The Real Truth About SEO for Chiropractors and Google Algorithms
If you have any type of business in the 21st century, chances are you understand the importance of building an online presence. Specifically as a chiropractor, you have probably Google searched how to actually get your website ranking high so that you can reach your potential clients. SEO for chiropractors is a great tool for building your brand and visibility. Today we’ll dive into the basics of chiropractic SEO and how to navigate some of the common pitfalls.
What is SEO?
Since most of us have a rough understanding of what SEO is these days, this section will be short. To review, SEO stands for search engine optimization. Basically, when it comes to major search engines, like Google, you want to build a website and blog that demonstrate you are a true authority in your niche. When you follow proper SEO practices, you can generally expect to be ranked in the first page of a Google search. A first page ranking is typically a high priority since online users often choose an option from the first few recommendations when conducting a search.
What is Chiropractic SEO?
When it comes to building authority in the chiropractic niche, there are a few specific strategies to keep in mind. Firstly, since chiropractor’s have a physical business they will want to rank for what is called “local SEO.” For instance, if a chiropractor has a clinic in Oakland, CA they will want to rank for keyword search terms related to “chiropractors in Oakland.” Thus, most importantly you need to determine which keywords are most relevant to your client base and location (see more on this below in our tips for building SEO).
For a chiropractic website to rank well based on SEO, here is a basic checklist of the essentials:
- Provide an excellent experience for any website visitors
- Have a solution to a visitor’s question via articles and offered services
- A structurally optimized website and appealing overall web design
- A large number of backlinks from other niche related and high authority websites (a commonly overlooked piece of the SEO puzzle, OR too much time is spent back-lining to irrelevant websites)
- Regularly published original content in the form of blogs, articles, videos, and more
- Continual website and blog updates based on changing algorithm trends, keywords, and more
- Supplement your SEO strategy with corresponding social media marketing
How to Find Help
Understanding and using SEO in your favor can give you a major upper hand on your competition in the online world. As you read through the checklist above, it may have left you feeling a little overwhelmed, particularly if you’re new to online marketing. Luckily, there are great options out there for getting support in building your SEO. However, keep in mind all the work that needs to be done as you browse prices and offers for chiropractor SEO. If you’re thinking $299 per month sounds a bit cheap for tackling the entire list above, you are absolutely correct.
The Problem with SEO for Chiropractors
Many chiropractors, knowing relatively little about how SEO actually works, fall prey to companies that make big (and overtly false) promises. The truth is that many online companies see the chiropractic niche as a lucrative one, since it typically involves clinics and business owners that actually have a budget for marketing. Unfortunately, most of these companies offer cheap rates and big promises that are simply too good to be true. Most of these companies are often started with failed chiropractors who jump on the SEO or Facebook Ads bandwagon, call themselves experts, and outsource the work to overseas agencies with little to no chiropractic experience or knowledge.
The bottom line: if a company is offering quick results and 1st place google results in less than 90 days, then it’s probably a scam or a black hat scheme that you don’t want to be a part of (black hat practices will definitely hurt you in the long run). SEO building is a long term strategy that takes time and proper knowledge to get sustainable and lasting results.
Other Shiny Objects You May Encounter
If you’ve found yourself deep in the world of online marketing, you’ve probably seen a lot of popular buzzwords surrounding sexy “landing pages” or even “click funnels.” While these options may seem like a faster path to visibility and success, there can be some major downfalls with them as well. Firstly, they require a large spending budget for creating, building, and optimizing the tech involved. Additionally, a large budget will also be needed for the actual ad spend on social media platforms to try and reach our target group. Plus, when you are actively seeking out clients, instead of letting them find you organically, ironically the chance that they will decide to be a paying client (aka converted lead) is actually much lower.
It’s also important to talk briefly here about social media marketing. While social media plays a large role in digital marketing these days, it’s important to remember that social media platforms can be unpredictable and yield less than optimal results when they are the primary focus. For example, there are many horror stories of businesses losing their entire online presence because they relied on platforms like Instagram or Facebook, that decided to shutdown their account and ads for some unknown reason.
The Real Truth About Chiropractic SEO
Ultimately, all the fancy bells and whistles an online marketing company might try to offer you will never take the place of your chiropractic practice’s main website. Unfortunately, trying to take shortcuts with high ad spend or black hat SEO will not help Google’s algorithm machines. In reality, this can lead to a disconnect in the user experience when a website is not optimized and the pages and articles are stuffed with keywords.
What you truly need is a website that demonstrates a high authority trusted brand. That way when people find their way to your website they want to stick around and figure out how they can get more (aka your services). When a reader has finished browsing your articles and services, it should feel very clear to them that their next step is to schedule a consultation or get in touch with your office. That is the true power of SEO for chiropractors and top ranking search results.
