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Grow Your Healthcare Practice by Cracking the SEO Code

An outdated SEO campaign could cost your practice 400K in annual revenue growth.

An interview with Cris Bandhan, Physical Therapist/PT Practice Owner/SEO Healthcare Expert

Gary: What problem do you solve for healthcare practice owners?
Cris: Only Google executives truly know how Google bot algorithms – now aided by Artificial Intelligence – piece together information online to output search rankings.   Rather than guess at the game, it’s better to focus your efforts on developing a deep understanding of the customer you’re targeting.  This helps you identify how to structure the site, content, expertise, meta data, etc.  It all ties together harmoniously to be effective.  At the end of the day, it’s an art to ensure all SEO strategies on Google, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook etc. tie together in a meaningful way.  One of the biggest mistakes a practice owner can make is consulting with an SEO company who is not familiar with Physical Therapy or private healthcare and generalizes the SEO services they provide.  Content that’s relevant to the services you provide, and a strategy that aligns to healthcare, makes a big impact.  Having someone in your corner who understands the healthcare side provides a competitive advantage. 

Gary: What are your top two tactics to improve a practice’s search engine ranking page?
Cris: The meta title and meta description in my opinion are crucial.  Their lengths, the words used, and how it all ties back to your target customer is important.  Although the meta description isn’t a ranking factor, it can impact click-through rates which can in turn help SEO. The second would be site content.  The depth, relevancy and quality are important to search engines as they also want to ensure they’re presenting the best of the best to a search customer.

Gary: What is the cost of not having a strong SEO campaign?
Cris: I firmly believe that a strong SEO campaign can add an additional 40-50 new patients/month to a practice.  When you calculate this in a generalized way, the revenue attached to 40 patients/month x 12 months x $750/patient = $360K.  SEO requirements can often change multiple times per year, so it’s a lot easier to review monthly and make quick necessary updates.  Additionally, info on your site may require changes, such as clinician or staff bios, specific services, and content.  Each of these moments require an SEO implementation, and when done regularly, can be done much faster, saving time and cost. 

Gary: What is the typical mistake practice owners make with their SEO campaign?
Cris: The revenue loss from low net new customers, when SEO is not maintained monthly, can have a lasting impact on the financial viability of your practice.  Your search ranking can drop from page 1 to page 3, your target customer can change and, as we know, Google can make algorithm changes 3-4 x/year.  This type of ‘SEO rollercoaster’ requires much more time on the SEO end to get your website back to a position that continues to drive substantial revenue.  An example of this was a practice I was managing that obtained 50+ intakes alone from their online organic search monthly.  They paused the SEO service, and after 3 months their search ranking dropped significantly, and those intakes disappeared.  Essentially, their competitor, who had a more robust search ranking, was more discoverable to those new customers looking for the service.  As a result, I was brought back in to re-deploy the SEO campaign and the outcome was a return to a top 3 search ranking for their particular service, and the new client flow returned.

Gary: Who is Your Ideal Client?
Cris: Our most common practice owner has typically been in business 3-5 years and their practice is stuck in terms of revenue growth. At this stage, they have what I call existing online equity.  Their site has been around for a while, it has been indexed and re-indexed by search engines.  They’ve also gained organic backlinks to their site from other reputable sites or directories across the internet.  These situations typically have some stagnation in search ranking as the site has not met updated SEO standards, reflects inaccurate information or has out of date content.  It’s quite impactful when some tweaks to the content, meta information and some back-end work move the site’s position on search for key service offerings.  We can see these changes as early as thirty days to three months.

Cris: We also work with new practice start ups, similar to the ones ELEVATE Practice Intelligence works with.  Working in parallel with the web designer is critical and communication is key for us.  We open the channels early to ensure we’re working together to get the best outcome from a website or digital solution.  We first work with the developer to implement tracking codes on the site.  This will allow key data points from site visitors and search ranking to be identified, helping us down the road as we continue to enhance the SEO.  Some of this data is shared regularly with our customers.  SEO recommendations can be implemented as early as the development stage of a website, or later down the road, by providing appropriate updates to be deployed after a thorough review of the website and its back-end structure.  This could be related to the content itself or even items that impact the load time of the site.  Once we are off the ground, we work with the developers at a regular cadence to ensure updates are made keeping the site’s SEO relevant.

Connect with Cris on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/criston-bandhan

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