5 major SEO mistakes in almost every hospital website [+Bonus Sins]

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Do you have a hospital website? Great!

You invested in a great web designer and UI/UX developer to help code it and build basic functionalities. You hired a graphic designer to help you select colourful images and place videos in the right places. After months of waiting, you are finding it challenging to attract website visitors. As a result, your ranking keeps falling drastically.

Been in this boat for too long? It’s time to look into the main visibility factor for your website- SEO.

Hospital websites do not get a lot of organic traffic, and it takes months if not years for some to reach the first page of the SERPs. In this case, what is your website doing wrong in terms of SEO? And how can you make it right?

Here are 11 SEO mistakes that are costing your ranking:

Taking title tags and Meta descriptions for granted.

A basic hospital’s title & description looks like this :

Most hospitals simply rely on generic keywords such as- hospital, diseases, treatments etc. They stuff their meta descriptions with these words to get traffic. The key is to make your meta description stand out and speak to the user. It should be an answer to a query they might be having at that moment. Make the titles and meta descriptions of your web pages as descriptive and unique as possible. Do not forget to include relevant keywords, and yes, modifiers do help too.

For, e.g., A user is searching for gynaecologists, specifically for hysterectomy. If your hospital offers this treatment, then your meta description should contain EXACTLY this keyword.

It’s all about the base BACKLINKS

There’s no doubt about the fact that backlinks can make or break your website. But, there is no end to the number of mistakes people make with backlinks.

  1. Some of the pretty easy ways people can get wrong with backlinks include:
  2. Having spammy guest posting or guest blogs
  3. Focus on backlinks alone and not on content
  4. Building backlinks only to the homepage
  5. Building too many links too fast (many hospitals get fake SEO experts who promise to get them, tons of backlinks in a short time)
  6. Focusing on the Quantity of backlinks over quality
  7. Buying links from aggregator sites

And the list goes on.

The explanation to each of these backlinking mistakes can account for a blog on its own.

The bottom line is- Backlinks are good, only if you the link juice comes from a site with favourable domain authority. 

Keyword Cannibalization and Keyword Stuffing

Can you imagine this? Most hospital websites have one term they optimise around- Hospital.

Isn’t that crazy?

Not only does this affect your SEO and rankings severely, but it also tends to limit your websites reach. Each web page targets the same keyword, thereby confusing search engines. There is absolutely no relevance between a search term and its webpage.

To minimise keyword cannibalisation, you need to have a separate keyword for each webpage. And that keyword should occur in the content, title and description of that page.

Also, we need the keyword density of each webpage to be around 2%. That means no stuffing of paragraphs with the same keyword over and over.

Remember, search engines are hard to fool, and blackhat techniques do not work in 2019.

If you feel the need to use a particular keyword, more times than allowed, then simply switch to its synonyms and alternatives. For, e.g. instead of using ‘hospital’ in all places, you can use the terms- medical centre, healthcare provider interchangeably.

This removes the keyword heaviness, keeping the meaning intact. 

Not having a Content strategy

Many hospital websites simply rely on the homepage and a few auxiliary webpages to gain traffic. In 2019, this effort is fruitless. To target different sets of keywords, a hospital’s website needs to create specific web pages for each keyword.

Remember, the user experience is the crucial factor here that determines your ranking. If a user searches for a specific health-related query, & lands on your site, it is a win for your website in terms of SEO. No matter how many links you build or how well you optimise on-page, content is still the most dominant factor in your SEO.

Some hospital websites do produce content, but it is at the most mediocre or duplicate content. And nothing ticks off the search engines as badly as duplicate content.

Your content strategy and content efforts should revolve around creating helpful information for the end-user. This can be done through the implementation of a helpful and informative blog.  Also, text-heavy web pages can negatively affect your SEO, as you end up having too many bounces. Try having variations, by introducing good graphics, images and embedding videos on your website. Consistency is key when publishing content online. So it is always better to make and stick to a schedule.

Always try to enrich and update existing web pages, blogs and articles rather than creating too many new ones. This is a great factor in ranking better.

Not optimised for mobile

If your hospital website is not rendered to the 53% of people who try to access it from their smartphones, chances are you miss out on this crowd. When mobile users land on your site and find it all over the place, they leave quickly with displeasure, alerting the search engine crawlers. You end up earning a reputation of being a mobile- unfriendly site, and your ranking plummets.

Always check if your website is mobile optimised and how it renders across various devices.

Use free online applications such as Small SEO tools or Mobiready to determine the mobile-friendliness of your website.

Bonus SEO ranking factors:

Apart from the above mentioned five sins, here are some other minor mistakes that will rub off wrongly with the search engines. In order to have a site that generates a good amount of traffic, it is important for your website to steer clear of them:

Your website loads too slow:

Does your hospital website take more than 5 seconds to load? [the optimum time to load being 2 seconds]

Chances are you put a lot of content on your website, which is mostly images and videos. Or a bunch of code, that is too complicated. To keep the SEO rankers happy, you need to diagnose and fix the errors that lead to the slow loading of your website.

Your social media handles are inactive:

Not upping your social media game? Guess what, this sin could have been forgiven 5 years back. But now, having a steady presence on social media means, having an additional source of traffic coming your way.

By promoting your services and posting links to your content on social media, you are grabbing the eyeballs of a highly engaged audience. Building up your social profiles is absolutely necessary to keep your SEO strategy in place.

Not having structured URLs

Most hospitals leave their URLs that look like this: https://www.generichospital.com/1223435421

This renders no meaning to the users whatsoever; instead, your URLs should be written and separated based on what the webpage is about.

For ex: http://careers.generichospital.com/

https://www.generichospital.com/Account/ServiceFacilities

These URLs are easy to understand and convey precisely what they’re about.Conclusion:

We’ll be honest with you.

SEO mistakes are pretty easy to make, even for seasoned developers. Google’s ever-updating algorithms aren’t helping either. To ensure that your hospital’s website is SEO proof, you should update your website regularly. Check for common SEO errors, and fix them before the crawlers can spot them. Remember, Google indexes a website’s content and changes the ranking every 3-4 months. Therefore it is best to do the iterations once in a while.

Copywriter at

A seasoned copywriter, content specialist and blogger, Shaista brings more than just writing expertise to the table. Having worked for industries such as Food, Fashion, jewellery, media and advertising, she is an all-rounder when it comes to writing and presenting articles, E-books, blogs and whitepapers and more.
When she’s not writing (or procrastinating about writing) she enjoys practicing the art of makeup and aims to be a professional MUA.

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