How to Optimize Your Chiropractic SEO
At My Chiro Practice, we’ve learned a few things over the years that have truly helped our client’s flourish in their business. After all, the ultimate goal for our client’s to to help them build a practice with a full schedule and happy satisfied customers. To move forward in the world of SEO, here are our best tips:
#1. Treat your SEO like training to win a marathon
Building authority on Google and other search engines is not a short term game. You cannot sprint to the finish line without burning out, risking injury, and totally losing sight of the long term goal. It takes time, training, and years of consistency to become a top marathon runner. The same goes for building your SEO. Basically, google wants to see you’re in it for the long haul. If you show up consistently and provide great value, you can expect to slowly and efficiently crawl your way up the ranks. While you can start noticing some changes relatively quickly, expect your strategy to be continual for years to come.
#2. Don’t get discouraged
While you should start noticing some changes in your rankings in as little as 3 months, the fact of the matter is that the changes will be slow and gradual. It is estimated that it takes Google a minimum of 3 months to “crawl” a website and make any new updates. Thus, there will always be a delay, or lag, in recognition for your efforts. Plus, it’s important to keep in mind that if your competition is also actively building their SEO it can leave you feeling stuck at times.
Yet, the worst thing you can do for your SEO is to give up too soon. Often, businesses will give up too quickly, radically change their strategy, or limit their marketing budget, without realizing that it will quickly degrade all their efforts and investment they made up to that point. When they do this, they’re essentially throwing away all the hard work and money they’ve invested up to that point. The name of the game truly is to stay consistent and have faith in the Google algorithm.
#3. Don’t get caught up in sexy keywords
If you’re struggling with your rankings, even with a solid SEO strategy in place, the reason is probably simple: you’re focusing on the wrong keywords. We can get caught up in big keywords with high search volumes such as “chiropractor for Los Angeles” or “Los Angeles Chiropractors.” When hundreds, or even thousands, of people are searching for that keyword phrase daily, it can lead us down a bit of a rabbit hole. Realistically, these terms are quite hard to rank for and can leave you feeling frustrated and not getting the visibility you want for finding new patients.
There is a reason that people say there are “riches in the niches.” If you find keywords based more specifically on your market demographics and what you offer for a speciality, you will find that the competition is significantly less and you actually find patient’s that truly resonate with what you offer. That is a true win-win in our book for sure. Thus, even though more specialized keywords like “pediatric female chiropractor in Los Angeles” may seem less lucrative, it can yield significantly better rankings and help you find exactly the type of potential client you want to treat in the process.
#5. Identify useful keywords for your niche
Now that you understand the importance of more specific keywords, it can be useful to figure out which keywords are right for your business and keep a running list of them as you plan out website content. After all, there’s a big difference between choosing keywords you think are relevant and what your potential market is actually searching for. You can get a general idea by simply seeing what pops up as “related” and auto populates with certain keywords in the Google search bar. You can even gain some insight from Google analytics, once you have it set up for your website, to figure out what’s currently working for you and how to build from there.
If you want more in depth details on keyword search volumes and a variety of keyword phrases, (often referred to as long tail keywords), this usually requires an investment. If you are working with an SEO company, they should be using some type of keyword research program to help you find appropriate keywords to rank for, such as SEMrush, Yoast, and Keysearch.
For example, when we started writing this article we originally planned to use the keyword “chiropractic SEO”in the title and body. However, after a quick search it was clear that there was higher search volume for “SEO for chiropractors” at the exact same level of difficulty for ranking. This simple tweak will help us gain hundreds of more visitors each month to this article. Pretty cool, right?
#6. Focus on high quality content
This was already iterated several times, but we want to stress this one last time. Content truly is king when it comes to ranking. And this ranges from the quality of your website to the articles you are regularly publishing. Consistently publishing articles related to your client’s needs and questions will provide value and keep people coming back to your website- a signal to Google that your website is worth ranking.
Most often, the best way to build content is by creating what’s called a pillar web. Google likes a mix of articles in both length and keyword focus. Thus, plan to have some longer form articles (think 2500+ words) that go really in depth on a topic. Then, supplement the longer article by writing several shorter pieces that are broken down into specific categories. These should provide even more answers and value for a person’s specific question. Lastly, another great way to get started is to see what other articles are ranking in Google that are related to your niche or keyword. From there, you can then work on building an article that is better than the current top ranking article.
Getting Started with SEO for Chiropractors
There you have it. This article should have given you a ton of ideas for where to get started with online SEO and digital marketing. Yet, we can’t end this article with one more recommendation that should be pretty clear at this point: you need to find and hire an expert marketing agency for building an SEO presence for chiropractors. As a business owner or manager, it can feel easy to justify taking on this new SEO project on your own. Yet, it’s a daunting task that can leave you feeling burned out with a less than optimal strategy. Investing in a company that truly understands chiropractic SEO can easily help you grow your business’s finances and bottom line.
Let the SEO marketing experts do their job so that you can focus on what you do best- changing patient’s lives with high quality chiropractic care.