SEO is now one of the most popular marketing tools available to all doctors, and it has some of the best ROI.
However, it leaves many professionals confused as to how it works, and many don’t know where to even start. Fortunately, we can clear that up for you.
Let’s talk about the importance of plastic surgery SEO, how it works, and how a plastic surgeon marketing agency may help you!
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing the contents of your website (and individual pages) to rank on search engines such as Google. By using the proper keywords and following search engine guidelines, you can build a successful SEO strategy from the ground up.
The service which search engines provide is to offer the right content to users based on the keywords of their search and any context for search intent including location, previous search history, and more.
Essentially, you’re trying to build a website with quality content so Google can promote your site to relevant searchers. This has many benefits to any business, including plastic surgeons.
Why Plastic Surgery SEO Is So Important
There are plenty of reasons why SEO is important, but it’s becoming critical to compete in the medical field. Let’s explore why.
1. Building Organic Traffic
Organic traffic is the traffic you don’t have to pay for in the form of ads.
Search engine optimization is the easiest way to start building long-term organic traffic networks, which is better for building positive brand associations, conversion rates, and brand loyalty.
2. Diversifying Your Marketing Strategy
PPC ads and other strategies are great in the short term, but they are expensive long-term. Also, you may have to compete with the cost-per-click of each keyword you want to advertise.
With SEO, there’s no limit to the amount of traffic you can build off of each post.
3. Long-Lasting Results
The good news is the results achieved from SEO efforts tend to last for a long time. Ranking at the top of a Google search could boost your traffic for years to come without having to spend an extra penny on the specific page which is ranking.
4. Less Competition
While more businesses are catching onto the benefits of organic traffic, 70% of businesses still don’t have an SEO strategy. This means that there will never be an easier time to get ahead of your potential competitors.
5. High ROI
If you build a strong foundation for your strategy, your content marketing strategy will typically carry the wight over time. As a plastic surgeon and owner of your practice, you have the expertise to carry out a content marketing strategy in the form of a blog.
If you learn the ropes on video editing, graphic design, or any other niche, you can make any type of content you want, but a blog is the easiest for beginners.
6. Benefits to Plastic Surgery Marketing
Not only does SEO help build organic traffic, but it can also help improve conversion rates on your paid ads, email, and social media campaigns. How is that?
Well, since Google’s ranking factors are primarily related to the quality of your website, a well-executed SEO strategy will also have enormous benefits to your website’s usability. Keep in mind, your website is the center of your entire digital marketing strategy.
If you notice high bounce rates, low conversion rates, and low interactions with your site; an SEO strategy can make a world of difference. Helping you to retain users and build positive associations with your brand is key. This will ultimately help improve conversion rates and brand loyalty later on.
Where PPC ads trap you in an endless spending loop, SEO campaigns have a direct impact on all of your marketing efforts.
Understanding SEO for Plastic Surgeons
Before we discuss how to implement an effective SEO strategy, we want to avoid confusion on the topics we will discuss. Essentially, we will identify and discuss the pillars of an SEO strategy so you understand the functions they serve before we offer tips.
These factors can be broken up into two primary categories, namely on-page and off-page factors. However, in the on-page ranking factors, you’ll have both your website and content marketing. Here’s what you need to know.
Build a Strong Website
Your website is the home of your entire digital marketing strategy. It’s where you try to drive traffic from all of your marketing campaigns, so building a quality website is critical to success.
Google uses over 200 ranking factors to determine a page’s placement on a given search, and nearly all of them have to do with the quality of your website. From Google’s perspective, this makes sense.
It would reflect poorly on their service if users were consistently offered low-quality sites. People may finally switch to Bing!
For that reason, an SEO strategy has to start with a strong web design, which acts as the foundation upon which you build over time. Here’s how.
Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
Once your website is up to par, it has to be followed with content marketing. Most often, this is in the form of a blog, which has no startup costs and can easily develop in-house.
This content marketing seeks to answer the questions people will search for, driving new, organic traffic to your site. Remember, people search for information, far more than they do for specific doctors.
By offering this quality information, Google may present your content to the user who wants to search for it.
Conversely, without this information, how will anybody find your website without searching the name of your practice? Likely, they won’t.
In terms of off-page ranking factors, building backlinks is the most important aspect of your strategy. Backlinks are the links from other sites to yours, and they are Google’s way of determining your authority on a given topic.
