Top SEO Tips For Your Functional Medicine Website in 2021

If you have done much research on marketing for your functional medicine practice, then you’ve probably heard the term SEO. The simplest definition of SEO is search engine optimization, but companies make it out to be a difficult thing to understand. We know it’s frustrating for you. Our team likes to make it simple for functional medicine doctors to know what it takes to get more traffic to their site. When you use our team to manage your medical practices’ website and SEO strategy, we use these top trends to get your site seen.

1. Connect to Google Analytics and The Search Console

Google Analytics tracks the people that come to your site. You will gain a lot of valuable information from the analytics you get. For example, you’ll see which pages and posts are receiving traffic. Also, you’ll be able to identify the search terms that brought someone to your site.

To install analytics you’ll need to:

  1. Sign in to the Google account that you want to be tied to your analytics account.
  2. Go to the website here and look for the button that says “Access Google Analytics”.
  3. Click the dropdown menu and select the website you are trying to add.
  4. Click “Create New Property”.
  5. Copy the Tracking ID.
  6. Input the Tracking ID on your website or email it to your web developer to do that.

The other thing you should do is hook your site into the Google Search Console. This is a valuable resource that will give you access to information about indexing status on your pages and other webmaster tools.

Use the Google Search Console to help you determine which keywords your existing pages are ranking for. A great way to increase your page rankings is to target the most engaged keyword and add in LSI keywords, or related search terms.

2. Update The Information on Your Google My Business Page

A great resource is Google My Business. It’s a free tool that allows you to verify your local business address, number, and name. If your listing exists already, make sure you claim it. Otherwise, you can create one for your business.

When you update your listing, make sure you include:

  • Hours of operation
  • Pictures of your business, services, and staff
  • Web address
  • Name of your company
  • Street address (not your P.O. Box)
  • Business phone number
  • The category that describes your services or business

If you have a well-rounded Google My Business page, your potential customers will find you. It can even rank ahead of your website.

Other Ways to Optimize Your GMB Page

Aside from the one-time updates, there are things you can do to optimize the page further. These SEO techniques for medical practices and other companies include: 

  • Google reviews – send out a link to clients that have expressed satisfaction with your service from their doctors. Just ask them for a review and see if they are willing. Most of the time, your customers will be happy to help you out. 
  • Monthly posts – GMB has a posting feature that you can share news, interesting articles, deals, and more. When making a post, be sure to include a link to an article on your site or a way to learn more. Also, add an engaging image to the post. 
  • Update holiday hours – Google will generally send you an email that will ask if your hours are correct for the upcoming holidays. Make sure that you update the hours on the page for the holidays so that it displays the correct information. Many users rely on the GMB page of a business to tell them if they are open on a holiday. 
  • Add images – make sure you have a lot of images on your page that shows what you do. You can also ask your clients to add any images they have taken while at your healthcare location if it is relevant. 

By spending a little bit of effort on your page, you can see big results. 

3. Optimize Your Content For SEO

All of your pages and posts should adhere to the basic SEO copywriting rules. Here are the things you need to update in your content:

  • Paragraphs should be no more than 3-4 sentences.
  • Sentences should be no longer than a line and a half.
  • Add a header every 2 paragraphs.
  • Include images every 2-3 paragraphs and title the image using the keyword you are targeting on the page.
  • Use bullet points to break up lists.
  • Include the name of your company in the first and last paragraph of your page.
  • Close your page or post with a call to action (CTA) inviting the reader to get in touch with you.
  • Make sure your readability is between 6-7.

There are several free resources that you can use to help you write content that is easy to read and high-converting. Some of our favorite resources include Hemingway, Grammarly, and Grammar Checker.

Another thing you should consider is to have someone proofread your content. It’s difficult to proof your own work because your brain automatically translates for you. Also, this will help with clarity on what you are trying to say. Another person can tell you if something is unclear or needs to be rephrased. 

