As a plastic surgeon, your marketing technique has a profound impact on your practice. You may never reach the patient load you desire without implementing a plan aligned with the current internet search engine trends, making your plastic surgery SEO a vital component of your marketing. Therefore, it’s helpful to know what SEO practices, specific to your market, will propel your site to the top of the search results.
How an SEO-Geared Marketing Plan Affects Your Practice
Reaching the top of the search engine results means you have greater visibility online. And with so many people using the Internet to search for practitioners, it’s become basically a necessity in today’s world for cosmetic surgeons.
Besides attracting prospective patients, your marketing plan also affects the quality of viewers you have. In other words, your marketing affects whether you encourage those who’ll actually become patients rather than just browsers.
Cosmetic surgery is a competitive field with so many other practitioners available, particularly with a web presence. That’s why when you have a strong web presence, you stand out.
It’s also important to note that your digital marketing efforts also help establish your reputation. You can be at the top of your field, but without a strong online marketing plan, those who search for plastic surgeons may never know. Essentially, your web presence plays a vital role in establishing you as an authoritative figure in the cosmetic surgery world.
In addition, your marketing plan assists in laying a solid foundation to establish and develop strong patient relationships. People will search for a plastic surgeon, find all the information they need on your site to help them compare, and then return when they need reliable information. Therefore, it’s molding that patient-practitioner reputation that’s necessary for success in your specialty.
Let’s take, for instance, someone searching the web for a plastic surgeon in Columbus, OH. Besides the sites that compare the top surgeons in the area, Columbus Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery ranks the highest for “plastic surgeons in Columbus, OH.” They’ve also reached the top of the search results for “Columbus, OH cosmetic surgeon.
I can’t stress the importance of plastic surgery SEO enough in today’s competitive world. Therefore, even if you created a website to give your practice a web presence, it’s not enough because only those typing in your web practice’s site address will see it. With search engine optimization, you position your site to become a lead cosmetic surgeon in your area.
While it’s important to search engine to optimize your homepage, the rest of your site needs to implement it as well. This requires a great deal of search to understand what people are searching for in your area when they’re looking for plastic surgery practice. Everything from your site to your social media page to your blogs needs to have SEO incorporated, or it’s wasted marketing efforts.
A prime example is if you’re trying to draw in patients in Austin who are looking for plastic surgeons for rhinoplasty. FACEAustin focused its SEO on cosmetic surgery, particularly rhinoplasty and nose jobs, two commonly searched-for terms for that particular procedure.
Target Your Local Audience
According to data collected by Statista, the U.S. had 7,000 cosmetic surgeons throughout the country as of 2020. That’s more plastic surgeons than any other country. And this isn’t including the fact that this number is projected to grow, making competition even more fierce.
However, you’re not competing with all of those practitioners. Your competition is primarily local plastic surgery practices unless you offer surgery only offered by a few cosmetic surgeons in the country.
What this means for your marketing plan is that you must include local SEO.
To put this into perspective, you’d have a large number of plastic surgery practices to compete against if you weren’t geo-targeting. However, whenever you focus your efforts on only those who are most likely to be your patients, you have less competition and stand out more easily on search engines.
For example, if you’re in San Diego, you want to narrow down your audience through search engine optimization to San Diego. You would, therefore, use keywords, such as the following:
- San Diego plastic surgery practice
- San Diego plastic surgery
- San Diego plastic surgeons
- Plastic surgeons in San Diego
- Cosmetic surgery in San Diego
- San Diego cosmetic surgeon
- Cosmetic surgeon in San Diego
Dr. Sassan Alavi of the Center for Cosmetic Surgery currently has the top results on search engines for “San Diego cosmetic surgeons.” He also is the top search engine result for “Cosmetic surgeon in San Diego,” thus showing whoever created his marketing copy used these local terms for search engine optimization.
Sometimes, your local marketing also includes the neighboring cities.
This is when you would also include keywords like the names of towns in the nearby region. Particularly, this is vital when you’re in a smaller town and want to target people in the other surrounding cities, even the large, more populated ones.
For instance, let’s say you’re one of the plastic surgery practices in Greensburg, PA. You’re limited on your target area because the city’s population was only 14,976 as of 2020, as noted by the U.S. Census. In this case, you’re going to want to target a more expansive area, such as Murrysville, Delmont, Latrobe, and other similar locations.
Rather than stating you’re a plastic surgery center in these areas, you merely note these in the copy. For instance, you’d say you serve those areas.
