Wondering how to use SEO for local medical private practices? This SEO case study will tell you how SEO can increase your organic traffic by 310%. Let’s look at how we used SEO on a local acupuncture clinic.
Knowing how to use SEO is important for your medical clinic. It was found that the “#1 organic result is 10 times more likely to receive a click compared to a page in the #10 spot” [Backlink].
Although ranking on the first page is great, the ultimate goal is always to rank in the top 3 search results for as many popular search terms as possible.
In this case study, we are about to tell you how we were able to increase organic traffic for a local acupuncture clinic by 310% in just three months and beat out other local acupuncturists in Irvine.
How did we do it?
As a local health care practice, you can do what we did. It was all done by using SEO and getting the clinic’s service pages to rank #1 in the search results.
Here Are Just Some Keywords That We Ranked #1 For:
Want to become one of our successful clients?
Where did we start for SEO for the clinic?
When it came to where to start or what to work with, we started with what service pages the local acupuncture already had and what other services pages could be added.
Current service pages
When we started, the acupuncture practice already had a couple of service pages. They were pages on services that were highly searched for such as anxiety, back pain, fertility, weight loss, knee pain, headaches, etc. However, they weren’t ranking highly yet. We built on those, increasing the rankings for those. We also listed out what other highly searched keywords that the practice wasn’t currently ranking for.
Check page rankings
After listing out all the current pages, we needed to see the performance or rank of each of those services pages. There are two ways that this can be done.
The first way is to search for them on Google or any other search engine.
Before we updated knee pain, we searched for the service page and found that the page ranked 4th in the search result. But, there were other service pages that we couldn’t find even when we searched for them. That’s why the second option gives you a better picture of all page performances.
The second option is to use an SEO tool. We used a SERP keyword tracker and put the keywords that were associated with each of the service pages. We made sure to put localized keywords so we only got clinics in our area. In this format: “acupuncture [service] [city]”. For example: “acupuncture knee pain irvine”.
After a day for the SERP tool to rank our service pages, we were able to see the ranking of knee pain and how it fluctuated.
Note: The drop in ranking in the example below is a common process of search engines where they are testing where a page should be ranked. If you see this, don’t panic. Wait for it to stabilize. Google is just a/b testing out pages against other pages that are currently ranking to see which is better. If your page is truly better, it’ll jump back up just like our page did in the image below:
Once we knew the ranking of each page, we were able to determine which pages needed to be focused on. Pages who were already on the first page but not rank #1 were the highest priority and the other pages were secondary.
This is because increasing the rank of a page by one position can significantly improve organic traffic. It was found that on average, moving up 1 spot in the search results will increase click-through rate (CTR) by 30.8% [Backlink].
What can you add to these pages?
Knowing what current pages needed to be focused on is helpful but it comes with another question.
What do we need to add to those pages for them to rank higher?
There are two ways to determine what to add to your service page. We’ll go more in-depth in another section but here are two things you can try.
The first one is to look at your competitors especially the ones that are ranking higher than you. If they are ranking higher than you for a specific keyword, you need to find out what they’re doing and apply it to your pages.
The second way is to do intensive keyword research and create a more optimized service page that will beat your fellow local healthcare practitioners’ pages.
Need to know how your pages are ranking and what to do about it? Book a free audit now and start ranking your pages!
Potential service pages
After knowing the current pages you can work with, there are some potential services pages that you can create and optimize to help increase new users. List out all the services you provide.
Know your services
Each service you provide can be turned into a service page that can get more users to your website and as a result, get more people booking appointments.
For example, if you’re a local therapist trying SEO, you can create and optimize pages for the wide range of treatments you provide. Ie: if you do marriage counseling, you would have a marriage counseling service page.
So here we created a service list for the services the clinic provides:
From this list, we then create a unique service page for each of the services on the list.
Don’t know where to start? Book a free strategy session now and begin optimizing your pages!
Keyword research for medical services
Once a list was created, we began the first thing and most important thing in SEO. It’s keyword research.
For each service page, there needs to be a main keyword to rank for. Typically, it should be a specific service you provide. However, finding a main keyword to use requires looking into both search volume and search difficulty.
For us, we focus on a main keyword that has the format of “[service] [industry]”. This format had both a good search volume and low search difficulty depending on the specific condition being treated.
Once we had our main keyword, we made sure to include the exact keyword throughout our page.
For other medical professions, you can follow a similar format or try another format that has both good search volume and low search difficulty. In one example, a local dentist had a service page that has a main keyword of “orthodontic treatment”.
