Getting high search engine rankings and maintaining them demands consistent work over the long term. You have to stay up to date on search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, search engine results criteria, and the competition for rankings. For this post, we will focus on researching and choosing keywords, a key SEO practice.
Here are our four tips for doing the best keyword research.
1) Make A List of Keywords
Content is king. But identifying the keywords your medical practice needs to rank for comes before creating content. Consider the medical services you provide and compile a list of keyword phrases you would like to rank for. Note the keywords that are most unique to your medical practice are your core keywords.
2) Choose A Research Tool
Using keyword research tools can help you find the best keywords. Here are some popular keyword research tools that can expedite the research process.
- SEMrush: Requires a subscription. You can try this marketing tool by signing up for a free 7-day trial.
- Google Keyword Planner: A free tool, you can use it by setting up an Adwords account.
- Moz: Requires a subscription. You can try this marketing tool by signing up for a free 30-day trial.
- Ahrefs: Requires a subscription. You can try this marketing tool by signing up for discounted 7-day trial for $7.
With the right too in hand, we are ready to dive into competition research!
3) Research Your Competition
First, identify your local competition in your medical field and research their websites. Note the following:
- Their ranked keywords.
- Their pages earning the most organic traffic.
- Their terms and phrases other practices also rank for.
- The most popular keywords in your industry.
Based on this research, create a list of keywords that fit your practice.
4) Research keyword metrics
Now it’s time to take that list of keywords and ask a few questions about each.
1. What is the monthly search volume?
2. How difficult would ranking be (keyword difficulty score)?
3. Does it present any local search opportunities?
In general, the higher the search volume and the lower the keyword difficulty, the easier it is to rank for a given term. For example, an orthopedic practice in San Francisco wants to rank highly for the term ‘knee replacement San Francisco.’ That phrase has a high search volume, but also a high keyword difficulty. By contrast, ‘total knee replacement surgery San Francisco’ also has high search volume but is much less difficult.