Last week, I had the pleasure of discussing the benefits of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with a Charlotte-based primary care physician. During our conversation, I uncovered a common problem among businesses looking to implement SEO. It turns out there’s plenty of information on SEO but none of which includes a simple guide on where to start.
If you’re pressed for time, you can get a summarized view by reading the blockquotes and the question before them.
Doctor (Md): I know what Search Engine Optimization is but it seems so intimidating and I don’t know where to start. Where do you think I should start?
Quinton Wash (QW): Well, the first thing you should do is shift your mindset towards thinking local.
QW: Yep, local. You’re a primary care office with one physical location. Until you’re ready to open new offices, there isn’t a pressing need to target potential patients on a national scale. This should make the topic of SEO feel less intimidating. An added benefit to thinking local is you should have an easier time doing the groundwork necessary when it comes to keyword searches.
Md: How do I maintain the mindset of thinking local while using Google’s Keyword Planner tool?
QW: Well I’m glad you mentioned the Keyword Planner tool because I was going to suggest it as a preferred tool. To answer your question, simply place your city name or state name before your keyword. For instance, “Charlotte, North Carolina primary physician” or “North Carolina physician”.
Admin: Ok, any other suggestions when it comes to thinking locally?
QW: Sure, I would also focus on answering people’s questions online. You could look on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Quora. If there’s a platform that caters to Q&A between patients and physicians then I would use that. The point is, answer as many questions you can to build up your authority in the medical field.
Md: This is great! I’ve read somewhere that the best thing I can do for Optimizing my site is develop content for my patients. How do I start developing content?
QW: That’s correct, content is the fastest way to raise your search engine rankings. I would say you decide on the type of content you want to create for your patients.
Md: I want to create content that educates my patients on preventative measures they take before they end up in my office with something far worse than my staff can handle. What do you think about that?
QW: That’s a great direction! Your content should either educate, entertain, or inspire. Anything past that and you’re wasting your time. When you educate your patients make sure you follow do the following:
- Add keywords in your title and article: Without keywords in your article, you’re wasting your time.
- Write a solid introduction: Your goal is to draw your patients into what you want to present.
- Create digestible content: Write short paragraphs for patients to quickly read through and try to translate any confusing medical terms into concepts that’s easy to understand.
Md: After listening to your first two recommendations it seems I will be left with a lot of content hosted on my website. Is there anything I’m missing?
QW: You’re absolutely correct. A lot of my suggestions are centered around boosting your profile using your website. However, when you’re finished you can take your SEO efforts to the next level.
Md: What would be the next level?
QW: Start looking at posting your content to a few blogs sites or media outlets related to your industry. You may have to do some research on those blogs but I’m confident they’re out there. Don’t forget to start a newsletter for current patients just in case they’re not regular visitors of your website. Lastly, don’t forget about other forms of content. Video and audio formats are doing well on the internet and may prove just as useful as the written content on your site.