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SEO for Doctors: What is it and How Can it Help My Practice?

Written by Catherine Hales for Doctify

In the current digital landscape, there are three letters that are tossed around pretty often: SEO. But what do they even mean? Why are they important? And, most importantly, how can I use them to help my business?

So, we have decided to make things a little simpler for you.

First things first – what is SEO?

“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website or profile through organic search engine results.” This is a quote from Moz, a useful site that provides guidance for those wanting to learn a little more about traffic from search engines.

How does it work?

The most important thing to learn about optimising a website or a profile for SEO is that you are trying to make your site/profile the most useful and relevant it can possibly be for users.

For example, if someone wants to find a hairdresser in South East London who specialises in hair extensions, you want your Peckham Salon to come up on the first page of Google. In order to achieve this, you have to prove to Google that you are exactly what that person is looking for.

People who have searched for ‘South London hair extensions’ (we call these keywords’) need to click on your site, click through to a few different pages and then make a booking. If everyone who clicks on your website leaves it after five seconds, Google will know and the site will drop in the rankings.

The other thing that is incredibly important is to make sure other trusted websites link back to you or the site your profile is hosted on. This improves your authority and acts as a kind of seal of approval for Google.

Make Sure to Pick the Right Keywords

Make a list of keywords that you think people would search for when looking for your healthcare facility or services. Collaborate with other members of your team to make sure that this list is comprehensive.

You can then test them by searching each keyword phrase in Google’s Keyword Planner to see which phrases are being searched for but also have low competition from other people in your field.

When analysing these keywords, aim for keyword phrases with 200 to 10,000 local monthly searches. Once you’ve chosen which keywords to go for, begin incorporating them organically throughout the various relevant web pages on your website or on your profile.

According to Google, 77% of patients used search prior to booking an appointment hence why it is important to naturally incorporate the right keywords throughout your website/profile to let the search engines know what you are all about and allow more patients to find you.

Original Content is Key

Create original content for your website or profile to standout amongst your competition online, specifically in the search engines. This can be done through blog articles, for example.

“By educating your audience through quality content marketing, you’ll be able to highlight your value and expertise overtime, as well as gain rankings in the search engine.” – Referral MD

“Publish content like cases studies, blog posts, videos, interviews, photos, patient reviews, medical breakthroughs, conversations about the healthcare industry and to help drive more value to your website and increased use of relevant keywords on your website to aid in your search rankings”.

An excellent way to come up with quality content is to think of the most commonly asked questions by patients in your field. For example, if you were a podiatrist, maybe potential patients would be searching for information on “myths about bunion surgery” or “ways to protect their feet in the winter.”

Create content that answers these questions to help people find your website or profile. Doing this also helps to build your credibility and authority as an expert on the subject.

Use Social Media to Drive Rankings

Social media helps create a platform for two-way conversations between an business (healthcare, or otherwise) and a regular person. One of the uses of social media is to drive traffic to your website from a larger audience then you would normally be able to reach.

“In terms of SEO, Google and the other search engines take into consideration hundreds of factors when determining the quality of a web page. Social media is one of those factors taken into consideration.” – Referral MD

If a page on your website is shared across social media in an impactful way, then the search engines take this into account as a signal that that particular page on your website is quality information on your expertise.

Start simple when it comes to social media; utilize LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter to start building an audience and telling them about you and what you do.

When it comes to setting up your social media accounts for the first time, fill out as much information as you possibly can when it comes to the name, the bio, the description and every other section of each account to give the search engines as much information as possible to assist them in ranking your social profiles.

Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to the content your practice’s shares on social media. When you’ve got a small budget, limited time and personnel, put emphasis towards talking with your community on a one-to-one basis and joining in discussions online that fall inline with your expertise.



If you would like to further discuss all that Doctify can do for you in terms of SEO, please email me at