The Intake

Insights for those starting, managing, and growing independent healthcare practices

Free SEO for medical practices checklist

Review the tasks that can help you reach patients and prospects with this SEO for medical practices checklist.

graphic for seo for medical practices

At a Glance

  • SEO for medical practices involves one-time setup tasks like enabling site discoverability and accessibility, ongoing tasks like strategically using keywords when publishing new content, and periodic maintenance like checking for broken links.
  • This checklist will help medical practices to optimize their website SEO in areas like site permissions, plugins, content publication practices, keyword optimization, and link building.
  • Diligently following SEO best practices will improve organic search rankings and traffic over time.

No need to be a healthcare marketing web expert. The free SEO checklist below will give you the basics of SEO for medical practices you can start with for your medical website.

Before you jump in, you should:

  • Already have a multi-page website for your practice
  • Be used to posting regular content to your website in the form of a blog or articles, or have a practice growth solution in place to assist you
  • Have a website hosted on a platform that has you designated as your site’s webmaster with the necessary permissions
  • Review your practice marketing strategy so you can make sure your approach aligns with your overall goals and benchmarks

If you don’t have these pieces in place, take some time to create them before you dive into SEO.

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Breaking down SEO for medical practices

SEO is a multi-faceted tactical solution.

There are some tasks that you can plan on being one and done. Others need to be performed every time you publish something on your website. Then there’s the nebulous “SEO maintenance” category that you should perform periodically.

Knowing which steps fall into each category takes the guesswork out of setting your practice website up for optimal SEO. This checklist takes you through the steps that will help you to win the SEO game.

What are one-time SEO tasks?

The good thing about initial, one-time SEO items is that they’re all about setting up your website for easy discovery and optimization. They’re also a way to monitor the activity on your site.

Your website’s hosting platform has areas that allow you to manage:

  • Discoverability
  • Accessibility
  • Organization
  • Security

Your hosting platform has checkboxes to choose functions or text fields through which to give the site instructions.

This is also the time to add plugins to make your tasks easier. ”

This is also the time to add plugins to make your tasks easier. Plugins provide behind-the-scenes coding based on your decisions and what you tell the program you want. Some, like Google Search Console, have free options; others require monthly or annual subscriptions, like Yoast. All require setup and in some cases, altering the meta code of the website to implement.

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What are ongoing SEO medical website tasks?

The straightforward answer to this question is that the more you practice SEO tasks, the easier and more natural they become. Once you decide how often to publish new or refreshed content to your practice's site or blog, you can plan this time into your calendar.

When you determine your keywords and place them strategically in your blog post or article, the actual publishing process might initially take about 45 minutes to an hour. As you get used to the steps, you may be able to budget less time.

A note about keywords: Always use keywords in the context of what your target patient wants to know. Jamming keywords into your content just for the sake of including them doesn’t help you rank better on Google or other search engines.

Tools like Yoast can even tell you:

  • If you have too many or too few keywords in your piece
  • Whether your meta description is too long or too short
  • Whether you have enough internal or external links in your article

Make sure you complete the image-related fields when you add media to your article. These fields are intended to make content accessible for individuals with physical challenges. For example, if a user is blind, their screen-reading software will read them the alt text. Alt text can also help search engines to index your site. 

Adding a video to your medical content is beneficial. ”

Adding a video to your medical content is beneficial. Make sure you add media compression and closed captions in the setup steps. If you forgot to do this, you can always go back and turn these features on later.

What are maintenance SEO tasks?

Maintenance SEO tasks are not something you have to keep in the forefront of your mind, but are still something to occasionally go over. Therefore, unless you have a complex healthcare website with 50 or more pages, review this group of tasks quarterly.

These involve SEO tasks to ensure your site still works correctly. The steps involved in this section include items to:

  • Ensure you aren’t penalized for publishing articles that are too similar to one another or are titled the same as another (cannibalization)
  • Remind you to reach out to other medical experts or similar medical practices and offer to publish one of their pieces of content on your site or exchange.
  • Encourage you to check that your links are all working as expected

This is also a good time to search for your practice name on Google and your name (or primary physician) to determine if you’ve been quoted, but the author forgot to link to you as the source. The benefit of this step is that it opens an easy networking opportunity. When this happens, reach out to the site’s owner — whether it’s a company or an individual — and request that they add a link to the content to credit you. 

At that point, if the site you contact has quality content that would help your patients, you can offer to publish one or two of their pieces on your site as a guest post.

You can take the mystery out of SEO for medical practices

Understanding SEO is hard but these basics should help you understand it better when it comes time to choose an expert to help you, or hire a medical SEO website marketing solution. With this checklist, you will have the basic information you need to get your site noticed and rank higher in the search results. You’ll encourage Google’s algorithms to work with your site and not against it.

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Nadene Evans

Nadene Evans is a marketing expert with years of healthcare journalism under her belt, having researched and published medical content for NurseFly, Vivian Health, and other healthcare provider publications. An advocate for independent providers, Nadene helps small practices promote their businesses through digital marketing and great content.

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