January 2019

5 Ways to Build Patient Loyalty in a Digital World

Medical SEO: How to Grow Patient Loyalty on the Web

Are you using medical SEO to reach out to and retain patients? There’s more to it than being found on google. It’s also about trust. We’re sharing how here.

Let’s be realistic. Building a website nowadays is not enough. Just being present online won’t bring you more customers. Using the Internet to grow your business comes with responsibilities and a number of tools you have to master if you really want to succeed: Medical SEO, sitemaps, a medical blog and more.

However, it is your lucky day because we’ve got you covered. Just take a look at the guide below and get ready for some serious success.

First, Educate Yourself

Before you start reading the techniques and the ways you can make your website more popular with organic visitors, you have some homework to do. As mentioned above, being present is not enough.

So, the first thing you want to do is to make sure you familiarize yourself with some tools and terms involved with Internet marketing.

Some of these tools and terms to help you with your medical SEO are:

Google Analytics

Make sure you put this simple code in your website’s header to monitor what content pulls more traffic. Collect the data, analyze them, and keep creating more content based on what your audience needs.


This is a tool many professionals forget to use. Creating a sitemap will help search engines navigate through your website and deliver the right content to the right person. Free sitemap generators out there that will get the job done for you.

Medical SEO Optimization

Get to study more about headings, keyword density, external and internal linking, and image optimization to improve your Google ranking.

Meta Data

Another important thing to include in your TO-STUDY list. Metadata (such as meta titles and meta descriptions) help search engines understand more quickly what your website is all about. Yes, the also help you rank higher.

We know all these might sound like a lot, but it is just some important stuff worth studying. After all, you know what a patient suffers from just by listening to their symptoms. Do you really believe you will not be able to master the medical SEO techniques?

Keywords & Medical SEO

Don’t you just love this word? It is a clear word that describes what search engines are actually looking for: keywords. Words that help your website shine.

The process is quite simple. Create a list of words you believe people use while searching for medical services. Ask for some help both from your colleagues and from everyday people who use the Internet to look for healthcare related content.

After you have created your list, test each keyword on Google Keyword Planner and focus on the ones that gather more than 400 monthly searches. Boom! You now have your main focus areas.

Now, all you have to do is include these keywords on your website. But be careful. You don’t want to overdo it. Keyword stuffing is a common SEO mistake you want to avoid.

A perfect idea to target your keywords of choice is a blog.

Original Content Matters

The Internet is full of content. Text, images, videos, blogs.

Our virtual world is packed with information the world keeps searching for. Be one of those information providers.

Writing blog posts about your area of expertise does not only help you establish yourself as an authority, but will also help you target the keywords that best describe your business. Create articles about your profession and write about all the things a patient might be looking for.

Your content must not only be original but serve a purpose as well.

So, a quick way to start gaining more traffic is by writing about symptoms and what they might mean, or you can help them with a “How-To” blog post. Whatever you do, don’t forget to include a “call-to-action” and ask your audience to contact you for more information.

Remind them you are just a call and an appointment away.

But Don’t Just Stick to Blogging

As we already mentioned, the Internet is full of content. And content does not only mean blog posts and words published on blogs. So, you have to own a variety of search verticals such as:


You know YouTube, right? Everybody does. Upload some videos on there and embed them in your website to deliver more content to your audience in a more simplified way.

Videos are still getting bigger and the fact that Google bought YouTube ten years ago, perfectly explains why they will help your SEO ranking.

Don’t be afraid to show your face, your staff, or even feature some of your patients’ testimonials. There is a lot of suspicion between the healthcare industry and the Internet. Showing what your organization is all about, will help you stand out and gain more reliability.


It might be your office, your team, moments of some of your most important achievements. Whatever it is, a picture is worth a thousand words. Make sure your audience hears every single one of them.


The easiest way to explain something to someone who is not familiar with your profession is by using slideshows. They are easy to understand, easy to digest, and, most importantly, easy to create.

Create one or two slideshows via Slideshare, optimize them for the web, and explain complex, scientific pieces of information in simple, everyday words.

Stay Local

Sure, you want to spread the knowledge. Sure, you want to help people remotely. But at the end of the day, the ultimate goal is to make these people come to you when they need your help.

Focusing on local marketing will both give you a ranking boost and help people find you when they are actually looking for medical services. Include your physical address and your phone numbers in your website, your Facebook Page, Foursquare, and Google Plus.

This way search engines will associate you with a standard location, and they will help you climb to the top of their search results.

For more information about our services, make sure you visit our contact page, and we will help you create a plan that will grow your business in an instant.

