5 Elements of SEO for Doctors for Getting New Patients

SEO for doctors can help get new patients to your practice.

Have you ever been discouraged when your competitors rank higher on Google search results? Ever wondered what your medical practice can do to get more new patients?

SEO for doctors and healthcare professionals may just be the marketing strategy you need.

Reach Your Target Patients with Strategic SEO for Doctors and Medical Practices

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To drive more leads and increase your conversion rates, your practice’s marketing strategy should focus on incorporating SEO strategies for doctors and healthcare professionals.

Doctors and healthcare specialists are becoming progressively more aware of the value of the internet and utilizing search engine optimization when marketing their clinic or medical practice.

Since it can substantially increase revenue, getting to the top of Google’s search results is something almost every healthcare professional should aim for.

Dr. John Hibbitts, MD FAAOS Orthopedic Surgeon | Sunnyvale Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Center

In today’s post, we’ll cover what you need to know about SEO for doctors, emerging trends in this marketing strategy, and how local medical practices can increase their Google search results rankings.

What Is SEO for Doctors, and Why Do I Need to Know About It?

Search engine optimization is a multi-step marketing process. Its primary goal is to enhance your online presence to achieve the following:

  • Give your medical practice more visibility in relevant online search results.
  • Increase organic website traffic.
  • Drive highly qualified leads for your practice.
  • Boost your ROI.

You’ve probably heard many times that SEO for doctors is an essential tool in your digital marketing arsenal.

But do you know how healthcare SEO works?

Perhaps you have a basic comprehension of what it entails. However, you may not have a solid understanding of this multifaceted process. You can certainly hire the services of SEO consultants to do it all for you. But to successfully run your medical practice, it would be advantageous to have a firm grasp of this vital marketing concept.

SEO is an intricate and multifaceted digital marketing process composed of several elements.

Knowing these elements and how they work and relate to each other is key to learning the importance of SEO.

In a nutshell, SEO for doctors is vital because it makes websites for medical practices more visible. Increased visibility means more website traffic.

SEO for medical professionals is composed of different elements.

More traffic is equivalent to more opportunities to convert leads into new patients.

Furthermore, SEO for healthcare professionals and doctors is an indispensable strategy for increased brand awareness, positioning yourself as an authority and credible expert in your medical field, and building meaningful relationships with potential and existing patients.

Here are the crucial elements you need to know about SEO for doctors and why it is necessary to succeed in today’s digitally-driven world.

Elements of SEO Marketing for Doctors


In SEO, keywords are the words, terms, and phrases people use to find content on the internet. As business owners, we use keywords to reach, connect, and engage with prospects looking for the products and services you offer.

In the early days of SEO, researching the right keywords and repeating them as often as possible throughout your website and meta tags was the only strategy that mattered.

While keywords are still a crucial SEO element, the keyword research and integration process has since developed. Today, in order to be highly effective, the keywords you use must be extremely well-researched, deliberately chosen, and carefully used in your content.

One of the services a professional SEO company offers is keyword research.

However, as a medical professional and expert in your field, you can certainly give insight on healthcare keywords that your ideal patients would use to look for your services.

Patients look for medical providers online.

Working together with your SEO consultants will generate content that will bring the right prospects to your medical website at the right time.

The best medical and healthcare keywords for your local medical practice don’t always mean the terms most people search for online.

In order for your SEO for doctors project to be effective, you should target keywords and phrases that will reach the right prospects, in the right place, at the right moment.

These healthcare keywords must have the following attributes:

  • Specific to your practice and community. Medical keywords are very broad and general. For instance, a keyword like “physical therapy” or “dentists” will be extremely difficult to rank at a national level. Also, these keywords will tend to have search results already taken over by national organizations that your local practice can never or shouldn’t compete with.
  • Relevant to the patients you’re trying to reach. The healthcare keywords and phrases prospects search for online can differ extensively from one area to another. Thus, seasoned SEO strategists will perform comprehensive keyword research and local SEO strategies. This looks into the specific data of your target market.
  • Applied with thoughtful deliberation. To succeed in SEO for doctors, the relevant keywords must be implemented and used sufficiently. Experienced SEO strategists work with medical website developers, and writers know how to apply these keywords deliberately for your website to rank high in Google search results.

