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What is Semantic SEO?

By Marc Apple   ●    March 4, 2024   ●   6 min read

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    TL;DR Effective medical websites include clean design, local SEO, professional images, clear service listings, and compliance with privacy laws. Building trust through patient reviews, an informative blog, and ADA accessibility also plays a critical role in attracting and retaining patients.

    Top Tips for a Patient-Friendly Medical Practice Website

    Unlike other industries where you have the luxury of speaking to one type of person, medical practice websites have to function for all different types of people. Young, old, tech savvy or not so tech savvy. Patients and potential patients will see your website as a portal to determine the best provider for them, to pay bills, make appointments, and review insurance information.

    This is why an effective medical practice website is a uniquely designed business asset that is easy to navigate and provides every visitor with the best user experience. When visitors can find the information they need easily, they are more likely to choose your practice for the convenience and care you offer.

    Essentials for an Effective Medical Practice Website

    By keeping the design clean and modern it makes it easier for patients to access needed information.

    The most essential parts of a patient-friendly medical practice website are clean design, simple navigation, and mobile friendly features. By keeping the design clean and modern it makes it easier for patients to access needed information.

    If you host a patient portal on your site, be sure to promote the security features and that all aspects of your site comply with HIPAA and other privacy regulations.

    Beyond the basics, current and future patients will appreciate a practice website with the following features and benefits:

    Optimize for Local SEO

    Prospective patients are going to ask for recommendations from friends and family or they are going to search online for healthcare providers. Obviously, people prefer a physician or wellness provider in their geographic location. You’ll want to include where you are and a reasonable radius for potential patients.

    Have your practice listed in local directories and start a Google My Business page. To get the most benefit for local SEO, verify your practice’s name, address, and phone number are consistent and accurate everywhere on your site (and across the web, generally).

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    If people can’t find you, they can’t receive care from you.

    Clean, Simple Navigation: Make it easy for people to find what they are looking for on your site. Standardized page names – like About, Contact Us, Services – work best for most people. Clarity is important when you serve a diverse population.

    High Resolution Images:  Always use high-quality professional photos and avoid stock images when you can. Investing in a session with a photographer gives your site a warmer, more approachable feel.

    If you feature images of patients, always get proper releases and have them on file.

    Images of you and your staff on the practice’s About page, contact us, or bio pages should also be consistent, professional, and high quality.

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    Patients who have a good experience with your website will be more likely to refer you to their friends.

    Convenience in a Click: Online appointment scheduling, downloadable pre-appointment forms, and payment options are expected by today’s patients. The more friction you can remove from the process, the better. Patients who have a good experience with your website will be more likely to refer you to their friends. Provide a list of the insurance companies you accept at your practice and include self-pay information to encourage visits from people who can pay directly or who wish to see you and access their out of network coverage.

    List Your Services: Do you have a specific treatment technique?  By clearly stating the types of conditions you treat and how you treat them, you’ll give visitors critical information they need to determine if your practice is the right fit for them.

    Skip technical language and jargon that could confuse or further stress patients. Keep descriptions of care accurate but approachable.

    Service pages are also a great place to talk about niche areas of interest, specific expertise, or additional training.

    Well optimized service pages also contribute positively to your site’s SEO rankings.

    Reviews as Social Proof:  Prominently display social proof in the form of patient ratings and reviews. Feature a blend of healthcare-specific sites like Healthgrades, along with more general review sites like Yelp or Google. Patients might even review you on Facebook. Testimonials are powerful, but more effective if they’re attributed. Get releases to share positive patient experiences and case studies. Depending on your area of practice, you may want to feature before and after images if appropriate.

    It’s best to be proactive and ask patients to leave you a review.

    If your practice is new and you don’t have many reviews, it’s best to be proactive and ask patients to leave you a review.

    Pro tip:  Develop an office policy around review responses. Inevitably, you will receive a less than glowing review. How you respond – either internally or publicly – to a negative review can make a difference when potential patients are doing their research on your practice.

    Other trust signals that will create confidence are icons that reassure visitors about your site’s security features. With private information and payment options, high-level cybersecurity measures are critical.

    An Impressive Online CV: Highlight your education, degrees, residency or internships, fellowships or other training. Showcase your practice history. List your awards and other recognitions as well as any board positions. On your bio page, consider adding a video where you talk about your philosophy on health and patient care and how you perceive the provider-patient relationship.

    Video helps people connect because they’re able to witness your communication style and determine if they feel you would be a good fit to help them manage their health or reach a wellness goal.

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    People want to know you are qualified and relatable.

    Publish a Practice Blog: Share health and lifestyle information and medical news that will be relevant to your patients. A well-written blog is an authority builder and is another way for you to provide information that improves patient outcomes and well-being.

    A consistently published and optimized blog also contributes to your website’s search engine results. If you’re a solo-practitioner or don’t feel you’re a great writer, consider hiring a professional copywriter. They can help you create quality content. Having a good source of regularly released medical content also gives you something to share on your social media. By using a content strategy, you up the opportunities you have to convert prospects into patients.

    Become a trusted source for up-to-date information about treatments, research studies, and general wellness.

    Supplement your original content with curated articles. Patients are looking for guidance when it comes to determining what information is reliable and what isn’t. Become a trusted source for up-to-date information about treatments, research studies, and general wellness.

    Disclaimers, when written in warm, approachable language resonate with patients and create trust and understanding about the limitations of providing specific medical advice online.

    Accessibility, Always:  As a healthcare practitioner, you may have a patient population that has impairments or disabilities. Regardless, every website must meet ADA guidelines for website accessibility. There are on page design considerations as well as technical components of creating a website that is welcoming and works correctly for everyone who visits.

    To give patients confidence in your care and your practice, it’s essential to have a modern, accessible website that works well for visitors. Simple navigation that works well across all devices is key. Cluttered, outdated websites with bad stock photos don’t generate the qualified patient leads your practice needs to thrive.

    If it’s time to update your practice website, let’s talk. Discuss your practice goals with our team of expert digital marketing strategists, web designers, and content creators today.

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    Article By

    Marc Apple

    Marc is the founder of Forward Push, a marketing agency that helps busy professionals with creative, research-driven marketing. He has successfully helped healthcare practices increase their patient count and revenue through tailored marketing strategies. Marc excels at understanding and solving marketing challenges. He is available to discuss healthcare marketing strategies, music, and BBQ.