A client asked me recently: “How do I put my clinic on the first page of Google?”
She explained that her GP clinic needs more patients after turning to mixed billing. Someone offered her the service of “putting her clinic on the first page of Google”. She wanted to know more about the process and whether it was worthwhile to pay for the service.
Any GP clinic that needs more patients must be on the first page of Google in local searches. For example, a patient within ten kilometres from the clinic searching ‘GP clinic near me’ should see your clinic first.
How important is it for a GP clinic to be at the top of the first page of Google?
A reputable study by Smart Insights found that the first result gets three and a half more visits to the website than the third one. (1)
• First result: 36.4% clickthrough rate
• the Second result: 12.5% clickthrough rate
• the Third result: 9.5% clickthrough rate
Similar studies showed similar results.
How does your clinic website get on the first page of Google?
I have learned to do that via trial and error over twenty years. There is no textbook or any clever secret that will get you there. I am not afraid to share my ‘secrets’ of medical marketing because there are none.
Firstly, you need to identify the search terms that would lead patients to your site. What do people search for when they need to see a doctor? For example, ‘GP near me’, ‘doctor appointment’ etc. Please, do not be afraid to use very simple search terms. (Think like most people do, if you catch my drift.)
If your clinic provides some sub-specialised services, please, use the terms like ‘Yellow Fever vaccination’. Then incorporate the search terms in the text. (see how this clinic did this)
Once you have identified the search terms, start writing something useful.
Include the search terms in the text where appropriate. There are some rules for writing for search engines. Yoast SEO plugin would help you to follow those rules.
Medical clinics rely on local search results.
Local search results mean that people within the local area find you. People in other areas who search for the same service will find clinics in their area.
You need to use the location identifiers on your website. Location identifiers are the name of the suburb, area, address, landmarks etc. For example, ‘our clinic services population in areas A, B, C and surrounding suburbs.’
They say that content is king. They are right.
You will need to write about the services you provide. You will need to write a lot. Most writing should happen on your website and your Google Profile posts. Start the Facebook page for your clinic and keep it active.
Please, remember, it is not the quantity. It is the quality of writing important. Write something helpful incorporating the search terms.
There are some fine-tuning techniques there. However, I cannot see that they are essential in conquering the local search.
Do not buy tons of useless links!
There are several junk emails a day in your inbox selling you links. They promise that somehow for $20, your website will become super popular without effort. It does not work and may cause problems. The problem is that you might find your site on the 30th page of Google, thanks to those links.
What links are good?
Some links are good for your website. They would help you to be on the first page of Google. You need contextual links from reputable places.
There is no point placing the link to your site in some shonky directory next to a massage parlour and a motor mechanic.
The links must be contextual. In other words, the links must be where there is a health services-related context already. Putting your link in National Health Services Directory is useful. Or you can send a promotional text about your clinic to iSeeGP for free publication. Google looks at those contextual links and considers your website useful, putting it at the top of the page.
It sounds so simple. However, success will require some serious effort. Consider hiring someone to do all that work for you if you are too busy. Please, beware of the services that offer shortcuts, albeit cheap ones. Those shortcuts may prove to be costly to your business in the end.
We provide free Q and A services to General Practices. Please, feel free to send us a question that requires a short answer.
- Smart Insights https://www.smartinsights.com/search-engine-optimisation-seo/seo-analytics/the-number-one-spot-how-to-use-the-new-search-curve-ctr-data/ Last accessed 24.11.22