In this edition of the the Home Care Software blog, we dive a little into the area of Search engine optimization (SEO) for Homecare agencies.
With the many time consuming things that go into operating a Home Healthcare agency, quite often administrators are hard pressed to find ways to attract new patients and grow their business. We recently visited one of our clients in the Florida area, and she was speaking about how they had just launched a website for their agency to market themselves better. One of the inevitable topics of course, was SEO, and how to implement some of the basics on a website that you may not have the budget to hire a firm to professionally handle. Quality SEO Tips for Home Health agencies can sometimes be hard to come by, but we will try to address some here in this blog.
In this day and age, getting a website is much easier and more cost effective than it used to be. Once you’ve gotten a few nice pictures and the basic information about your agency up, one of the best ways to attract web visitors of course is still through identifying how your potential customers are searching for you. This translates into some very basic keyword research that almost anyone can do. You can get a basic idea of some of the most popular ways a potential client could find you by simply trying different search terms in Google and seeing the numbers and results that come up. For instance, if your agency operates in Florida, maybe in Broward county, imagine yourself a patient or patient’s family member searching for a home health care agency. Naturally you’ll want to pair those high traffic keywords like “Home Health Agencies” “Home Health Care” with regional terms like “Home Health Care in Broward”, or “Florida Homecare Agency.” Use terms like this in your key word meta tags, your description, and the content of your website. Sometimes the most basic content, like a description of your services, a history of your company, or some of the types of home health care you specialize in (Skilled care, Physical therapy assessments, etc.), can do a world of good in getting you closer to the top of the first page. A little back-linking never hurts either. You can always get free business listings on local directories, sometimes chambers of commerce, Yelp, and consumer review sites. While Google doesn’t always index free linking sites, you have nothing to lose and a lot to potentially gain by putting keyword rich (when available) links to your home page where ever you can get them.
Web searchers are using more detailed searches to get more targeted search results quicker. Because of these changes, ranking for search has evolved from choosing a couple of top keywords to ranking for natural language searches, which will continue to change and grow quickly. The question often asked of course at the end of the day is ‘When can I expect SEO to produce new customers or sales?’ Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast certain answer to that, as it would depend on several factors. All websites are different, even if they are selling the same services or items or in the same industry. You should plan for a six-month engagement of steady work in the areas of content improvement, back-linking, and consider using free services if you really want to dig in like Google Analytics. After six months, particularly on regional lesser traffic terms which are based in a particular market (Like “Asheville North Carolina Homecare agencies”) you can start to see results.
If you have a Facebook page, be sure and link to and from it on your website. The same concept goes with a YouTube channel. With YouTube’s free video editor and the plethora of inexpensive software available now, even creating a free video that highlights some pictures of your agency and nurses along with bullet points about the services you provide can help. A video placed on your site, on YouTube, on Facebook, and tweeted about provides good exposure and can drive traffic to your site for the search engines and for your potential clients.
Keep in mind that SEO results grow over time. The results you see at six months should get even better with steady work at it in say, twelve months. Although you see results, and you may be happy with them, you must maintain them as well. You shouldn’t just make a few good online advertising and SEO efforts and expect to stay on top indefinitely. It’s like going to the gym and hitting the weight room, once you reach a specific weight or muscle mass, you can’t just stop (or it may turn to fat in a few months!).
If you are a smaller agency and you have no money to invest in SEO, or you’ve only budgeted for one-time SEO work remember that it is still a content driven game above all else. SEO is a long-term marketing strategy, and it is worth doing for your business. Make sure you try to consistently invest a little time, and as your business grows, you’ll be happy you did.
The Alora Homecare Software Blog
Read the Alora blog to learn more about the Home Health Software industry, including recent news, articles and commentaries, as well as other issues that pertain to Homecare in the U.S and beyond. For more information on our blog, or for questions or feedback, please send us an email to HomeHealthSoftware@AloraHealth.com.