Improving your chiropractic SEO on your practice website will raise your search engine visibility and reach to customers
SEO. You’ve heard the term, but do you really know what it means and why it matters?
The short answer is: SEO helps guide potential customers to an organization’s website. Health care is no exception.
As consumers are increasingly turning to the internet for all types of information, chiropractic SEO is becoming an essential tool in any chiropractic practice’s marketing arsenal. But what if you have no idea where to begin? Read on for a crash course in chiropractic SEO and how to make it work for your chiropractic practice.
SEO is an acronym for “search engine optimization.” In other words, it’s a way of optimizing your website to improve its visibility and find-ability through search engines like Google.
It sounds very complicated — and since search engine algorithms are always changing, it can be. But you can implement some relatively simple improvements to your practice’s website to improve your search engine visibility.
Why chiropractic SEO Is important
When patients have a medical concern, 80% of them start their research process with a search engine. Searching for health-related information is the third most common thing that people do online. According to Pew Research, some 63% of people search for information related to a specific medical condition or symptom, while 47% search for information about treatment options.
What else are they searching for? Information about medical practices, particularly before they schedule an appointment.
How to use SEO to bring in patients
To reach your audience and drive growth for your chiropractic practice, you need to strike the right balance between increasing the quantity of visitors to your website and increasing the quality of visitors to your website. Following these chiropractic SEO basics will help you do both:
Update local listings. Most searches on a search engine do not result in someone clicking on a website. This phenomenon is called a “clickless search.” Why is that? Search engines provide a lot of information to users, like the ability to get directions, phone numbers, hours, patient reviews and more, so that patients don’t even need to visit your website. For some patients, they may perform all of their research in the search engine, and then never visit a website. So be sure your practice’s local listings — on Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Local, Facebook, and other platforms — are completely filled out with helpful and relevant information. This should include basics like your practice address, phone number, services offered, hours open, and your website link, along with reviews from patients and photos of your practice. Also consider utilizing Google Analytics.
Optimize your chiropractic content. When it comes to the content on your website, there’s a basic premise to follow: If you want to be known for a service or particular expertise, you need a page of content related to that service or expertise. This content should be descriptive of what you offer, allowing Google to understand why you’re relevant when it comes to that specific offering. Beyond listing and identifying your medical practice’s services, it’s also a good idea to provide a separate page for your locations and give providers individual pages, too.
Add Meta information. If you’re unfamiliar with SEO or web development, “meta information” may sound like gibberish. Simply put, it is a title and description for your page that is specifically written for search engines. Any page that you want to be found on a search engine should have Meta information. Meta titles and descriptions should be short and catchy, quickly telling searchers what the page is about. From there, it will help the search engine understand the topic of your page. The text you draft will also appear in the search engine when patients search for your services or procedures, helping them understand why you are the best chiropractic result to click on. If you are uncertain how to add Meta information to your website, contact your support team or look through the help articles associated with your Content Management System (CMS). Common CMS platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and others, all allow you to add Meta information to your pages and improve your chiropractic SEO.
Think mobile-first. The vast majority of people today are searching for information from a smartphone or other mobile devices. Four out of five encounters with a health care practice start from a mobile device, this includes chiropractic. That means it’s essential to make sure your website is user-friendly in a mobile format. It should be easy to navigate and have a responsive design, meaning it adapts to be seen correctly on any sized screen. Google crawls the mobile format of your website and gives favor to those that are well optimized for mobile devices. In addition to mobile-first also consider voice search.
The bottom line on SEO
In today’s world, an online presence isn’t an option — it’s a necessity. Ensuring your health care practice is optimized for search engines is a key step in driving growth for your practice.
Taking the time to review your website and online presence as a whole will allow you to see gaps in your current chiropractic SEO strategy, as well as opportunities for strategic improvements.
Rachael Sauceman is the Head of Strategic Initiatives for Full Media, a Chattanooga, Tenn.-based digital marketing agency specializing in health care. Full Media offers a full spectrum of digital marketing capabilities within the health care space, including website design, online advertising, SEO, patient experience optimization, and analytics.