The first thing most people want to do when they start a medical website is optimize it for search engines. They imagine that just tweaking a few things for Google will send their business through the roof.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a great thing, particularly for people who like numbers. You can look at number of site visitors, number of pages visited, bounce rates, time on site and on and on. And these are important numbers. But here’s the thing about SEO – you can have fabulous numbers and no patients.
This is where content comes in.
Many numbers-driven people make the mistake of expecting SEO to do the job of medical content, when SEO is not the right tool for the job. They work to optimize-optimize-optimize, but they forget that there are actual people behind those numbers. People who click on a link because they want to know more. They want to know you. They want to now what kind of a physician you are. They want to know if you are the right physician for them.
This is the job of content not SEO. And when I say it’s content’s job, I really mean it’s your job. Because while SEO can be managed by someone with no idea of your practice, content that gives a genuine glimpse into who you are and what kind of practice you run can’t. That doesn’t mean you have to create it yourself, but it does mean you need to be involved in the process.
What does this look like?
Well, maybe it means you sit down in front of a camera once a week and make a video that addresses a common misconception you hear from your patients.
It may mean you hire a medical content writer (like us!) and work with them to create a blog that shows your philosophy of practice. Are you all about evidence? Are you more of an empathic physician who spends extra time with each patient? Are you the busy professionals’ doctor, able to communicate important information succinctly and quickly so necessary action can be taken? Every style appeals to a certain type of patient. You can use medical content to communicate your style and attract the kind of patients who will respond best to it.
It might mean you create a podcast that focuses on medical headlines and what they mean to your patients.
The ways you can use content are only limited by your imagination.
SEO and great content written by expert medical writers go hand-in-hand. SEO gets visitors to your site. Content gets them to take action. But great content must come first. If you have 100 visitors to your site each month, and no one is making an appointment to see you, getting 200 visitors to your site isn’t going to help much. Zero out of 200 is exactly the same as zero out of 100. Use content to make something happen with those first 100!
So here’s your challenge: this week think about medical content, not SEO. Make a plan to engage your site visitors a little bit more. It’s the best way to take that SEO and turn it into something great.