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Optimizing Medical Practice Websites

Optimizing Medical Practice Websites

Digital Health Check - Medical Practice WebsitesThe art of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is not one-size fits all. Each industry vertical faces a unique set of circumstances and challenges to reach its target audience. One of the most competitive online marketing fields is medical practices driven more by information than sales, marketers still must reach users.

Whether you’re a local urgent care center, plastic surgeon, or hospital, the online success or failure comes down to medical practice website design and SEO.

The optimization of a medical site is a large task, but if done properly, it can expand a medical practice’s exposure and generate more online leads.

SEO Tips for Medical Practice Websites

Showcase Your Expertise

The internet is filled with medical practice websites calling for the attention of a finite number of users. Fortunately, you do not need to reach all of them. Your goal should be to identify, communicate, and convert potential clients. By leveraging the expertise of your institution and doctors, your site can create authority in a locality, field, or specialty.

For example, using SEO best practices, a doctor’s biographical page can further associate specialties with your institution.  As potential clients search for medical care, they are led to helpful web persona that portrays authority and knowledge in the field.

Blog posts, videos, and testimonials are all great ways to create relevant content marketed to your prospective clients, while also increasing your SEO.

Building Trust

Medical practice websites must ask a lot from its users. You aren’t trying to sell them a trinket or reviewing a movie, you’re asking for their trust. If your medical site appears dishonest or unprofessional, your users will no look elsewhere.

You can begin to build that trust through transparency. Patient testimonials and open reviews are both useful ways that you can build SEO and begin a relationship with clients.

Consistent or Easy to Access Contact Form

Because your website is designed to generate new business, there should never be any obstacles for users to take an action. Whether that’s signing up for a newsletter, setting up an appointment, or connecting on a social media site, all actions are designed to keep the lines of communication open, thereby keeping them as a viable lead.

Before/After Galleries

Before and after photo galleries are great for more than one reason. Not only does it powerfully illustrate your procedures, it’s a great opportunity to optimize each photo’s metadata. While most people associate Google with general text searches, it is possible and advisable to optimize your site for Google Image search as well. Using ALT tags, which are invisible image descriptions, correctly can help Google to understand the content on your site. By optimizing a before and after gallery with ALT tags for procedure names, medical terminology, and common phrases, you can increase your visual rankings and search results, driving more traffic to your site.

SEO Pitfalls to Avoid

Creating an SEO optimized website is more than just best practice, it’s necessary component to online success. Avoid a few of the most common SEO pitfalls to ensure future success:

  • Don’t Hide Contact Information – If a user can’t easily contact you, then you’ve lost a lead. Make sure there’s an easy path to action on every page of your site.
  • Don’t Make it Overly Complicated – Your website needs to accomplish many goals, but make sure you don’t overload users by packing everything onto your homepage.
  • Don’t Overlook SEO – If you have the best doctors and the best website, but users can’t find you, then all your work is for naught.
  • Don’t Separate Your Blog – Keep your blog on the same domain as your practice to maximize your Google search rankings.

Search Engine Optimization isn’t a destination, it’s an ongoing process. Make your medical practice website work to your advantage through SEO. For SEO and online marketing produces results, contact Forthea.


Nick Lindauer
Nick is the vice president, client services and operations at Forthea. He’s been working in internet marketing since 2002, when – ironically – he answered an ad in the newspaper. When he’s not at work, he’s off spending time with his family, working on his house, building furniture, cooking on his two Big Green Eggs & brewing hot sauce.

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