Are you tired of being buried on page 4, 5, or higher in Google’s search rankings?

Most medical practices still don’t try for the first page (if they even have control over their own website) because they don’t have the time or knowledge on how to go about it.   Let’s face it — small practice owners can’t match the budgets of large health facilities or big companies. No matter your specialty is,  you probably have at least one  competitor that stands out and seems hard to compete against.

But here’s the thing…

According to DMR Stats, every month, Google registers more than 100 billion search queries and over 50% of those searches come from smartphones with people likely looking for services.

Many of these folks aren’t looking for big health facilities; they’re looking for whatever is closest. And according to Google’s own research, half of all people who search, want the appointment within the same day or the same week.

Local SEO is one of the hottest trends in marketing because it evens the playing field between large and small businesses. It’s also just one of many examples of how your business could benefit from a good SEO strategy.

Here are the top excuses and why you should ignore them.

Reason #1:

“I don’t even know where to begin.”

You want to strengthen your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), but you don’t even know where to start. Many health professionals feel this way. There’s no magic to beat out your competitors.  SEO campaigns take time to boost your rankings.  Concentrate on your website and test that it works on both  desktop and mobile devices and with all kinds of Web browsers. Then, work on your content to include both focused and long-tailed keywords.

Next, register your website with Google My Business and all the major online review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List. Make a  Facebook page for your practice and update it weekly by sharing relevant news, trends, and special offers. Publish a blog on your website that you share on social media.  WordPress is simple to use and in addition to having a good support system, allows you to link the blog to your website.  The beauty of that is, every new blog post is viewed by the search engine as refreshing your site (unlike your colleagues who make have a static and therefore unrated site)

If you don’t have the time for this, outsource it by hiring an SEO professional. Either way, enhancing the quality of your health website is the best place to start.

Reason #2: “SEO professionals cost too much.”

Investing in SEO services can be overwhelming  but it’s really about investing in yourself and your services to get tangible results. Ask yourself, if the professional attracts and converts 2-3 prospects each week, how much would that be worth to me?  Chances are it is a lot more than the price of the SEO services.

SEO companies will expand your website and make sure it performs optimally for your target audience. They’ll create high-quality content for your various online channels. They’ll make sure you’re registered in all the local search directories, and they’ll research all the ways you might attract new patients online ramping your   Google search rankings. It’s fun to sign in and watch your site meteorically soar from the nether regions to page one.

If there is no budget to hire an SEO professional, consider using one for part time or freelance, piece work.  Keep in mind that there’s plenty you can do on your own to capitalize on driving local traffic.

Reason #3: “I’m too late”

It’s typical to hear that small business or 1-3 person practices are hesitant to spend money against the “big guys” who’ve been in the SEO game for years, fearing they can’t go better than them in the rankings so why try?

But if you change  strategy and focus locally, it can lead to great success!

Invest in strengthening your position in hyper-local searches by fleshing out your website, registering with online review sites and getting active on social media. Generate content that is relevant to your city, your practice, your specialty.  Establish a social media presence and engage local residents directly. After all, these are your prospective patients.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t rank as well as a hospital that is across the country.  These patients are not part of your target market.  People search for local professionals.

Reason #4: “I won’t be able to keep up with all the changes.”

While it’s true that keeping up with the latest SEO trends requires a lot of work, it is evolving rather than changing completely. Some of the core building blocks of a good SEO strategy haven’t changed in years.

There’s an old adage that “content is king.” A good website that’s packed with relevant, valuable content – which could take the form of products, images, videos, blog posts and more – is absolutely essential for earning the best-possible page rankings. So is having a sensible site map structure with pages that have unique and logical themes.

Encourage  people to link to your site. You can do this by providing solutions to their problems, having surveys, giving out tip sheets and other ways to keep them engaged.

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