Maybe your orthopedic practice is all set – you love your team, your location, and your potential for building your practice. But despite having a website, no one seems to be finding it, much less engaging with it. Your supply of new patients is a trickle, basically coming only from word of mouth. In today’s digital world, you’re behind your competitors. So how do you make your website work for you? The answer is more than just having a website: it’s both having a good website and an optimized website.
Your site needs to make it easy for Google to find and understand your content and your business, and then Google will rank how helpful your website is for potential patient users. Doing this successfully is what search engine optimization (SEO) is all about, and making users happy means making Google’s algorithms happy – which means more visibility in searches by your potential patients.
What is SEO for orthopedic practices?
You’ve probably heard of SEO, but it can be a foggy concept. Google’s mission is to match searchers with exactly what they are searching for. The company continually tweaks the roughly two billion lines of code in its algorithm to make searchers happy with the search results the algorithm delivers. The good news about SEO is that doing it well means serving your potential patients as well as the search engines. Making your website useful, easy to use, and easy to understand pays off in the form of happy users and happy search engines. The reward? Greater visibility in the form of ranking higher when someone searches for an orthopedic practice in their area.
How does orthopedic SEO work?
Good SEO requires more than just one thing. From the obvious things like your website’s design, usability, and mobile experience to the less obvious factors such as your social media platforms, it’s a multitude of things. Getting it right means making sure you aren’t overlooking anything. Here are four really important factors.
1. Your Website.
Due to the changing nature of SEO, there’s a lot of outdated Advice out there about the best way to rank for different terms. While keywords used to be the most important factor for success in SEO, Google has moved towards a more user centric approach with the goal of making the internet a more genuinely helpful place for the humans that use it. What does that mean exactly?
Your orthopedic practice website needs to meet a few criteria in order to not get in its own way:
- Speed – If your pages are loading any slower than three seconds, there’s cause for concern.
- Design – Your website design must be mobile-first, responsive (able to work on different devices and browsers), and easy to use and understand.
- Security – Sites that aren’t properly secured will display a warning to users and receive penalties from search engines.
- Accessibility – There are standards every website must meet for accessibility – and failing to do so means penalties from search engines as well as potential legal ramifications.
2. Your Content.
Content is still king when it comes to success with SEO, but keywords are less important than they used to be. What’s more important is that your content accurately and completely describes who you are, what you do, and how you do it. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth thinking strategically about the way you write about these things, however. Including a section that talks about the services you specialize in gives you an opportunity to showcase your expertise and how you’re different from your competitors. Case studies, testimonials, and before and after content showcases actual work you’ve done and what your patients can expect if they work with you. Choosing to add a blog to your website lets you showcase your expertise in your field while answering common questions your patients may have when they visit your website or your practice.
3. Your social media.
No matter your personal feelings about social media, patients are increasingly using it to find businesses, including healthcare providers. Posting your thoughts on a new artificial knee that the FDA just approved for the market not only provides new content for your site, but it shows you to be an expert orthopedic practitioner. Social media helps with patient retention, boosts traffic to your website, gives potential patients a glimpse into your practice without any commitment, and allows your practice to create a community outside of your office. All of these things help boost your SEO.
4. Your local SEO.
Since you have a physical location, local SEO is a crucial part of your SEO strategy. The keys to success with local search is consistency with your name, address, and phone number (also known as your NAP information) across your online listings. That might sound like an easy thing to achieve, but online directories are constantly creating and changing listings for businesses automatically and without warning. In fact, you probably have more than a few listings you don’t even know about across the internet right now. And they’re probably full of inconsistencies. Even small things like your address listed as 339 Elm St vs 339 Elm Street is enough to potentially create two separate listings.
We Can Help
Need help making your website rank as high as it can? We have over 20 years of experience helping orthopedic practices like yours grow. Book your consultation to see how we can help you.