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Comprehensive Guide to SEO for Physiotherapy Practices

Comprehensive Guide to SEO for Physiotherapy Practices

Successful marketing for the healthcare industry is difficult and even harder for a physiotherapist because of the difficulties in locating your services. Physiotherapy services in Australia have been in high demand following the global pandemic, which calls for more effective ways to draw in new clients for your physiotherapy business.

However, you can eliminate this problem by making your services easy to locate on the web, and one great way to achieve this is by implementing SEO strategies. As potential patients spend more time on their mobile devices, this marketing technique is a surefire way to grab their attention and boost visits to your physiotherapy clinic.

What is SEO?

a green background illustration of a woman character placing with her hands a chart arrow going up

Search engine optimisation (SEO) involves improving your site’s online visibility and rankings on the search engine. This technique requires a deep understanding of your audience’s desired content, how the search engine works, and how to promote and optimise your website for search engines.

Online visibility SEO is essential to enable your clinic to appear in web searches related to physiotherapy services, which builds a positive reputation and brand trust. To achieve a high ranking on the search engine result page (SERP), you must apply SEO techniques like keyword research and website optimisation for easy crawlability.

Benefits of SEO for Physiotherapists

SEO practices for your physiotherapy services are advantageous because it has a long-term impact on your website and lead-generation process at a low cost. Here are some of the long-term benefits of SEO for physiotherapists.

    • Increased traffic

Publishing and optimising informational and educational content on your website will boost visits and traffic to your site. You also stand to gain repeated traffic because when previous visitors find your content helpful, they return for more highly-informative content that will supply them with adequate knowledge concerning their situation.

    • Build online reputation

With a constant increase in traffic and repeated website visitors, the search engine places more value on your site because it signifies expertise in your field. This recognition by the search engine also makes potential patients more aware of your services, boosting conversion and sales.

    • Brand awareness

SEO helps you attain a higher ranking on the search engine result page, which allows you to build more credibility and trust for your services. As more people trust the information from your site and the services you offer, you can easily surpass your competitors and make your brand well-known in your niche.

SEO also helps you link your services to social media pages to target a wide range of audiences and get more recognition for your brand.

    • Reach locals easily

Your primary target is patients in need of your services in your region. With SEO, you can easily make your services known to people around you and connect with them. Local SEO is an effective way to generate more leads for your physiotherapy clinic as more people use their devices for navigation, and referral from previous patients is also possible with SEO.

SEO processes for physiotherapy practices

Successful SEO marketing techniques follow four (4) consequential processes. Every business has its pain points, including your physiotherapy practice, and these processes are essential to identify these pain points and tailor SEO strategies to solve these problems.

The only SEO process you will need to understand infographic by Digitexe

Auditing

A website audit aims to identify the reasons for poor rankings on the search engine result page and help achieve your SEO goals. You can accomplish this by evaluating your website based on several factors, including— but not limited to— overall performance, SEO, and design. After assessing and generating a report addressing all the issues on your site, along with recommendations to fix them.

An audit is crucial because it covers various aspects of your website and is a step toward achieving traffic and ranking goals.

Planning

After identifying the problem in your site and recommending possible solutions, the next step is detailed planning of implementing these strategies. The goal of planning is to ensure consistent application of SEO strategies for lead generation and brand awareness, and the planning usually covers organising your solutions based on timing and procedures.

Each plan made should be relevant to achieving your SEO and business goals. To make this happen, knowing the type of physiotherapy services you offer is vital to narrow down your target audience and creating more personalised content and website design. Some types of physiotherapy services include

    • Orthopaedic physiotherapy

    • Sports physiotherapy

    • Neurological physiotherapy

    • Paediatric physiotherapy

    • Cardiovascular physiotherapy,

    • Geriatric physiotherapy.

You can also find your desired audience/niche by developing a strong buyer persona; we like to use semrush’s buyer persona.

Execution

This step follows consecutively after planning, and it happens in time lapses for consistent and long-term effects. At this stage of the SEO strategy, the introduction of several tools and integrations will assist in on-page, off-page, and technical SEO, as well as other strategies you have planned out. Several basic actions will be in consideration at this stage, including applying keyword research plans, publishing content according to schedule, and gradually building links.