Roger Safont5 Ways to Build Patient Loyalty in a Digital World
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Doctor SEO Tips: Google Wants Your Website Mobile Responsive, Now

Doctors, it is past time you start acting like independent contractors, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. You run a business. You are self-employed, and all that entails.

One of the implications of that is you have to make marketing a part of your business.

Gone are the days where you could get customers simply by hanging a sign on your door. More than ever, you have to compete with other doctors for the attention and business of perspective clients.

It takes effort, money, and business savvy. It also requires a bit of technical prowess they likely didn’t teach you in med school.

If your website has not kept up with the times, you are about to start getting penalized for that lack of technical prowess. 

If you thought good patients were hard to attract before, just wait. It is about to get a whole lot harder. Violators of Google’s SEO rules will be considered less relevant, and thus, fall in the search results rankings.

If you were on the second page before, get ready to say “hello!” to page 4. Here are the Doctor SEO tips you need to avoid that fate (and perhaps even be promoted to page one):

Mobile Ready

The key to a mobile responsive site is responsive wed design (RWD)

Basically, it is a site that reflows and resizes text and other elements so that the site looks nice and responds well on smartphones just as they do on traditional computers. 

This can be a highly technical subject. As a doctor, you don’t need to know all the specifics of how it is done. Your web designer will know that. You need to understand why it matters. 

As we have already covered, Google will penalize you if your website isn’t mobile responsive. But here are some of the other reasons that a mobile-ready site is a must:

Mobile Search

On a mobile device, search is an entirely different beast. So as you prepare your site for mobile, you also have to adjust your concept of search.

On a desktop, it is easy to type long search strings into a large text box, then scroll through dozens of results to find what you want. This isn’t true on mobile.

People will naturally type shorter search strings because typing on mobile is a lot more difficult and time-consuming. 

Scrolling dozens of results is also less likely because scrolling is a lot more labor-intensive. 

The mobile searcher is also much more likely to be on the move while conducting the search. They do not have the luxury of sitting down and carefully sifting options. They will make a quicker decision based on less information and are more likely to be operating under time constraints.

If they are out and about and decide they needed to look up a doctor, you had better be near the top of the page. 

There are two ways to achieve this: through pay-per-click (PPC) and local optimization. 

PPC is the most straight-forward way to buy yourself to the top of the page.

You are not improving your search ranking, but rather, simply buying an ad that appears somewhere near the top of the page in the local results.

Local SEO is a way to improve your rankings in your local market. 

Doctors will benefit from local SEO specialists that  focus on the medical profession

Mobile-friendly Ads

As a doctor, your site shouldn’t be particularly ad-heavy. 

That said, mobile-unfriendly ads will cause your site to be penalized

The challenge is determining what qualifies as a mobile-friendly ad. 

Pop-ups have been around for a very long time (long enough that we have pop-up blockers). And those pop-up blockers are a staple of every web browser on the market.

Google is going beyond the pop-up blocker. They have declared most kinds of pop-ups user unfriendly. On mobile, a pop-up ad feels user hostile, if not downright deceptive.

Not only is your content completely blocked and the experience hijacked, the only way to get out of the ad us usually to tap a tiny [x] that is far smaller than a reasonable touch-target size.

It is far more likely the ad will be activated. And the user is redirected to a new webpage, or even app, while desperately trying to dismiss the ad.

Google can’t end the practice altogether. But they are doing what they can by penalizing those who continue to do it.

Google describes a “mobile-friendly” ad as one that only covers a reasonable amount of the screen. While you can find pictorial examples of this, as of now, it is still somewhat unclear what a reasonable amount of screen is. 

Ultimately, the take-away is to avoid user-hostile ads. You should easily rise above those who don’t.

Mobile Performance

Part of making a site more mobile responsive is making it more performant. Slow mobile sites will also be penalized in relevance rankings.

It is not just that slow sites are annoying to users of the site. It is that the sites are often slow for reasons that can be somewhat user-hostile. Here are a few of what makes a site slow:

  • Poor coding
  • Too many large assets that are difficult and expensive to download
  • Too many ads
  • Ads with trackers
  • Unintentional malware on the site from a third-party, rogue network

By focusing on site speed, Google is also forcing site masters to trim the fat and make their sites more useful. It is easy to forget that not everyone has the latest and greatest tech for handling bloat.

Crafting a Mobile Message

As a doctor and business person, you have to craft a message that sets your business apart.

But that message has to fit into the 4.7″ lifestyle of your potential clients. You have to figure out what sets you apart. Then present that unique selling proposition (USP), within the constraints of a smartphone.

One way to be sure your message is right for mobile is to redesign your site to be mobile-first. Until now, websites were designed on desktops for desktops. Only after the fact are they mobilized. 

