Did you know that keyword research is perhaps the most important aspect of SEO?
With 77% of patients using online search prior to scheduling an appointment, ranking for the right keywords can make or brake your practice.
What Are Keywords?
In terms of SEO, keywords are the “search” queries that are used in search engines.
Keywords are important because they are the link between what patients are searching for (i.e. “OB/GYN in Atlanta”) and your practice.
It’s critical to use the exact keywords on your web pages if you want your practice’s website to rank well in Google.
For example, if you have a section on your website that reads:
“We are an OB/GYN practice that has been serving patients in Atlanta for 20 years…” you will likely not rank well when a patient enters: “OB/GYN in Atlanta” into Google.
As intelligent as Google search algorithms are, they are still looking for that specific keyword match when they generate the results.
So, a better way to rank for: “OB/GYN in Atlanta” would be to have the section read: “We have been a leading OB/GYN in Atlanta for 20 years…”
OB/GYN, OB GYN, or ObGyn. Aren’t They The Same?
According to Google, no.
Patients will get different results for each of these searches.
And just because a practice ranks for one of these variations, does not mean it will rank for all of them.
You will need to have a specific content strategy for all of the most used keywords and variations that patients may search for.
The Goal of Keywords
Ultimately, the goal of SEO for your practice is about getting the right visitors/patients to your website.
If you’re an orthopedic surgeon in Atlanta, it does no good to rank well for an “orthopedic” search in Miami.
To succeed in your Google rankings, spend some time figuring out what keywords patients are using to find practices like you.
Develop A List Of The Top 10 Keywords Patients Are Using To Find Your Practice Locally
I recommend writing down all of the keywords and phrases that you think patients are using to try and find your practice (this should be a lot more than 10).
Then, do some research to get an idea on how much volume each of those keywords or phrases have in Google on a monthly basis.
While you’ll get the best results from specific keyword research services, there are a couple of free options that you can use to get a “ballpark” idea such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool and Google Trends.