You’ve probably seen the statistics: According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of Internet users say they’ve looked online for health information — and 77% of them say they began their last health-seeking session at a search engine.
Question is will your practice website be among the results that Google, etc., return? If not, there’s a good chance traffic to your site is depressingly low, which raises the secondary question: What can you do about it?
Needless to say, making sure your site is actually attractive to search engines is crucial. Unfortunately, the skills required to do so — generally grouped under the banner of search engine optimization (SEO) — are highly technical and, in most cases, better left to those who actually possess them. The good news is that there are steps you can take to drive more traffic to your site that don’t require a working understanding of domain authority, title tags and other technical factors. Here are five:
Be relatable: The more your content resembles the content web-searchers are looking for, the more favorably search engines will view it. To see it in action, start typing an aesthetic inquiry and Google’s Autocomplete feature will provide suggested search terms that also offer excellent insights into the kind of information potential patients are most interested in.
Be more social: As a small business owner, your practice website likely lacks the “SEO juice” to rank well on its own. However, by sharing your content on the social platforms where aesthetic consumers gather, you get more exposure, which, in turn, can lead to better results for your practice website. Answering consumer questions on RealSelf, for example, has been shown to boost search results for the doctors who do so.
Be a resource: Journalists are always looking for experts to provide insights for the stories they’re working on. Local reporters, in particular, are always looking for local sources and can usually be reached through the outlet’s website. To make yourself available to a larger audience, consider joining Help a Reporter Out, a website that helps journalists find appropriate sources and vice versa.
Be your own PR pro: Recently won an award or been otherwise honored? While tooting your own horn is a no-no in social media, it’s what press releases were designed for and there are several companies that will distribute yours for free or a fee. Even if aesthetic consumers don’t typically read press releases, it’s always good to have your name, contact information and links to your practice website show up wherever possible.
Be a consistent communicator: Unless they’re considering another procedure, most patients will likely have little reason to visit your practice website weeks, months and years after their procedure. Many, though, will still appreciate receiving your emails as they consider subsequent medibeauty concerns while others may forward your email to like-minded friends. Either way, and as long as you don’t spam them with excessive, irrelevant messages, staying in contact is a great way to stay top of mind.
All of the above, of course, do require some effort and even the biggest spike in web traffic isn’t worth anything if visitors to your practice website don’t engage with your content, find it valuable and reach out to find out more. We’ll look at some ways to accomplish that in a subsequent post.