Are you a surgeon who’s looking to attract more patients with medical marketing? You may or may not have heard the term ‘SEO’ as it relates to your medical website. SEO (search engine optimization) is, in a nutshell, the best way to show up on page 1 of Google and other search engines. When prospective patients search for ‘best orthopedic surgeon near me,’ you can be sure you will appear before your competitors with a properly implemented SEO campaign. SEO for surgeons is a must in today’s digital age.
If you’re a surgeon who’s already familiar with the concept, then you know that SEO is crucial for getting your website seen by potential patients. But what are the best ways to optimize your site for search engines?
There are a number of things that you can do to optimize your medical website for SEO. For example, you can use keyword-rich titles and descriptions to help improve your site’s ranking for relevant keywords. You can also create informative and keyword-rich blog posts to help drive traffic to your website.
We’ll give you everything you need to know about SEO for surgeons in this guide.
What Is Surgeon SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
SEO is a process that can be used to improve the visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs). By optimizing the content on your website, you can attract more visitors from organic search traffic.
In 2022, a year where traditional marketing techniques are growing more and more obsolete, implementing a well-thought-out and strategic SEO campaign is a crucial component of establishing and maintaining a strong online presence.
You may be wondering, ‘But… I’m a surgeon… Why do I need a strong online presence?’
We’ll take a closer look at the importance of SEO and establishing a strong online presence below.
The Importance of Surgeon SEO in the Modern Surgical Practice
SEO is important for surgeons because it can help them to attract new patients, build their reputation, and grow their practice.
By optimizing their website and online presence, surgeons can reach a wider audience and connect with potential patients who may not be aware of their practice otherwise.
Additionally, SEO can help surgeons to rank higher in search engine results, making it more likely that potential patients will find them when they are searching for a surgeon online.
In a competitive market, SEO can give surgeons the edge they need to stand out from the competition and attract new business.
When done correctly, SEO for surgeons can be an extremely effective tool for growing a surgical practice.
Increase Organic Traffic
First and foremost, a properly implemented SEO strategy will increase your organic traffic. Organic traffic is the term used to describe visits to your website that come as a result of search engine results.
In other words, people find your site through searches as opposed to coming to it directly or through links from other websites.
A lot of businesses think that the only way to increase their organic traffic is by paying for ads on Google or other search engines. However, that mindset is a thing of the past. SEO is the best way for surgeons to establish and maintain an influx of organic traffic to their medical practice websites.
Establish Trust and Credibility with Patients
When Google likes your medical website and ranks it on the first page of the organic search results, users interpret that as a good sign. If Google trusts you enough to put your website on the first page of SERPs (search engine results pages), it imparts a sense of trust in them as well.
Include testimonials and before-and-after photos. Potential patients want to see proof that you’re a skilled surgeon who can provide them with the results they’re looking for. Include testimonials from past patients on your website, as well as before-and-after photos of your surgical work.
SEO can help you to outrank your competitors for various reasons. Firstly, if your website is optimized for search engines then it is more likely to appear higher up in the search results. This means that people are more likely to see and visit your site before your competitor’s.
Second, SEO can help to improve your click-through rate, which is the number of people who click on your link in the search results. If this click goes to you instead of to the competition, we call that a win! This again will lead to more traffic coming to your site.
Finally, good SEO can also help to improve your brand awareness and visibility online, making it more likely that people will remember and recognize your healthcare practice when they see it in the search results.
All of these factors combined can give you a significant advantage over your competitors and other doctors.
Your website will undoubtedly have a section with reviews, testimonials, before and after pictures, and the like. When medical SEO gives you a boost in organic traffic, more and more potential patients will be learning about what you’re capable of.
An increase in brand recognition also helps with reputation management.
Finally, in Google’s local pack you will have a section for reviews. These online patient reviews allow you to reply to each one individually. This can prove you are polite and respectful of peoples’ time when you reply to good reviews. It can also do damage control when you reply to bad reviews.
Remember to always be courteous, humble, and understanding in your replies. Don’t ever be aggressive or defensive.
