SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a critical component of online marketing. In fact, if you’re not actively focusing on SEO, you’re already losing the race. In the context of a healthcare business – such as a TMS clinic – all of this refers to “medical SEO”
What exactly does this SEO mumbo-jumbo entail, and how does medical SEO affect your TMS clinic website?
In this article, we will discuss what SEO is, how it works, and why it’s important for your TMS clinic website.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to a comprehensive list of practices that involve optimizing your website (and overall online presence). The ultimate goal is to make search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.) believe that your content is the most relevant and user-friendly content for a given search query, prompting them to display your website as higher up in the results as possible.
In technical terms, SEO includes a website’s efforts to increase the quality and in turn quantity of its organic traffic by ranking higher on the SERP (search engine results page).
SEO is split up into the following two broad umbrellas:
- On-Page SEO – the practice of optimizing all the elements within your website to improve rankings on organic search results. Some important factors include high quality content, page speed, page URL, and other technical features (such as, title tags, meta descriptions, etc.).
- Off–Page SEO – this refers to the practice of optimizing for off-site ranking factors that can potentially impact your own website. These ranking factors include backlinks and improving other ranking signals (such as through social media marketing).
Remember – the quality of organic traffic refers to the relevancy of your content to the search queries.
For instance, if you’re providing services for TMS therapy, but your content is about Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), regardless of how high your rankings are or how many your visitors are, you’re not attracting quality traffic.
What is Medical SEO?
Medical Search Engine Optimization refers to industry-specific SEO efforts that help build the credibility of your medical practice on online channels, which, in turn, help improve your rankings in the SERPs.
How Does SEO Work?
Search engines are mainly interested in how authoritative and trustworthy your content is, in order to show the best results on the SERP to its users.
They have their own methods of ensuring quality search results. They do this with highly complex algorithms. Since Google hosts 92% of search engine users (Bing at 2.83% and Yahoo at 1.59%), we’ll mainly focus on Google’s search algorithm.
Google’s algorithm has over 200 ranking factors for ranking web pages, each of which play a critical role.
But, how does Google determine which results to display and in what order (or ranking)? For that, we’ll have to go knee-deep into some technicalities.
Here’s how the SEO process actually works:
- It All Begins with Crawling
When you publish your content on your webpage, you first need to make sure Google knows it exists.
That’s where “crawling” comes into the picture.
Crawling involves Google analyzing and considering your page for indexing by following the links on your page. It does this through special programs known as “crawlers” (also referred to as spiders) that “crawl” web pages.
In addition to analyzing a single page, they also follow all the internal and external links on that page.
Therefore, quality link building and having sitemaps (structured list of all pages on a website) are important.
- Then Comes Indexing
If after crawling your web page, Google thinks its worthy of being added in Google search, indexing takes place.
However, just because a web page is indexed by Google, doesn’t mean that it will rank.
- Finally, We’re Left with Ranking
When it comes to ranking, search engines first weigh hundreds of different factors, before deciding the ranking of websites. Here’s where your SEO efforts come in.
When Google ranks your web pages higher on SERPs, it allows your TMS clinic business to be discovered by a greater number of people, resulting in more traffic.
Some of the most important Google ranking factors include:
- Quality Backlinks
- Content Quality (keyword research, content type, relevance and depth)
- Topical Authority
- Search Intent
- Overall Website Elements/Design
- Page Speed
All in all, aiming for maximum user experience, especially on mobile devices, allows a web page, and in turn the website, to build authority and rank higher on Google’s search results.
Why SEO is Important for Your TMS Clinic
According to Telegraph, around 7% of Google’s daily searches are health-related. Furthermore, 70,000 searchers are made per minute, revealing a huge opportunity for growing your TMS clinic.
If you’re still not convinced, here are three solid reasons to build and execute an SEO campaign:
- Increased Online Visibility for Your Clinic
In a competitive niche, your medical website can only thrive if your potential patients know about it. In order for your potential patients to become your new patients, your website should ideally appear on the first page in the search results.
However, that’s only possible if your content marketing efforts revolve around building authority over TMS related medical content. Everything else comes later.
- More Website Traffic = More Patients
When your TMS clinic web pages start to rank on search engine results page, it will increase the organic traffic coming to your website. The more visible your website becomes, the more healthcare searchers you’ll convert into patients.
Although many healthcare providers focus on medical marketing strategies other than SEO, like paid ads, as long as the need for relevant content to attract patients exist, SEO will still remain one of the most effective healthcare marketing strategies.
- Improved Online Reputation for Your Clinic
Medical SEO allows you to deliver accurate, authoritative and optimized content that helps you gain your patients’ trust and get positive online reviews from them.
Furthermore, you can establish your TMS clinic’s online reputation on external websites, Google my Business, Healthgrades, and Yelp.
Wrapping it Up
Digital marketing is a given for any type of business in this day and age. However, when you’re competing against thousands of TMS clinics, it’s important to focus on your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
There’s no other way to put it – if you want to get a sustainable flow of online traffic, SEO is the only way to succeed.