SEO for physicians is similar to other SEO initiatives with a few fundamental differences. The main difference is in the keywords.
If you’re looking for your health clinic to stand out from your competition on online searches, you’ll need to learn about using keywords. Also, you will need to know how to make them truly work for you.
Search Engine Optimization for Physicians
Keyword research plays a vital role in SEO. Start your keyword research by identifying a list of phrases that describe what your health clinic does. Then, you can use this list to produce a significant amount of website traffic.
However, your traffic will depend on if you’ve picked the right keywords. If you feel lost, remember that keyword research is just a more modern form of market research.
Any web marketing undertaking needs to start with keyword research in order to be effective. Additionally, keyword research is critical for pay-per-click campaigns, content marketing efforts and on-page SEO.
So let’s get started.
Step 1: Testing
Terms that are broad within the health clinics can be hard to rank for; this could include phrases like ‘great physician.’ It is best for you to begin with keywords that are specialized.
You should start your keyword research by finding an initial cornerstone keyword. Once you’ve found it, then you can create a bigger list based on it. You will also need to verify that your cornerstone keyword will work for you.
You can accomplish this with research. This research will need to be done repeatedly. You need enough data that you can check its usefulness and create a full list.
Start with a phrase that your clients typically use to find you. Take that keyword and do an initial test. First, you can check the existing traffic volume for this term.
Some Helpful Tools
There are several tools you can use to do this that are either free or paid. Google Adwords has a great utility called the Keyword Planner that will assess lists of keywords for their viability in PPC campaigns. This works particularly well if you’re using Google ads.
Another tool is SEMRush. It contains an array of paid research and analysis. SEMRush is useful for both organic and paid SEO. On this site, all you need to do is type in your keyword phrase into the search bar at the top of the page. Then you’ll get results that tell you how much search volume the term receives and suggestions of related words. If the terms they suggest hold value to your health clinic, then add them to your list.
SEO for physicians will involve a lot of niche targeting. This means that your foundation keyword may not get a lot of hits in a month. However, 70 hits in a month will be enough to generate a profit.
If you choose a broader keyword string, then it will likely be too competitive for organic SEO and too expensive for pay-per-click.
Step 2: Make a Spreadsheet
If your research confirms that your foundation keyword will work and suggests other keywords, then this is the time to start a spreadsheet to compile a master list.
Google Sheets is a great option to create keyword research templates that can be structured into ongoing campaigns.
Your spreadsheet should include your keywords, their volume, competition, and specialty. You can also add any notes you might have on them here.
Step 3: Go Back to Google
Once you know your foundation keyword will work out great, then you go to Google to mine more keywords.
Head back to Google and type in your cornerstone keyword, then scroll down the page and look beyond the organic results. Down at the bottom of the page, Google will show a list of alternate keywords.
These keywords are search strings that other people have used when looking for your keyword. You can add all of these keywords to the list you created on your spreadsheet and test their traffic volumes.
Step 4: Find Synonyms
Your list will just continue growing at this point. However, you should continue searching for variants. In your search, you will probably find alternative keywords that will yield traffic too.
When looking for variants, you can start by looking for synonyms for your keyword phrases. Thesaurus.com can show you lots of synonyms to help you with your research. Since you are developing SEO for physicians specifically, you’ll already have a couple of synonyms from the start: health and wellness!
If you use a generic phrase like ‘choosing a physician’, then you might want to use a synonym for ‘choosing.’ The other keywords you pick will also guide your synonym research.
Step 5: Conduct Competitive Research
There are many useful tools that can make crafting SEO for physicians easier. The typical keyword tool of choice is the keyword explorer from Moz. However, SEMrush and Ahrefs offer similar tools.
Your goal will be to snoop around for keyword ideas from your competitors. Take your cornerstone keyword and paste it into the Google search field, then choose one of the paid results from PPC and copy the URL for the landing page. Then, you can paste the URL into the Keyword Explorer main input field.
By doing this, you’ll end up with a list of keywords that were found on your competitor’s site. These are the keywords that will rank them organically in the search list. These might also be keywords that they will target for in AdWords. You can search through these keywords and find ones that are relevant to you and add them to your spreadsheet.
Research the Right Way
If you are already using AdWords, then you will have access to Keyword Planner. If that is the case, then you can skip this step.
Your goal is still to find keyword ideas from your competitors. To do this, head over to Google search and type in your cornerstone keyword. When the results appear, you can look for any of your competitor’s paid listings. If there is one, then copy the URL of their landing page and it to Keyword Planner. Then choose the option to search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category and past the landing page URL in.
After you’ve done this, you can analyze their entire website. Google will then suggest some keywords for you, which is what this site is currently ranking for in organic search.
The list that you get will include keywords that are useless and unrelated that you don’t have to keep. However, it will also include keywords that you can steal and will give you a good idea of what your competitors are targeting. Figuring out what they’re targeting will also give you more ideas for keywords.
Step 6: Stream Your List
At this point, you will have a large list of keywords that may contain duplicates. Your job is to comb through your spreadsheet and take another look at these keywords.
First, you’ll want to get rid of any duplicates. Some spreadsheets may even have a ‘remove duplicates’ feature which will speed up the process. After you remove duplicates, then you can group keywords based on their similarity.
Once you’ve done this, your list will be complete. You’ve found all the keywords you want to use, and you’re ready to check them out a final time. Giving them a final test will help you determine how much traffic volume those words get. You can do this using either Keyword Planner or Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
Step 7: Finishing Your List
Now that your spreadsheet is ready, you can take it back to Keyword Planner. Then, you’ll want the second option ‘get search volume and trends’ when you can choose the option to upload your entire list.
When you click ‘get search volume’ you will get analysis from Google on your list. Google will also tell you what a typical PPC bid is for any of your keywords.
Keyword Planner is a PPC tool, so the analysis it gives is intended to inform paid search, not organic search. The paid keyword analysis tools will also give ‘quality ratings.’ These are useful to know about any keywords.
When Google does its analysis you can decide to cut out the low traffic keywords. These keywords won’t give you enough traffic to make using them worthwhile. Find the keywords which have decent volume. Also, look for keywords with significant volume and competitiveness. Their average cost-per-click numbers from the Keyword Planner will let you know if you should use them or not.
Having an online presence is a must for all businesses. It doesn’t matter who your audience is, where you are located, or what you do; you need to have an online presence. This is why SEO for physicians is so essential. If you’re unsearchable, you might as well not exist, because your potential patients won’t be able to find you.
When you figure out all the right keywords for your health clinic, you do your business a huge service. You’re much closer to being boosted onto the first page of search results and seeing your business genuinely bloom.
What are your favorite physician keywords?