Showing up in the top search results is an essential step in increasing traffic to your site, but it is not the whole staircase. Consider the Google searches you have performed as a user. You didn’t click on every search result on the first page, did you? Neither do prospective patients.
People performing searches are drawn to the most appealing results, not the generic listings. Here are some tips to make your results more appealing.
- Start from the top with the page title. The page title should be relevant to your page topic, but also unique. You should include the keyword phrases you want to target as close to the beginning of the title as possible. You may also wish to localize your page for patients looking for practices near them.The ideal character range for a unique page title is 50 -65 characters, since Google search results truncate titles that are about 65 characters or longer, and Google Webmaster Tools may report an error for a long title tag more than 70 characters.
- Increase clicks with quality meta descriptions. Meta descriptions do not affect page rankings in search results, but they can entice potential patients to click on your page instead of the others above or below it.Meta descriptions should be 100 to 150 characters to prevent an error report in Google Webmaster Tools. The description should inform searchers about what your practice offers (i.e. facial plastic surgery, aesthetic procedures, cosmetic dentistry, etc.). A call-to-action is a good touch, such as “Call us today at 555-555-5555 to schedule a private consultation.”
- Stand out above the rest with Google authorship. Claim your content through Google authorship, which is easy to set up and offers many benefits. The three main advantages of authorship that impact search results for your site are the establishment of credibility which is important for Author Rank, the ability for searchers to find additional content written by you, and a head shot placed next to your listing. Having a professional image presented to searchers right away helps to make a positive first impression that increases trust and leads users to regard you as an authority on the medical information they are looking for. The connection they make with you from your search listing alone can help convert that visitor to a patient. Since few search results contain these head shots, having one will put your site in a position that makes it more likely to be clicked on.
- Get more gold stars with more Google reviews. You can increase your local search rankings by obtaining Google reviews from your patients. Many surgeons do not ask customers for a review, but doing so can increase your search engine results. Most satisfied patients will be more than glad to put in a good word for you. As a doctor you have the luxury of knowing exactly which patients are happy with their results and would be willing to help you gain a 5-star rating.
- Obtain a map listing below your search results. Patients will travel for the best physicians, but there are those that require treatments close to home. Rather than search for “facial plastic surgeons”, Google search users will be more specific and look for “facial plastic surgeons near Boston.” Google local will put you on the map and make you easier to find. The more business listings you have with high-quality websites, the higher Google will rank you.