For example, as a plastic surgeon, you don’t want to link your users to another plastic surgery service provider, so you’ll instead use the NIH and other government, nonprofit, and education resources.
Consequently, every time websites in the healthcare field link to those websites, they are offering some of their authority to those sites. Therefore, when the NIH posts a short article about plastic surgery, it’s likely to still rank ahead of an expert plastic surgeon’s expansive, long-form piece on the topic.
Google’s algorithm is great, but it doesn’t have a way to easily fact-check every piece of information, especially because the information is so diverse across the internet, so it relies on other websites to provide credibility to each site.
Moreover, websites looking to build an SEO strategy will need to include link building into their efforts for long-term success. It’s possible to rank without backlinks, but not in a competitive niche, especially if your practice operates in a major city with high competition.
How to Build an SEO-Focused Website
Again, your website is the foundation of your entire digital marketing strategy, and it’s critical to the success of your SEO efforts. Here are the best SEO practices for plastic surgery websites.
Many businesses are adopting the “mobile-first” strategy, which means optimizing your website for mobile devices primarily, as up to 70% of online traffic comes from mobile devices.
Google knows this fact well, and they prioritize websites with excellent mobile usability, especially for fast loading times and adaptive-fit page structures.
70% may also be an underestimate for the plastic surgery niche, as consumers are more likely to use personal devices rather than work devices. Businesses account for a large portion of desktop traffic, whereas average consumers are often accustomed to using their phones.
Focus on UX
User experience (UX) is the most important aspect of your website, and it includes:
- Navigation system
- Page loading times
- Linking structure
- Page structure
- Quality content
- User interface (UI)
The list goes on, but these are the most important aspects. A website geared primarily toward user-experience is exactly what search engines want to see. Consequently, UX and SEO go hand-in-hand.
How Plastic Surgeons Can Develop an Excellent Content Marketing Strategy
As a plastic surgery practice, there is no reason to buy content from content libraries. Again, you have the benefit of in-house experts who can consult or add excellent content to your strategy, which is a huge advantage over other industries. Here’s how you can get started!
1. Choose Your Medium
Without a doubt, a blog is the easiest content marketing medium to use. It’s easy to start, doesn’t cost anything, Google can easily index the content, and any expert in the field can write relevant blog content.
Now, if you want to stand out from your competition, you also have the option to create audio, video, infographic, or interactive content on top of or in place of your blog.
Think about how search engine results are structured. You typically have search ads on the top, organic written content below, then a carousel of either images or videos, maybe Google Shopping listings, and more blog results.
When was the last time you went to the second page of a Google search? Well, getting blog content into the top 5 has the most competition, so if you want to show up on the first page, standing out with a different type of content can certainly help you skip the line.
However, with a little patience and persistence, a blog can rank on the top page. Written content is also more likely to generate clicks, as most users are looking for fast answers.
Regardless, there are positives and negatives to every type of content, and there’s nothing wrong with diversifying. Generally speaking, you’ll still have to follow these next guidelines with a blog or any other type of content.
2. Find the Right Keywords
When conducting keyword research, start by brainstorming obvious keywords (“plastic surgery”, “cosmetic surgery”, etc.) and typing them into your favorite keyword research tools.
From there, you can find related keywords, which you should write down and prioritize based on search volume and competition (which will be listed on your search). To reinforce the comparisons, you can compare your keywords in Google Trends to see relative search volume.
Try to diversify the keywords you use as much as possible, and use target keywords throughout each article, but only when natural. Keyword stuffing will hurt your strategy.
Ideally, you want a list of both long-tail and short-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords like “botox” will have high search volume and high competition, but long-tail keywords like “do botox injections hurt?” will typically have the opposite. Diversifying will help you build short-term and long-term traffic.
If you manage to rank for a high-traffic short-tail keyword, there’s a good chance that one search could keep your practice running for years on its own.
However, the long-tail keywords will help you find the most relevant traffic, so don’t rule them out. Ranking for these can help you build your strategy from the ground up and show more immediate results.
Keep It Local
Especially for plastic surgery practices, using a variety of location-specific keywords can limit your competition and drive the best traffic for the highest conversions.
For example, using keywords like “plastic surgery near me” or “cosmetic surgery in Austin, Texas” will help narrow your searches. Google factors user location into search rankings, so specifying your location when possible can help drive the appropriate traffic to your site.
