Heading into 2021, the competition for telehealth is steep. For brick-and-mortar medical services, location is a huge differentiator. But for the virtual care that now saturates the market, patient leads are fair game for all providers.
There is, however, one major win that could give you an advantage over the rest. And that’s having a first-page ranking on Google. In this post, we explain how to get there.
The Telemedicine Marketing Strategy that Increases Organic Traffic
It takes more than a hope and prayer to earn a 1 spot on a Google search results page. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing tactic to increase visibility on Google and other search engines. Also known as SEO, it’s a necessary component of any healthcare marketing strategy.
People often get SEO confused with search engine marketing (SEM), which requires ad spend to get placed in the “sponsored links” sections of Google. SEO efforts, on the other hand, are all-organic. This means free traffic to your website—and an increase in patient leads that are likely to convert to scheduled appointments.
But you must be willing to play the long game. You have to put in consistent work to get the results you want. Here are 5 key ingredients to a winning SEO strategy.
1: Website Optimization
The back end of your website plays a vital role in the success of your SEO efforts. Things like site speed, mobile-friendliness, and the accuracy of informational content all factor down to what’s known as technical SEO.
You must make sure that your website is optimized at all times, and that it remains up to par with Google’s quality standards. This is the foundation of your SEO strategy.
How do websites actually pop up on Google for search terms like “telemedicine service?” Keywords play an extremely important role. They make your website searchable, which makes it possible for potential patients to find you through Google.
As a telehealth provider, you’ll want to make sure that your website can rank for search terms associated with your niche. I’ll give you an example. If you specialize in online urgent care, “virtual urgent care visits” would definitely be a top keyword to try to rank for.
Content is not only king of the medical marketing world, but it’s also favored by Google’s algorithms that determine how sites rank for different search terms. Content also controls the narrative of your website and puts in words what the design can’t. They work together to provide a seamless user experience for your visitors.
There’s a huge correlation between rankings and user interaction. The more interaction your site gets through the search engines, the more likely it is to earn higher rankings in the search result pages. Interactions range from website clicks to just spending an extended amount of time on your site.
Interested in how to develop an effective content strategy? Start with our blog post about understanding your telehealth patients’ customer journey. Or check out Experity’s Healthcare Marketing 101 eBook.
Backlinks are generated when another website links back to yours. If a reporter at Healthline (a major health publication) decided to give you a shout-out in an article, and they add a link to your article, you would earn a backlink from Healthline.
This is a perfect example of a quality backlink, as Healthline is a trusted source that receives a ton of daily website traffic.
Quality is better than quantity when it comes to backlinks. It’s best to refrain from getting backlinks from sketchy or poor-quality websites, as this could reflect badly on yours.
Accumulate a good number of quality backlinks, and you will surely see your search engine rankings rise over time.
5: Reputation Management
And finally, with a basic SEO strategy in place, it’s time to focus on reputation. Your reputation carries weight on the internet. What existing patients say about your practice online affects how potential patients perceive you.
Not to mention, bad reviews are extremely hard to remove. That’s why your practice should prioritize patient experience every day. By gathering feedback from your patients, you can make necessary tweaks to the experience to finetune it.
It’s also important to monitor incoming reviews so you can act swiftly on the ones that need your attention. You might not be able to control the narratives that people put out about your practice, but you can at least use their reviews as an opportunity to respond and defend the character of your brand.
Some users pay more attention to how a business responds to a review than the review itself. If you can manage to salvage a bad review by doing proper damage control, it makes you look good to potential leads, and it can get you back on good terms with the person who wrote it.
Done well, these interactions are both service recovery and reputation management. And if it happens on a popular social media or review site, this exchange may be the first impression to many new patients. It could be what drives them through your virtual door
Have more than one medical brand? This is where it gets a little tricky. You can optimize your strategy for multiple entities, but there are best practices you should keep in mind. We’ll continue that discussion in a blog post in early 2021. Stay tuned!
Our Compliment Publishing Widget enables you to showcase your patient’s compliments on your marketing site with the click of a button. It’s specifically designed to improve your site’s SEO and earn your site star ratings in Google’s search results.