How many times a day do you think you use Google, or any other search engine? If you are like me, you utilize this resource frequently for anything and everything. When it comes down to it, the internet is full of websites, microsites, landing pages, and answers that many of search for on a regular basis. It is a crowded space that is hard for end users to weed through if a site is not properly optimized. For medical practices, optimizing a website may seem like the last thing you need to worry about. While it certainly is not a higher priority than treating patients, it should not be overlooked. Your website is your digital front door and in order for patients to enter it virtually, they need to be able to find it. Once they walk through, your practice needs to provide them with a reason to stay.
How can medical practices optimize their websites?
Optimize for Mobile
According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans own a smart phone. This means that three quarters of United States have instant access to information anytime, anywhere. With this heavy reliance on smart phone usage and the easy access to the information on the web through these devices, it’s important that webpages be optimized for easy mobile use. If an end user attempts to utilize your site and can’t easily navigate through it because it is not optimized for mobile, you have potentially lost a prospective patient.
Google indexes (the process of adding pages to search) and ranks pages with a primary focus on mobile content. This shift started almost five years ago. With that being said, it could have really began to impact your practice’s Google ranking back in 2018. As your organization takes steps towards improving your website’s mobile UI, remember that it should hold just as much value as your desktop interface.
Invest Time (and Money) Into Keywords
Using the right keywords on your webpage will help the right people find your practice online. BrightLocal claims that more than one-quarter of individuals use the web to find businesses in their local communities every day. If your practice optimizes your webpage with the right keywords, it is likely that your ideal patient will find your organization.
Keyword research is often time consuming and can be costly. With that being stated, it is important to not overlook how beneficial it can be for your practice. Not only will this help you attract the right patients to your practice but it will also help improve your ranking on Google. As your rankings improve, this will push you ahead of your competitors in your local community. Keywords and phrases need be reevaluated every few months to ensure they are still relevant. (Note: If your practice doesn’t have the time to commit to this project, it may be worth it to hire an SEO company.)
When you create a website, your primary goal is to create conversions. For medical practices, these conversions are typically to convert visitors into patients. Examples of CTAs for your webpage can be “Call Today,” “Make an Appointment,” and “Visit Us.” Each of these provide a specific action for your visitor to complete while on your website and hopefully lead to providers providing care at your office.
If your office wants to take CTAs a step further, you can make your CTAs “sticky.” This means that the CTA follows your visitor along the page, making it visible regardless of where they are on your website. (Pro Tip: When optimizing your website for mobile, make your phone number a “one-click” number. This enables visitors to click on your phone number and call your office without the added hassle and will boost your conversion rate.)
Quick Load Times
If you had to guess, how long does it take a consumer to leave a webpage that is loading slowly? Google says for 53% of users it only takes three seconds to leave a page with a slow load time… three seconds. The average load time for a mobile website is 22 seconds. This means that many websites are missing out on visitors and, inevitably, conversions that lead to patients in exam rooms.
Page load times affect how websites rank in search results. Websites with better load times, keyword optimized pages, and those that are mobile friendly are more likely to be ranked higher.
As your practice begins to take steps towards optimizing your digital front door, remember that these efforts don’t have to solely come from your practice. Resources for practice marketing exist outside of your practice – reach out to vendors to outsource projects that your staff do not have the bandwidth to fulfill. These optimization efforts are worth it and will enable your practice to reach more prospective and current patients online.
Are you looking for a practice marketing resource for your clinic? Henry Schein MicroMD can help. Visit us today at micromd.com/marketplace or call us at 800.624.8832.
About the author,
Savanna is the Marketing Communication Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. She schedules emails to clients, prospects, and VARs, manages social media accounts, performs research, writes blogs and eBooks, and much more while helping to support the simple yet powerful MicroMD solutions.
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