While sites are still designed on the desktop, they should be conceptualized with mobile in mind. They can be scaled up from there.

Companies like Apple, Google, and WebOS have done a lot of work to show how smartphone apps can scale up. That ends up with a better enduser experience than taking a large app and trying to scale it down.

RWD is the latest effort to try and scale down a desktop site to smartphone size. It is a good idea that works well.

As the business of medicine changes, doctors have to change with the times by preparing for mobile search and providing mobile responsive sites that offer user-friendly ads, high-performance, and a message designed with the mobile lifestyle in mind.

Ready to get started? 

Roger SafontDoctor SEO Tips: Google Wants Your Website Mobile Responsive, Now
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Top Medical SEO Do’s and Don’ts to Get Your Site Right

If you’re tired of having a website that no one sees, you need to evaluate your site’s medical SEO. SEO, or search engine optimization, are the various keywords and structure that help online searchers find your website.

Did you know that at least 54{bdd9a1c58d0911e91934581815bf2aaeb41e96f2473b5329645edf525dd6592d} of millennials and 77{bdd9a1c58d0911e91934581815bf2aaeb41e96f2473b5329645edf525dd6592d} of patients overall look online before choosing a doctor? And even more people than that use the internet to find information about symptoms and diseases.

The right medical SEO can make the difference between searchers finding you in the search results and not being found at all. Fortunately, there are some simple do’s and don’t’s that will help you get your site right.

Medical SEO: Doing it Right

The goal of SEO is to make your site easier for search engines to read and understand.

When you optimize your site in this way, search results for keywords related to your business will include your website. Having your website rank highly in search results makes you more visible to your prospects and customers.

There are a lot of techniques you can use to make your website more search engine friendly. Doing it right is important.

Do: Include a Lot of Keyword Rich Content

You’re a doctor with specific specialties. Write about it!

Keywords are simply terms and phrases that are significant to your topic. They are the phrases people might use when they search for information. Including them in your content helps search engines understand that you have something to say about those topics.

Write about what you do, what you have learned, and what patients should watch out for. Of course, you should do this in layman’s terms, rather than using medical jargon.

When you share valuable information, you’ll rank highly in searches that include your specialty areas in the search terms. The millions of Americans that use Google to find out about their symptoms and diseases are far more likely to discover you.

Do: Create Different Pages for Each Physical Office

Local search, or searches in which prospects enter phrases like “GI Doctor Memphis,” are a crucial part of how people find professionals they want to work with. As a result, each of your locations should have their own web page.

Location-specific terms are essential keywords to use on your blog and your website. Include the location not just in the onsite content, but in the website address (URL) as well.

Something like doctorjohnson.com/offices/Memphis can be a useful website address. Having location-specific websites also allows you to use paid search ads more efficiently as well.

Do: Make Content Easy to Scan

Making content easy to scan isn’t just for search engines, it’s for people too. People don’t read every word online – they scan content, getting a feel for it from headers, bold text, and color.

Rather than fight this trend, go with it.

Use bold and color to highlight key terms and phrases that you want to stand out. Use headings and bulleted lists to make it easy to understand what you’re discussing without having to read every word.

Do: Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Responsive

Having a website that resizes text and rearranges the layout to accommodate mobile devices is vital to ranking high in search results. Not only will Google penalize you for not being mobile responsive, but you’ll also lose readers and possible customers as well.

Over half of consumer traffic to top websites is from mobile devices. If your site isn’t readable on a phone or tablet, you’re losing enormous amounts of impact!

Medical SEO: What NOT to Do

As with everything, there are ways to do medical SEO right and techniques that you should avoid. Here are a few things NOT to do.

Don’t: Use Leased Content from Content Mills

You’re a doctor, not a writer, so you may be looking for help finding content for your website. That’s understandable. However, it’s vital to choose the right content.

Google and other search engines penalize websites that have duplicate content by making sure they don’t rank highly in search results. All content should be unique to your site – and leased content doesn’t meet that standard.

Just like patients shouldn’t hire the cheapest doctor, but rather the best, be sure that any content you pay for is unique to your website, helpful to your patients, and high quality.

Don’t: Overuse Keywords

A long time ago, SEO writers would write sites that looked like complete junk to a human reader. In fact, they weren’t designed for human readers at all – they were stuffed with keywords.

The idea was that enough keywords would rank highly in search engines and it didn’t matter if the quality was poor. Not anymore.

Google now penalizes any website that focuses on “keyword stuffing” instead of quality content.

Instead, write something your patients want to read, while incorporating keywords in a natural way. Not only will you do better with search engines, but your website will also be more popular.

A higher number of visits and inbound links to your site helps it rank better in search results too!