3. Develop Content in Advance
Google wants to see websites which upload content consistently, and it helps to have content ready in advance. We recommend building a small stockpile of content while building or rebuilding your website to have as backups.
By creating a consistent schedule of one to five posts a week, having some reserves will ensure you remain consistent, even if you find a time crunch during one week.
If you’re able to consistently upload content, you’ll demonstrate to Google you are an active website focusing on one specific niche (plastic surgery), which will help establish credibility.
4. Focus on Quality
Lastly, and most importantly, don’t neglect quality. Remember, you’re writing for users, not for Google.
If the quality of your content begins to slip, Google’s algorithm is rather unforgiving. Low-quality sites may find success in the short term, but the Google panda penalty is designed to limit those sites in the future.
With a niche like plastic surgery, you’re almost certain to have experts in the field who can write accurately about the topic, but there’s more to it than that. Linking internally within your website and externally to trustworthy sites (NIH, CDC, Harvard Med School, etc.) is also important.
More importantly, you need to be mindful about filler content. Filler content is content which does not serve a purpose within your preferred content, regardless of what that purpose may be. Not every word has to be dedicated to information about plastic surgery, but they have to belong where they are.
Remember, a 2,000-word article is better than a 500-word one, but only if those words are going towards proper usage. Otherwise, keep it concise and make every word count.
How to Build Links as a Plastic Surgeon
While it isn’t your first priority at the start, the sooner you start worrying about link building, the better. Here’s how to get started.
Grab the Low-Hanging Fruits
If you have affiliates in the area, try to work out a deal with them and link to each others’ sites. This is an easy way to start building backlinks, and the more that you have, the easier it is to earn more.
Build Directory Links
First, list your website on Google My Business and try to follow every prompt. Pictures, location, services, business hours, and more will help your strategy.
From there, try listing your practice on every other appropriate directory, especially in the plastic surgery niche, local directories, and anywhere else where you can easily add your profile.
Also, it’s important to remain consistent across these directories, especially involving your business address, website, and contact information. This will reinforce to Google that you are who you say you are and limit confusion.
While this won’t help establish authority in the same way as backlinks from other websites in similar industries, it will help Google find and index your site, and potentially build free traffic.
Promote Excellent Content
Buying links can hurt your strategy and lead to penalties, and Google’s algorithm is becoming far more sophisticated at figuring out which links were paid. As a result, for long-term SEO gains, nothing beats a strong website and great content, as this gives other websites a reason to link to your website.
While it will take time to develop, you will start noticing results with our linkbuilding strategies, and this will ensure the long-term health of your SEO strategy.
We focus on creating awesome linkable assets as well. Everything from a great infographic or to an excellent video on a plastic surgery procedure could serve as “link bait” for other websites!
Now that you know more about SEO and how to use it, you’re probably ready to get started. Here’s how to get the most out of your strategy at the beginning.
Set Realistic Goals
Now that we have an understanding of how to implement an SEO strategy for your practice, it’s time to start writing goals. We are 42% more likely to achieve goals that are written down, so make a list and stick to it.
Goals for the short term and long term are strongly encouraged, but it’s best to keep your feet on the ground. SEO takes time to build, so focus on ranking for the long-tail keywords in the first few months.
Realistically, even that can pose challenges in your first year. It takes the average SEO strategy anywhere from four to twelve months to come to fruition, but there are ways to speed up the process.
Unless you are willing to learn all of the ropes of technical SEO, web design, and more, there is no DIY substitute for a professional SEO strategy. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t help.
With the help of plastic surgery SEO services, you can build a strong foundation for your strategy and follow it up with your own high-quality content about your practice. This way, you can start building your content strategy while they handle the groundwork and you can start off on the right foot.
Also, you can read case studies to see how well an SEO company has performed with similar plastic surgery practices in the past. Then, you can get a general idea of the timeline and what to expect from your strategy!
When in doubt, leave it to a plastic surgery SEO marketing agency!
Build Your Practice Today
Now that you know how plastic surgery SEO works and how to start your strategy, why wait? SEO is a marathon, not a sprint, so the sooner you start, the better. Once your strategy takes off, you can sit back and watch your traffic grow!
Stay up to date with our latest digital marketing tips and feel free to get in touch with us today to learn more!