Acquire New Patients
Most of us take to the internet immediately when looking for a new doctor. In addition to recommendations by word-of-mouth, the internet is the best resource we have when scouting out a new doctor.
Of course, this will more likely be the case with elective or anticipated surgeries. For an emergency appendectomy, it’s highly unlikely anyone will be searching Google for their surgeon. But for specialties such as plastic surgery and orthopedics, the internet is a great place to research potential doctors.
An increase in organic traffic and brand recognition will undoubtedly bring about more qualified leads and the acquisition of new patients. Whether you have a way to book appointments online or patients need to call your offices, an effective SEO strategy will lead to more patients.
Increase Patient Reviews and Engagement
It’s no secret that more people write reviews when they are angry or upset than when they have a good experience – unless it was a truly great experience! It’s on you to provide that perfect surgical experience to your patients in order to see an increase in positive patient reviews.
As we mentioned above, be sure to respond to reviews (especially negative reviews) in order to manage your online reputation.
For more engagement, use social media to spread the word. In addition to optimizing your website, you should also use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to promote your surgical practice. Make sure to post interesting and informative content that potential patients will find useful.
Important Acronyms in SEO for Surgeons
SEO can be complicated and overwhelming, but there are some key acronyms that help explain it. Here are some important ones to know:
Search engine results pages are the pages that appear when you search for something on a search engine. The higher your site ranks on the SERP, the more likely people are to click on it.
Click-through rate is a metric that measures how often people who see your site on the SERP actually click on it. A high CTR means that your site is relevant and appealing to searchers.
When it comes to SEO, you may have come across the term “YMYL”. But what does YMYL actually mean?
In short, YMYL stands for “Your Money or Your Life”. This acronym is used to describe websites that could potentially impact a person’s finances or wellbeing.
Some examples of YMYL websites include:
- Banking and financial institutions
- eCommerce websites selling products or services that could impact someone’s health or safety
- Government websites that provide information about benefits or services that people rely on financially
- Health and medical advice websites
Basically, any website that could have a significant impact on someone’s life would be classed as a YMYL website. And because of this, Google takes extra care when it comes to ranking YMYL websites in its search results.
Now that you know that surgery is considered YMYL, it’s important to make sure that your content is of the highest quality possible. This means ensuring that your website is well-researched, accurate, and trustworthy. Google wants to make sure that people are getting the best possible information from YMYL websites, so you need to make sure that your website meets these high standards.
The EAT acronym stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness”. It’s a set of guidelines that was first introduced by Google in 2014 as part of their Quality Raters Guidelines.
EAT is important for SEO because it’s one of the factors that Google uses to determine the quality of a website. A website with high-quality content and a strong reputation will rank higher in search results than a low-quality site.
To make sure your website has high-quality content, make sure to hire expert writers and editors. You can also build up your site’s authority by getting links from other reputable websites. And finally, work on building trust by being transparent about who you are and what you do.
EAT is a great acronym to keep in mind when thinking about how to improve your website for better SEO. By optimizing for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, you can send strong signals to Google that your site is high-quality and deserves a good ranking.
Keep these tips in mind as you work on improving your website’s content and reputation, and you should see some positive results in your search engine rankings over time.
DA / DR
There’s a lot of talk in the SEO world about “DA” and “DR.” But what do these terms actually mean?
DA stands for Domain Authority, while DR stands for Domain Rating. These metrics were created by Moz and Ahrefs, respectively, and they’re used to help measure the strength of a website’s domain.
Domain Authority is a score on a 100-point scale that Moz uses to predict how well a website will rank on search engines. The higher the score, the better the chances are that the website will rank high on SERPs.
Domain Rating, on the other hand, is a metric used by Ahrefs to measure the overall strength of a website’s backlink profile. A website with a strong backlink profile will typically have a high Domain Rating.
So, to sum it up, DA is a metric that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines, while DR is a metric that measures the overall strength of a website’s backlink profile. Both of these metrics are important when it comes to SEO, so make sure you keep an eye on them!
What Factors Affect Search Engine Rankings?
