Increasing service line growth is always a concern for hospitals; the challenge is knowing which service lines to grow at any given time.

Take, for example, the aging population of baby boomers. As baby boomers are beginning to hit the Medicare age, hospitals would do well to focus energy on specific service lines like:

  • Geriatrics
  • Orthopedics
  • Cardiology
  • Oncology
  • Neurosciences

But, based on changes in healthcare (and the general view of healthcare), it’s worth considering tying in these service lines into one category: chronic care management.

Regardless of which service lines you feel your hospital is in most need of growing, SEO is a key tool in digital marketing to helping you reach your goal.

By implementing a highly targeted SEO strategy for each of your service lines, you can rank high on Google’s results pages for searches related to these services and, in turn, increase traffic to specific pages that target these services.

When done correctly, this is one of the best ways to seek out highly qualified prospects and get them to become your patient.

Here are three ways hospitals can use SEO to increase service line growth:

1. Create dedicated pages for each of your service offerings

landing-pageWhen looking to rank high on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), your goal isn’t to make your entire site rank high. Rather, your goal is to get targeted pages to rank high, so that when someone clicks on your link on Google, they’re taken to a page that fits their search criteria.

Using dedicated pages for each of your service lines increases your ability to target these pages for keywords.

Take, for example, cardiology. You shouldn’t try to rank high for cardiology-related terms on your homepage. Leave that heavy lifting to your interior pages.

For this cardiology example, it makes sense to have a main landing page that details your cardiology offering.

But within that landing page, you should link to even more targeted sub-pages. There’s no limit to what you could create sub-pages for, so long as they fall under the cardiology service line. Some examples include:

  • Individual procedures (one page per procedure)
  • Highlight your staff
  • Your equipment
  • Latest trends

You can do this for each of your service lines, thus creating dozens of pages, all with the potential to rank for related keywords.

Just avoid cannibalizing your own pages. In other words, don’t target two pages at the same keyword or phrase, otherwise, they’ll compete with one another. Come up with all of the possible and popular search phrases your prospects use regarding that service line, and create quality web pages that target each of these phrases.

2. Get backlinks the organic way

influencers-meetingGoogle’s goal is to reward web pages that seem to have quality content that people find useful. One of the best indicators of a quality webpage is quality backlinks that were organically established.

If for example, a reputable publication or influential, well-known physician, links back to a page on your website, Google’s going to assume that you have something good to offer, and will rank you higher.

The best way to get folks to link back to your web pages and posts is to create good, unique content and promote it.

However, you can increase your chances of backlinks from reputable people by including statistics and quotes from your desired influencers.

For example, let’s say that you’re looking to increase awareness of your pain management division with digital marketing. You might have specific organizations that are influential in this field that you’d like to have take notice of your hospital.

By including quotes or statistics offered by this organization with your web pages or blog posts – and then calling attention to these citations via social media – you can increase the likelihood that the organization will share your post with others and link to it from their own website.

3. Stay relevant by adding your voice to the current conversation

websiteThe web is all about current news. Web surfers generally aren’t interested in outdated and old information, which is why Google ranks trending topics pretty high.

You can use this to your advantage through active blogging on your website. That way, you can increase the frequency in which your webpages rank for certain terms while, at the same time, come across as an expert in the field.

Let’s say, for example, someone is searching pancreatic cancer related terms. They may come across a variety of pages, including one of your services pages and/or a blog post discussing the latest research findings from the UK.

If you actively post content related to trending and cutting edge news, you greatly increase your chances of ranking high on Google not just once, but twice (or more).

In addition to increased SERP real estate, you’re also reaching prospects in different stages. For example, someone who just wants to learn more about pancreatic cancer (they might have some early concerns) are more likely to click on your blog post about the latest research, rather than your dedicated service page.

Either way, they’re being taken to your site.

Someone looking for treatment or support is likely more inclined to go straight to your service line page.

Build your presence online with proper SEO strategies

There’s a little rumor out there that “SEO” is dead.

That’s like saying healthcare digital marketing is dead, it’s not true.

SEO is just a way for you to increase your chances of ranking high on search engines. There are specific (albeit, complex) strategies you can put into place to boost your ranking without risking getting penalized.

The above SEO strategies are all Google-approved and can help you reach your hospital’s goal of service line growth for the long-haul.