Artisan Plastic Surgery Center is an example of how to target local areas. They’re located in Greensburg but are the top plastic surgery practice near Delmont, PA, as you can see below:
Center on Your Ideal Patient
Although local patients are your target audience, getting quality patients requires you to center your search engine optimization efforts even further with your plastic surgery SEO plan.
This requires you to sit down and contemplate how much you plan on charging. Think about your level of experience.
Is it more so than many other plastic surgeons in the area or in general?
Do you have a lavish office that’s also a spa? If you answered “yes” to both of these, you’re more than likely searching for high-income patients who can afford a high amount and are willing to spend it.
If this is the case, you’ll want to target your plan around being a top option for plastic surgeons. You’ll want copy that reflects your lengthy experience and exceptional results. Basically, everything in your content should revolve around what a skilled practitioner you are.
On the other hand, if you have experience and are in an area with a lower cost of living, targeting higher-income potential patients might not be in your best interest. Instead, you’ll want to focus your efforts on prospective patients who are looking for an affordable solution.
As an example, a successful plastic surgery SEO campaign for affordable plastic surgeons in New York City is Dr. Schwartz. His digital marketing plan encompasses the fact that his services are affordable. He geo-targets for New York City, specifically the Manhattan area, and the content for his plastic surgery practice is in plain speak, meaning it’s down to earth while still touting his skill.
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words With Plastic Surgery SEO
While your plastic surgery SEO plan must include keywords and the various other aspects that search engines look for, you need to provide something of value to those who require more than words.
Your surgery SEO will help you rank, but these individuals want to be able to see what you can do for them. Your experience and words matter to an extent to these individuals, but having a visualization as to what they can expect can mean more.
Therefore, once you have your local SEO efforts in place, you need to add images, specifically before and after pictures. These work well for people who like to skim through content and look at the pictures.
Ask a few of your previous patients if you can use their results on your website. Some will be obliged to share their results and will feel special knowing you selected them. It helps to add pictures of multiple types of plastic surgery procedures you offer to reach a wider audience.
Barrett Cosmetic Surgery did this well on their site, as you can see on their Before & After page. They not only gave one example, but they included images of numerous procedures they offer, such as breast lifts, breast revisions, breast reconstructive surgery, and breast asymmetry correction, among others. In addition, we’d like to mention they’re a Beverly Hills plastic surgery practice that used local SEO practices to rank highly among other Los Angeles plastic surgeons.
Gear Your Content Toward Specific Cosmetic Procedures
We briefly touched base on this above, but not in depth. Not all plastic surgeons offer the same procedures. Therefore, if most of your local competition centers their practices on liposuction, rhinoplasty, and other similar plastic surgery services, you can gain distinction by being a plastic surgery specialist who offers mommy makeovers, for example.
You’ll want to have a page dedicated to mommy makeovers.
On this page, you want to include information about the procedures, such as what types of specific surgeries could be included in a mommy makeover. Then, explain each one of those. The content should cover any special information about what to expect before, during, and after the plastic surgery procedure, and possibly who specifically this surgery could benefit from.
By including all of this information, your potential patients can decide if this could be a procedure for them, giving that page value. Not to mention, this is part of the closing aspect of marketing. Those prospective patients then will decide if it’s beneficial to call your plastic surgery practice to ask questions or schedule a consultation.
Besides having content to act as a resource, you must keep plastic surgery SEO in mind and local SEO as well. That way, even if you’re already ranking on the first page of the search engines as a plastic surgeon in your area or even the best plastic surgeon in your area, you can also rank for mommy makeovers — your specialty that sets you apart from your competition.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to research your competition. Or, hire a marketing company to research for you as to what services may help you stand out from your competition.
When you consider your plastic surgery SEO plan for a specific service, it’s in your best interest to include that service on your homepage, whether in the form of a button, in your content, or on a carousel. If you’re unfamiliar with a carousel in terms of digital marketing, it’s when you have multiple small pieces of content and usually pictures that prospective patients, or viewers in general, will scroll through. You may even want to have that particular procedure exhibited in multiple ways.
Besides on your homepage, you may even want to take it one step further, and whether you or a marketing company writes your content, input some quick reminder about a mommy makeover on that page.
Best practices for incorporating that specialized procedure also incorporate local SEO. That means you need to note that you offer that procedure in your target area somewhere in the content.
One company’s plastic surgery website that has done an excellent job at this is Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery. They’re the number one Google search result for “mommy makeover in Jacksonville, FL.” And if you look, that’s not the only plastic surgery procedure they offer, but they still rank highly for it.
If you delve deeper into this plastic surgery website, though, their plastic surgery SEO plan didn’t rank highly on the Google search engine and other search engines for “plastic surgeons in Jacksonville.
