3 Common Hospital SEO Mistakes

As a hospital website, you likely have the same goals as your competitors. You want to rank well in search engines for local terms about hospitals. You want it to be easy for patients to find information about your physicians. Finally, if you provide cancer care, you’d better rank #1 for “cancer care [insert city]” right?

At Fathom, we work with a lot of different hospitals, and have noticed that despite these common goals, hospitals also make common mistakes.
Below, I’ve outlined 3 hospital SEO mistakes, and how you can fix these errors to outrank your competitors on the terms that matter to you most.

1. Lackluster Doctor/Physician Pages

If you’re like most healthcare organizations, your physician pages are really important to your website. Unfortunately, many hospital websites we see have very limited information for each doctor.

At a minimum, each physician should have their own separate page on the site, and on that page, it should include the essentials such as a photo, specialties, office location(s), and educational background. But why not take it a few steps further?

Include some personal information. Include a video of the physician discussing their practice and what makes them stand out from the competition. Include links to white papers and other publications they’ve contributed to.

Pretend you’re a potential patient when viewing these physician pages. What kind of information would persuade them to pick up the phone and call you?

2. Lack of Local Optimization

Every physician should be submitted to local directories such as Google and Bing Local. When patients search for doctors, having that information show up directly in search is critical. If you’ve only submitted your hospital locations, go back in and submit each physician. And if you haven’t submitted anything to local directories, get going on it ASAP!

You can also add schema code to your website. This is special code that visitors can’t see, but search engines can.

Any time you’ve included your name/address/phone on your website, schema code should be added to that content. That way search engines know for sure that this is local information and can display it directly in search results. More details on what schema code is, and how to implement it can be found here: http://www.schema.org/

3. Thin Service Page Content

If your physician pages are the most important content on your website, then your service pages are likely second most.

Many of the healthcare websites we see have unique pages for each service they offer, but often the content is 250 words or less.

If it’s important to you to rank well for service-related information, take the time to make your service pages really stand out! Include a professional video which introduces you to patients. Tell them what makes your hospital unique.

Also, make it easy for patients to find answers. How can they contact you? Where can they park? What insurance do you accept? What hotels can relatives stay at nearby? A good FAQ page can cover this. Go one step beyond and add in pictures, videos, and maps so visitors can see answers to these questions, too.

Bottom line, think of the most important things you want your hospital website to do? Then, put in some effort to make your website achieve these goals. With everything you do, think about it from a potential patient’s point-of-view. What could you do to convince them your hospital is the best place for them to go, and how can you make it as easy as possible for them to get started?

***

Check out the marketer’s guide to hospital acquisition to take the headache out of rebranding:

The Art of Rebranding

Ryan Whiteside

About Ryan Whiteside

Ryan Whiteside currently serves as SEO Manager at Fathom. He sets strategies for Fathom’s SEO clients to ensure the team is doing work that will exceed a client’s SEO goals and expectations. He’s been with the company since 2008, focusing most of his work in SEO.When Ryan isn’t in the office, he writes books, runs marathons, develops iPhone/iPad apps, and plays golf as much as he can.

Leave a Reply