In a fast-paced world, time is of the essence. You’ve probably heard that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long-term investment that can lead to hundreds of thousands of views, but how is that the case if it takes a while to see results in Medical SEO? And exactly how long are we talking?
What is Medical SEO?
Search engine optimization is the process of increasing traffic to a website through organic search engine results. Medical SEO focuses on optimization for the medical field. Website owners in the medical field who invest in SEO reap the benefits of patients being able to find their practice online, outranking competition on search engines like Google, establishing authority, and more.
The tricky part about SEO is working with the ever-changing algorithms to ensure that your content is ranking. Search engine algorithms are intricate.
Why Does Medical SEO Take So Long to Work?
If ranking high on search engine page results was as easy as just having a site, then the results you would see for a single query would change every time. Search engines like Google recognize that users go to their platform for just about anything, including websites that could lead to potentially-life altering results, like medical sites. Because a user uses search engines for information that could have real-world consequences, it is important that search engines provide the most accurate information possible.
There are a number of factors that search engines look for to determine the value of a website, from the content of the website to the quality of the website itself. Each factor has a different weight in how much it impacts SEO, which then varies the amount of time it takes to see results from SEO. Here are just a few of the medical SEO ranking factors:
A secure and accessible website:
- In order for a website to show up in search results, it must be crawled and indexed by bots. In other words, a search engine must be able to easily crawl through your website’s content to understand what each page is about so that it can index it for future search results. To help bots through this process, you’ll need a website with a well-coded builder, a robot.txt file that tells search engines what they can and can’t look at on your site, and a sitemap that lists all your pages.
- A bot crawls through pages in an attempt to understand the content, it’s not looking for the same things that humans do. Humans read content to understand the message. Bots go through the content to find what the content is about using keywords and keyphrases. For example, a page can mention the name of a medical procedure once, and we as humans, understand that the entire page is about the procedure. However, that is not enough for a search engine. Even if a page is about a specific medical procedure, it might not rank on search engines because the keyword is not optimized in the right places.
A fast and mobile-friendly website:
- User experience plays a part in SEO. Having valuable content on your website isn’t very helpful if a user can’t easily access it in a timely manner. For that reason, search engines consider page speed as one of the leading SEO factors. There are many things that can impact how fast a page loads, including the size of the media on the page, the number of redirects, and the server hosting the website. Additionally, websites are being accessed on a variety of devices. It is important that the speed and functionality are consistent across all devices, from desktop to tablet to mobile.
- There’s more to a page than meets the eye. In addition to the content as displayed on the site, there is other elements related to that page that appears elsewhere, like the meta description that shows up when the page shows up in a search result and the header tags that tell bots the hierarchy of the content.
- One way bots understand the value and structure of the site are through links. There are three types of links to think about: inbound links, outbound links, and internal links. Inbound links, which are also referred to as backlinks, are links from external sites to your site. This tells search engines that external sites see your content as valuable. Outbound links are links on your site to external sites, which shows search engines that you are pulling from reliable sources to create meaningful content. Finally, internal links are links on your site to other pages on your site. This helps search engines understand how a website is structured.
When You Will See Results With Medical SEO
With all this in mind, it can take a few months or more to see results from medical SEO. Part of it is how long it takes you to create optimized content for search engines to index. The other part of it is making sure you are tackling all the numerous ranking factors that help search engines determine where exactly your content falls on the search engine result pages.
Just like the medical world, SEO is constantly evolving. Not only is it important to take all every single opportunity to optimize content, but it is also important to ensure that your practices are up-to-date with the latest algorithm changes. No matter how you approach SEO, it will take time to see results, but if you want results sooner, you need to plan and implement a solid medical SEO strategy.