Tracking

After implementing your SEO campaign, you need to track and measure the performance and progress of your website. This process provides a lot of insights into the behaviours of page visitors and potential patients by informing them about the actions they take on your website and which page they spend the most time on.

Tracking SEO analytics also informs you about your user demographics which can help you generate ideas that seem customised to suit their needs. Website analytics tools like Google Console, Google Analytics, Meta pixels, and Google Tag Manager provide detailed reports concerning the growth and performance of your website, as well as areas you need to work on.

Check some of the most important SEO KPIs you’ll need to remember when tracking your SEO efforts.

Effective SEO Strategies for Physiotherapy Practices

SEO strategies aim to improve your online presence on the web and aid in lead generation. Your business goals and target audience determine the planning and implementation of these strategies, and they ensure that your website contains what your potential patients are looking after.

Here are some of the most effective SEO strategies to boost the online presence of your physiotherapy clinic and improve client conversion.

Keyword research 

long tail vs short tail keywords Infographic by Digitexe

The ultimate goal of SEO is to help potential patients quickly locate your services. A great way to achieve this is by targeting the right keywords, which you will obtain by performing proper keyword research. There are two types of keywords that determine your website visibility: Short tail keywords and long-tail keywords.

Short tail keywords: Usually consist of one or two words and are very popular in search volume; a great example is the “physiotherapy” keyword. While this word helps provide information about your services, it needs to narrow down to the specifics of your services or include more information that will lead patients to your website.

Long tail keywords: usually contain specific or descriptive words (more than 3); a good example is “Orthopaedic Physiotherapy services in Australia.” These keywords provide information on the type of physiotherapy service needed and a significant location. Incorporating long-tailed keywords in your SEO strategy allows potential patients to discover your services when they perform detailed searches, which boosts your conversion rate.

Before you dive into content creation or the overall optimisation of your physiotherapy website, you should conduct keyword research which provides information regarding short and long-tail keywords, their frequency, and their difficulty. Utilising a spreadsheet to assign keywords to contents and monitor their usage is primal to keyword research.

Content marketing

different content types infographic by Digitexe

Content production is a form of digital marketing that involves creating, editing, and distributing relevant and persistent content to attract, maintain, and eventually convert a well-defined audience through the different stages of your strategy funnel. Some great examples of content include blog posts, infographics, podcasts, ebooks, videos, newsletters, and social media posts.

Content marketing yields 3x as many leads as outbound marketing, and it costs 62% less to do so because it guides potential patients through the sales funnel by providing any necessary information possible. Content marketing helps achieve brand awareness and establish your physiotherapy clinic as a credible and trustworthy service. Developing highly informational and educational content institutes your physiotherapy services as an authority in your field, which builds trust and prompts potential patients to take action toward seeking your help.

To get started with content marketing, understanding your target audience is key to tailoring content in the most suitable formats and distributing it on the right platforms. Your target audience may prefer to read blog posts and ebooks, watch videos, or engage with visual posts. Understanding their preferences will guide you through scheduling and the content creation process. Proper distribution of these tailored contents is attainable on platforms populated by your target audience to boost engagement and conversion.

Here are some basic ways to incorporate SEO into your content for effortless visibility on the search engine.

    • Selected keywords should relate to your physiotherapy services and selected topic of discussion.

    • Keep contents up to date.

    • Consider utilising various content formats, e.g. articles, videos, and visual elements. 

    • Distribute keywords evenly across your piece of content to avoid keyword stuffing.

On-Page SEO

What is on-page SEO?

On-page SEO or on-site SEO is an optimisation process carried out on your website to improve your ranking on the search engine result page. Some general on-page optimisation techniques include title and meta description, content production, and link optimisation.

On-page optimisation is more complicated than expected as it includes a mix of technical and content optimisation; however, it is vital to help the search engine better understand your website and its contents.

a small infographic by Digitexe demonstrating how SEO works in 4 simple steps

Why is on-page SEO important? 

On-page SEO is vital for search engine robots in determining the relevancy of your website and its contents. It is a significant factor influencing your ranking on the search result page. The search engine decides if your physiotherapy website matches related search queries by crawling, and on-page optimisation is one of the ways you can get on its good side and closer to your target audience.

