What is SEO and why does your physical therapy website need it?
Gone are the days when just having a website was enough to get your company name in front of your target audience. And with so many physical therapy businesses competing for the same clients, simply hosting a website will not get you the clients you need. Today, you need a killer website and a consistent SEO strategy to get ahead of the competition.
Let’s assume you already have a great website. But what’s the purpose of running such a website if no one ever visits your site? Often times, a website is overlooked because it simply does not rank high enough on search engine pages. For example: if your potential clients search for lower back pain treatments in Brooklyn, they typically will only click on the first few search engine results and disregard anything after the second page.
SEO is your magic tool. SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”, and refers to a set of techniques and practices aimed at improving a website’s rankings on search engines. SEO should be the number one focus of your online marketing strategy if you want to be noticed by your prospects and to grow your business in the long run.
Almost 80% of people looking for health information start their search using search engines
Source: Pew Internet
5 Simple Steps to build your SEO Strategy
#1 Google My Business
Listing your physical therapy practice on Google My Business (GMB) should be one of your top priorities if you want to pave your way to SEO excellence. As you build your GMB profile, remember to:
- Complete your profile as much as possible
- Use high-quality and aesthetically pleasing pictures
- Make sure your contact information (your “NAP”) is accurate and up-to-date
ProTip: stick to one “NAP” format on your website and any other resource you mention it so as not to confuse search crawlers that are indexing websites.
Links matter for SEO, and directories are the perfect source to accumulate high-quality backlinks. Submitting your physical therapy website to general and specific directories can increase your brand visibility on search engines exponentially.
For example, search results for “physician Brooklyn” from popular websites like ZocDoc and Yelp are displayed on the very first page of Google SERP. Prospective patients can look for businesses by using directories checking reviews left by previous clients. Customer reviews from directories can also help businesses build their brand reputation.
Content is king, but what really makes content standout is the use of quality and targeted local keywords. Poor quality content stuffed with keywords can actually damage your website’s reputation in the eyes of Google, while websites with high quality content that uses local keywords sparingly will be rewarded with better rankings.
Including links back to your clinic’s website in your physical therapy-related content can help you strengthen your backlink profile, especially when you content is shared across third-party blogs and social media. This can strengthen your SEO strategy in the long run and push your business’ rank to the front of search engine result pages.
#4 Social Media
Social media is no longer a “nice to have” – it’s a “must have”, especially in regards to building your business’ SEO strategy. You need to build a strong social media presence to attract search engine crawlers and to signal to algorithms that your social media presence influences your website traffic.
If your content is liked and shared on social media, this signals to Google that your physical therapy website provides value to users and is authoritative and worth indexing.
#5 Mobile Version
Google considers mobile responsiveness as a ranking factor because it prioritizes users who search on mobile devices over desktop computers. It’s also a factor because the number of mobile searches has already surpassed the number of searches conducted on computers.
As a business, it’s important to make the search process as convenient as possible for your prospects so they can find your business wherever they may be. Google, in turn, will reward your website for its mobile responsiveness.
These five tips can help you lay the groundwork as you build a strong presence in the digital space. But remember – this is still only the foundation for your physical therapy SEO strategy. Taking your SEO strategy to the next level can take time, skill and a little extra expertise. Luckily, there are a number of digital marketing experts who are ready to help you refine and strengthen your online business strategy.