There are so many factors that contribute to medical websites’ ranking in Google search results that we could write an entire book on the subject. So, for this article, we’ve taken the most important things to consider when looking to optimize your medical website’s SEO.
Technical SEO Factors
There are a few different ways that page speed can affect your SEO.
First, Google uses site speed as a ranking factor. So if your site is slow, it could be negatively affecting your search engine rankings.
Second, slow sites can frustrate users and cause them to leave before they even get a chance to see what you have to offer. This not only hurts your chances of converting those visitors into customers or subscribers, but it also increases your bounce rate, which could further harm your SEO.
Finally, fast sites tend to rank higher in search results than slow ones simply because they provide a better user experience. And since one of Google’s main goals is to provide searchers with the best possible results, it only makes sense that they would give preference to faster sites.
Mobile devices are now responsible for over half of all web traffic worldwide.
Google (and other search engines) have taken notice and are now using mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in their algorithms.
In other words, if your website isn’t optimized for mobile, it’s going to be harder for people to find it in search results.
There are a few different things you can do to make sure your site is mobile-friendly:
- Use responsive design principles when building or updating your website. This means using code that automatically adjusts your site’s layout to fit the screen size of the device it’s being viewed on.
- Avoid using Flash or other technologies that are not supported on mobile devices.
- Use large font sizes and buttons, and make sure your content is easy to read and navigate on a small screen.
If you’re not sure if your website is mobile-friendly, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to check. Just enter your URL and click “Analyze” – in a few seconds, you’ll get a report telling you what needs to be fixed.
Crawlability is one of the most important factors in SEO. If a site can’t be crawled, it can’t be indexed, and if it can’t be indexed, it can’t rank. There are a few things that can affect crawlability, such as broken links, duplicate content, or robots.txt files. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors and how they can affect SEO.
Broken links are one of the most common issues that can affect crawlability. When a link is broken, it means that the server cannot find the page that you’re trying to link to. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as the page being moved or deleted. When this happens, the search engine will be unable to follow the link and will stop crawling the site. This can have a negative impact on SEO as it can prevent the search engine from indexing the site.
Duplicate content is another issue that can affect crawlability. Duplicate content is when there is more than one version of a piece of content on the internet. This can happen when a website republishes someone else’s content, or when there are multiple versions of a page on a single website. When this happens, it can be difficult for the search engine to determine which version is the original and which ones are duplicates. This can lead to the search engine only indexing one version of the content, which can hurt SEO.
Robots.txt files are another factor that can affect crawlability. Robots.txt files are used to tell the search engine which pages on a website should be crawled and which ones shouldn’t. If a website has a robots.txt file that is set up incorrectly, it can prevent the search engine from crawling the site properly. This can have a negative impact on SEO as it can prevent the site from being indexed properly.
Including plenty of internal links throughout your posts and pages is a great way to improve the crawlability of your site. When publishing new content, always be on the lookout for internal linking opportunities.
On-Page SEO Factors
Title tags are one of the most important elements of SEO, yet they’re often overlooked. A title tag is the piece of text that appears in the search results when someone searches for a keyword or phrase.
The title tag is what tells search engines what your page is about, and it’s also what shows up as the clickable link in the search results. That means that your title tag can have a big impact on your SEO – if it’s well-optimized, it can help you rank higher in the search results.
Here are a few tips for optimizing your title tags:
- Use relevant keywords: Include relevant keywords in your title tags to help tell search engines what your page is about. Including keywords such as ‘orthopedics’ or ‘orthopedic surgeons’ in your titles will help get the right users to your website.
- Keep it short and sweet: A title tag should be 50-60 characters long, including spaces. Google will truncate titles that are too long, which could result in lost meaning.
- Make it unique: Each page on your website should have a unique title tag.
By following these tips, you can help improve your website’s SEO by optimizing your title tags.
While there are a lot of different factors that affect your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), heading tags can be one of the most important. Heading tags help search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your content, making it easier for them to index and rank your pages.