Wondering why your pages aren’t ranking? Call our SEO experts now and start ranking #1!
Which keywords should you also include?
Adding specific keywords multiple times like orthodontic treatment can help the page rank but other things need to be added for the page to rank.
The biggest thing to add is a location keyword. As a local clinical practice, you would want only people nearby to see your pages because they are more likely to make an appointment than someone out of the city.
Extra: One other thing you can try so people find your medical practice locally is to embed Google My Business Maps. We have a guide that can help you do that and get people to find you locally.
What are people searching for?
The next thing to consider is what people search for because each person searches differently. One case could be that some people might know a different variation/synonym for the keyword. One example is tendonitis versus tendinitis. Although they are the same medical condition, one is searched more.
So in this example, you would focus on tendonitis as the primary keyword and tendinitis as the secondary keyword.
Because of this, you should take into consideration all variations of the keyword so you can rank for all them but are practically the same word.
In our case, we had a condition called temporomandibular joint dysfunction. We made sure to base the main keyword on the keyword variation that had searched the most which was TMJ. However, we made sure to also include variations like TMJ disorder, TMD, temporomandibular joint, and temporomandibular disorders.
By doing this, we were able to rank for both TMJ and TMD and get the search traffic from both searches. Although it doesn’t double the amount of traffic because they don’t have the same search volume, it’s the same amount of traffic rather than investing more time to create two separate pages for the same medical condition.
What should people know?
Adding things that people should know is good for getting related keywords called LSI keywords. We will discuss it more in another section.
But, if you put stuff in your service pages that people should know, it’s also good for the user experience (UX). Improving UX helps increase SEO value and increase the chance of a user responding to a call-to-action (CTA) like making an appointment.
For our case study, we made sure to include information on the treatment process. This helped build trust and help users know how the treatment works. As a result, it increased the chance of getting more appointments.
Here is an example of what we did:
What do your competitors have?
One other way to beat your fellow doctors in SEO is to do what your fellow doctors are doing but better. For example, other acupuncture clinics had what research said about acupuncture treating a specific condition.
However, they only put the conclusion of the research. To beat them at their own game, we made sure to be more precise about what happened in the study. This helps build more trust in the effectiveness and safety of the treatment but it also adds additional LSI keywords that help us rank higher.
Optimizing Current Pages
Now is time to apply the keyword research you did and optimize your current pages. Here are some things we also did after we did our keyword research.
Increasing word count (Content)
Sometimes all it takes to rank higher than a fellow clinical website is to simply add more words or content. But, you shouldn’t simply add any content. It needs to be relevant.
In our case, one of our service pages was not ranking as high as pages similar to it. After looking at other pages that were beating our service page, we found that they had more content. As a result, we use our keyword research and add more relevant content. We added a section of the most common questions for the treatment, location keyword, and more of the main keywords.
As a result, the page ranking began to climb and eventually ranked number one. This helps get more patients for that specific medical condition.
Here is the page ranking that we optimized
Note: If you do increase the content, make sure you add a call-to-action (CTA) throughout the page. Although it will rank number one, they still need to get users to book or call for an appointment.
Adding LSI keywords
We talked about LSI keywords in a previous section but what are they? You can think of them as relevant or related keywords. These are keywords that help search engines determine what your pages are about. The more relevant the page is to a topic, the more it is likely to rank for a specific topic.
For example, if you are an optometrist and are trying to rank for “laser eye treatment”, you should include keywords like cornea, nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, glasses, contact, etc. Anything you believe is related to “laser eye treatment”, you should add it.
For the acupuncture clinic, we made sure to add terms that point towards a specific condition on each service page. Here is an example of some LSI keywords that we added to our digestion page.
By adding these LSI keywords to our digestion page, search engines know that this service page is talking about digestion problems and will put it in a higher position when people search for acupuncture treating digestion problems.
Stuck on optimizing your current pages? Book a free strategy session now and learn what needs to be done to optimize your pages!
Optimizing potential service pages
Although you may be busy with your current pages, there are still all the new potential service pages that you can create and optimize.
The importance of search engine result pages (SERP)
Similar to your current page, you have to optimize by adding keywords and more content. However, aside from the content of the page, you have to consider the search engine result pages, also known as SERP. This is what is seen when something is searched.
Here is an example of our SERP.
The next thing to consider when making new pages is duplicate content. This is bad because it can cause its pages to rank lower and in some cases, another page can start ranking for a specific keyword that another page is meant to rank for.
