When it comes to Search Engine Results Optimization (SEO) for your healthcare practice, change is the only constant.

Working with SEO is challenging per se, but especially so in the healthcare industry. As a medical practitioner, you cannot afford to ignore SEO as part of your overall set of digital marketing activities.

Today, about 58% of web users look online for information about specific medical treatments and procedures before deciding on visiting a healthcare provider. An effective SEO campaign can help target these potential patients and can help you appear higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

In this article, we’ll talk about why Search and SEO is increasingly important to healthcare providers in 2018. We’ll also mention some important Search and SEO trends and techniques that will work to ensure that you get your healthcare practice where you want it to be…top of mind with your patients and prospective patients.

  • 1) Increasing investment in patient portals: Patient portals have been around for a while, but many patients are not particularly happy with their experience with patient portals. This year will see an improvement in the technology that drives patient portals, as well as an increase in the number and kind of services that patient portals will provide. Currently, most portals allow patients to view test results, immunizations, and their medical history. This will likely expand, as patients are demanding a more user-friendly experience and more control over their care and well-being.
  • 2)  An increase and improvement in voice-driven SEO: Digital assistants are invading our lives, through mobile devices, smartphones, and home devices. Voice search already accounts for 20% of all searches and will make their way into the healthcare industry, with many projects underway. With most voice searches being done on mobile devices, it is imperative that your healthcare website is mobile-friendly.
  • 3) Increasing use of content marketing: Many studies reveal that healthcare content is the second-most searched for service online. With so many people searching for expert healthcare information, it is important that you, as a healthcare provider, capture these searches with unique and relevant content. You should develop and post content that answers patients’ questions and addresses their key points.
  • 4) A trend towards social media marketing: Social media marketing has changed over the past decade. In the healthcare field, the trend in social media is being driven by changing attitudes and preferences. Increasingly, patients now seek information via social media to help them make an informed decision regarding which doctor to visit and what kind of care they need. In 2018, we’ll see more of engagement and two-way communication between patients and doctors, as the latter look to communicate with patients in real-time, thereby building meaningful relationships with their target audience.
  • 5) Optimization of user experience: Usability Design (UX) will continue to have a great year in 2018. UX will be especially relevant in 2018 for healthcare marketers, with attention to user experience resulting in stronger relationships between healthcare providers and their audiences. Patients increasingly want a seamless user experience when it comes to medical websites. Patients are also comparing healthcare websites with the best retail sites, such as Amazon, and want a similar experience. Design in healthcare is about usability and creating a better user experience for patients and potential patients.

These are just some of the Search and SEO trends that impact the success of healthcare provider marketing efforts in 2018.

However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Not only do healthcare providers need to more effectively leverage Search and SEO as part of their marketing activities, in order to bring in new clients, they also need to understand and leverage social media, online ads, targeted email, positive customer reviews,  promotions, events, a responsive website and more.

At IntellaHealth, we understand that these days, prospective patients “see you” long before you see them. We can help you, bring in new patients for your practice. We also help you more effectively turn the patients you already have into word-of-mouth advocates for your practice.

So, if you are a healthcare provider and practitioner, and need to craft an effective Search and SEO strategy as part of a larger, holistic integrated marketing approach, get in touch with IntellaHealth and let us take your healthcare practice go to the next level.

For more information on how you can hire a digital marketing agency to help craft a Search and SEO strategy and grow your healthcare practice, contact IntellaHealth at 425-283-9772 or at brucew@intellahealth.net or visit our website at www.intellahealth.net.

Bruce Worrall

+Bruce is the CEO and Mastermind behind IntellaSphere and regularly blogs about Small to mid-size business challenges and opportunities for growth. He can also be reached at @bruce_worrall.