Google’s algorithm changes constantly, and on-page optimisation ensures that you are up to date on the new guidelines and requirements.

8 On-Page SEO Tips For physiotherapists

Here are eight (8) practical on-page SEO optimisation tips that you can implement to boost your website ranking.

8 important on page SEO tips infographic for business owners - Digitexe

URL structure

A URL consists of a protocol, subdomain, domain name, and path or page. Carefully structuring your domain name and path will help the search engine lead visitors to a specific page that contains their desired content. To optimise a URL structure, including the primary keyword of a topic, eliminate fluff words and make it as short and straightforward as possible.

Title tags & meta descriptions

Title tags are HTML codes representing the subject matters of a website or content and are essential features appearing on the search result page. To optimise title tags, include user intent keywords and place these tags on the right page containing relevant content. Each tag should also be unique and not duplicated.

The search engine displays meta descriptions on the result page, and it provides a summary of what a web page is about. Meta descriptions do not affect your ranking on the web; however, it helps drive traffic to your physiotherapy site as they are usually compelling. An ideal meta description should contain a maximum of 160-165 characters.

H1 tags

The H1 Tag represents the first header tag on a web page. H1 tags help the search engine better understand the structure of a page on your website, and it is essential to improve user experience and accessibility.

Some ways to optimise the H1 tags on your website include:

    • Use H1 tags as the title of a page

    • Ensure that H1 tags match with title tags 

    • Every vital page on your website should have an H1 tag

    • Use only one H1 tag per page

    • Include your target keyword in H1 tags

    • Make H1 tags gripping

Content optimisation

Contents are the primary components that make up a website, and optimising them is a ranking factor. There are several ways to optimise your content for SEO, and you can accomplish this by taking the following steps.

    • Prioritise readability 

    • Incorporate keywords but don’t overuse them to avoid keyword stuffing 

    • Keep sentences and paragraphs short.

    • Use subheadings to break down the hierarchy of your content.

    • Include bullet points where necessary 

    • Update contents regularly with new but relevant trends and information to keep your site at the top

Image optimisation

The search engine can easily understand text contents; however, it requires more information to read images and other visual elements on your website. To optimise the images and other visuals on your web page, ensure that you have included a caption and ALT description that describes the content. The images should be mobile-friendly and have a custom file name for improved optimisation.

For optimal website loading speed, reducing the file size of images is necessary. You can achieve this by compressing images before uploading them on your website.

Site speed

To retain your page visitors, your website needs to have a high loading speed, as 47% of visitors expect an average website to load within 2 seconds. This ranking factor is ever-changing, and you can keep up with Google’s core web vitals requisites to meet the minimum page loading speed.

Some crucial steps you can take towards improving the loading speed of your physiotherapy website include:

    • Compressing and optimising visual elements

    • Lessen redirects

    • Cache web pages

    • Get rid of unnecessary plugins

    • Utilise browser caching

Responsive design

It is critically important that your physiotherapy website respond appropriately to the screen size, platform, and position of your user’s devices, as 57% of internet users will not recommend a business with an unresponsive design. You can take the following actions to improve the design of your site.

    • Set suitable breaking points for better adaptability on various devices

    • Leverage fluid grids

    • Identify the ideal font size and setting

    • Choose predefined themes that are SEO-friendly and speed-optimised.

Link optimisation

Assessing the links on your physiotherapy website and ensuring they are valuable for growth. There are three links present on every website: Internal, inbound, and outbound.

Internal links: These link types redirect users to a different page on your website, which is relevant for easy navigation.

Inbound links: also known as backlinks, are generated when other websites link back to your site. Inbound links for search engines indicate trustworthiness and credibility, boosting your rankings on the SERPs (search engine results pages).

Outbound links: also referred to as external links, are links from your website that point to other authoritative sites. These links have different types like dofollow, nofollow, sponsored and UGC.

Inbound links are the hardest to acquire, but they are the most crucial links that directly affect your ranking factor. A good strategy to obtain more backlinks is to create excellent content worth linking to.

Get more leads for your clinic now!

We develop custom SEO strategies that are designed specifically for each practice to help you reach your goals by optimizing content for keywords relevant to your clinic.

