This article will look at a few of the core principles that are integral to your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy and therefore will help your website attain a far more prominent position in search results relevant to your offering.

Responsive website

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Having a mobile friendly website can have a massive positive influence on your SEO ranking.

When browsing the web, most people now use a mobile device such as a mobile phone or tablet rather than a desktop computer. With this in mind Google have revised their search results algorithm to ensure those sites that are responsive are weighted to appear higher up in search results, thus reaching their target audience more efficiently.

If your website isn’t mobile friendly it was likely built and designed some time ago, therefore it may be time to consider investing in designing a new website.

Take a look at The Pharmacy Website Company who specialise in providing fully functional pharmacy website solutions.

Read more about The Pharmacy Website Company

Claim your Google 'My Business' profile

By registering with Google My Business you will be logged as a pharmacy business by Google and as such you will be more likely to show up in relevant Google Search and Map results.

This is especially important for independent pharmacies as Google takes account of both your business and the users location and therefore can help with attracting customers in your locality.

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As you create your profile you can add details such as ‘Service areas’ and ‘Services’ which help Google direct relevant search terms to your website. For example if you add a service area of Tamworth and a service of blood pressure testing, when somebody in Tamworth searches ‘blood pressure’ or ‘blood pressure testing’ from a mobile device or desktop you will appear significantly higher in the listings and as such be far more visible to your potential customer base.

Not only does completing your profile help with local SEO, it also helps to arm the user with as much information as possible once they have located your pharmacy. For example; if you don’t list your pharmacy services users will make the assumption you don’t offer any and go
elsewhere, equally if you don’t list your contact number and the user has a specific query they will likely move onto the next pharmacy that does offer an easy route to make contact, thus meaning you miss out on the chance to engage with that potential customer.

INFO - It is crucial you fill out the profile in as much detail as possible and keep it up to date. Profile information includes: business name, business category, address, phone number, service area, services offered, opening hours and any photos.

Essentially, Google My Business is a huge online business directory that your pharmacy must be listed in if you want to be visible to prospective customers in local searches.

Find out more and get started (via Google)

Fit for purpose and engaging website

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Once users get to your site it’s really important you structure the page with the customer in mind. If your users cannot achieve what they set out to achieve in an efficient manner, the likelihood is they will look elsewhere.

Having spent time ensuring you show high in search rankings you don’t want to miss out on converting that user into a customer because of a sub-standard webpage that isn’t user friendly or doesn’t capture their attention.

Further to this it can affect your future SEO performance as Google will take note if your page is being clicked from search results and will log how long visitors to your site tend to spend there. A visitor who quickly hits the back button will have a detrimental impact on future search rankings, whereas somebody who spends a few minutes on the page or site will be seen as a sign of good quality and relevant content that Google will reflect positively in future search rankings.

This raises the question – how do you ensure your content is engaging?
Following the below few rules when designing and structuring your webpages will help significantly.

  • Use images – visual content will grab a user’s attention and will help encapsulate a message. It is important to ensure your images are clear, clean and reflect the professional nature of your business.
  • Use sub headings and bullet points – this helps to make content more digestible and therefore easier to read. Web users prefer ‘scannable’ content and therefore will lose patience if met with a page of endless paragraphs of text.
  • Short paragraphs – another effective way to make the page appear more engaging and inviting is to break down any large paragraphs to make them more readable.
  • Calls to action – ensure the user can easily achieve what they came to the page for. For example, if the aim is for the user to submit a form making a service booking, ensure the page contains a clear button that states ‘Make your appointment now’.

TIP - Video content is an effective way of communicating a story or explaining a process and can help build relationships. With videos being used in abundance on social media every day, users are becoming accustomed to watching a video rather than reading a long paragraph of text. Why not try creating a video to showcase how easy the process is to utilise a service within your pharmacy.

TIP - Optimise images for your website so they are a smaller file size. Larger images will mean longer page load times which negatively influence user experience.

Paid SEO or SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

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Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a form of paid advertising that serves to promote websites by improving search rankings based upon selected keywords or phrases. It is usually used as a short term strategy to attain fast results.

Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) is a SEM platform that will help you target potential customers looking for businesses such as yours.

Below is a short guide to the key considerations when setting up a campaign on Google Ads.

Campaign settings

Through Google Ads you can set up search campaigns that allow you to set goals around sales, leads or website traffic.

Your goal is likely to initially be about driving new users onto your website. If you have an ecommerce platform you may want to set up a goal around achieving a certain amount of sales revenue.

Google Ads campaigns allow you to set the specific location you wish to target, for example, you can tell Google you want to target just the town where your pharmacy is located or you may want to include some surrounding areas. This ensures the ads can be heavily targeted to increase the likelihood of your conversion being of future value to your pharmacy.

When building your campaign you will be able to set up your strategy manually or allow Google Ads to maximise conversions within a specific budget that you have set. I would suggest the latter whilst you get to grips with the intricacies of SEM.

The way Google allows you to set up daily budgets means you can very easily set up a campaign and trial how successful SEM could be for your pharmacy for a nominal fee.

Ad groups

Your campaign will consist of a set of ad groups that differ dependent on the target group for that ad. For example:

Campaign - Local customers

  1. Ad group – Stop smoking campaign
  2. Ad group – Flu vaccination
  3. Ad group – Travel vaccinations/advice

Ad groups consist of both keywords and ads.

You will be prompted to add a collection of relevant keywords or phrases that will ensure you attract the customers relevant to the target segment of that ad group. For example, for your flu vaccination ad group you may want to add ‘flu vaccination service’ or words such as ‘flu’ and ‘influenza’.

TIP - You can get keyword ideas by using the Google Keyword planner tool. You will be taken here after you have created a new campaign or click the tool icon within Google Ads.

Create ads

This is where you write the ad copy that users will see when you show in search results. Make sure you use the keywords from the ad group within the ad copy.

Each ad will contain info such as the web address for traffic to be directed to, title or headline of advertisement and description text.

TIP - Your title or headline has the potential to have the biggest impact, so spend some time thinking about making this as engaging and concise as possible.

It is recommended you create three ads for each ad group as the system will look at the most effective and utilise this more prominently.

TIP - Further tailor your ad and create more effective and engaging ads using features such as ad extensions.

Find out more and get started (via Google Ads)