As the digital landscape continues to evolve, local search engine optimization (SEO) has become an essential part of any plastic surgeon’s digital marketing strategy. Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online presence to help your practice appear more prominently in local search results when prospective patients search for plastic surgery services in your area. By focusing on local SEO, plastic surgeons can attract more qualified leads, increase their online visibility, and ultimately grow their practices.
Implementing a strong local SEO strategy can benefit plastic surgeons in a variety of ways. First and foremost, it can help them connect with prospective patients in their local area, who are more likely to convert into actual patients. In addition, a local SEO strategy can help plastic surgeons build brand awareness, increase their online visibility, and establish their practice as a trusted authority in their local community.
Go get yourself a drink and maybe a little snack—we’re going to provide a comprehensive guide to local SEO for plastic surgeons. We’ll be covering everything from keyword research and on-page optimization to off-page optimization and tips for reputation management. We’ll discuss key differences between traditional SEO and local SEO, as well as provide tips and strategies for maximizing your local reach.
Whether you have a good understanding of plastic surgery SEO or you’re just getting your practice’s local presence off the ground, this guide will help you optimize your online presence and attract more, and better leads to your practice.
Understanding Local SEO for Plastic Surgeons
Having an understanding of local SEO is essential for plastic surgeons who want to attract more patients in their geographic area. Local SEO is simply the process of optimizing your website and online presence to improve your visibility in local searches. This means that when potential patients search for plastic surgery services in your area, your practice will, hopefully, be more likely to appear in the results pages (AKA SERPs).
The relevance of local SEO for plastic surgeons is that most people use search engines to find local businesses, including plastic surgeons. In fact, according to recent research, almost half (46%) of all Google searches are looking for local information. Optimizing your site for local SEO will help you tap into this market and attract more patients to your practice.
When it comes to local SEO, Google uses a unique set of ranking factors for local results. The most important local search ranking factors include proximity to the searcher, relevance of your business information, consistency of your business information (at least on major directories) and the prominence of your online presence.
Proximity to the searcher refers to the location of the person searching and how close they are to your practice. Google uses this information to deliver relevant local search results to the searcher based on their location.
The relevance of your business information refers to how accurately and comprehensively your practice’s information is listed online—and how well it meets what the searcher is looking for. This includes things such as your address, phone number, and hours of operation. This also applies to making sure you have the best category selected in your Google Business Profile and you have consistent business information listed across the major, relevant directories and websites (think Yelp, Healthgrades, Bing).
The prominence of your online presence is determined by the quantity and quality of the information about your practice online, including your website, directory listings, and social media profiles. You can think of prominence in this case as Google trying to determine how well known your practice is (based on the above factors).
The key differences between traditional SEO and local SEO for plastic surgeons lie in the focus and tactics used. While both have the same goal: ranking well; traditional SEO is more focused on improving the ranking of a website on a global level, whereas local SEO is focused on optimizing for location-specific keywords to improve the visibility of a website in a specific geographic area or in Google Maps. Traditional SEO tactics include link building, keyword research, and on-page optimization, while local SEO tactics also add-in building local citations, optimizing your Google Business Profile, and getting positive online reviews.
The key to success in local SEO is understanding and working to implement local search tactics that influence ranking factors of proximity, relevance, and prominence.
Keyword Research for Plastic Surgery Local SEO
Keyword research is a crucial part of any local SEO strategy, as it helps plastic surgeons identify the most relevant and valuable keywords to target in their online content. By targeting the right keywords, plastic surgeons can improve their search engine rankings and attract more qualified leads to their practice.
The importance of keyword research for local SEO is based on the reality that it allows plastic surgeons to understand the search terms and phrases that potential patients are using when looking for plastic surgery services in their local area. By understanding these search terms, plastic surgeons can create content that is optimized for these keywords, which can help them appear higher in local search results.
To identify the right keywords for plastic surgery practices, it’s important to focus on both the services you offer and the geographic area you serve. For example, if your practice specializes in breast augmentation and serves patients in Los Angeles, you might target keywords like “breast augmentation Los Angeles,” “breast implants in LA,” or “top breast augmentation surgeon in Southern California.”
