Why Your Dermatology Practice Needs an SEO Marketing Strategy
Today, people are far less likely to search through the phonebook or ask a friend to recommend a good dermatologist – instead, they go online. A study conducted by Pew Research found that 80% of US Internet users turn to search engines for health information, including questions related to skin care. Knowing this, how can you get your dermatology practice’s website to show up in the top results?
As a dermatologist, your main concern is taking care of your patients, so you probably don’t have a lot of time to think about marketing strategies. That’s where an SEO (search engine optimization) service can help – you can hire a team of professionals to market your practice online for you. Effective dermatology SEO doesn’t just help potential patients find your practice through search engines, but can also boost your overall credibility and brand reputation.
What is SEO, and How Does It Work?
SEO is the practice of optimizing your website’s content (your homepage, about page, blog posts, etc.) in a way that search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! understand.
Say a potential patient types the phrase “how to get rid of mole on leg” into Google. The search engine uses a complex algorithm to fetch the most relevant content containing those keywords. While the practice can be applied to any business, a dermatologist SEO provider can provide content specially tailored to your practice.
It’s a common misconception that patients who find your website do so making a very direct search inquiry, such as “dermatologist in New York City”. While this happens occasionally, it’s typically not the case – most people aren’t thinking about looking for a dermatologist, they’re looking for a solution to a specific skin problem. This is the reason why SEO for dermatologists is so focused on producing a variety of content in the form of informational pages and blog posts.
For example, dermatologist SEO might involve pages about skin care, different types of acne, or how to tell if a mole might be cancerous. Instead of your website only coming up when people search it by name, you can get it to appear as a top result when a potential patient searches for an answer to their mystery boil – if you have good SEO practices in place, they’ll find that you are the answer to their problems and make an appointment.
What Can SEO Do for Your Dermatology Practice?
Using a service that provides SEO for dermatologists can benefit your practice in many ways. The main one that we’ve already talked a bit about is more patients – the more visible your practice is on the web, the more likely potential patients are to see it and discover you. But that’s not all – here are a few of the other things that a good dermatology SEO service can do for you:
• Grow Your Practice: Unlike other methods of marketing, SEO provides long-term growth of your practice instead of short bursts of profit.
• Provide Patients with Worthwhile Content: One of the best things about SEO is that it isn’t just a scuzzy marketing gimmick – it actually provides useful information to patients. Because search engines rank content based on quality, an SEO service will be dedicated to providing you with content that actually benefits the potential patients who visit your site.
• Build Your Credibility: The higher your practice ranks on a search engine, the more likely people are to trust that you provide a high-quality service. Google especially has gained a reputation for providing reliable results – people are more willing to view results on pages one and two as more reliable than a result on page eight or nine.
SEO Strategies Provide Measurable Results
When a patient comes in and says that they found out about your practice from a friend, it’s nice to hear but doesn’t provide much in the way of useful information. While it’s nice to know that your patients like your service enough to do a bit of word-of-mouth advertising on your behalf, it’s always better to have hard data that you can act upon.
SEO works so well because it’s measurable – using data such as the number of page views and tracking which search terms bring the most people to your site, you can easily see what’s working well and what’s not and make any changes accordingly.
How Much Should I Spend on Dermatology Marketing?
By now, you’re probably wondering – how much is all this online advertising going to cost me? Is it worth it? What is the return on investment, or ROI, for SEO services?
The ROI of dermatologist SEO depends on the average lifetime value of your patients, or how much you anticipate them to spend on your services over the course of their life. But because most people don’t budget that far out, it’s best to calculate how much the average patient spends in a year. How much does it cost the average patient to see you? How many times per year do they see you? By multiplying these two numbers, you can come up with the average patient value.
It’s widely agreed upon that a good rule of thumb to follow when decided how much your practice should spend on advertising per new patient is 1/3 of their estimated lifetime value. So, if a patient spends $300 on your dermatology services, you should spend around $100 acquiring that patient.
What’s the Return on Investment (ROI)?
The exact return on investment for SEO dermatology marketing can be difficult to calculate, since clicks and views don’t always equal new patients, but if we consider the fact that it’s relatively far less expensive than other popular methods, such as pay per click (PPC), local print, and radio advertisements, along with its proven effectiveness, it’s safe to say you can expect a positive ROI.
The effects of SEO marketing are also much more long-term than traditional methods of advertising – unlike PPC marketing that requires you to keep paying to keep it up, once SEO content is published to your practice’s website, you have it forever, meaning a greater longstanding ROI.
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