As a hospital or clinic, your success largely depends on being embraced by potential and current patients. A huge part of connecting with your clientele is to make your web presence one worth visiting. Taking stock of your hospital or clinic website's SEO prowess is a great first step.

Here are some common pitfalls healthcare providers face with their own websites.

1. Low-Quality Physician Pages

Your physicians are the cornerstone of your business. Therefore, it stands to reason that your doctor and physician pages should be the cornerstone of your website. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. From lack of content or minimal content to outdated information or profiles, physician and doctor pages are often weak and underdeveloped.

Many potential patients will look for doctors by name on search engines like Google. If your website doesn’t build out these pages enough to rank for these searches, that traffic (and potential appointments) will be lost to other sites or incorrect local profiles.

2. Unimpressive Service Pages

Your service pages are the most potentially keyword-rich sections of your website. You have an opportunity to discuss multiple ailments, injuries and conditions that your clinic can handle. But so many clinics miss the opportunity to rank for relevant keywords through building out their service pages.

Do your service pages have one paragraph or less of content? Do your sections on specialties link out to other websites for more details? Have you forsaken actual service pages for miscellaneous sections such as, “pain” or “injury?” If so, it’s time to add more keyword-rich content to your pages.

3. Difficulty Making Appointments

Firstly, the ability to make an appointment online is a necessity in 2018. It can understandably be a difficult process. If you’re currently booking appointments exclusively over the phone, it could require training employees, adding functionality to your website and more time on the phone for your front-desk staff. But having a clinic website that lacks the ability to schedule (or at least request) appointments online could severely impact the number of appointments your clinic books.

Whether or not appointments are easy to make on your website does not directly affect keyword rankings in search engines. But the amount of time users from organic search spend on your website can affect search rankings. Make sure the ability to make an appointment is prominently featured in the navigation and the form itself is easy to use.

4. Shallow Homepage Content

When you’re trying to convince web users to call your clinic or make an appointment online, it can be tempting to push users to those sections of your website as quickly as possible. But it would be a mistake to ignore your homepage. Your homepage is one of the most important sections of your site—not just the design, but the actual content. Because your homepage usually links to every one of your important pages in its navigation, search engines see it as the hub of content on your website.

So when you have a homepage that is nothing more than a few images and navigation, you are telling search engines that there is little to no content to be found on your website. You are also telling users that they may have a difficult time finding what they are looking for on your site. Value your homepage by adding in keyword-rich content and relevant, personal images whenever possible.

5. Unpopular Keywords

We’ve talked a lot in this blog about keyword-rich content. It refers to content that is naturally full of common search queries. There is a difference between keyword-rich content and keyword stuffing. This refers to an unnatural, out-of-date practice of stuffing as many keywords into a piece of content as possible. For instance: “Our medical clinic has talented physicians. Physicians at our clinic diagnose and treat ailments and injuries. Injuries and ailments covered at our clinic include the flu.” On the other hand, a keyword-rich piece of content could be: “Our talented physicians treat a variety of ailments and injuries at our local clinic.”

So now you know how to make use of keywords in your content. But what keywords should you use? This is where we come to our final point—using the right words. The words you use around the clinic may be very different than the words your potential patients use. Consider working with an agency partner or a tool like Google Keyword Planner to optimize this.

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