As a plastic surgeon, you might be acutely aware of the challenges involved with practice growth and attracting new patients. While you, without a doubt might get some referrals from other professionals, as well as satisfied customers, a lot of patients prefer to self-refer. When that happens, the prospective patient usually completes a Google search and starts making her way down the results in order. To make sure that you draw as many new patients as possible, then, you need to get your way to the top of the search results.

There are a few reasons that plastic surgeons invest in local internet marketing for plastic surgery. The first reason is that yellow pages are out and Google is in. There was a time when you could find new patients by taking out an ad in the Yellow Pages and waiting for prospects to call. Today, though, a stunning 97% of people search for local businesses online, and Google persists to dominate search. Local SEO also offers free traffic. Even though its face is changing, advertising remains among the biggest expenditures for a lot of small businesses. By improving your Google rankings, you are going to have an ongoing stream of free traffic that you can convert into patients.

Local plastic surgery SEO also gives swift results. National and international companies must wait, on an average of 6 months to a year to see much movement in their Google rankings. As a plastic surgeon, however, you have one major advantage. You are competing only against other plastic surgeons in your immediate locale, not those located on the other side of the country. A lot of your competitors have not yet started to harness the power of local SEO. Through a targeted campaign, you could reach the first page of Google local rankings in just a matter of 30 days.

Your first step is to determine your keywords. Just make a list of keywords to describe your services. For example, you could try keywords like “nose reshaping” and “breast augmentation”. When your list is complete, you can then set up a free Google AdWords account. You do not need to start an ad campaign, but the Adwords account can give you access to Google’s free Keyword Planner Tool. This lets you put in your chosen keywords and learn how much traffic they are getting. It even recommends additional related keywords that might not yet be on your list.

With your information, you can select the keywords you are going to use. They are categorized into keywords with buying intent and keywords with research intent. Buying intent keywords indicate that a prospect is imminently ready for your services. Research intent keywords are used when a prospect is merely shopping around.

When you already have your set of keywords, it is time to optimize them. You can optimize them in your website and your Google My Business page. You can think of your Google My Business page as some kind of mini-website that is going to appear in the map section of Google listings. It provides new prospects a short overview of your services, and increase your overall online presence. It can also boost your rankings, because it is much easier to achieve high rankings with a Google My Business page than with a website. You would need to provide verification, NAP or name, address and phone number, categories, description, business hours and images.

For website optimization, you need to begin with your core pages. These pages are your homepage and service pages. Make sure to optimize them for your buying intent keywords. Later, you can focus on your content pages, blog posts and FAQs which are optimized for research intent keywords. You should also collect citations and links. A citation is simply an online directory listing of your NAP. Your Google rankings rely heavily on inbound links from authority sites. Focus on building relationships both online and in person with those who offer complementary services, from general practitioners to fitness centers and then ask if you can trade links. You also need to gather reviews. Patient reviews serve a twofold purpose. They convince potential patients to try your services and they let Google know that your practice is legitimate. Finally, track you results.

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