Thousands of medical practices are competing for higher rankings in search engines results. A 2014 Google study found a 71 percent click-through rate (CTR) for websites on page one of search engine results while pages two and three have a combined CTR of 6 percent. This means that appearing on the second page of search results is a lost battle. Worse, if your healthcare website appears further than the second page, it does not even exist for potential patients.
If your website is not at the top of search results, you need to devise a strategy to rise through the ranks. There are two ways to appear on the first two pages of Google search results: organic search or paid search results, known as Google AdWords.
Organic results are the websites that Google considers the best in a given industry or market. More than 70 percent of searchers click on organic results, according to research. Additional studies have revealed the first position in the organic search attracts around 33 percent of the total traffic, the second position gets 18 percent, and it only decreases from there. According to another study, the top three organic results on the first page of search engine results attract 61 percent of the traffic, traffic that lower ranking websites miss out on.
Compared to organic search, paid ads are less reliable, but they offer a great opportunity for medical practices that are unable to rank high in organic searches. When you pay to have your healthcare website listed at the top, you appear as one of the top three results on the Google search page. These are the fixed placements for paid results. However, 70 percent to 80 percent of online visitors tend to ignore paid ads and choose to click only on organic results.
It is important to make sure that every aspect of your online marketing strategy is aimed at improving your website’s organic search results. Whether it is through optimizing keywords or targeting your blog posts, your aim should be to expand and enhance your practice’s online presence. The more you optimize your website for search engine optimization (SEO), the more potential patients will visit it and the higher it will rank on search engine results.
A strong SEO strategy starts with identifying and including the most relevant keywords in your website content. This is easier said than done because simply mentioning the types of services your practice offers may not be sufficient. It is important to invest time and money in identifying the relevant keywords that will get your practice website to the top of search results. This process involves researching your, local market, business goals, competitors, and what strategies your competitors are deploying.