Technical SEO Mistakes That Could Be Affecting Your Clinic Website’s Rankings
As a clinic or healthcare organisation, you want to ensure that you are able to reach and treat the patients who require your services. However, in order to do this, you need to stay up to date on the ever-evolving world of technology.
Today, patients seek out and receive information very differently from how they used to. To stand out from your competition and reach patients who are actively looking for the treatment options you provide, you should start by creating a website for your clinic.
You can choose to list the conditions you treat, your doctors, locations, and opening hours within this website. Additionally, you should have a contact form to allow patients to reach you with ease.
While this sounds simple enough, there are technical Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) mistakes that can hamper the visibility of your clinic’s website.
To help break down these mistakes, we have listed some errors that websites most often make that could be hindering their visibility. Put very simply, websites that fail to appear on the first page of Google’s search results will receive a substantially lower amount of traffic.
When creating and updating your clinic’s website, remember that Google’s job is to make its user’s life more convenient. Therefore, it looks for websites that can provide users with valuable, reliable content with ease of convenience.
Table of Contents:
A Lack of a Proper Site Architecture
By failing to give your clinic’s website proper organisation and structure, you may hinder your patients’ search for the services and treatment options they are looking for. While your clinic’s website may have all the information that potential patients need, it can often go to waste without a proper flow.
We recommend taking the time to organise the content within your clinic’s website to be presented in a clear and orderly fashion. Menu bars are a great way to help categorise the conditions you treat, the available treatment information, and other valuable content pertaining to your clinic.
The absence of an organised website leads to difficulty in site navigation by both users and search engines.
Missing Key Landing Pages
A clinic’s website that is disorganised often lacks critical landing pages, location pages, product and service pages, and about us pages. This problem is common among clinic-owned websites.
From an SEO and User Experience (UX) standpoint, your clinic website is affected by the absence of such relevant and essential pages.
Therefore, we suggest you include the following pages when building your clinic’s website:
- Service Page, giving information about your services and products
- Location Page
- Contact Us Page
- Blog / Patient Resources
By dividing your clinic’s website into the categories mentioned above, you allow users and search engines to effectively understand your website and ensure that you have not left out any information that you wish to present.
No Supporting Content for Main Pages
After organising your website and creating the necessary pages, you should consider elaborating on the existing content. Create supporting pages to ensure a substantial amount of content related to your services and products.
Google’s job is to provide users with valuable and reliable content. Through your supporting pages, you are telling Google that you are an authority within your field that is able to provide ample insight into your desired topic.
Additionally, supporting pages allow potential patients to understand the treatment options you provide, which can often put them at ease should they need to undergo a procedure at your clinic or organisation.
When it comes to ranking for your desired keywords, moderation is the way to go. The excessive use of keywords in blogs or content can hurt your visibility instead of promoting it. Be mindful of keyword stuffing, and remember that links should be used moderately.
Needless optimisation also includes using irrelevant information or terms and the repetitive use of Heading 1 text within a page. Reserve Heading 1 text for titles or necessary headers, which help break up your content.
Structural URL Issues
While you may have taken the time and effort to create quality content, structural issues within your URL can lead to the loss of redirection of pages to parent pages. This affects both your user’s experience and Google’s ability to understand your clinic’s website.
Ideally, URLs should be three to five words long. Use dashes instead of underscores between words because the former is regarded as a space by search engines, whereas an underscore joins two words.
Page Speed & Site Performance Problems
Your clinic website’s slow page speed can be harmful to your ranking. Patients and search engines alike favour high-speed websites. If the content of the page loads in a sluggish manner, the website may rank low in search engines, also you may lose users.
Google now factors page speed in the algorithm. A high-performance website page will raise conversions while decreasing bounces rates.
To increase your page speed, include images or graphics which fall within CSS sprites specifications; these images should not be larger than they need to be. Additionally, limit the number of redirects to various pages because the HTTP request-response mechanism will become too heavy and slow down your website.
Failure to Implement Proper Tagging / Schema
Schema markup is an HTML code fragment that helps search engines understand your web pages better. Schema is accessible for consumers and available for health and medical content focusing on professionals, according to Schema.org. A weak schema structure is equivalent to having unclear keywords.
Another common technical SEO mistake found in many healthcare websites is the absence of medical schema markup. Appropriate schema contributes to the creation of relevant keywords, display results, and knowledge graphs, allowing search engines to offer more relevant search results.
Although Schema markup is not included in the ranking, rich snippets, on the other hand, have been demonstrated to draw users’ focus, enhance click-through rates, reduce bounce rates, and boost rankings based on the engagement index.
Poorly Designed Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
AMP pages are a specialised professional web structure that reduces the time it takes for a page to load on a phone or tablet. The main goal is to allow users a quick visit with a page that is essentially a loose version of your main page.
Given the volume of content accessed via mobile devices, a poor mobile experience could drive patients away from your site entirely. Aside from site speed, a well-designed AMP page can improve server speed, and you can make your content searchable on AMP-only search engines.
They’re an excellent choice if you have a considerable amount of information on your website. Great UX will prompt users to visit your clinic website more often.
Lack of Image Optimisation
Using images, videos, and other graphics contributes to SEO rankings. However, use JPEG and PNG files at appropriate sizes as these graphics can consume a large amount of memory space.
Lack of SSL Certificate
Secure your clinic website with a paid SSL certificate. SSL certificate will ensure that your website URL begins with HTTPS instead of HTTP. Websites that begin with HTTPS are secured, safe websites. Additionally, secured websites are favoured by search engines, such as Google.
In conclusion, to ensure the optimal performance of your clinic website, these technical SEO mistakes must be addressed. The solutions provided in this piece will not only help your clinic website to rank in Google searches but will translate to increased site traffic, which will often convert to increased clientele, allowing you to reach and help more patients in need of your services.