Some medical private practice can fall into a habit of repeating a certain format because it’s easier and saves time. For example, this clinic decided to repeat content to almost all its service pages instead of putting the time to make it unique.
Although it is easier to do what the practice did above, it is not helpful for your SEO and decreases the chance of being found on the first page of Google.
To make sure that didn’t happen to our pages, we put the time to make sure to give a different explanation of the treatment process instead of completely duplicating the explanation. Another thing we made sure to do is to differentiate similar topics like digestion from irritable bowel syndrome so they wouldn’t rank for each other and hurt each other’s SEO.
The last thing you can do to optimize your pages is to properly use alt tags. It may be a tedious thing to do, but it can do a lot for your SEO. This is because search engines love images but most importantly, you can include more keywords in your pages.
In our case, we made sure to add the main keyword and different variations of it. Here is one example where we put an alt tag in one of our images.
Need help optimizing your new service pages? Get first page results by calling for a free SEO consultation!
Keeping up with the rankings
After all the optimization, the next step is to check the rankings. Although it takes a while for the rankings to stabilize, it should be something that should be checked frequently.
Why use a SERP Tool?
Using a SERP tool to manage and monitor rankings can help know your page’s performance and how effective are the changes you are making.
When we were optimizing our pages, we used a SERP tool to look at our pages ranking. When we made a change, we checked if it was effective. If it wasn’t, we had to try something else. If it was effective, we did a similar strategy to other pages. Here is a service page for auto injuries that we monitored.
Another benefit is you can see when your service page rank went down. This means that your fellow local clinics may have decided to optimize their pages and rank their page higher.
Even though we rank number one on several pages, we still go back to make sure that they stay #1. If we find out that the rankings changed, we go back and optimize again retaining the flow of organic traffic.
If you are wondering what SERP tools you can use, here are some SERP tools to try:
Don’t want to pay for those SEO tools? Book a free audit and know your page performances!
Understanding page rankings
Knowing why you rank a certain rank is helpful. It means that you’re doing something right or there is something you need to do. However, there are some cases where it’s hard to rank #1, and just being top 3 is acceptable.
Some of the the reason why you might not rank #1 is because of directories or Yelp. Because these two are large directories sites, Google favors them over your typical website. And there really isn’t much you can do about it. Yelp will almost always rank above your site. This is why SEOs count excluding Yelp.
There are times when directories and Yelp can hinder you from being number one in the search results. However, it’s not impossible to beat. Although our service page for quitting smoking is outranked by a directory, we have several other pages that are number one and beating both Yelp and directories. Here is one example of use beating both yelp and a directory.
What can you do better?
If you find out that you are not in the top 3, that means there is room for improvement. You just need to go back and do some more keyword research. In some cases, you might have to see what your fellow doctors are doing on their practices’ websites.
It’s a continuous monthly process but the revenue gained from being #1 makes it well worth it.
Need to know how you can be #1? Talk with an SEO expert and find out what you can do better!
SEO is our secret sauce. It’s something we invested a lot of our time into doing well. As we continued to optimize or create each service page so each one ranked at least in the top 3 search results, we began seeing an increase in organic traffic. After three months, it increased by 310% from the time we started and the acupuncture practice is still seeing the effects of our SEO.
To go over everything we again, here is what we did to get these results:
- Decided where to start by looking at current service pages and brainstorming potential service pages.
- Did thorough keyword research to find which keywords to focus on and other keywords that need to be added
- Optimized current service pages by increasing the amount of content and by adding specific keywords called LSI keywords.
- Created and optimized new service pages by making sure they have the proper SERP format and that they weren’t duplicate content.
- Monitoring service page rankings to see what needs to be worked on and which pages are performing well.
With these steps, we were able to rank in search results pages and increase new patient flow. Also, it gave our local acupuncturist these additional benefits:
- Reject low paying insurances and insurance “mafia”.
- Get more cash patients
- Get more high revenue cases.
- Not worry about Yelp’s “mafia”.
- Not worry about paying to be in directories.
- Take more vacations without worrying about his practice failing.
- Take back control of his practice!
You can use these steps to increase your organic traffic and get more patients to your local clinic. Of course, these steps need to be adjusted depending on the type of local practice and your situation. But, I hope you can use these steps to help grow your medical practice and experience the benefits that our local acupuncturist gained using these SEO tactics.
Need help starting SEO for your local medical practice? Call now to receive a free consultation on using SEO to grow your clinic!