To conduct keyword research for local SEO, follow these steps:
Brainstorm potential keywords: Start by brainstorming a list of keywords and phrases that are relevant to your plastic surgery practice and the services you offer. Think about the types of procedures you specialize in, the geographic areas you serve, and any other relevant factors.
Use keyword research tools: Once you have a list of potential keywords, use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner (you’ll need an Ads account setup), Ahrefs, SEMrush, or our favorite: Mangools KWFinder, to determine the search volume and competition level of your targeted keywords. These tools will also provide additional keyword ideas that you may not have thought of.
Analyze the competition: Research the keywords your competitors are targeting and how they are ranking for them. This can give you insights into what works well in your local area and help you identify new opportunities.
Choose your target keywords: Based on your research, select the most relevant and valuable keywords to target in your online content. Make sure to focus on keywords that have a high search volume and low competition level.
Incorporate your target keywords: Once you have identified your target keywords, incorporate them into your website content, blog posts, and other online marketing efforts. Be sure to use them naturally and avoid “keyword stuffing,” which can hurt your search engine rankings.
Conducting keyword research is a critical step in any local SEO strategy. By identifying the most relevant and valuable keywords to target in your online content, you can improve your search engine rankings, attract more qualified leads, and ultimately grow your practice.
On-Page Optimization for Local SEO
By optimizing your plastic surgery website content and meta data for local search, you’ll improve the site’s visibility in search engine results and attract more local traffic to their website.
On-page optimization allows plastic surgeons to communicate to search engines what their website is about and where they are located. This, in turn, helps search engines deliver more relevant results to users who are searching for plastic surgery services in their local area.
To optimize website content and meta data for local search, follow these tips:
Incorporate location-based keywords: Use location-based keywords throughout your website content, including your headlines, headings, body text, and title tags and meta descriptions. Be sure to use these keywords naturally and do not overuse them.
Include local contact information: Include your practice’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on every page of your website (you can add this in a footer or header section). Make sure that this information is consistent and accurate and matches your information on Google Business Profiles, directories and other platforms.
Create location-specific landing pages: If you have clinics in multiple cities or operate in different towns, create landing pages on your website that are specifically optimized for those local areas. These pages should include location-based keywords and information about your practice’s services in that area.
Optimize images and videos: Optimize images and videos on your website by using location-based file names and including alt tags that describe the image or video and its location. This can help improve your search engine rankings for local search terms.
Use structured local schema markup: Use structured data markup to provide search engines with more information about your practice, such as your business hours, services offered, and customer reviews.
Off-Page Optimization for Local SEO
While on-page optimization refers to optimizing website content and metadata, off-page optimization involves (obviously) activities that take place outside your website, such as building citations and getting backlinks from authoritative sources in your local area or in the healthcare and plastic surgery industry.
Off-page optimization is important because it can improve a plastic surgeon’s credibility and authority in the eyes of search engines. Building high-quality and consistent local citations and getting backlinks from high quality sources, plastic surgeons can signal to search engines and potential patients that they are a reputable and trustworthy source for plastic surgery services in their local area.
To build high-quality local citations for your plastic surgery practice, follow these tips:
Ensure NAP consistency: Make sure that your practice’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) is consistent and accurate across all local directories and platforms. This can help improve your local search engine rankings and make it easier for potential patients to find and contact you.
Choose high-quality directories: Identify high-quality local directories and directories relevant to the healthcare industry and ensure that your practice is listed in them.
Optimize your listings: Optimize your listings in local directories by including accurate and up-to-date information about your practice, including your NAP, website URL, and a brief description of your services.
To earn backlinks from authoritative sources in the plastic surgery industry, follow these tips:
Create high-quality content: Create high-quality, informative content on your website that is relevant to the plastic surgery industry. This can include blog posts, videos, infographics, case studies, before and after progressions and other types of content that provide value to your audience and prove your surgical expertise.
Reach out to industry influencers: Identify industry influencers and thought leaders in the plastic surgery industry and reach out to them with your content. Ask if they would be interested in sharing your content with their audience or linking to it from their website.
Participate in online communities: Participate in online communities and forums in the plastic surgery industry. Share your knowledge and expertise and provide value to other members of the community. This can help you build relationships with other professionals and earn backlinks to your website.
Building high-quality local citations and earning backlinks from authoritative sources in the plastic surgery industry, you’ll improve your local search engine rankings and authority—which should lead to more qualified patients.
