Google is the gateway to the internet. There’s no sense in denying it.
If a tree falls in the forest and nobody’s there, does it make a sound? Likewise, if a website hits the internet but can’t be found via Google, does it really exist?
Simply put, Google searchability can make or break your medical practice.
You will, of course, draw in paid traffic from online ads and marketing campaigns. But to acquire organic traffic—people who find your site naturally, with no advertising required—you need to make your medical website design Google friendly.
10 Steps to Make Your Medical Practice Website Google Friendly
In this article we’ll cover 5 steps to make your medical practice website Google friendly. Most of these are basic tips for search engine optimization or SEO. However, we will also address two specific issues:
- How to build and design your medical practice website to optimize SEO.
- How to measure and improve your website with cutting-edge analytics tools.
Our goal is to help healthcare providers boost their Google rankings and find the clients who need them most.
Table of Contents
1. Write Quality Content
You know this one already. The first step of SEO—whether on Google or any other search engine—is to generate relevant, quality content.
You’d think this first step would go without saying. But, even today, too many people try to trick Google by stuffing their web pages full of irrelevant keywords. Google has many sophisticated methods for detecting and filtering deceptive content such as this.
Even if you get past Google’s scanners, SEO-optimized yet poorly written content will do more harm than good. If users click on your page and find the content unsatisfactory, they will leave and never return.
This is called a bounce. A high bounce rate can sink your Google search rankings very quickly.
Don’t let this happen to you. Write quality content and earn your high Google rankings the old-fashioned way.
2. Do Your Keyword Research
Choosing the right keywords is a quick, easy, and effective way to boost your Google rankings.
First, use an online keyword tool to find the best possible keywords for your topic.
Suppose you want to write a blog post on Invisalign for your dental website. A quick keyword analysis shows that “Invisalign cost” brings in a high search volume. Other relevant keywords include “Invisalign near me” and “Invisalign retainer.”
If your practice is located in Miami, you might focus on “Invisalign Miami” or “Invisalign South Florida” to boost your local traffic.
Next, use an SEO content template. This will give you a rough idea as to what other keywords to prioritize. A template from SEMrush will even list semantically related words to help enrich your content.
Distinguish between two types of keywords:
- Target keyword: the central keyword that you prioritize above all others.
- Supplementary keywords: these are related to, but less important than, your target keyword.
Ideally, your target keyword will appear at least once in your:
- Section headers
- First paragraph
Your supplemental keywords should appear at least once each in your headers and once each in your body text.
As in all things, balance is key. Use but don’t overuse keywords. They must mesh naturally with your content, not be tacked on afterwards.
The goal is to pick optimal keywords and write quality content based on those keywords.
3. Fine-Tune Your Pages
By “fine-tune” we mean all the ways beyond content and keywords that you can optimize your medical website design.
Page titles should be 55 characters (including spaces). This is because the first 55 characters of a title are displayed on a Google search results page (SERP). Any more will be replaced with ellipses.
Meta-descriptions should be 160 characters. The meta-description is the little blurb that appears under a page title in the SERP. Like your title, your meta-description must fit within Google’s character limit.
Divide your articles into sections. Each section should have heading or subheading. Include images, captions, bullet points, and other elements besides plain text. In addition to giving more space to insert keywords, these elements make your content more readable and accessible to the average web user.
Word count will vary based on the topic. However, a general rule of thumb is to shoot for 350 words minimum for your home page, contact pages, etc. For articles like blog posts, aim for 500 words minimum.
Google does not explicitly factor wordcount into their rankings. But pages with few words will have a hard time matching common search queries.
As a final word of caution, always prioritize quality content. Boost your wordcount where possible but put quality ahead of quantity.
4. Optimize Your Medical Services Landing Pages
Landing pages are where users land after clicking through to your site from a Google search. For this reason, they are an essential part of your conversion funnel.
Your landing pages should be simple and streamlined. One catchy slogan, one or two descriptive sentences below it, one striking image, and one CTA. That’s plenty for a good landing page.
A landing page is also an excellent place for a single, glowing review from a satisfied client.
If you include a form, keep it short: name, email, phone, appointment times.
Additionally, design different landing pages for each service you offer.
Let’s return to our dental website. Instead of one generic landing page, what if we had three? One for cosmetic dentistry, one for restorative dentistry, and one for orthodontics.
No matter what a user is Googling, they’ll feel welcome on our website and be eager to click through to the main page.
Check out these example landing pages for more inspiration!
5. Acquire a Medical Link-Building Strategy
This one is a bit harder, in that it’s not entirely within your control. But if you can, acquire backlinks from other websites.
A backlink is simply a ‘link back’ from another site to your site. If a local newspaper links to your Invisalign post in their recent story on the rising costs of braces, that’s a backlink. Nice work!