Don’t: Use Content Only to Promote Yourself

The very worst websites in any industry are the ones that are all about the company and the owner. It’s like meeting someone at a dinner party, but they only want to talk about themselves. It’s off-putting.

It’s important to understand your audience and tailor your website to what they want to know and learn. Share informative articles. Talk about the benefits of working with you.

When you right a website well, it’s all about the customer. It describes what problems people have that you can help with, and discusses the improvements and outcomes that people experience from working with you.

Ready to Optimize Your Website?

Medical SEO can be a complex topic, and you’re already busy with your practice. Fortunately, Doctor Identity Services is here to help.

We want to help you be successful and drive more traffic to your site. More traffic means that more potential patients know about you and you have a chance to gain new business and grow your traffic.

If you want to learn more about medical SEO and get a free SEO analysis of your website, we’d love to help! Contact us today to have our experts review your site. You’ll be glad you did!

Roger SafontTop Medical SEO Do’s and Don’ts to Get Your Site Right
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Patient Market Research

Exploring the patient market is an organized effort to collect information about target markets or patients. This can be a very important component of business strategy.

Researching the right patient market is a key factor in maintaining competitiveness over competitors. Market research provides information and facts to identify and analyze your target patient market need, market size and competition. Market-research techniques encompass both qualitative techniques such as target groups, in-depth interviews, and ethnography, as well as quantitative techniques such as customer surveys, and evaluation of secondary data.

Market research, which include social media, is the systematic gathering and interpretation of information about individuals or organizations using statistical and analytical methods and techniques of the applied social sciences to achieve insight or support making decisions.

With effective market research, you can determine the need for your service, a product’s likelihood to sell, target-market demographics, and desirable store locations. There are numerous ways to uncover this information from online research to focus groups to counting customers. To help you meet your target market’s needs, we’ve put together a collection of our best market-research articles and resources.

What’s market research? And why must you do it?

How do we perform the market and competitive studies that are necessary to equip the team with the information it takes to make good decisions?

Few of us in management have ever had the task (not to mention the job description) of a market research specialist. In spite of the ever-increasing access we have to information today, it is still a daunting challenge for the uninitiated to find the sources and quickly distill the information required for good planning. In this article, we will identify the easiest and most direct ways to get your research off the ground.

You Have to Pay to Play (Well, Probably)

When considering market and competitive research, the amount of available information is really incredible but there is some great information and some bad information.

The good news is that many useful sources of information are available on the Internet. This is good news if you enjoy the prospect of conducting this effort from the comfort of your office chair. For many of us, just the thought of “doing research” is enough to ruin several workdays merely anticipating the sub-optimally productive time we might spend in the unfamiliar aisles of our nearest local business library.

The bad news is that many of the best sources, like the best things in life, are not free. For the most part, the most complete sources of information on the web are available through subscription services. Almost all of the sites will provide basic information teasers for free, but to get the good stuff, one has to either sign up for a year’ s worth of usage or pay on a per use basis.

Competitor Analysis

For competitor analysis, the first logical step is to go right to the source: the company’s home page. If your competitor is ranking, it is because they have established their own Internet presence. Dont stop at Search Engines Searches to find them, try the online Yellow Pages or use any number of Web Directories.

Find out what they are doing and how they got there. Replicate it and do it better.

Determine Your Market

Three key questions to answer when starting starting your SEO strategy are:

  • Who, if anyone, has a real need for the thing I propose to sell, and how many of those potential patients are there?
  • How much, if anything, are they spending to address that need today?
  • Does my product meet that need in a manner that either saves or makes them substantial amounts of money?

Good Research Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

Before embarking on the right marketing strategy, exploring the market is often lacking in entrepreneurial interests because it can seem to be difficult and expensive. The key is to try to set yourself apart the right way. You do X better than Y. Make that very apparent to the patients that are searching for your services.

I’ve found over the years that even practices without much of a budget can successfully perform quality research if they are creative, resourceful, and brave. Practices on a budget may feel unable to apply formal market research techniques, but a simple four-step process can be effective:

  1. Determine how to perform the research (one-on-one interviews, focus groups, surveys).
  2. Develop the research instrument (interview questions, survey questionnaire, hands-on tasks).
  3. Identify and recruit participants.
  4. Understand what will be done with the results of the research.

If your service / product is aimed at a mass market, it may be more beneficial to recruit small numbers of people who have a feel for the market, and then validate it further using a survey.

Powerful Approach

Put yourself in the role of the potential patient. How would they find you? Go on the internet and search. If you find that the search comes up utilizing a third party entity like Healthgrades, Vitals or Yelp… Sign up for those services right away.

Roger SafontPatient Market Research
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