SEO for Ophthalmologists: Get seen by Google
While important, high-quality website design is just the first step toward turning visitors into patients. Next up is search engine optimization (SEO).
Since 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine, you want your website to be among your patients’ search results. That’s where SEO comes in.
Let’s take a closer look at ophthalmology SEO marketing and how it fits into your clinic’s marketing strategy.
What Is SEO for Ophthalmologists?
Search engine optimization is a set of tactics aimed at bringing your website to the first pages of search results. It involves making your website appealing to both the visitor and search engine ranking algorithms.
Three main types of SEO for your eyecare practice are:
- On-page SEO – optimizing web pages to make them attractive to the user and the search engine.
- Off-page SEO – tactics implemented outside the website to improve its authoritativeness, trustworthiness, and relevance in the “eyes” of the search engine.
- Technical SEO – optimizing the technical points of your website to make it easier for the search engine to rank it.
Search engine optimization tactics can focus on local or worldwide audiences. If you are offering eye care services to local patients, you would need to work on local SEO. If you are trying to achieve national or global visibility, your tactics would involve regular SEO.
Why Is SEO Important for Ophthalmologists?
Patients who are looking for eye care services usually start their search online. Be it a simple annual eye exam or a serious glaucoma surgery, people need information before choosing a clinic.
In fact, research shows that over 60% of people choose one healthcare service provider over another because of a robust online presence. Meanwhile, fewer than 30% of users go past the first page of Google search results.
SEO helps put your website as close to the top of the first search result page as possible. It increases the clinic’s visibility while building your website’s trustworthiness and authority.
How Can You Outrank Ophthalmology Competitors with SEO?
One of the key goals of your SEO tactics is to bring your practice to the top of the search engine result pages (SERPs). Meanwhile, your competition is working hard to grab as much real estate on the first pages as possible. Here is what you can do to outrank them.
On-Page SEO for Ophthalmologists
On-page SEO is one of the most critical parts of search engine optimization efforts. You need to juggle user experience with search engine algorithm requirements. To do that, you have to focus on:
High-quality keyword research is the key to both organic and paid marketing tactics. It starts with brainstorming for terms that potential patients may be typing into the search field when looking for your services. Such keywords may be:
- Refractive surgery
- Eye disease
Then you continue elaborating on these keywords with the user’s intent in mind. At this stage, you can divide keywords into commercial and informative.
- Informational Keywords– searchers use these keywords to learn more about certain procedures or compare options. For example, “LASIK vs. SMILE” or “pros and cons of eyelid surgery.”
- Commercial Keywords – searchers use these keywords to find a certain service. E.g., “eyelid surgery near me.”
While it’s easier to get a conversion by targeting commercial keywords, informational keywords are also important. By creating content around them, you are building your website’s authority and achieving higher rankings.
Long gone are the days when stuffing keywords all over your website tricked search engines into giving it higher rankings. Google algorithms have grown complex over time. Today, they don’t just recognize tricks. They punish you for them.
That’s why the key to on-page optimization is making your website highly useful to visitors. By excelling in this practice, you are highly likely to satisfy the search engine’s requirements for high rankings.
For on-page optimization, you need to focus on:
- Implementing keywords into content and keeping this content useful and fresh.
- Paying attention to page titles, URL names, and meta descriptions since they are what users see on the SERPs.
- Adding internal links to make your website easier to navigate and keep users on it longer.
The best time to start practicing on-page SEO is at the new website design stage. If you already have a website, you need to audit it carefully to find optimization opportunities.
Off-Site SEO for Ophthalmologists
Off-site SEO is just as crucial to your rankings as on-page optimization.
The key to high-quality SEO is backlinks. Backlinks demonstrate your website’s authoritativeness, trustworthiness, and relevance to the search engine.
While obtaining backlinks can be a tough job, you should never buy them. Backlink schemes are black hat SEO tactics that lead to penalties. Once hit with a Google penalty, it’s extremely complicated to recover.
The best way to get backlinks is to attract them organically through authoritative content. Ophthalmologists have significant knowledge to share with patients. If you turn it into high-quality content, you can get plenty of natural backlinks.
Citations are the mentions of your practice’s contact details on other websites. When your clinic’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) appear consistently on other websites, Google considers your business more credible than those without NAP consistency.
You can list your practice in general and medical directories, including:
Technical SEO for Ophthalmologists
Technical SEO may be the most complex part of your SEO strategy. It includes:
- Technical website must-haves, such as HTTPS encryption, responsive website design, excellent navigation, easy conversion elements, and more.
- Structured data markup
- Fast-loading pages
- XML sitemaps
If you have a WordPress site, technical SEO requires some serious effort. Instead of struggling with the disadvantages of WordPress tools, you may want to consider building a new website.
Content Marketing for Ophthalmologists
When it comes to marketing, content is king. That’s why content marketing is an essential part of SEO for ophthalmologists. Since millions of people are looking for medical information online, content is a great way to satisfy their needs, build authoritativeness, and achieve higher rankings.
Content marketing includes:
- Creating high-quality, useful medical content that revolves around keywords.
- Consistently posting new content to establish your practice as an expert in the field.
- Distributing your content across all the available channels (including guest posts for backlink generation).
- Repurposing content to make it more appealing to new audiences or channels.
- Making sure that content is up to date with the latest ophthalmological research and practices.
A high-quality content marketing strategy doesn’t just help with SEO. It’s an integral part of the entire marketing strategy, including paid search and offline advertising.
The Future of Ophthalmology SEO
Today, the highest-ranking ophthalmology websites are created by outsourced marketing agencies. Some of them also provide ophthalmology SEO services. As more and more companies delegate SEO practices to third-party experts, the marginal benefits of the above techniques begin to fade.
To gain a competitive edge, it’s imperative to take advantage of innovative SEO solutions, such as AI-driven SEO tools. For example, while regular SEO agencies target only a small number of keywords, service providers like DoctorLogic can design top-notch websites that revolve around tens of thousands of relevant search terms.
As long as your potential patients use the internet to search for information, you need to focus on SEO practices. By implementing SEO into your marketing strategy, you aren’t just attracting new patients. You are building awareness, streamlining authority, driving loyalty, and staying ahead of the competition.