4. Develop a Solid Backlinking Strategy

Backlinking is more important than ever for your medical practice’s SEO strategy. Backlinks are when another website links back to your site. You can get these links in many different ways. However, it’s important to make sure that any site that’s linking back to you has a domain authority of at least 40.

*Check the domain authority of any site here.

There are many ways you can get backlinks to your site. Some of these include:

  • Guest post on other sites. Include 1-2 relevant links to content on your site and a link to your homepage in the bio. Make sure all links are natural or it can hurt your rankings.
  • Add your site to business directories. One of our favorite ways to get backlinks for our clients is through business directories. You can find local directories to you by searching for “business directory” and adding the name of your city or state.
  • Open an account on all social media platforms. Even if you don’t intend to keep up your social media accounts on every platform, at least open the accounts and fill out the profiles with enough pertinent information. Make sure you do a few posts to get the page established.
  • Find broken links. Use a broken link checker and search for broken links on a website you want to approach. Once you find a broken link, send them an email about it. Let them know you found the broken link and you have something relevant to put in its place.

Also, as part of your strategy, make sure you are linking to other authority sites when it’s relevant. You should also link to other posts or pages on your own website.


5. Speed up Your Website and Make it Mobile Responsive

Every second a user has to wait for your site to load is another second they have to abandon your page. Your posts and pages should load within 3 seconds. When you have slow load times, it will cause people to click away before they even get to your site. Because of this, it can hurt your Google rankings.

Here are a few ways you can speed up your site times:

  • Don’t use a drag and drop editor to build the site or pages.
  • Uninstall plugins that you no longer use.
  • Limit the number of plugins on your site to less than 20.
  • Use a plugin to compress your images and site.
  • Turn off the feature that allows for trackbacks and pingbacks.

These are just a few of the ways you can speed up your site. Our team of experts has a few tricks we use to analyze a site and increase the speed. We can make your site load faster with these methods.

Another thing that is important for your optimization is to make sure your site is mobile responsive. That means it should function as well on the phone as it does on a desktop. Google went to a mobile-first indexing system in 2018, which makes a mobile-ready site even more important.

We can not emphasize the importance of mobile optimization enough, especially considering it will be the number one thing Google will be looking for in 2021. In March of 2021, Google will be dropping any desktop-only websites out of its index completely. If you’re serious about your web page ranking, it needs to be mobile-friendly. 

Come March, only the content that exists on the mobile version of a website will be indexed and ranked. Google is making this shift because the vast majority of internet users are using their mobile devices. It makes no sense for Google to rank pages that the majority of its users can’t use.

6. Research Keywords For Your Industry

Keyword research is very important to your site rankings. If you don’t have the right keywords in your content and on your page, then your ideal customer can’t find you. In order to increase your organic search traffic, you should target specific keywords on every page, such as doctor keywords.

We like using the free keyword tool from Neil Patel called Ubersuggest. You can search for relevant keywords in his free program one of three ways:

  • Input keywords that you think are relevant. The program will show you other relevant keywords to the one you searched for.
  • Input your website URL. Insert your website into the search field and it will show you all pages that are ranking. When you click a page that is ranking, it will show you how much organic search traffic is coming to your site and what search terms you are ranking for. There are also suggestions of other things you can target.
  • Input the URL of a competitor. Use your competitor’s web address to see which keywords they are ranking for. This will help you know what you should be targeting to outrank them.
  • Use the Google search console. Look at the overview of your site and see which pages are getting the most traffic. Then, look at the queries that are bringing people to your site. The queries tab will show you which keywords your page is ranking for and how many clicks and impressions you get from it. 

This is a great resource that will help you figure out what people are searching for online.

It’s important to note that most search engine users are looking for a specific service or product when they’re searching. Meaning they’re ready to finalize a purchase immediately. It’s important to find out what it is your potential patients or customers are searching for. By doing so, you can be the first page they see when they are looking for immediate services.

7. Update Your Content With the Keywords

Once you have your keywords figured out, then you need to write content specific to those keywords. You must add them to your posts and pages naturally, or Google will pick up on it. All keywords must be natural to your content, which means you may need to write several hundred words in your existing content to target those words.

