Audiology Marketing | 5 SEO Strategies to Start WithPosted: December 29, 2021 - By Health Dev
The audiology world is changing, and patient acquisition is becoming more challenging. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association points to three key issues:
- Today’s patients are consumers. They’re well-informed and committed to choosing providers they believe provide the best care. They’re comparison shoppers from day one.
- It’s a more competitive market. Direct-to-consumer brands make it convenient to get hearing aids, so audiologists need to emphasize the other services they offer.
- Providers are earning less per patient. Decreased earnings lead to the need for more cost-efficient marketing.
Providing top-notch care is the most important solution. That improves outcomes and generates referrals and good reviews, both of which help patients choose your practice. That’s not enough, though.
To get those positive reviews and to get your practice in front of patients, you need to appear in search results. That means applying search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.
Search engines use algorithms to place your site on user results pages. Those algorithms rank your site based on factors like:
- Content quality
- Page loading speed
- Overall user experience
Search engine optimization helps you align your site with current ranking factors so it ranks as highly as possible. It’s a multi-step, multi-level strategy, but you can get started right away. These audiology marketing SEO tips can help.
1. Start Your Audiology SEO Strategy Today
It’s natural for physicians to learn as much as possible before taking action. Thorough, methodical research a good instinct for patient care, but it can hurt your search engine rankings. Search engine optimization is the kind of skill you learn best by doing, and it’s smart to get started as soon as possible.
Why Start Now?
You could spend months researching the finer points of search engine algorithms and developing a comprehensive SEO strategy, but while you’re researching, competitors may pass you by, and those higher rankings matter.
A recent study shows that more than 28% of people click the first search result that isn’t an ad. By the time readers get to the 10th result, the click rate has fallen to just 2.5%:
This graph, published in Search Engine Journal, shows what a difference ranking makes.
The second page is an even tougher place to be. Fewer than 1% of readers click on the second page of search results:
Backlinko shows how dramatically clicks drop by the bottom of page two.
The sooner you improve your search rankings, the better. Mobile optimization is one of the fastest ways to make that happen.
Update Your Site for Mobile
Google is by far the most popular search engine, so its algorithms matter most to SEO.
In 2019, Google noted that most searches now begin on mobile devices, so it switched to mobile-first indexing — evaluating your site based on its mobile version. Today, mobile-first design is Google’s second most important SEO ranking factor.
If your mobile site works well, loads fast, and provides a great user experience, you’re more likely to rank higher and attract more patient leads. To get started, check that your site is consistent across desktop and mobile. That includes:
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Body copy
- Structured data
You can also test whether your website is optimized using an online tool. Google has a simple tool that will give you a “yes” or “no” answer. If you want more details, including crawling and indexing results, try the mobile-first index from SEO company Merkle.
2. Optimize Your Content
Google’s priority is showing relevant search results to users, so it has made content quality the number-one ranking factor for websites. For Google, that means more than just well-written text.
Quality content means a website’s visuals, text, and layout work together to serve the reader.
- The images should be high-quality and relevant to the page’s content.
- The layout should be appealing and uncluttered.
- The written material should read well and offer authoritative and trustworthy information.
Before you start creating new material, go over your site and make content adjustments based on these three criteria:
Remember to E-A-T
E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, some of the most important elements in audiology SEO. As one example, a medical practice website is what Google calls a “your money or your life” (YMYL) site, which are subject to much closer scrutiny in terms of reliability.
Google relies on citation and author attribution to determine authority, so make sure every piece of content you publish has a credentialed audiology professional listed as the author or medical reviewer. Also, cite and link to any studies or expert content you mention.
Use Relevant Keywords
Search engines use keywords to match a user’s query with relevant content. One of the most important audiology marketing SEO tips you can get is to identify those keywords early and incorporate them naturally into every content piece you produce.
Start by brainstorming keywords related to your practice, such as:
- Hearing Loss
- Hearing Aid
- Hearing Tests
- Ringing in the Ears
- Balance Problems
- Inner Ear Symptoms
Next, search for those keywords and look for:
- What “autosuggest” search terms Google offers as you type
- What “people also ask” queries come up
- What audiology practices come up in results
Audiology practices are great research tools because you can plug them into a tool like Searchmetrics and find out what keywords work for them. If a practice is similar to yours, their keywords can be helpful for you to target.
Keyword research tools like Google’s can also help.
Write Strong Meta Descriptions and Titles
Google crawlers heavily prioritize your meta descriptions and titles. Meta descriptions are those brief web page summaries that appear under the title in search engines:
This meta description from Haden Interactive is a great summary of best practices.
Make sure your descriptions and titles are clear and fall within recommended character counts.
3. Provide a Good Experience on Your Audiology Website
Your website is many potential patients’ first impression of your website, so make it a good one by following these audiology marketing SEO tips:
Fast Load Times
Searchers are surprisingly quick to abandon websites that load too slowly. A 2017 Google study showed that the bounce rate — the frequency with which people navigated away from the site — increases by 32% when loading speed goes from one second to three.
Websites with intuitive layouts are easier for people and search engines to navigate. Remember to:
- Organize your content into categories.
- Use dropdowns and menus.
- Link to pages where readers can learn more.
To test the navigability of your page, hand it to someone who’s never seen it before. If they can find a page at your request, potential patients probably can too.
Easy-to-Find Contact Information
Your ultimate goal in audiology SEO is to get more patients. You can only do that if they can easily get in touch. Make sure your Contact Us page is prominently displayed
4. Improve Accessibility
Audiology SEO is about reaching as many patient leads as possible. For hearing healthcare, your target audience inevitably includes people with disabilities, and you want every visitor to have a good experience on your website. That includes blind users, seizure-prone users, and users with cognitive disabilities.
Having a good accessibility profile will earn the trust of more patients who visit your site. It also protects you legally, since non-compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can lead to a lawsuit.
Accessibility adjustments can get fairly technical, but changing a few specific elements will make a difference right away. Good assistive features to start with include:
- Keyboard shortcuts for motor-impaired persons
- Vision-impaired profile enhancers like high-contrast, low-saturation images
- Image descriptions and other text for screen readers
Ultimately, your website should be accessible and readable by all users, including those who use assistive technologies like screen readers. Look for guides to help you design the right accessibility interface or hire a service provider that specializes in disability-friendly site design.
5. Create New Content
Fresh content is what SEO experts call a “trust signal.” It tells Google that the information on that page is more likely to be up-to-date and relevant, and thus, more valuable to readers than an older piece on the same topic.
Readers also appreciate newer content, especially when it comes to their health. A potential patient looking for hearing loss treatments is more likely to read a piece from 2021 than one from 2015, unless the older one was recently updated to include new information.
Keeping track of the content you write helps you make sure it stays current. The content you create today can get you traffic five years down the road or even more, as long as you review it every few years. That’s a great way of generating passive income.
The best way to add new content to your website is to start a blog. Create a calendar so you post consistently — not necessarily very often, but consistently. You’ll gain more followers and see a greater boost to SEO if you post one 2,000-word post a month than if you post a few 200-word posts one week and then nothing for the next three weeks.
Write about various topics relevant to your practice and insert useful links to other pages of your content. Most importantly, keep the momentum up and continue to create. The more content you add to your website, the more you’ll improve your search engine rankings and online reputation.
Starting Your Search Engine Optimization Journey
Now that you have five audiology marketing SEO tips to start you off, you can start making small improvements to your site. Implement one at a time and see how many more patients it drives to your practice. Remember, every new patient is a chance to get multiple referrals!