Yelp!.
Don’t live in fear of negative reviews, either (it will happen eventually). Businesses with only 5-star reviews can come off as suspicious. In many cases, if you reach out or respond to the negative reviewer personally, you can address their concerns and redeem a less-than-stellar experience.
8. Be a Healthcare Authority
Don’t just tell your patients you are knowledgeable, show them you are.
Various organizations and conferences provide logos and icons that can be stapled to a site to show that your staff keeps up-to-date in their fields and relevant certifications. Being listed on directories for practitioners is also great for your Search Engine Optimization efforts, too.
Reach out to local newshounds and influencers to put your brand in front of more eyes. An authority isn’t just someone who knows, but someone who is known for knowing.
9. Advertise Clinician Referrals
The other side of authority is knowing what you don’t know. If your service refers to specialists, advertise that. If you get referrals from others, advertise that.
This shows you as a team player (great for branding), builds links in your back end (great for SEO), and shows patients that you are part of a whole team that can help them when needed (great for building trust).
You Can Optimise Your Healthcare Clinic Website – today!
Developing and deploying all of these changes to a website for your healthcare clinic is something that you can do alone, but doing it well usually takes a professional touch.
What is your biggest problem when it comes to managing your Healthcare website? Let us know in the Comments below!