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Off-page SEO

What is off-page SEO?

Off-page SEO is the effort and action taken outside your website to improve your ranking on the web. Off-page SEO is often regarded as link-building, but it encompasses promotional activities that build the credibility and authority of your website. 

Off-page SEO requires you to utilise several platforms to reach your target audiences and improve brand awareness. This type of SEO is usually more complex than on-page and technical SEO.

Why is off-page SEO important?

It is agreeable that the search engine algorithm and SEO requirements constantly change; however, the factors that remain constant with SEO are credibility, trustworthiness, and authority. Off-page SEO aims to boost these aspects of your business to give you a higher ranking on the internet.

Your efforts on off-page SEO contribute significantly as a ranking factor; thus, your business continues to expand thanks to this aspect of your SEO plan and other marketing efforts.

Link-building techniques that work

Backlinks are present on other sites naturally, manually, or a website owner creates them. Manual backlinks generate from reaching out to previous customers or influencers to link to your website, while self-created backlinks are from directly posting on forums or other websites. A website acquires natural backlinks without effort from the page owner, which usually happens when you create and distribute high-quality content.

The most effective link building strategies infographic - Digitexe

Irrespective of how you create these links, the end goal is to build a commanding reputation in your niche, and here are some link-building tactics that can help you achieve this.

Domain authority evaluation

Domain authority provides information regarding the overall quality of your website, and you can determine this from the quality of the inbound links. The popularity and niches of the sites linking to your website tell you a lot about the authority score, the linking anchor text, other links on the linking page, and the trustworthiness of the linking page also go a great length in providing more details.

These are checklists that ensure that your website has quality links. Backlinks from websites not in your niche or with unrelated anchor text are low-quality and will harm your ranking rather than improve it. Evaluating this information and eliminating irrelevant backlinks linking to your site is a crucial step in off-page SEO. You can disavow harmful links using the google search console tool.

Guest posting 

To have quality backlinks from influential and reliable sites in your niche, consider guest posting on these sites and then linking your website. While creating quality backlinks is the top priority when guest posting, you should also focus on creating relevant and high-quality content for your host’s audience, as it indirectly boosts your business authority.

Before diving straight to guest blogging, enrich your website with content, new visitors can interact with, and your page design and user experience should be on point. You can dive into finding guest posting opportunities on trustworthy sites, communicating with your selected targets, generating ideas, pitching your thoughts, and securing this opportunity.

Local SEO 

Local SEO involves optimising your website to boost local traffic and conversion. Google provides local search results based on precise search queries, and the local search algorithm significantly considers distance and relevance. This strategy targets target audiences close to your physiotherapy clinic and dramatically focuses on location-based searches.

Local SEO eminently involves acquiring specific keywords—usually long-tailed— that your target audience is most likely to use. Competitor analysis, Google autocomplete, and keyword planners are ways you can acquire these keywords. To optimise for local SEO, include relevant details about your physiotherapy clinic, like the address, contact information, specialty, and customer reviews.

Social media distribution

Social media shares are not ranking factors. However, social media is a powerful tool you can leverage to build brand awareness. As of 2022, social media is worth $72.2 billion, which makes it a powerful marketing channel. Creating a powerful reputation on social media can establish you as an authority in your field and allow many people to cite your content, thereby generating quality backlinks.

Social media distribution seems like a straightforward marketing technique, but it requires a deep understanding of which platforms your target audience visits and the content they interact with the most.

Technical SEO

What is technical SEO? 

Technical SEO is an optimisation effort dedicated to the technical aspects of your website, which aims to make crawling and indexing by the search engine easier. This aspect of SEO assures the search engine that your website provides a great user experience for visitors, which in turn helps to boost your ranking on the web.

Some standard technical SEO optimisation techniques involve indexing and crawlability, URL optimisation, and mobile friendliness.

Why is technical SEO important?

Technical SEO prioritises putting the search engine at ease concerning your website. It ensures that the search engine can understand every part of your website and its relevance. Googlebot or spiders crawl your physiotherapy website in search of technical faults that may reduce the quality of user experience of the site.

Having technical SEO in check gives you a better chance of ranking on the search engine when combined with other SEO tactics and marketing strategies.

