If you’re not particularly concerned with healthcare SEO (search engine optimization), consider this: Google processes about 40,000 search queries every second, totaling 3.5 billion searches every day. If you want your doctor website to rank highly in search results, you need to put serious effort into your SEO plan.
Keyword selection is a crucial component of every SEO strategy. Here’s a look at why this step toward better SEO health for your website matters so much and tips to help you choose the best keywords for your doctor website.
3 reasons to be thoughtful with healthcare SEO keyword selection
1. Rank highly in search engines
SEO for medical takes work. More than half (61 percent) of marketers cite improving SEO and growing their organic presence — i.e., search results based on keyword relevance — as their top inbound marketing strategy, according to HubSpot.
Chances are when you conduct a Google search, you don’t look past results on the first page. Prospective patients take the same approach when looking for a provider, so if you don’t rank highly, they’ll never even come across your website.
2. Properly market your practice
You can’t expect your practice to show up in search results for terms not included in your healthcare SEO strategy. Therefore, it’s important to really think about what you want your practice to be known for and choose keywords accordingly.
Keywords do not need to perfectly align with search terms — i.e., [cosmetic dentistry beverly hills ca] — in order to rank. Focus on readability, and as long as they include where you’re located, what you treat, and what makes your practice unique, you’re golden.
You might like: Everything you need to know for effective dental SEO
3. Attract your target patient base
The keywords you choose will draw prospective patients to your doctor website. When a prospective patient needs a provider who offers certain services in their area, there’s a good chance they’ll get online and search for someone.
Tailor your selections to fit your ideal audience, so your practice appears in their search results. Getting in front of the right patients is the key to continued practice growth.
Questions doctors should to ask when choosing SEO keywords their website
Which services are most performed or requested?
Your patients should always come first, including when optimizing your practice website. Think about the symptoms, conditions, and needs of those who seek your care, and use this to create a robust healthcare SEO strategy.
Choose keywords that fit these syntactic formats:
- I do/perform ____.
- I provide _____ service(s).
- I treat _______ symptom(s).
Your practice will be displayed to patients searching for these keywords, related keywords, or questions containing these keywords, making them more likely to find and contact you.
Which services are most profitable?
As a doctor, your goal is to help people, but your practice is also a business that needs to remain profitable to stay open. Keep this in mind when choosing your target SEO keywords for your website for doctor services.
From a business standpoint, it makes sense to dedicate extra space on your website to services that add the most to your bottom line. When searching online for providers, prospective patients seeking these services will come across your practice and are likely to reach out to make an appointment.
Which services do you want your practice to be known for?
You provide a myriad of services, but a select few are the cornerstone of your practice. Choosing the right healthcare SEO terms will help patients seeking these services and search engines find you.
Before selecting keywords for your SEO strategy, think long and hard about the niche you aim to carve out. When you’ve decided on your SEO strategy and the direction you’d like to take your practice, you’ll be equipped to choose keywords that support your mission.
Are your healthcare SEO terms patient-friendly?
After spending years in the medical field, you use clinical terms in conversation without thinking twice. The problem is, most patients don’t speak doctor lingo.
Remember this when choosing SEO keywords for your website, because complex terms probably won’t get you much traffic. For example, patients are more likely to search for [high blood pressure] than [hypertension].
Of course, some patients are more informed than others. If your target patient base is familiar with high-level medical terms, it’s perfectly fine to incorporate them into your keyword strategy.
The right keywords and a clear SEO strategy can put your practice on the map, so dedicate serious effort to the selection process. If you don’t have the time or expertise to handle this initiative on your own, consider working with external healthcare SEO experts with a proven track record of elevating doctor websites in search results.
Wondering how long it takes for healthcare SEO efforts to take effect? Check out the blog post “When practices can expect SEO results after a website launch.”