One of the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) is tailoring your site content to target specific kinds of patients. This process combines both science and art, and if you’re in a large city with a lot of other competitors, can be a full-time job keeping your site at the top of the search rankings.
What Type of Patient Do You Want?
The first step is to determine your audience: what kind of patient would you like see more of in your office? Do you want more general wellness patients? More auto injury cases? Children?
The type of patient you’re trying to attract is going to drive all of your online marketing. If you’re targeting whiplash patients, you’ll probably not going to want to spend a lot of time creating articles and blog posts on pregnancy and well-baby care. (It doesn’t mean that you can’t, and perhaps you wish to target many different kinds of patients. That’s OK, too.) If you really want to build a personal injury practice, you’ll be focused on creating content on topics relevant to auto injury patients.
Determine Your Competition
The amount of work that you’re going to have to do to rank well for your key target demographic is dependent (partly) on how many other chiropractors are trying to do the same thing. If you’re in a town of 10,000 people and there are two chiropractors in town…well, you probably already are ranking well and everyone in town already knows who you are.
If you’re in Seattle, however, with over hundreds of doctors, you’ve got your work cut out for you!
There are a few tools that can help you check out your competition. We use a few:
- SEMRush – One of our favorite tools. It can give you great information on all of the sites for particular search terms, information on how much people are spending on AdWords, and backlink information.
- SpyFu – Another great tool for competitive intelligence on what other chiropractors are doing.
- Moz.com – One of the most popular SEO tools out there, but a little overwhelming to use for the novice.
- BrightLocal – A great tool for checking your local search results and to see how you’re doing against other websites.
- RankWatch – Another good SEO tool that can help you track local Google+ results.
All of these tools are paid services, but you can get limited results with a free account for most of those. Try out all of those and see which one works best for you. We use all of these tools with our VIP Marketing service and provide our clients with monthly reports with the relevant information automatically.
Think Like Your Patients
Your patients are visiting your website to find a solution to a problem they have.
To develop your keyword strategy, think about the different ways that a patient might search for a solution to their problem. What kinds of phrases do you hear in your office? Any common questions that you get?
Depending on how competitive your search term is, you might not have to do much to rank highly for a specific phrase or you might have to dedicate an entire blog just to target a specific set of key phrases.
The number of keywords or phrases that you’ll need to target is also going to vary widely, depending on competition. For instance, if you’re trying to target auto injury patients in a large city, the keyword list is huge–over 270 keywords are found in the Google search results.
First, you’ll want to take your keyword research and organize it by the most popular search terms. You want to make sure that you’re hitting all of the different phrasings and wordings that people are searching for, and a spreadsheet with this information is very helpful. Being organized, you can record the date and URL of the posts you’ve made and then can use that information to see how you’re search ranking has changed over time.
Starting the Work
All of this research is just the basis of the real work of SEO: creating content. Content marketing is the foundation of a long-term SEO strategy, and that’s what we talk about here.