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3 Effective Physical Therapy Practice SEO Techniques

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Physical Therapy SEO: Overview & Top Tips

Search Engine Optimization will continue to be front and center for physical therapy practices in 2023. Let's discuss why effective SEO matters and how you can level up your digital marketing efforts in the next year.

What Is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the steps you take to get your increase your physical therapy website's ranking in organic search engine results from Bing, Google, Yahoo, or other search engines. By targeting relevant words or phrases potential clients in your local area are searching for, you can increase the visibility of your practice's products and services as a solution to their needs. For example, you might want to target customers within 15 miles who search for physical therapists, physical therapy near me, pelvic floor dysfunction treatment, or a long list of other phrases to drive website traffic.

Why Is Physical Therapy SEO Important?

Although physical therapists provide face-to-face services to their patients, the relationship often begins when potential patients search online for a physical therapist near their home or work. In fact, as many as 80% of patients use the internet to search for a healthcare provider, and 63% will choose a provider because of the way they present themselves online. Furthermore, we know that those searching for physical therapy practices (or anything else) online are most likely to choose a search result on the first page of their search results.

Three Effective Physical Therapy SEO Techniques

1. Perform Thorough Keyword Research

Keyword research allows physical therapy practices to identify the most relevant keyword targets to use in your web pages and content, allowing you to rank higher in search engine results pages and driving more traffic to your website. To identify keywords:

  • Start by brainstorming. Consider what your customers might enter into a search engine when looking for a physical therapy practice like yours. Take 5-10 minutes and jot down all the searches that come to mind.
  • Include modifiers. Most searches include the keyword root, which might be physical therapists, along with descriptive or location modifiers. Examples include "affordable physical therapists in Birmingham" or "women's health physical therapist in St. Paul."
  • Check Google Trends. Google Trends is free to use and summarizes the most frequently searched terms by region and period.
  • Extract keywords from your competitors. Several paid tools will allow you to extract keywords from high-ranking competitor sites. You can search for the terms you think should lead someone to your site, identify the competitors who rank at the top, and then extract keywords from their sites and incorporate them into your content to improve your ranking.
  • Use Google Webmaster and Google Analytics. Webmaster and Analytics are free tools (with paid versions) that give you insight into your website's performance, so you can adjust keywords to improve ranking.

2. Create High-Quality Content

Once you've identified keywords, create high-quality content that adds value to potential and established patients while naturally incorporating the keywords you identified. Content is considered high-quality when informative, valuable to the reader, and relatively unaddressed in the content space.

Creating high-quality content is critical for several reasons:

  • Search engines favor quality content, improving your ranking.
  • Patients will judge your level of expertise and trustworthiness based on your content.
  • It supports your patients by providing education and support.

To improve the quality of your content, consider creating multiple assets: blog posts, whitepapers, videos, how-to guides, and more.

Create customized content for each stage in the patient lifecycle. For example, you might address how to choose a physical therapist for prospective patients or describe how to maintain your results after finishing physical therapy for established patients.

Consider the most frequent worries and questions you hear from your patients and address those in your content. Maybe they worry that physical therapy is painful, they wonder if they need a referral for physical therapy, or they're seeking non-opioid pain relief. You can speak to those commonly asked questions in your content.

Finally, include relevant calls to action (CTAs) in your content, encouraging the reader to schedule an appointment.

3. Optimize Your Website Design

To reiterate, your patient begins building an impression of you before you ever meet them. Their first impression typically comes from your website, so if your website is slow, riddled with grammatical errors, or not optimized for mobile use, they're likely to move on to another provider. Likewise, if it is challenging to figure out how to schedule an appointment, they just won't.

You can optimize your physical therapy website design by:

  • Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly so those accessing it on their phone experience full functionality. Just under 60% of mobile traffic comes from mobile devices, so mobile optimization is integral.
  • Make your calls to action clickable. If you encourage the reader to schedule an appointment, link to the online form, chat, or contact page, so they know exactly how to schedule without searching for more information.
  • Use only high-quality images to ensure they don't become warped or pixilated when viewed on different devices.
  • Place a navigation bar at the top or left of every screen with no more than five recognizable navigation buttons like About Us, Locations, Services, Contact Us and Schedule an Appointment.
  • Ensure your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) is consistent across all pages and public listings. Your NAP should be displayed in the header or footer of your page as crawlable HTML text to help search engines determine your website's relevance in local search results.

Ideally, patients should be able to gauge your expertise quickly, determine whether you provide the services they're looking for, and schedule an appointment. If your web design makes it difficult to gauge your expertise, ensure the service they need is available, or schedule, they'll move on to the next search result.

The Bottom Line: Tackling Physical Therapy Marketing

To summarize, your SEO strategy should be at the forefront in 2023. Patients are more likely to find you online than anywhere else, which means their first impression of your practice comes not from your receptionist or your therapists but from your website.

You can drive traffic to your website and increase conversions by performing a thorough keyword search, creating high-quality content, and optimizing your web design for patient convenience.

MWTherapy's free Guide to Marketing Your Private Physical Therapy Practice provides comprehensive, step-by-step instructions for reaching and converting your target audience. Check out the guide and then schedule a demo to learn more about how MWTherapy can help you take your practice to the next level.

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