How many times have you heard that search engine optimization (SEO) has to be an essential component of your digital marketing strategy? And yet, you still haven’t put an effective SEO plan in place!
We talk to behavioral healthcare center operators about this problem every day. Maybe you made an effort a while ago but felt the results had a low return on investment. Or perhaps the services offered have changed significantly, while your strategy hasn’t. Possibly SEO has just never been a top priority in your marketing plan. Whatever has stopped you from putting an effective SEO strategy in place before, delaying is no longer an option.
From best practices to new keywords, SEO is constantly changing—and its impact on your digital presence grows every day. Google updates their search algorithm several times a year.1 To stay competitive and ranking for your target keywords, your SEO strategy should be changing as frequently as the algorithm does.
With each release, search results are more intelligent and intuitive. So if you either don’t have a strategy in place or if you’re hanging on to a plan that’s more than a year old, you need to move SEO to first place on your marketing to-do list.
Feeling overwhelmed? Here are five strategies you can implement to start improving your behavioral healthcare center’s SEO today.
SEO Strategy Tip 1: Assess the Competition
A competitive analysis helps you understand the strengths and weaknesses of treatment centers that share the same target market as you. Understanding where your competition is succeeding in reaching your ideal prospective patients – and where they’re falling short – helps you develop an informed, flexible marketing strategy that connects with your ideal prospective patients and lays out a path to the top ranking on the search engine results page (SERP) for your chosen keywords.
Visit other behavioral health center websites, and comb through their content. Look for their most-used words and phrases, check out their original content, and note what external websites they link to. Enter a few different search queries into Google to see what results are returned.
Armed with this information, you’ll get a rough idea of how difficult outranking your competition on the SERP will be.
SEO Strategy Tip 2: Choose the Right Keywords
Keywords are the backbone of SEO. They can guide the content on your website and are a leading ranking factor Google considers when determining placement on the SERP. Identifying the most effective keywords for your site establishes your digital niche and helps you outrank the competition.
Don’t worry if you haven’t done this before—Google provides a few different tools to help guide you in selecting the right targeted keywords for your marketing strategy. You don’t have to guess which keywords to use, because Google does provide a few tools to guide your search. Google Search Console is a great place to learn more about keywords that rank well for behavioral health
Make sure to select some local or hyperlocal SEO keywords to include in your overall SEO strategy. When people first start searching for behavioral health providers, they typically start by searching for treatment centers “near me”. Ranking for hyperlocal keywords makes sure your behavioral healthcare center is there to meet searchers in your community when they’re ready to take the first steps on their treatment journey.
SEO Strategy Tip 3: More Backlinks
Like keywords, backlinks are a ranking factor for Google. Search results on the first SERP have almost four times as many backlinks as the results on other pages.2 But backlinks—instances when websites with high authority link to your content—don’t happen overnight.
Building backlinks requires establishing your reputation as a premier behavioral health center. Much of that reputation is built by creating pages on your website that users find valuable and engaging. Without quality content, other websites have no reason to link to your behavioral health content on their website or social channels. This is why content creation is vital. You have little chance of gaining backlinks without prioritizing meaningful, relevant content.
SEO Strategy Tip 4: Start a Blog
A blog, really? You’re a behavioral healthcare center, not a movie review service. And aren’t blogs yesterday’s news anyway?
Actually, no! The importance of regularly publishing relevant, quality content has only grown over the last decade. And for today’s digital marketers, your treatment center’s blog is a great way to continually add meaningful, relevant content to your website.
And that’s not all. A well-maintained blog helps establish your behavioral health center’s position as a thought leader by sharing industry knowledge and experiences and is a good first step to building the reputation needed to improve your SEO.
But the value doesn’t stop there, and this authority doesn’t just have to be about marketing. You have access to behavioral health experts on your staff. Use them! With their expertise, you can share helpful information, offer perspective on trends in the field, and share how your treatment center is acting on relevant research.
Beyond the value of thought leadership, blogging generates new leads. More than half of marketers report gaining new customers solely through blogging.3
Are your competitors regularly posting blog articles? If they aren’t, take advantage of their oversight to elevate your position on the SERP. If the competition is blogging, focus your efforts on fresh, new topics they haven’t covered. High-quality content wins every time.
SEO Strategy Tip 5: Stay Fresh
People are looking at healthcare centers across all fields of medicine more than ever before. About 80% of Americans say they’ve searched for healthcare-related information online in the past year.4 When they’re looking for a behavioral health center, is your center at the top of the SERP?
You know SEO is how you get there, but implementing the strategies we’ve discussed isn’t enough—SEO isn’t a “set it and forget it” deal. Many marketing experts agree the most effective SEO plans are tweaked every three to six months. And when you think about 2.5 quintillion data bytes being added to the internet every day, it’s easy to see why.5 More data means more competition for the top spot on the SERP.
From first-time strategies to monthly updates, we can help you optimize your SEO strategy and keep it up-to-date. Call us today at 888.307.7304 to schedule a strategy session and get started.