Most common technical SEO issues

Many websites lack in several areas of technical SEO, but understanding these problems and their importance on your ranking allows you to have a complete checklist of technical SEO requirements.

Site structure, crawling, and indexing

Your website structure deals with the organisation of web pages on your site. A wrong website structure makes it difficult for Google to index and crawl your site, and this difficulty concludes that your website does not prioritise user experience. Fixing your site structure could solve any crawlability and indexing problem you have.

Tools like Semrush site audit will assist you in evaluating your site and determining if it has a good structure.

Duplicate content

Having an exact or very similar copy of written content on your website is duplicate content, and it confuses the search engine, making indexing challenging. You can use canonical tags, meta-tagging, redirects, and canonical URLs to prevent your content from competing against each other.

Poor mobile experience

Because a large population of people uses their mobile devices daily, and it implies that their research for a product or service is most likely carried out on their phones. Statistics show that people are 62% less likely to purchase your products or services with a bad mobile experience.

The Google search engine predominantly uses the mobile-first-indexing approach, meaning mobile versions of a website are prioritised in the indexing process. With an unfriendly mobile experience, Googlebot may find it difficult to properly index your site, decreasing your chances of a better ranking. This might be your turnover point, as it’s vital to your website’s SEO health.

Shady link building

Because of the importance of backlinks, some people may acquire these links through unlawful processes that do not correspond to Google’s requirements. Some of these illegitimate processes include buying or exchanging backlinks; other people might go even further to use blackhat SEO tactics using unauthorised software that will generate a lot of shady links for them, which can lead to the search engine penalising who amplifies these techniques. In rare cases, it is impossible to recover from the consequences of lousy backlink practices, that’s why you should always stick to white-hat SEO techniques.

Poor navigation 

Users who visit your website expect to quickly move from one page to another. When this becomes an issue, it provides a bad user experience. Split pages into categories to improve your website navigation, include a search bar with filters, and limit menu options.

Poor image optimisation

When crawling or indexing, the search engine will evaluate visual elements; unoptimised visual elements can be a problem in this situation. Your images should have descriptive captions and ALT text that includes target keywords and fully describes the image.

Following this simple image optimisation tip will make crawling your website more convenient.

Slow page loading speed 

Various factors cause slow page loading speed. But in the technical aspect, a lot of complex programming is likely the reason for this problem. To fix this problem, compress your website’s CSS, HTML, and Javascript files to reduce the page load time.

Messy URLs

When structuring the URLs of your website according to pages, you can use subdomains or include subdirectories. However, you should keep these two structures for different pages. To optimise your URLs, you can take the following courses of action.

  • Do not use uppercase letters.
  • It should be short and vivid
  • Utilise dashes to separate words from each other
  • Include target keywords
  • Get rid of redundant words
Improper redirects 

Audit and edit your redirects constantly to ensure they are functioning and up to date with the requirements. Misusing redirects (301 or 302) can seriously challenge your website by affecting crawlability and ranking. When changing the location of contents, 301 redirect signifies a permanent redirect or change of a location, while 302 signifies a temporary redirect.

Local Search and Structured Data Markup

Structured data help Google understand your site contents by describing them in code quickly processed by the search engine. Including geo-targeted keywords in these descriptions tells the search engine about the specifics of your content which aids indexing.

Google Codelabs provides more insights on the basics of structured data and some examples you can use as a guide.

Final thoughts

Marketing your physiotherapy services can seem daunting, but you can take it one step at a time. SEO is a great way to start reaching more of your target audience and establishing yourself as an authority in your field. With the help of SEO experts or specialists, you can position yourself higher on the search engine result page following the basic processes.

On-page, off-page, and technical SEO are the core strategies that can advance your physiotherapy website ranking, and they range from link optimisation to site structure and crawlability. Other tactics you can implement for SEO include content marketing and keyword research, all of which we have explained in this article.

Having SEO experts implement these strategies to your physio website will allow you to achieve more conversions and enjoy its other benefits.

Grow your SEO for physiotherapy practices

We will develop a custom SEO strategy to drive more quality traffic, get consistent leads to your physiotherapy clinic, and establish your business as an authority in your field.

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