There are six different levels of heading tags, from the H1 tag to the H6 tag. The higher the number, the more important the heading is considered to be. For example, your page’s title would typically be an H1 tag, while a subheading would be an H2 tag. Need another subheading? Use H3 next, and so on.
There should only ever be one H1 tag per page or post, and this should be essentially the same as your title.
Using heading tags correctly can help improve your SEO by making your content more accessible and easy to read for both users and search engines. When used properly, they can also help break up your content and make it easier to read, improving your SEO ranking.
However, it’s important to not overuse heading tags, as this can actually harm your SEO. Too many headings can make your content seem disorganized and difficult to read, which can lead to lower Google rankings.
A meta description is a short summary of a page’s content. It appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs) under the page’s title. Meta descriptions are meant to give users an idea of what the page is about so they can decide whether or not to click through it.
Meta descriptions don’t directly affect a page’s ranking in the SERPs. However, they are important for driving traffic to your website. A well-written meta description can make all the difference in getting people to click through to your site instead of your competitor’s.
Not sure how to write a great meta description for a healthcare site? Check out our guide.
Search engine optimization is the process of making sure your site can be easily found by search engines. One important part of this process is using alt text, which is a description of an image that appears on a web page. This text helps search engines understand what an image is about, and it can also help people with visual impairments understand the content of a page.
Search engines can’t see images, so they rely on alt text to understand what an image is about. That means that your image’s alt text is important for both accessibility and SEO.
When writing your alt text, be sure to:
- Keep it short and descriptive
- Include relevant keywords
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Make it human readable—avoid jargon and abbreviations
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your images are accessible and optimized for search engines. In turn, this can help improve your site’s overall SEO. So don’t forget to add alt text to all of your images!
Content strategy definitely has an effect on SEO. The main goal of content strategy is to create valuable, relevant, and consistent content that appeals to your target audience and helps them achieve their goals. When you have a solid content strategy in place, your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) are much greater.
SEO can be greatly affected by a site’s content strategy–or lack thereof. Content strategy is the process of planning, creating, publishing, and managing relevant content with the goal of attracting and engaging target audiences.
A site that doesn’t have a content strategy is likely to produce low-quality, inconsistent content that does little to nothing to attract and engage its audience.
On the other hand, a site with a strong content strategy in place is more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), engage its audience, and achieve its business goals. So if you want to improve your SEO, start by developing a strong content strategy.
When it comes to SEO, quality trumps quantity every time. That’s why having a solid content strategy and subsequent content marketing plan is so important—it ensures that all of your content is high-quality, relevant, and consistent.
Keyword research is important for a few reasons. It helps you determine which keywords are most relevant to your business and audience, it allows you to gauge how difficult it will be to rank for certain keywords, and it provides insight into the competition. It can also help in the content marketing efforts of healthcare practices.
But how does keyword research actually affect your SEO? Let’s take a look.
When you conduct keyword research, you are essentially creating a list of words and phrases that you want to rank for in search engines. These are the terms that people are searching for when they need information or products that your business offers.
By understanding which keywords are most relevant to your business, you can then start optimizing your website and content around those terms. This means using the keywords in your titles, in your meta tags, in your headings, and throughout the body of your content.
By optimizing your website for these relevant keywords, you are more likely to show up on search engine results pages (SERPs) when people search for those terms. And the higher you rank in SERPs, the more traffic you are likely to get to your website.
If you’re new to keyword research, you can start with Google’s Keyword Planner. Semrush and Ahrefs are other popular tools used for keyword research, but these require paid subscriptions.
So, as you can see, keyword research is a very important part of SEO. When conducting keyword research, you want to target keywords that have a decent search volume (this is less important for newer sites), achievable keyword difficulty, and high relevancy to your users.
Off Page SEO Factors
One of the most important factors in SEO is your backlink profile. This refers to the number and quality of links pointing back to your website from other websites. A strong backlink profile can help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), while a weak one can harm your SEO efforts.
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to your backlink profile. First, the more high-quality links you have, the better. Second, try to get high-quality backlinks from a variety of different websites, as this will show search engines that your site is popular and well-linked-to. Finally, avoid link farms and other low-quality websites, as these can actually hurt your SEO.
