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Taking the Pulse of your Medical Clinic SEO

A number of studies show that effectively designed blogs have a significant impact on SEO. Lee Odden of the Search Engine Journal identifies several reasons for this:

  • Crawlable URLs – Good blog software provides an uncomplicated URL structure that makes it relatively easy for search engines to find and crawl blog content.
  • Inbound Link FriendlyBlogs link much more freely to each other than web sites. For various reasons, social media users are more open to linking to blogs.
  • Content – Search engines reward fresh content with repeat visits. Fresh content translates into more search engine spider crawls, which in turn leads to higher page rankings and more visitors. Search engines, like Google, also view consistently fresh content as a sign of an authoritative web site.
  • Community Interaction – Comments, trackback features, and share buttons lead encourage a higher rate of interaction than on static web sites. Active community interaction is rewarded by search engines.

Because of this, one of the best ways to take the pulse of your medical clinic SEO is through your blog. Blog metrics provide a gold mine of information that can help you make improvements and boost the SEO power of your blog even more.

Learn from your Blog Metrics

Views/Traffic: Page views don’t tell the whole story but they do give a quick overview of the overall general health of your blog. Views for individual posts narrows things down a bit and reveal how your followers are responding to specific topics. Blog post views also identify other patterns and cues about your blog content. Make note of the kind of posts that consistently generate above average page views and which don’t.

Referral Sources: The source of referrals to your blog gives you a sense of how people are finding it. If Tweets are not generating many referrals but Facebook is you may need to make some adjustments.  Heavy focus on a social media promotion that yields few visitors or referrals indicates you either need to focus more on other channels or rethink how you are using the current ones.

Call to Action Click-Through Rate:  If only a few people are clicking through to your landing pages, you can’t generate leads! Low click-throughs may mean one of several things: your calls to action aren’t compelling enough, they don’t match the blog post content closely enough, or their design or placement is ineffective.

Visit-to-Lead Conversion Rate: This reveals how effectively you’re converting visitors to your blog into leads for your practice. The higher the conversion rate the more efficiently you generate leads from existing traffic.

Lead-to-Patient Rate: If your blog is one of your top patient-producing channels, it makes sense to allocate more resources to it. If it isn’t producing a reasonable lead-to-patient conversion rate that may be an indicator you need to think about retooling your blog.

Bounce Rate: This metric can be a bit misleading. Of course you want visitors to spend more time on your blog by visiting multiple pages. While that is a great indicator of the quality of your content and the overall stickiness of your blog a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It isn’t a negative if a visitor clicked on a Call to Action at the end of a post and headed over to a lead capture form on a landing page.

TIP – One way to decrease bounces is to add a sidebar widget to your blog that features your blog’s best-performing posts. Another way to decrease bounces is to change your homepage so that it shows a preview of your five most recent posts. This gives visitors the option to choose to read a post that best meets their specific needs, inviting them to stick around.

Comments and Social Shares:  If there are few social shares of your content, make sure you have social sharing buttons on every blog post you publish. Comments and social shares can be a great way to recognize strengths and weaknesses in your content and help you generate ideas for new content.

Subscriber Count: Huge numbers of first time visitors may or may not indicate the true SEO clout of your blog. A smaller but consistent number of RSS and email newsletter subscribers are a more reliable indicator of your blog’s stability and possible future growth. Visitors that subscribe represent your blog’s solid readership, and indicate the true fan base of your content. This is vital because subscribers are the most likely visitors to share your content on a consistent basis. Be sure and display RSS and email subscribe buttons close to the top of your blog’s sidebar to encourage new visitors to subscribe to your content.

Inbound Links: Links from other blogs and websites that point to your content indicate the authority of your blog. Inbound links also reveal how effectively your blog is contributing to your website’s overall SEO.

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About Tim
Tim George is a regularly contributing author to the MDWebPro blog. Tim is passionate about web marketing for MDs expecially the latest trends and results in social media, SEO and inbound marketing. For more, please follow @MDWebPro on Twitter

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