If you’re anything like the average user of the internet, chances are you don’t know exactly what you want to search each and every time. In fact, sometimes the words just don’t make sense (especially in the healthcare space), so you rely on image searches to confirm that your particular word or phrase will even return good results. If you’ve ever been in this predicament, you may have noticed that the images popped up for you on the page before the actual website results. It may seem like mind-reading, but the fact of the matter is that search engines are smart and know what people want.
This is precisely why you should never forget about the images on your website. If you’re doing great SEO work, they may just be a second line of defense. However, if you’re lacking ranking power for specific terms these images may just be where potential patients find the information they need.
Images can help (accurately) self-diagnose and promote appointments.
I use the term accurately here because our ultimate goal as healthcare marketers is to drive patients to practices or hospitals, not to always dive into self-care. While we are unable to hold searchers’ hands and push them to dial your number or fill out your form, we are able to proactively think and use imagery to drive an appointment request.
For example, let’s say someone has spent a week at the beach and has been basking in the hot sun for nearly 5/6 hours a day. As this person gets back home, they realize that some new spots have appeared on their skin and they’d like to get them checked. While some searchers may immediately seek out a dermatologist in their area, some will attempt to determine if the spots they have should be checked immediately or not. If you have imagery on your site of skin issues and explain each image clearly, there’s a chance that these images will index and show up in a search for something like “spots on skin from sun” or something similar. Once the potential patient sees the image that correlates with their problem, they’ll be able to contact you directly from your website and schedule an appointment.
Images differentiate you from your competitors and show your positives.
Stock images are certainly fine in a pinch and can get the point across quickly. However, if you’re wanting to make your practice stand out, imagery of your location, staff, or services can be a differentiating factor.
People come to websites for information, but information doesn’t strictly mean symptoms or concerns. Think about if a potential patient is referred to your practice by a friend. One of the first things that potential patient will do is a quick search on your practice to find out more about you. If they’re lead to a site packed full of stock images, they’re probably going to question what really goes on behind the scenes. However, if you present the strengths of your practice in the form of imagery (think smiling employees, clean waiting areas, bright patient rooms, etc.), they’ll be able to make a faster decision and set up their appointment almost immediately.
Images can contain and provide healthy content and impressions for your practice.
Sounds confusing, right? Images can’t be content. Well, that’s just not true! In fact, some images tell more of a story than blocks of content do on their own. The most common form of this you’ll find will be a strong, detailed infographic about an illness, service, or anything in between.
Not only are infographics interesting and fun if done correctly, they also have a fantastic ability to index quickly. If you utilize an infographic on your site, you’re not only able to build more content around it based on the subject, but you’re also actively letting Google know that your domain is providing strong images that people want to see. As this happens, your infographic about those sun spots we mentioned above start to show up on Google Image Search rankings alongside images of your practice and you’ve quickly got two more spots of real estate. Pair that with your strong organic rankings and you’re unstoppable!
When building your site, it’s important to take some time to think about the imagery that you’re going to use. But, if you haven’t, that’s not a problem at all. We’re here to help walk you through picking the bests possible photos to make an impact on your ranking and patient acquisition. Contact us today to learn more!