3 SEO Traps to Avoid

If you want your patients to find you first when they search for practices in their area, you need to have a good handle on your SEO (search engine optimization) and online medical marketing. Unfortunately, getting great Google and Bing rankings looks a lot simpler than it is. To the untrained eye, it looks like you just have to throw in a bunch of keywords and some back links, and you’ll be set. If you follow that model for SEO success, though, your medical practice marketing will suffer.

Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid falling into some of the most common SEO traps if you know what to look out for. Here are the biggest SEO fails I’ve seen in my time working with physicians to improve their marketing strategies.

Keyword Stuffing

Back in the day, a lot of website creators with somewhat questionable ethics would increase their rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) by literally stuffing their pages with keywords. These sites ranged from pages that had the same word, phrase, or sentence written over and over and over again instead of any useful content to pages that had invisible text peppered throughout the background with hundreds or thousands of iterations of a keyword or phrase.

A lot of these sites weren’t even actually related to the content that users were searching for, and many of them carried spyware or malware. Needless to say, it didn’t take Google and other search engines long to realize that allowing this kind of site to appear at the top of their searches would decrease their credibility and have their users looking elsewhere.

To avoid this, Google, Bing, and other search engines will punish sites that appear to have too many keywords for the amount of content they provide. So keep an eye on how often you use yours if you don’t want to get pushed to the bottom of the list (or off of it entirely). 

Using the Wrong Keywords

While you’re thinking about how many times to use your keywords (sticking to a 1% density is a good rule of thumb), remember that you also have to choose the right keywords. Do you know what your patients are searching for when they’re looking for a physician in your area? Are your keywords too general or too specific?

Google AdWords, Bing, and Wordtracker all have online keyword research tools to help you get the best results from your content. Guessing at keywords is a terrible online medical marketing strategy, and choosing the wrong keywords can mean missing out on a lot of potential patients.

Ignoring Analytics

Speaking of research, let’s talk about how your website, blog, and social media pages are doing. There are analytics tools available for each of these online presences, some of which are actually built into the platforms. Analytics give you valuable information about things like when you get the most traffic, which posts are the most engaging, what time of day your audience interacts with your pages the most, where your traffic is coming from, and much more.

By using these free and inexpensive tools, you can easily learn to tweak your online medical marketing strategy and greatly improve your medical practice marketing across all of your online platforms. From social media to blogs to your website, you can look at what works and what doesn’t, which keywords are the most effective, which hashtags get you the most views, how images help drive traffic, and so on. By avoiding keyword stuffing and using the correct keywords, you can further improve your marketing, giving you a leg up on the competition and helping you build a better relationship with your new and current patients.