In order to target the keywords on a page, make sure you add them into the:

  • Page URL
  • Title
  • Meta description
  • In the first paragraph
  • In one of the first two headers
  • Throughout the content (no more than 3%-5%)
  • In the image title

When you add the keywords throughout the page, it will give you a better chance to increase your rankings.

Add an FAQ Section

Another great way to increase the keywords on your page is to add a short FAQ section. You can find relevant questions at Answer The Public. This site will give you all the questions associated with the keyword you put into the search bar. 

Write a short into explaining that these are top questions that your clients ask you. Aim to answer about 5 questions. 

Other Ways to Look For Keywords

There are a few other ways you can get keyword suggestions. When you type in the keywords to a Google search bar, it may autofill with other suggestions. Give it a second to show you the different options. The suggestions it gives you in the autofill are regularly searched terms.

Also, you can scroll the bottom of any page you search, and there may be “related search terms”. The related terms are other keyword phrases that people often look for. Include as many of these search terms in your content as possible without overloading your pages.

8. Publish Pages to Target Your Local Market

Whether you have a brick and mortar business or global, you can target local markets on your site. This will help you get picked up for more “near me” searches. These pages should have content that is geared towards the city you are targeting along with the services you offer.

Each month, we publish city pages for our clients. These pages are landing pages that talk about your specific functional medicine services and any towns or areas you are close to.

Other Ways to Add Local Content

The more local markers you can add to your website, the better. This will help you capture more “near me” searches. A few ways to naturally target more local traffic includes: 

  • Directions on the contact page – write out turn by turn directions to your business location from nearby cities. If you live near a lot of large cities, just choose the top 2-3. 
  • Add a welcome page – create a page on your site that is meant for new residents in the area. The page can have local places to eat, things to do, and resources like the Chamber of Commerce or the local government page for the city. 
  • Blog about local interests – you can add informational posts to your site for local interests. It’s best to write an evergreen post that will be relevant at any time of the year. 

These are a few ways you can increase the local information on your website. Make sure that you use the phrase “near me” close to the city you are targeting. 

9. Develop a Website That is Easy to Use

You can spend a lot of time driving traffic to your site, but if it is not easy to use, then it will not convert. Your visitors need to easily navigate your menu, pages, and call to action buttons. The brand message on your site should be simple to understand.

Add call to action buttons throughout the pages to make it easy for people to get in touch with you. You can add a sticky call now button on mobile so that there is a phone icon in the corner at all times. When someone is ready to contact you, it will make it easy for them.

On top of this, you want to be sure that your website is error-free. Google is placing an added emphasis on the vitals of your webpage. More specifically the rate at which your website responds. If it takes longer than two seconds for your website to load, it will harm your standing. Long load times are almost always the cause of an error. Eliminate these errors to ensure speedy load times.

10. Customize The Meta Description on Every Page

Every page and post you publish needs a customized meta description. The meta description is the short paragraph that displays on the search results page. This information will give your reader the push they need to click to your site.

If you don’t write a customized meta description, Google will grab the beginning of your page to show in the results. The problem with this is that there is only a certain number of characters that can display. Because of that, important information can get cut off.

When you write the customized description, make sure you include:

  • Keywords for the page
  • Description of the information on the page

Make sure that your description is no longer than 160 characters. However, you should write at least that many words.

Use an SEO Company That Specializes in Medical Practices and Functional Medicine SEO

The team here at Functional Medicine SEO works with functional medicine doctors and natural health practitioners across the US. We are dedicated to helping practitioners reach their target audience and increase their patient base. We are familiar with the modalities that are used within functional medicine practices and we have a team of writers that are informed regarding these fields. 

Get in Touch With Us Today

If you are ready to invest in your website SEO, then get in touch with our team today. We’re here to answer your questions and partner with your company. Our experts will put into place a solid SEO strategy that will help you increase the organic traffic to your website.

We look forward to helping you!

We're Hosting A Free SEO Link Building Workshop On December 16th!