The plastic surgery website is, instead, SEO optimized for a specialty service they offer that not all plastic surgeons in the area rank for. It’s important to note that fact as well; the site is SEO optimized for Jacksonville, and the plastic surgery center is in Fernandina Beach, FL.
Have a Blog
According to Pew Research Center, a majority of U.S. residents (77%) are looking up medical information online. In fact, statistics indicate about six out of 10 people did so in the past. Specifically, seventy-seven percent stated they used Google or other search engines to do so.
What this means for your practice and plastic surgery SEO plan is a blog can provide you with numerous opportunities to draw in prospective patients. Every time you publish a piece, it’s another opportunity to make a connection.
Additionally, you can rank on the search engines for various topics related to plastic surgery, such as for specific procedures or useful information about what a patient can expect.
Let’s take a search for “what to expect during breast enhancement,” for instance.” While Mayo Clinic and plasticsurgery.org ranked the highest, Dr. George Smith took the third spot. Although being a runner-up doesn’t sound outstanding, it is with plastic surgery SEO. You’ll still gain exposure on the top rankings, and readers may visit your site if they can’t find all the information they need on other sites.
You can see what he did here:
Ranking and exposure aren’t the only benefits of having a blog. You also establish yourself as an authoritative source of information.
Potential patients will view your blog, see you have reliable information, and form a level of respect for you before contacting your office. This means they may continue to search on your page for more information and possibly schedule a consultation.
Having some basic blogs help, but elaborating and taking different angles about a procedure or cosmetic surgery are better. This unique information can attract people to your site more so than general medical information. For instance, rather than posting blog after blog about the benefits of each procedure, think of creative pieces that make people inquisitive and want to click on the blog.
Some possible topics that could be of interest would include the following:
- Pre-Surgery Diet Tips to Make to Be at Your Best for Surgery
- The Importance of Smoking Cession Before Surgery
- What to Expect if You Need a Drain
- Six Tips to Optimize Your Recovery
Hire a Professional When Necessary
You’re the one with the education and skill in plastic surgery. You don’t need to be a jack of all trades and create your content and marketing plan. Instead, hire marketing professionals as necessary.
For one, you’ll free up your time to spend with patients and develop a relationship with them. Secondly, you’ll benefit from the experience and knowledge of digital marketing experts who’ll help you accomplish your main goal — more patients.
Thirdly, by choosing those who specialize in plastic surgery SEO, you’ll have professionals who typically have medical knowledge and understand your field, the procedures, etc. Then, you’re merely filling in blanks and inputting what your desired goals are or providing the information you want to include.
Moreover, writing isn’t a natural skill, either, making it difficult for a non-writer to write in easily understandable language and know how to be engaging.
Although nobody knows for certain if Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Group had a physician write the content or not, it appears as though a content marketing expert or healthcare copywriter crafted the content. It speaks to the audience well, doesn’t use technical medical terms, and is engaging — all the elements necessary for writing marketing copy.
Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
Many of your prospective patients are looking for a physician at a time that’s convenient for them, which may be at work on their break or when they have a free moment in the evenings.
There’s a good possibility that some of your prospective patients will look for a cosmetic surgeon on their mobile devices. A standard website often has special features, intricate graphics, and features that are difficult to use on a cellular device.
When you have a mobile-friendly site, visitors can browse and find everything they need to know quickly and with little hassle. Because of the increase in mobile searches, search engine algorithms are now programmed to consider mobile-friendliness, making this another tactic you can use to enhance your ranking.
Premier Plastic Surgery & Spa is one website that has a mobile-friendly site, and because of it, its site ranks highly.
Make It Fast
Make your plastic surgery website load quickly. When people go to search for a site, they want it to load fast. People are busy and have little time to sit and wait. They’ll just go to another site that loads fast.
As a result, part of the ranking system considers the amount of time it takes for your site to load, so if your site doesn’t load quickly, you’ll be docked for it.
While all the little extras are exciting on a website and may impress a visitor, they won’t be so impressed if your viewers can’t load them. Therefore, simplicity is oftentimes better when it comes to plastic surgery SEO.
Let’s look at an example — Des Moines Plastic Surgery. Part of the reason they’re number one as a Des Moines, Iowa, plastic surgeon is that their site loads fully within seconds.
Turn Visitors Into Patients
It’s one thing to get visitors to your page. Your plastic surgery SEO plan may draw visitors to your site; however, no matter how many visitors you draw in, it won’t mean they’ll become patients.
You can take actionable steps to encourage people to become patients. For instance, at the end of your post or website page, add a call-to-action, such as “Schedule an appointment,” “Book a consultation,” or “If you have any questions, contact us today.”