Looking for ways to get high-quality backlinks to your medical website? Check out our guide.
Competition is a good thing. It keeps us on our toes and forces us to be better. But how does it affect SEO?
The answer is: it depends. If your competition is doing something that you’re not, then they have the advantage. For example, if they’re using keyword-rich titles and descriptions, while you’re not, then their pages are going to rank higher than yours for those keywords.
But if you’re both using the same techniques, then it comes down to who’s doing it better. In other words, it’s a matter of quality over quantity. So if you’re writing better content than other doctors or surgeons, then your pages are more likely to rank higher in the search results.
Ultimately, the best way to beat your competition is to provide the best user experience possible. If your visitors are happy with what they find on your site, they’re more likely to come back and tell their friends about it. And that’s good for business – no matter what industry you’re in.
Another way to use your competition to get an edge in search rankings is to see what keywords they are ranking for that you are not – then, write a blog post targeting that keyword, making the article better than theirs!
Local SEO for Surgeons
Local SEO is important for any business that wants to be found online, but it’s especially important for medical practices. That’s because patients are often searching for doctors and other healthcare providers in their local area.
If you want your medical practice to be found by potential patients, you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to optimize your website for local searches. Here are a few tips:
- Claim your listing on Google My Business. This is a free listing that allows you to control how your practice appears in Google Maps and local search results.
- Make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) information is consistent across all of your online listings. Inconsistent NAP information can confuse potential patients and hurt your chances of being found in local searches.
- Optimize your website for local keywords. Include city and state names in your titles, tags, and other content to signal to search engines that you want to be found by people in your area.
By following these tips, you can make sure your medical practice is visible to potential patients who are searching online. Local SEO is an important part of any healthcare marketing strategy.
Google’s Local Pack
Google’s Local Pack is a great way to get your business noticed by potential customers in your area. It allows you to list your business in the local search results, which makes it easier for people to find you. Plus, it gives you the chance to showcase your products or services in a more visible way.
If you’re not familiar with Google’s Local Pack, it’s basically a section of the search results that shows businesses near the person who is searching. So, if someone is looking for a medical practice in their area, they might see a list of nearby medical practices in the Local Pack.
It includes the business name, phone number, website, hours, reviews, and other basic information as well as its location on Google Maps and Google My Business profile.
Google’s Local Pack is a great way to improve your website’s SEO. By appearing in the Local Pack, you can increase your visibility in search results and get more traffic to your website. Additionally, the Local Pack can help you rank higher in search results for certain keywords. If you’re looking to improve your website’s SEO, appearing in the Local Pack is a great way to do it.
Local Sites & Directories
If you want to give your surgical practice a boost in the search engines, consider adding it to some local directories and sites. This can be a great way to get more exposure for your business and attract new patients.
There are many different ways to find local directories and sites where you can list your business. You can start by doing a simple Google search. Just type in something like “add business listings” or “local directories” and see what comes up.
You can also ask other businesses in your area if they know of any good places to list your business. And, of course, you can always ask your patients if they know of any good resources.
Once you’ve found a few good options, take some time to fill out your listing information. Be sure to include all the important details about your practice, such as your address, phone number, website URL, and a brief description.
As a bonus, most of these local directories will link back to your site. This doesn’t carry the same weight as a backlink, however, and is referred to as a citation. Citations give you an SEO boost, just not as much as a backlink.
How Much Does SEO for Surgeons Cost?
If you’re a surgeon, or you run a surgery, you might be wondering how much it would cost to invest in some SEO. After all, as a busy medical professional, you probably don’t have a lot of time to spare when it comes to marketing your business.
You can expect to spend somewhere as low as $500 or upwards of $5,000 per month depending on the size of your medical practice, your SEO goals, and how big your marketing budget is if you decide to outsource your SEO.
Eliminate the Need for Traditional Advertising
SEO can be a more effective and efficient way to market your business than traditional advertising. Traditional advertising methods can be costly, and often require a lot of guesswork to determine whether or not they are reaching your target audience.