Reviews and Reputation Management
Reviews and reputation management are another important aspect for improving local SEO results for plastic surgeons. Online reviews are a critical factor for search engines when ranking local businesses but they’re also hugely important to searchers when trying to determine the best surgeon or clinic to visit.
To manage online reviews and reputation for plastic surgery practices, here are some of our best practices:
Claim and optimize your business listings: Claim your business listings on major review sites other than just Google. These other important sites include: Yelp, Healthgrades, and RealSelf. Optimize your listings with accurate information, including your name, address, phone number, website URL, and business hours You should also optimize your practice’s social media pages on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Monitor and respond to reviews: Regularly monitor your online reviews and respond promptly and professionally to both positive and negative reviews. Responding to reviews shows that you care about your patients and their experiences, and can help improve your online reputation.
Encourage positive reviews: Encourage your satisfied patients to leave positive reviews on your business listings. You can do this by adding a call-to-action on your website, sending follow-up emails after appointments, or including a review request in your patient newsletter.
Address negative reviews: It’s near impossible to avoid negative reviews, so when you receive one, it’s important to respond in a professional and constructive manner. Acknowledge the reviewer’s concerns and offer to address the issue offline. This can help mitigate the negative impact of the review and demonstrate to potential patients that you take their concerns seriously.
Use feedback to improve your services: Reviews can provide valuable feedback that can help you improve your plastic surgery practice. Use the insights you gain from patient feedback to identify areas for improvement and refine your services.
By managing your online reviews and reputation, you can help improve your plastic surgery practice’s visibility in local search results and attract more qualified leads to your website. A positive online reputation can also help build trust with potential patients and foster long-term patient relationships.
Local SEO Tools and Resources for Plastic Surgeons
There are several tools and resources (many free) that are available to help maximize your local reach. Here are some of the top local SEO tools and resources that we recommend:
Google Business Profiles: Formerly or more commonly known as Google My Business, is a free tool that allows you to manage your online presence on Google, including your business listing and local search results. In reality this isn’t an optional resource—any business interested in having a local, online presence needs to verify and optimize their Google Business Profile. Fill this out with accurate information (including the best category for your practice), photos, and reviews, your list of services and you will improve your visibility in local search results.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console: These free tracking tools are embedded and connected to your website and will provide regular information about the number of visits your site receives, which pages visitors are landing on, how many clicks you’re receiving, goals and conversions you set up and more. There is a definite learning curve to understanding all of the reports that are available, but this is a critical resource for anyone wanting data on how their site is performing.
Moz Local: Moz Local is an affordable local SEO business information tool that helps you manage your online listings and monitor your online reputation. With Moz Local, you can manage your business listings across major review sites and directories, monitor your online reviews, and track your local search rankings. Another option is Yext, but for a budget conscious choice, Moz Local is a good option.
BrightLocal: BrightLocal is a local SEO tool we use virtually every day. BrightLocal provides a range of services, including local keyword rank tracking, local citation building, reputation management, along with a host of audits to help you optimize your Google Business Profile and website.
Yelp: Yelp is a popular review site that allows consumers to search for local businesses and leave reviews. By claiming your business listing on Yelp and optimizing it with accurate information, photos, and reviews, you can improve your visibility in local search results.
RealSelf: RealSelf is a review site and online community for people interested in cosmetic treatments, including plastic surgery. By claiming your profile on RealSelf and engaging with patients in the community, you can build your online reputation and attract more qualified leads to your practice.
When selecting local SEO tools and resources for your plastic surgery practice, consider your specific needs and goals. Look for tools that provide the features and functionality that you need, such as local citation building, reputation management, and local search rank tracking. Consider factors such as pricing, user-friendliness, and customer support when selecting tools and resources for your practice.
Local SEO is not just a “nice-to-have” strategy, but an indispensable one that can make or break the success of your plastic surgery practice. By implementing a comprehensive local SEO strategy, you can set your practice apart from the competition and reach more qualified leads in your local area.
If you need help with your local SEO strategy, contact Dagmar Marketing. Our team of experienced plastic surgery marketing experts can help you optimize your online presence for local search and attract more qualified leads to your practice.
Don’t wait – contact us today to take the first step toward maximizing your local reach.
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