26 Mar What You Need to Know About Medical SEO

Medical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be part of every practice’s long-term medical marketing plan.

SEO is the ongoing practice of ranking higher on search engines including Google, Yahoo, Bing and even DuckDuckGo. The latter is a no-tracking search engine that has been showing a high rate of purchases completed from searches, indicating that searchers using it are typically more educated and ready to buy.

While many are not familiar with the daily process that is SEO, we are all familiar with the final result. You go to Google, in the company of 67% of Americans, and put in what you’re looking for. You then are about 75% likely to choose one of the top 3 search results that pop up. To be specific, the top 3 results get 75.1% of all clicks. It pays to be on top.


TRY THIS: Search a treatment or service that you love providing in a way that a patient would + your city (you don’t have to do this if you are physically in the city of your practice). For example, instead of “Ultherapy,” you would try “arm tightening.”

Are you showing up first, right under the ads like one of our clients above? That means your website is well-optimized for that treatment.

PRO TIP: Notice how we used a non-generic, but well-searched keyphrase to target a solution rather than the treatment itself. If you know Ultherapy, you know that it is mainly used for the facial and neck skin tightening, but is also effective for mild to moderate skin laxity in upper arms.

Targeting lower hanging fruit is just as important as going  for the main keywords, which will take longer to optimize due to higher competition. This is part of a medical SEO strategy that is key to achieving results that matter. For bigger keywords, it often makes sense to use Google Ads while your organic standing is being improved.



Unless you are looking to make Search Engine Optimization your full-time job, it is best to invest in a medical SEO company that gets results. Here are a few things we look at when starting an SEO project that you can get a head start on as well:

Medical Web Design

While it’s nice to rank high on Google, it doesn’t mean much if your website doesn’t convert into leads and ultimately, patients. Is your practice’s website designed and optimized to rank well and provide a user experience that facilitates conversions? If you are a practice that provides aesthetic services, does your website have the capability to sell non-invasive treatments?

In addition to running an analysis on your website’s ranking, we analyze HIPAA-compliant screen recordings of the visitor’s experience. By implementing neuromarketing, we are able to detect points of frustration, U-turns and not just where they leave your site (exit) but why. From there, we are able to help your site become better at its job of being a converter for the increased traffic it will see from our SEO work.

Finally, we want to make sure that your site has all the proper indicators for search engine crawlers to understand what your site is all about. We analyze the coding, tags and the originality of content to make sure that there isn’t anything that would put you on Google’s naughty list.

Online Reviews for Medical Practices

Search engines love reviews because it gives them a better idea of how active you are and how well you are perceived by customers. Review acquisition is not only about having 10, 5-star reviews, but search engines want you to be consistent about it. In the eyes of the search engines, if you get one 4 or 5-star review per week, it’s better than getting 10 reviews in one day, every six months.

For medical practices, you will want to go beyond Google, Facebook and Yelp, and into niche sites including Healthgrades and RealSelf, if you are an aesthetic practice. But asking for reviews X 5 is like pulling teeth – without anesthesia. There is also a chance that the patient seems really happy with the treatment but then develops some bruising, gets scared and writes you a 1-star, 5-paragraph review that tanks your ranking.

This is why SocialCow implements a HIPAA-compliant feedback-first system that automatically sends private feedback requests to your patients’ emails or phone numbers. If the feedback is positive, only then do your patients receive an invite to leave a public review on platforms of choice. This helps with both, consistency and ensuring that your ranking improves.


Google My Business

Google reviews are left on your Google My Business (GMB) listing. But Google also integrates with Healthgrades, Facebook and other review-generating sites as seen below.

If you have multiple practitioners in your business, be sure to have a Google My Business profile for each one.


Claim Them All

Listings are important to search engines and when it comes to medical SEO, there are plenty of listings to claim. Most importantly, make sure that all the practitioners in your practice have their Healthgrades claimed. Unlike Google, which allows you to manage multiple listings from one account, Healthgrades now (March 2021) requires each listing to be claimed by an individual account (unique email address).

Vitals is also becoming an increasingly important directory. Make sure you Google each physician’s name who is in your practice and add “Vitals” to find their Vitals profile. We find that 90% of profiles have incorrect information as they are automatically generated until you claim and correct them.


Understand How People Search For You

How people use search engines is changing, which means that how potential patients are finding you is also changing. The birth of voice-driven search receptors like Siri, Google Home and Alexa has shifted searches from the use of keywords to uses of key phrases.

Neuromarketing shows us that how people search while typing is significantly different from the way they voice their search. That alone adds an important layer to consider when doing keyword research for medical SEO.

Additionally, there are layers of search behaviors depending on which stage of the decision process the potential patient is at. The more stages you can meet them on, the more likely you are to win them over. This is where strategy meets SEO and links arms with content marketing for medical practices.

One of the best ways to see what your site is already being ranked for is by setting up your Google Search Console. It will help you better understand if your site is being found for searches you want and find topics for blogs and site content.


Produce Video Content

As a Google entity, YouTube is highly regarded in search rankings. The topics you produce from key phrase research and looking through your Google Search Console can help you come up with topics for videos. Keep in mind that “how to” videos are searched the most. For example, “how to lower my blood pressure” or “how to get rid of dark circles.”

Video also helps close the deal.  In addition to educating your audience, by showing face, you create a primal connection with the viewer. Our brains like what we can recognize and a human face is a quick connection. Your personality and approach is also more clear in a video, attracting ideal patients into your practice.


Know Your Numbers

It’s easy to pay someone to do SEO and think that you are climbing in the ranks. But if you can’t easily look up how many calls organic search generated or understand why some pages are converting while others aren’t, you are not playing the SEO game as intelligently as you could.

To implement science and deep analytics into your medical SEO strategy, schedule a consult with SocialCow here or call us at 917-423-7486.