Your orthopedic practice is all set. You love your team, your location, your potential for building your practice. But there’s a problem — despite having a website, no one seems to be finding it, much less engaging with it. Your supply of new patients is a trickle, basically coming only from word of mouth.
It can seem daunting figuring out this stuff. You understand the nuances of one of the most complicated mechanically functioning items in existence — the human shoulder — but navigating your orthopedic practice’s marketing in this digital age…now that’s baffling.
You thought simply having a website was enough. People would find it when searching, right? Not exactly. Your site needs to make it easy for Google to find and understand your website first, and then Google will rank how helpful your website is for potential patient users. If you make Google’s algorithm happy, the search engine will be more inclined to list you prominently in searches by your potential patients.
There’s a name for that — search engine optimization (SEO) — and no one does it quite like Advice Media.
What is SEO for orthopedic practices?
You’ve probably heard the term search engine optimization, but it can be a foggy concept. Basically, SEO means making your orthopedic practice website as tuned in to exactly what Google’s famous algorithm likes. The reward? A happy algorithm will put your practice up there when a person seven miles from your office types “What is knee arthroscopy?” into his or her phone after they felt their knee clicking when running around on a tennis court.
You have to understand Google’s mission, seeks to match searchers with exactly what they are searching for. The company continually tweaks the roughly two billion lines of code in its algorithm to make searchers happy with the search results the algorithm delivers. You need Google and other search engines to understand the content on your site and view you as a trusted site worthy of being displayed for user’s search queries.
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What factors are involved in orthopedic practice SEO?
So, what makes Google happy? Great content helps Google understand exactly what your orthopedic practice does. Social media engagement shows that you are a popular practice and engage actively with your patients. Consistency across the web with things such as how your office address is written assures Google you are one practice, not various practices, that is still operating.
Keywords used to be the easiest way to jump in rankings; they helped the algorithm understand what your practice should be known for. The problem was, firms started learning how to game the system, and search results weren’t necessarily delivering the best answers to searchers’ questions.
So, Google changed the game. Now it wants content on your website. It wants content that is informative, accurate, and engaging. It wants content that is grammatically correct and free of typos. Why? Content makes it very easy for the algorithm to understand what a business does and the problems you can solve for their users.
And it wants your content to be continually updated and evolving. That is where a blog fits in. If you have a blog titled “Why your knees hurt when you run,” imagine how a long-tailed search titled “Why do my knees hurt after a three-mile run?” will love that blog. You get the idea.
But who has the time or the skills to create this content? You know joints, not the proper use of a semicolon! At Advice Media, we have a stable of professional writers that can write your entire orthopedic website, from the difference between an ACL and an MCL to how you place an artificial hip. We can write your blogs. In other words, you have the answer to a dislocated kneecap; we have your content.
No matter your personal feelings about social media, patients are increasingly using it to find businesses, including healthcare providers. Posting your thoughts on a new artificial knee that the FDA just approved for the market not only provides new content for your site, but it shows you to be an expert orthopedic practitioner. Social media helps with patient retention, boosts traffic to your website, gives potential patients a glimpse into your practice without any commitment, and allows your practice to create a community outside of your office.
At Advice, we’re all over your social media needs. We have a service, Social Power, which includes three posts per week on Facebook and/or Google+.
How to grow your Practice’s Brand with Instagram
Just a few years ago, searches for something like “Shoulder surgeons” could return results from another state. Google realized that didn’t make searchers happy, so it decided to localize search rankings. To help Google get that local feel for your orthopedic practice, the algorithm looks at your website to find lengthy descriptions of your specialties, regular updates of summer or holiday hours, 360-degree office tours, and more.
And it wants consistency. You’d be amazed at what subtle differences in your NAP (name, address, and phone) can do to your search ranking. Is your practice name Rocky and Bullwinkle Orthopedics or is it Rocky & Bullwinkle Orthopaedics? Is your phone number (635) 635-6355 or is it 635.635.6355? Google’s algorithm is smart, but it doesn’t like inconsistency (OK, it’s downright OCD about it!). What’s the big deal? In its own Mr. Spock logic-filled way, inconsistent practice information can make the algorithm believe the information is for different practices. You can see how this trashes your search ranking.
Again, do you have time to find every directory from Yelp! to RealSelf to Google My Business to dozens more, and make sure your practice information is the same across each one? No, but we do. At Advice Media, we have a tool called Local Power that provides a dashboard of all of your information and makes sure it is consistent on over 200+ listing and directories.
The nuances of orthopedic practice marketing and SEO may seem far-ranging and daunting, but it’s simple if you do one thing — bring on Advice Media to build, optimize, and maintain your practice website. We’ve been building beautiful websites for orthopedic practices and other medical clients for 20 years, and we are the industry leader in optimizing those sites so that potential patients find your site and become actual patients.