It’s estimated that this year, there will be 2.77 billion social media users worldwide. On top of this high number, nearly half of the world’s population is online, this number sitting around 3.2 billion.
Due to these high numbers, marketing has moved into online territory to catch this high volume of traffic. Your patients factor into these numbers, too; according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, more patients are paying attention to your online presence than ever before.
If they’re looking for you online, you need to be easy to find. The best way to do this is through search engine optimization, which will help to increase your visibility online, and build credibility for your practice through doing so.
Here are easy ways to optimize your website and content, and to keep users on the page once they get there!
Proper Keyword Research
When it comes to the development of your SEO strategy, this should be the easiest part for you. As a cosmetic medicine practice that most likely has a niche and specified services, you already know the industry lingo. It’s likely you also know what words and phrases current and potential patients are using to find you.
Though you have a good idea of what terms and phrases will be the most popular, the actual research is not only important to the process, but vital. SEMrush has a great keyword magic tool for this exact purpose. The database possesses a staggering total of 9.4 billion keywords, with a quickly expanding database.
Even better so, think long tail keywords when trying to pin down what you want to be optimized for. Long tail keywords are extremely specific, and comprised of three to four words per phrase to make for a very focused search. This is a great way to micro target your audience, and ensure you’re funneling the right patients to you. Examples of aesthetic long tail keywords may be:
These keywords will depend on your services, of course, but you get the idea! Make sure you’re using the right research tools to capitalize on the right keywords and phrases before pursuing them. This will ensure you’re reaching your potential patients with what they’re already looking for, and secure your place in the results.
Improve Website and Engagement
SEO is largely based on user experience, and this includes your website. Even if your website is detailed, esthetically pleasing, and optimized for search, there are still other components that need periodic evaluation, testing, and improvement.
A few important things to look at when analyzing how effective your website is in keeping users engaged and converting to patients are:
We’ll talk about these three things first.
Google Analytics defines “bounce rate” as the percentage of single page visitors to a website. Most companies have a goal when bringing users to their website, and 9 times out of 10, that goal is to convert.
If a user “bounces”, the assumption to be made is that the website was either too difficult or frustrating to use, or the visitor wasn’t satisfied with your content, meaning their needs weren’t met. Neither of these are particularly good for business.
Not every user that engages with your page will find that it’s the right fit for them, and that’s okay. However, if it’s happening quite frequently, it can potentially hurt your SEO, and create cause for concern that your site and landing pages aren’t doing what they need to be doing.
While keeping realistic expectations in mind, you’ll want to track your progress, and identify areas to improve after each evaluation. The goal is to keep users on the page for long enough to convert them, and to do this, you’ll need to make sure your page is always up to date with relevant content.
Page Speed is mainly defined by two common phrases; “page load time”, which indicates how long it takes your website to display all existing content, or “time to first byte”, which speaks to how long it takes for your browser to receive the first bite of information from the server. It’s important that no matter what you call it, your website loads quickly.
Google factors page speed into your website’s ranking. Not only is page speed important to Google’s algorithm, your users care about it, too. People want information quickly, and if that need isn’t met, they’re often enabled to search elsewhere. How many times have you left a website for another because it wasn’t optimized for mobile, and you became frustrated waiting for it to load? It’s a common experience, and one that needs to be nipped in the bud.
One of the best preventative measures for this is to make sure your website is optimized for mobile. Nearly 60% of searches now come from mobile devices, meaning your next patients are likely using their phone to find you - you don’t want to miss out on all this traffic!
Average Time on Page
If you only write long form content and the average amount of time users spend on your page is usually around the 30 second mark, this, naturally, isn’t a good sign. This could be a strong indication that your content isn’t engaging your users in the ways that it should, and could use a bit of a makeover.
How do you make these improvements, and what improvements will eradicate the problem most efficiently? Here are some ways to compel your users to stay on your site longer, and make sure that doing this so is an enjoyable experience for them.
Up Your Blogging Game
The verdict is in - short form content just isn’t doing what it used to, and long form content is where your focus should be. Long form content is extremely shareable on social media, answers many questions, and is proven to generate more traffic and leads.
There’s no real magic number for where your word count should hit, but at least 2,000 words seems to be the sweet spot for content marketers. The average first page result on Google is typically around 2,000 words long.
Blogging is important to your SEO strategy for a variety of reasons. Websites that are frequently updated with new, relevant content signal to Google that the website is alive and offering fresh content to its’ users and visitors. This is vital for your ranking factor.
Blogging, and specifically writing long form content, also helps to keep users on the page for a longer period of time if you are able to write something engaging.
Display Your Patient Reviews
Reviews are more crucial to your local SEO strategy, which is very important in itself. Reviews impact your ranking in local search engines, along with patient buying decisions.
Surprisingly enough, 84% of users said they trusted online reviews as much as they would trust a recommendation from a friend or family member. This means that failing to utilize the powerful nature of them will cause you to lose out on an opportunity to leave a good impression with a visitor.
Google only wants to recommend the most credible business to users. After all, the sole purpose of SEO is to deliver the best possible content to the searcher. In short, this means that boosting your own credibility online through the use of patient reviews can really build your online authority.
Patient reviews can keep a user on a website for longer periods of time, simply out of curiosity. Everyone wants to know what previous and current patients have to say about a practice before they use it, and the effective nature of these listed reviews will keep them engaged.
Be User Friendly
In order to encourage users to stay on your page for long period of time, it needs to be easy and effortless for them to use.
User friendly traits include:
Too many ads on a website can be distracting, and make it appear cluttered. A website that features too many advertisements, especially ones that move, can also appear spammy. This may confuse or deter users.
A healthy amount of white space makes for a clean, easy to read design. Too much text can be overwhelming to the reader, and make it more difficult for them to find the information they’re looking for.
Make it a habit of using headers, images, and short paragraphs and sentences in order to break up large bodies of text, and make for easy skimming. Many readers want to skim your content to decide whether it’s for them or not, and if it’s too difficult to do so, a decision that isn’t in your favor may be easier for them to make.
Embrace Simple Design
State of the art websites are quite visually appealing, and may be attempting to create. However, the appeal of the design can quickly be lost if users are unable to navigate your site with ease.
You can have a visually appealing website, while still maintaining its’ simplicity! During the design or transformative process, you’ll also want to make sure your website is professional looking.
Your website is both an investment, and a reflection of your company. You want to put a promising, confident image of your business into the world. If users stumble across a website that appears to have been designed with inexperience, this may act as a red flag. Why would they invest in your company, when it’s clear that you haven’t?
These are just a few ways to help target your prospective patients, and ensure they love staying on your page!