SEO allows you to target your audience more precisely, and track the results of your marketing efforts much more easily. In addition, SEO is less expensive than many traditional marketing techniques, making it an attractive option for small businesses and startups. Finally, SEO provides long-term results that continue to grow as you continue to invest in it, whereas traditional advertising generally has only short-term effects.
For these reasons, SEO can be a great way to eliminate the need for traditional advertising methods.
Is SEO for Surgeons Worth It?
There’s no doubt that SEO can be a powerful tool for surgeons looking to attract new patients. But is it worth the time and effort? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons.
SEO can be an effective way to reach potential patients who are actively searching for surgical procedures online. And since organic search results tend to get more clicks than paid ads, it can be a cost-effective marketing strategy as well.
On the downside, SEO can be a bit of a guessing game. It can be difficult to know which keywords to target, and it takes time and patience to see results. There’s also no guarantee that your website will rank higher than your competitors — even if you’re using the same keywords.
So, is SEO for surgeons worth it? Ultimately, the decision comes down to your individual needs and goals. If you’re looking for a long-term, cost-effective way to reach potential patients online, SEO may be a great option for you. But if you’re short on time or patience, you may want to consider other marketing strategies instead.
Should You Outsource Your Surgical SEO?
If you’re looking to improve your website’s medical SEO, then consider working with an SEO consultant experienced in working with healthcare websites. They will be able to help you identify opportunities for improvement and implement strategies that will help boost your visibility in relevant searches and SEO rankings.
Benefits of Hiring a Medical SEO Company
Improve Rankings in Search Engines
Hiring a professional medical SEO company will undoubtedly help you climb the rungs of the search engine ladder. A company or agency that is well versed in both the medical industry and the digital marketing industry can do a world of wonders in helping your medical websites rank higher.
Time To Focus On Other Aspects of Your Medical Practice
Let’s be real – you’re a surgeon. You probably do not have the time to spend studying healthcare marketing trends or analyzing your website traffic. By outsourcing your own SEO to a capable medical marketing agency, you can better allocate your time and energy to more important matters for your surgical practice.
Experience & Expertise
Similar to what we’ve stated above, after spending so many years in college, medical school, in a surgical residency, as an attending, Et. Cetera, you probably did not have the time to also become an expert in search engine optimization.
By outsourcing your healthcare SEO needs, you put the fate of your medical websites in the hands of experts, people who have sufficient expertise to help you rise in the rankings.
Continuous Monitoring of Results & ROI
An SEO agency continuously monitors ROI and rankings to ensure that its clients are getting the best possible results from their campaigns. This allows them to make necessary adjustments to improve performance and keep costs down. By tracking these metrics, an SEO agency can provide valuable insights into a campaign’s effectiveness and help identify areas for improvement.
Additionally, monitoring ROI and rankings can help an SEO agency troubleshoot issues with a campaign and determine whether changes need to be made. Ultimately, continuous monitoring of ROI and rankings is essential for an SEO agency to deliver quality results to its clients.
Stay Ahead of the Competition
There are a few key ways that a provider of SEO services can stay ahead of your competition. The first is by keeping up with the latest trends and algorithm changes. Google is constantly changing its algorithms, and if an SEO agency isn’t keeping up with those changes, they’re going to fall behind.
Another way an SEO agency can stay ahead of its competition is by being proactive instead of reactive. A lot of agencies wait for their clients to come to them with problems or issues, but the best agencies are always one step ahead, anticipating problems and offering solutions before they even arise.
If you’re a surgeon who’s looking to reach more patients and rank higher in Google search results, you need to incorporate SEO into your medical marketing strategy. SEO is becoming more and more relevant in the healthcare industry, and a great way to get new patient appointments. In order to reach prospective patients in the digital space of 2022, you need an effective SEO campaign for your surgical practice.
Although the benefits of SEO for surgeons are clear, it’s important to partner with an experienced team like Vine Digital who can ensure that your campaign is executed flawlessly and delivers results. If you’re interested in learning more about our surgeon SEO services or want to get started today, contact us at Vine Digital today. We would be happy to help!