The Beginner’s Guide to SEO for Doctors

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO for Doctors


With just a few searches, your new patients could be a click away from meeting you. But the vast majority of searchers won’t read past the first page — in fact, the first five organic search results account for most of the clicks. While there are certainly SEO tactics that span every industry, SEO for doctors incorporates several tactics that must be tailored to healthcare. Even if you are a small practice or completely brand new, crafting and fine-tuning your SEO strategy can help boost your rankings on Google.

Why Invest in SEO Strategies for Doctors?

The short answer: you get more website visitors and a high return on investment, especially in the long run.

The long answer: While traditional online advertising can often be a great option for your practice, the truth is that you need a blend of both paid and organic strategies. Organic strategies, like SEO, allow potential patients to find you online naturally — through a Google search, for instance. Without those options, you could be missing out on potential leads that are easy to capture.

The flip side is that SEO strategies can take more time to refine and see results from. If your site is new, you likely won’t reach 200,000 visitors overnight. Consistency and patience are key to seeing results!

SEO for Doctors: 3 Tactics for Long-Term Website Growth

#1: Target Keywords with Different Intents

When people are searching for different medical-related terms, they aren’t always looking for a doctor right away. Some audiences are researching certain medical issues, others might be looking for a health specialist in their area, and still others might look for a specific hospital or doctor.

As an example, someone might search “why do I have acne scars” but they might not be looking for a dermatologist. If you’re a dermatologist, this could still be a keyword you want to target in an educational blog post.

Why? A potential patient may not know that a dermatologist can help treat scarring. But if they read your post and realize they need to visit one, you can potentially convert them into a lead.

#2: Online Reviews

While referrals and word-of-mouth clients are still important, people are increasingly researching doctors online. In this digital day and age, online reviews are an absolute must. The more positive reviews you get, the more credibility you earn (both on and off the internet). They play a key role in your Google ranking since physicians with higher star ratings tend to show up first in Google Maps, Yelp, and other search engines.

If your patients are happy with your service, they’ll likely be glad to give you a review, provided that you make it easy for them. One great way to do this is through a text or email automation. After a patient’s appointment, you can send them a follow-up text or email with a Google review link.

#3: Claim Your Google My Business Listing

Your Google My Business listing contains your reviews, address, contact information, website link, and more. Google automatically creates a GMB listing for you and populates it with your information. The issue arises when your information is incorrect, which is often the case if you’ve moved from location to location.

To take control of your GMB and ensure that it’s always up to date, claim your listing online and follow the steps to verify it. Naturally, you should fill out as many of the sections as possible in order to give patients plenty of information.

SEO Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

While these three tips are good starting points, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO for doctors. If you’re looking for a way to improve your search engine rankings while keeping up with a hectic workday, let’s chat! To book an exploratory call with our marketing and SEO experts, send us a message online or text/call us at 305-702-0112.

What is Search Engine Optimization or SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is a series of processes that improve your web page’s search engine rankings. Some of the most effective practices include writing quality content and defining targeted keywords. 

SEO provides a means for websites to be easily found by search engines. Therefore, SEO is the most effective and straightforward way to generate traffic on your website to increase your reach, revenue, and conversion rate.

How to Have a Better SEO for Doctors

To ensure that your website is as effective as possible for SEO, you should be aware of a few key factors. SEO for doctors can be broken down into three main areas: title tags, meta descriptions, and URL structure. All three play a critical role in helping potential patients find your website. Let’s take a look at each one in more detail.

Title Tags

Since most web users are speed readers, your title tags are vitally important in SEO. Make sure that these tags are descriptive and keyword-rich. Try to use two to four relevant keywords in each tag, and make sure that the tag is at the beginning of the title rather than the end. In addition, include a brief summary of your website content near the bottom of each individual title tag.

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions contain just over 80 characters and are used as a brief description of your website on Google search results pages. They should be written in human-readable language and target people looking for information about your specific practice or topic. A good way to focus your meta description is by using keywords from your title tags in reverse order (for example, “Our team has been helping people with melanoma for over 20 years.”) This option lets Google understand that your page is about cancer, and will either rank higher on that search terms prompt or, if a competitor has a similar page, it will tend to outrank them.

URL structure

The URL structure of a website should be as simple as possible. For example, if all of your pages are linked through the main page, then you will want every page to be identical. Having an under-construction page where no content is present and an archive with obsolete or broken links should not be included in the URL structure of a website. 

What can make a doctor’s website rank well on Google?

A site that ranks well in search engine results pages (SERPs) for the terms “doctor” and “medicine” can be a powerful marketing tool for physicians. Here are some tips to help a doctor’s website rank well on search engine results pages (SERPs):

  • Choose the right keywords

The first step to ranking well in search engine results pages for “doctor” and “medicine” is finding the right keywords. The best way to do this is to analyze your website’s competition and find keywords that are relevant to your business. Try using Google AdWords Keyword Tool to get an estimate of how much traffic each of your chosen keywords could bring you. You can also use a keyword research tool like Google Trends to see how often these terms are being searched for on the web.

  • Optimize your site for Google

Once you’ve chosen your keywords, it’s essential to ensure that your website is optimized for Google. This includes confirming that your site looks correct and complies with all of Google’s guidelines (for example, using correct HTML tags). Additionally, make sure that your site loads quickly on Google search results pages (SERPs), recommends relevant content to users, and has strong links.