A backlink must originate from a different site, not another page on your own site. This is not a backlink.
Backlinks are important because they help Google’s crawlers (not as creepy as it sounds) identify relevant sites. Google uses bots to ‘crawl’ sites and analyze content. Backlinks work like “likes” on Facebook or Instagram: they show bots that your site is popular, important, and relevant.
As the saying goes, there is strength in numbers. Links between two different websites will boost the SEO of both.
So, how do you acquire backlinks?
The first step we’ve already covered: write good content! A readable, well-researched post will have the best chance of winning a backlink.
If you have friends or colleagues with websites, you can start a kind of ‘backlinking pact’ where you agree to link each other’s content when possible.
Don’t be too ham-fisted about this; a backlink to your Invisalign post has no place on a chiropractor’s website. But if the links are appropriate to the content, this can be an effective strategy.
A third option is to link from a website you own yourself. If you have a side hustle that would be relevant to your medical practice, use it to link back to your medical practice site.
6. Make a Sitemap and Submit To Google Search Console
Now that we’ve covered the website itself, let’s talk about some analytics techniques to measure and enhance your medical website design!
A sitemap allows you to organize pages on your website and show how they relate to one another.
This is important because it helps you control how Google Search Console reads your website.
GSC is a tool for analyzing how your website appears in Google search queries.
Submitting your sitemap to GSC will allow Google to index each page and display that page in the proper search queries. You can show Google which pages are most important and how your site is organized.
For example, if you have similar content on your About Us page and your Services page of your dental website, a sitemap will tell GSC to prioritize your About Us page in search results.
For more info on creating a sitemap, click here.
7. Add a Google Analytics Tag and Link GA to GSC
Google Analytics is an essential tool for understanding your website traffic.
GA tells you what kinds of users visit your site, how they found it, and what they do once they get there.
For this reason, it is vital to add a GA “tag” to your website. Google Tag Manager makes this process easy.
For more on setting up GA tags, see this guide.
Once GA is integrated with GSC, you can see the whole picture of your website traffic:
- How users found your site through Google (GSC)
- Who they were and what they did on your site (GA)
In other words, GA–GSC integration allows you to link keyword data to website behavior and conversion data.
You can see exactly which keywords brought certain users to your site, who in turn performed certain actions.
For maximizing your medical website SEO, this information is invaluable.
8. Register on Google My Business and Define Your Services and Area
Google My Business is sort of like the internet’s phone book.
Register your medical practice, list your services, location, and hours of operation, and GMB will display your information to users in your area.
One crucial step, which medical practice owners occasionally forget about, is to define your services and area.
When registering our Miami-based dental practice on GMB, we’d add “Invisalign” as one of our services.
Then, if someone living in the Miami area goes to Google Maps and types in “Invisalign,” your office will pop up on the map! It’s that easy.
GMB is essential for reaching local audiences. It balances relevance and location metrics to provide users with the services they need at a convenient location.
For local SEO, registering your practice with GMB is absolutely essential.
9. Insert a Google Maps HTML Into Your Contact Us page
Your Contact Us page should include a map of your office location. It’s convenient for users and looks super professional.
Here are the steps to do this:
- Search for your practice on Google Maps.
- Once you find it, click Share.
- When the next window comes up, click Embed a map and then Copy HTML.
- Paste this HTM directly into your Contact Us page.
And just like that, you’ll have a handy little, automatically updated map!
This will help website visitors find your site while boosting your local SEO rankings.
10. Add Google Site Kit Plugin (WordPress only)
If you’re a WordPress user (and we highly recommend it), use Google’s Site Kit to streamline your website analytics chores.
With this simple plugin, you can integrate all the website analytics tools mentioned above (except Google My Business).
Data from GA, GSC, Tag Manager, and a few other tools we haven’t discussed here can all be fed directly into your WordPress dashboard.
All your analytics information is collected and updated in exactly the place you need it.
Best of all, it’s totally free and no additional code snippets are needed to set it up! If you’re planning to use GA, GSC, and other Google analytics tools, adding Site Kit is a no-brainer.
As you can see, there are a number of techniques and tricks to boost your medical website design’s placement on Google.
From building your site to analyzing its traffic and rankings, SEO is a long-term, multi-faceted project.
While nothing is guaranteed, following these steps is the best way to boost your SEO and increase your chances of figuring prominently in search results.
One rule stands above all others: write relevant, engaging, and informative content.
Practice Tech Solutions is happy to consult with all your medical SEO and content writing needs. We’ll produce quality, SEO-friendly content tailored to your specifications. Get your first trial article for only $49!
For more details, check out Google’s guide for websites.