Making SEO work for your pharmacy

When it comes to selling your services online, remember to think from the user’s perspective, says Saam Ali.

People routinely look for services they wish to use online. Google is now our oracle and tells us exactly what is out there, how to get there and how long it’s going to take us. It’s scarily precise.

We often consult Google before we leave the house but even when we’re on the road we access it via the good old smartphone. The fact is this is how we, as consumers, now behave. We are constantly looking for information online.

So, if this is the case, and we also provide a range of pharmacy services, should we not have content about these online? The simple answer is: yes, we should! It’s how businesses work these days and an online presence should be factored into the overall business plan.

One service that most community pharmacies in the UK provide is an emergency contraceptive (EHC) service. We provide Levonelle and EllaOne over the counter privately, and free on the NHS. But do the people around you know that you do this? Some might, but some will certainly not. For those that don’t, we can let them know by creating content about it online.

Create a highly optimised blog post

The first thing you can do is create a blog post targeting the keywords “morning after pill” in your location, for example, “morning after pill Lewisham”. Why? Because that’s the way people search on Google. They don’t look for “emergency contraception Lewisham”.

You have to think from the user’s perspective and do some keyword research. And I’m not talking about writing any old kind of content and sticking it up online. I’m talking about a solid, well-written article targeting the area and including optimised images. That’s how you get to the top of Page 1 on Google. As an example, look at the piece I did for Dr Pharmacy in Luton, which is now showing up on the top of Google for the search term “morning after pill Luton”. [See http://blog. drpharmacy.org.uk/morning-after-pill-luton/] Informative, optimised and well written, it’s receiving daily hits. (But please don’t copy this article word-for-word as Google will penalise you for plagiarism).

Be listed on TheMorningAfterPill.co.uk

This is a platform that PharmData and I have created that will help you showcase the EHC service you offer – whether it’s the free NHS one, a private one or both. Essentially, it’s a directory to which pharmacies can add their listing (completely free of charge) and helps women find a service that is close to them while they’re on the move. This is particularly important given that the efficacy of emergency contraception decreases with time. 

Update your Social Profiles

On your Facebook page too, you can publish your morning after pill services under the ‘Services’ tab, which will help give you a bit of exposure. You can now also add services to your Google My Business listing which is excellent. Thousands of people land on your Google listing every single month, which gives amazing exposure!

Understanding that we, as consumers, are increasingly conducting our research, business and pleasure online must direct you to capitalise on this by exposing your services better online. This is only going to become even more crucial as time goes on.

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