Is SEO important for Audiology practices?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving the ranking a website within search engine result pages (SERPs). With healthcare searches increasing dramatically, Audiology practices can increase their patient base through better visibility on Google, Bing, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo. 📈
Interest in the term "Audiologist near me" has grown 5x in last few years, according to Google trends.
What should I focus on for my Google rankings?
In our experience, the following items make the biggest impact for hearing healthcare practices:
On-site SEO (Technical SEO)
This is the one part that you really must hire an expert to work on. Recently, 2 hours of technical SEO work on a practice website resulted in a 14 spot Google increase overnight (from 3rd page to 1st page). Issues that are commonly addresses are site speed, URL structure, schema markup, title tags and internal linking.
Google My Business
We have been advocating for more efforts in Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) for a long time. I am still shocked to see most hearing care practices ignoring their Google Business Profile. Even many SEO agencies in the industry are ignoring their clients' GBP listings! Since Google made their GBP platform easy to use, you can either hire someone to maintain and optimize your Google Business Profile or you can do it yourself.
Content and blogging
While I believe that many agencies and practices put too much effort into blogging, content can help websites that have relevant topics not discussed on their website. Does that mean you need to have 2-4 blog posts every month? Absolutely not. Content creation is most effective when it focuses on quality, not quantity.
FAQs about SEO and Google
What components help a practice rank better on search engines?
Better visibility (higher ranking) in search engines is due to many factors, including competition and the online efforts of those around you. Efforts you can control that impact ranking are on-site SEO (technical setup), content quality and breadth and Google My Business activity.
Do backlinks matter in SEO?
While a few well-placed links can help a site rank, the effectiveness of links is not what it was many years ago. In addition, the acquisition of good backlinks has gotten much more difficult. There is also some risk in getting links, as too many links that are considered "spammy" can actually hurt your search engine rankings. I typically recommend that most practices make sure the technical aspects of their site are taken care of before spending resources on link acquisition.
Should I pay someone to handle my Search Engine Optimization?
That depends. First, if you are in an area with few competitors and already rank #1, spending time and resources on these efforts may not result in much of an ROI. If you do not rank in the Top 5 in your city for your most important keywords, I typically recommend investing in better rankings.
Google Business Profile and Google Maps
Ever google for an Audiologist in your city or town? The first listings you will see are Google Ads. About 95% of internet searchers will skip past those. The next set of listings for most local searches are Google Map listings.
Now if you Google yourself from your practice, you might be #1 because Google prioritizes proximity in searches. But what about if you Google from 3, 6 or even 10 miles away? This is where Google Maps optimization can make the difference.
Did you know that your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) optimization and activity is the #1 driver for your practice's Google Map visibility?
Most important aspects of Google Maps ranking
- Profile optimization including services, service area and category selection
- Your Google Business Profile website (yes, separate from your "normal" website)
- Information listed on your website (page titles, internal links, content, etc)
Google Business Profile and SEO resources