For prospective patients in need of urgent care, the Internet is the first place they’re likely to look. If someone is in an unfamiliar area, or has never been to an urgent care center before, this is even truer. More than likely they’re going to search for keywords and phrases related to an illness or symptoms as well as a location such as “urgent care center near Michigan Avenue,” or “sore throat + Biloxi,” etc.
These keywords and phrases can mean the difference between a patient finding their way to your website or a competitor’s. Blogging is one of the best ways your urgent care center can organically improve its search engine optimization and ensure that patients in need find your center when they need you the most.
What is SEO?
SEO, or “search engine optimization” is an online strategy that aims to increase the chances that your website shows up in a relevant search on Google, Yahoo, or Bing. One of the best ways that small- and medium-sized businesses such as an urgent care center can aid that, is through blogging.
Blogging serves several purposes.
- It enhances your website with helpful content such as “how to deal with a rash” or “five tips for beating the flu.” This sends a message to your patients that you care about their well-being and want to provide helpful tips that they can use.
- It keeps your website current and up-to-date with new information. Studies show that websites that are not frequently updated do not perform as well as those that are.
- The articles you write and post will be indexed by search engines and ultimately start showing up in relevant search results.
- It creates useful content that can be shared across your center’s social media channels or in newsletters
- Using relevant and local keywords helps increase local SEO, which is the unique results that only someone in your area will see when searching.
Few people plan for needing an urgency care center. Rather, they’re more likely to search when they have an acutely rising medical issue and need immediate attention. When patients reach for their laptop or phone and search, you want your center to show up in their results.
Patients are typically searching for a variety of urgent conditions that are serious enough to warrant medical attention, but not so serious as to warrant a trip to the emergency room. In fact, according to an article published in Becker’s Hospital Review, only 2% of urgent care patients are transferred to an emergency room.
Common urgent care conditions range from allergic rashes to sore throats, flu-like symptoms to mild sprains and contusions. Medically speaking, these are the conditions your urgent care center likely treats every day. In the world of SEO, these are valuable keywords to target.
Part of a Healthy Marketing Plan
Blogging is an extremely effective component of an overall marketing strategy that is aimed at securing valuable search listing real estate for your urgent care center. What’s more, many of your competitors ignore, or severely underutilize this practice, leaving the door open for your center to walk in.
Blogging for SEO is not the be all, end all of your urgent care center’s marketing efforts. However, it is a great way to get a leg up on the competition, connect with your patients, and increase your center’s online profile.
When an unexpected illness strikes and patients search for help, you want your center be the first they see in their online search results. Blogging is an important step towards making that happen.
Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc