SEO for Doctors

What is SEO for Doctors? Why do Doctors need SEO? How should doctors decide which keywords to choose? How can we measure the success of an SEO campaign? This page aims to answer all your questions about SEO for doctors.

SEO for doctors - Google search doctor near me

What is SEO for Doctors?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization and is the process of making a website easier for search engines (and the public) to find. SEO for Doctors is exactly the same process, but for medical doctors. It aims to make the doctors' websites easier for search engines (and patients) to find.

Why SEO for Doctors?

SEO for doctors is a relatively long and ongoing process, so why should you invest the time or money in an SEO campaign?

Here at Red Castle Services we believe strongly in SEO for doctors and here is why:

1. Changing Patient Trends

Medical SEO for Doctors - Red Castle Services

Do you remember the days when you needed a service, so you pulled out a big paper directory which you kept next to your telephone? Well, as you may have noticed, those days are long gone!

Nowadays more and more patients are searching for their next doctor online. For example, patients searching for an orthopedic surgeon in Miami will likely Google "orthopedic surgeon miami". They are then likely to call one of the practices listed on the first page of results.

This is where SEO comes in. Doctors need to ensure that their website is appearing on the first page of Google search results for relevant searches.

So, if your practice is to succeed in the modern healthcare arena, then it needs to position its website at the top of Google's search results for relevant keywords, such as "your specialty + your city".

2. SEO can increase your share of private pay patients

Private pay patients are not restricted by their Managed Care Organization (MCO). They are free to choose whichever doctor they want. This is why - instead of going to their MCO's website to choose a doctor - they will likely use Google instead. If you want your medical practice to get a share of this private pay business in today's competitive marketing environment - and definitely in tomorrow's - then you need to position your practice's website to appear on the first page of Google results.

3. Good return on investment

Ask yourself this: How much money does your practice earn from the average patient? Depending on your specialty, your answer will differ, however for almost all specialties one thing is true: It only takes a handful of new patients per month to cover the cost of an SEO campaign. Any additional patient revenue (which is almost always the case) is profit for your practice. This is why positioning your website at the top of Google for relevant keywords is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies for medical practices.

4. Attract more of your Perfect Patients

As a doctor, you will know that not all patients are the same. Some of them are great - perhaps epitomizing the very reason you became a doctor - but some of them are not so great! Whether it's based on medical reasons, healthcare insurance, or reimbursement, all doctors have their favorite type of patients. Now ask yourself this: What if you could somehow increase your number of 'perfect patients'? We're talking about those patients with the condition you love to treat, or the insurances you accept, or simply the procedures with the highest reimbursement? Well, with SEO for doctors you can do exactly that. By carefully selecting your keywords, you can target the exact patient demographic you want.

SEO for Doctors - is Organic SEO better than Adwords?

In order to answer this question, let us just clarify the difference between Organic SEO and Adwords. Adwords is when you pay Google for your practice's website to appear as one of the four advertisements at the top of the Google search results page.

By contrast, Organic SEO is positioning your website to appear in the real search results (as one of the 10 search results below the ads). Now to answer the question: 


Adwords allows your practice to immediately be at the top of the page. A new campaign can be up and running within just a couple of hours.

Plus one of the best features of Adwords is its ability to target people geographically. So, if you're an urgent care center (for example) in Chicago, then you can make it so that your ads only appear to people in Chicago.

Read more about Google Adwords for Doctors.


Adwords can be very expensive - especially if the keywords you are targeting have high levels of competition. Every single click costs you money (usually around $1 to $10 per click).

Plus remember - as soon as you stop paying Google, your ads will stop appearing. Organic SEO, on the other hand, is a more affordable and more long term strategy. Your practice's website can be positioned to be top of the real search results on Google, so that patients are genuinely finding the most relevant practice for their needs.

Furthermore, organic SEO is longer lasting than Adwords. Once at the top of Google, it will likely stay there for several months (and if SEO services are continued then it can stay there indefinitely).

Plus - best of all - it is more affordable. Red Castle's SEO for doctors package is very affordable and has proven to be very cost effective in terms of providing many more patients than the monthly cost of services.

If you are interested in strategically positioning your practice for the long term trend (that more and more patients will find their next doctor online), then organic SEO is something you should seriously consider.

Fore more information about the differences between Google Adwords and Organic SEO, read our Blog Post about Google Adwords vs. Organic SEO – which is better for doctors?"


SEO for Doctors - How to decide which keywords to choose?

Red Castle typically includes 10 keywords in our SEO for doctors campaigns. But how do we decide which 10 keywords to select?

First, we make sure that the keywords are actually being used. After all, there is no point being top of Google for keywords which patients are not searching for!

Second, we select keywords which correctly identify the specific services you offer. For example, if you are an orthopedic surgeon, then we may include keywords for the particular surgery for which you would like to increase your volume of patients.

Furthermore, to avoid competing with doctors across the world, we recommend that keywords include your geographical area (usually the nearest city and/or county).

Here is a set of example (orthopedic) keywords below:

  • orthopedics + your city
  • orthopedics + your county
  • orthopedic surgeon + your city
  • orthopedic surgeon + your county
  • orthopedic + your body part of specialty + surgeon + your city
  • orthopedic + your body part of specialty + surgeon + your county
  • orthopedic doctor + your city
  • orthopedic doctor + your county

Please note that the Latin spelling "orthopaedic" is deliberately not used, as the number of people who search for this is far less than the number of people who search for "orthopedic".

To check search volumes for the keywords you choose, Google's Keyword Planner is a very useful tool.

How do you measure the success of the SEO campaigns?

Red Castle provides monthly reports, so that our doctors (clients) can clearly track the performance of the SEO campaign. There are several indicators to track the success of SEO campaigns. These include:

1. Keyword Ranking

Below is a screenshot of some example keywords from one of our clients. In the right hand column it shows that all keywords are position in 1st place on Google. We constantly monitor their position and react accordingly to any changes.

2. Website Traffic

It's obvious, but the more traffic your website gets, usually the more patients you get.

3. Source of Website Traffic

In order to know which of your marketing campaigns are the most effective, you should be tracking the source of your web traffic. For example, as shown in the screenshot below, the majority of this client's web traffic is coming from "Organic SEO" (in other words, from Google and other search engines).
seo for medical practices - tracking traffic source4. The number of phone calls

There are several ways to track phone calls and the source of them. This can be tracked via Google Adwords, Google My Business, or even across multiple different media forms, even billboards. It allows you to see which calls are coming from where. The only downside is that often it creates the creation of extra telephone lines, which can add extra expense.

5. Patient Questionnaires

Don't always trust your online marketing agency. Why not ask patients yourself how they found out about you? Your front office staff can simply add this question to the end of any New Patient Questionnaires, subsequently providing you with your own data about how patients are finding you.

How much does SEO for Doctors cost?

SEO for doctors can cost up to thousands of dollars per month. However, our business model is to provide excellent Return of Income for doctors, so we charge a modest monthly fee which allows doctors to keep us onboard for the long-term, so we can get - and keep - practices at the top of Google. View our SEO Packages and Pricing.

SEO for doctors - someone searching on Google

We provide SEO for Doctors of all specialties, including:

Our Related Blog Posts about SEO for Doctors

Interested in reading more about SEO for Doctors? Here are a list of blog posts we have written about this topic:

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