Ultimately, your goal is to make your website truly valuable to the users who searched using those keywords. For instance, someone searching for your medical specialty, say “dermatologist + your location,” wants to find out about your offered services, clinic staff, and expertise.

If your dermatologist website design and content don’t show or talk about what prospects are searching for, your site is not likely to rank for a medical specialty-focused search.


Content is a fundamental component of SEO for doctors and healthcare professionals. This is the vehicle you use to connect and engage your target market. Knowing your content angle and approach that your prospects need is essential.

For instance, if you are a psychologist and want to increase the online visibility of your psychology practice website, you can post a series of blogs about the benefits of psychotherapy, navigating life stressors, or evaluating cognitive strengths and weaknesses or intellectual skills, personality characteristics, etc.

When a prospect looks for psychologists offering psychotherapy or talk therapy sessions near them, your website or blog post would show up. You’d be able to build a connection with that prospect by offering them valuable information.

The idea is that when the time comes that a patient is looking to book their first therapy session, you’d be the first psychology practice that came to mind after reading your blog.

Content is a crucial element of SEO.

To please today’s modern consumers, your medical website content must be informative but also engaging, relevant, and compelling.

Content comes in several different forms, including:

  • Website content
  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • How-to guides
  • Infographics
  • Webinars
  • Case studies
  • Social media content
  • E-books
  • And more

Off-Page SEO for Doctors

This element of SEO includes optimization tactics that take place outside of your medical website – rather than within it.

Common off-page SEO techniques include backlinks building, increasing social media engagement, and boosting branded searches.

Off-page SEO for doctors aims to position your healthcare website as a valuable, trustworthy, authoritative, and high-quality online resource. Hence, you show up at the top of relevant search queries.

Local SEO for Doctors

60% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices with local intent. Thus, local SEO for doctors is becoming progressively more essential.

Hire the services of professional local SEO consultants to help grow your local business.

Let’s say you own a family medicine clinic in Austin, Texas. Local SEO, when done right, would ensure that when prospective patients in your area are looking for family doctors near them, your site is one of the family medicine websites they’ll see on a Google search results page.

Aside from using relevant and local healthcare keywords, other proven local SEO tactics include the following:

  • Claim and verify Google My Business listing and Google Maps.
  • Create location-specific web pages.
  • Encourage your patients to post feedback on review sites and respond to the reviews.
  • Ensure you list the most accurate information about your practice, such as location, phone number, and clinic hours.
  • Optimize citations and online directories to ensure all your information is authentic and consistent.

Search Engine Marketing for Medical Professionals

Nowadays, the internet is the ultimate source for all the things we need to know, do, buy, or learn.

Most consumers (including your prospective patients) would turn to a search engine – Google in most cases – and type in a question or search term whenever they have a question or are looking for something.

When consumers hit “search,” they expect to get the most accurate or direct answer to their query.  

Use search engines to market your practice.

Google and other search engines continue to enhance the value and worth of their search results.

They always want to present relevant websites and ads that match users’ queries, so they come back for more searches.

Experienced and professional search engine marketing companies for doctors and medical practices follow best practices to optimize your healthcare website and online ads for doctors.

The goal is to have an improved online presence by appearing in the top search results of keywords that matter to your medical practice or specialty.

Understanding the Importance of SEO for Doctors

Search engines and the internet have come a long way. And if you don’t take the necessary steps to keep up with internet and search engine marketing trends, you lose the opportunities to reach and engage new patients.

Your medical website will pay the price when you have improper link structure, insufficient backlinks, duplicate pages, slow-loading web pages, or coding errors.

Hiring a team of seasoned SEO strategists for healthcare professionals can provide the best results for your medical practice’s website.