Linking to a contact page and/or adding your phone number on a post is another way to convert a viewer into a patient. This makes it a way for them to know how to contact you. As a result, they don’t have to search your entire site to find the information they need to make that phone call or send you a message.
If they have to search every part of your website for contact info, it’s not convenient. Ultimately, if they spend too much time searching, they’ll leave your site and search for another cosmetic surgeon.
Another way to promote convenience to enhance your conversion rate is to have buttons that the viewer can click to send a message or call. At the bare minimum, it helps to have your number, even if it doesn’t automatically dial it, at the top of every page. By making it simple for a visitor to contact you, they’ll be more inclined to do so.
Have a Social Media Presence
Doesn’t it seem like everyone you know is on social media? They’re always telling you to add them. Well, that’s because a majority of Americans are on social media, whether it be Twitter or Facebook.
According to statistics provided by Statista, of all online activities, in 2021, social media was the most popular one. Of the U.S. population, 82 percent had a profile on social media. This was a two-percent increase from the previous year and could potentially increase.
Initially, social media was a way to keep in touch with friends and family and possibly reconnect with people you haven’t seen in years. However, businesses saw the popularity of social media and began using it to their advantage. In fact, nowadays, you can even create a business profile on social media to give your practice exposure.
With so many people on social media, you could be missing out on potential business without a page. And ultimately, this means you could hinder the number of patients you have.
Your social media presence doesn’t necessarily affect your ranking on search engines. But, your social media page/pages are an added way you can rank on the search results. Therefore, it’s another method you can utilize to get your name out there.
And if you’ve ever noticed, many of the businesses that rank highly also have a social media page. This is showing that social media is a powerful force when it comes to your marketing.
Social media plays another vital role in your practice’s success and in building a relationship with possible patients. You can post information about different procedures and encourage people to learn more by visiting your site. You can also post your blogs to increase the number of viewers of them.
One popular type of post from cosmetic surgeons is before and after photos to show off the kind of results a patient will receive at your practice. If they like what they see, they might consider getting plastic surgery and choosing you.
When you post on social media, it’s becoming a word-of-mouth type of advertising. If people like what they see, they’ll share the post. That post then reaches more prospective patients.
After that, those people may share, and so forth. Pretty soon, your name is out there, and you had to do little. You reached a vast audience you weren’t initially targeting and may not even have known was out there.
Realize Updating Your Site Matters
Perhaps you had a writer who created stellar content. At the time, it helped you reach one of the top spots on the first page. You might feel as though it captured the essence of who you are as a practitioner and what you offered as well.
When it comes to search engine algorithms, they’re always changing. What was important a year or two ago may no longer be relevant today. Therefore, it’s important to continuously update your pages based on current trends.
There’s more than one way you can stay up with the current trends. For one, you can perform searches for the keywords you once targeted and see if your site is still ranking high.
On the other hand, looking at a Google Analytics report is a more comprehensive way of seeing how your site is performing. It allows you to monitor if you’re still receiving the same amount of traffic. If you find there’s a dip in visitors, it may be time to update your content.
Register With Business Directories
Did you notice at the top of search engines there’s a directory of numbers when you search for local cosmetic surgeons? Well, you may have noticed them when you searched for other businesses.
While you must pay to have a listing there, it’s worth the money when you consider these are the first names you see at the top of the page. It’s also making it convenient for prospective patients to get a few names and numbers of practitioners for comparison purposes.
Once these individuals see these names at the top of the page, it usually makes them believe these are the top professionals in that field in that area. Therefore, not only are you getting your name out in one additional way, you’re positioning yourself as an authority in that particular field.
A prime example of how this works is below. You’ll see that these are the top results you receive whenever you search for a cosmetic surgeon in Baltimore, MD:
Focus on Well-Written Content
If you’re paying a writer or digital marketing agency to write your content, you’ll have an opportunity to state exactly what you’re looking for in terms of content. You can let them know what you want to rank for, any keyword density requirements you have, etc. Therefore, it’s essential to work carefully with this person because their content is what’s going to rank highly.
It helps to ask them questions and recommendations. They have experience and may be able to provide you with insight on how to rank highly.
Keyword stuffing is no longer an acceptable practice. All content should be written in a manner where keywords are weaved in seamlessly so it’s not obvious and sounds out of place.
Therefore, as you’re choosing marketing companies or writers, make sure you get a few samples first. Check for grammatical errors and the way the content flows. The quality of your content directly affects your ranking.
As you can see, plastic surgery SEO is a bit extensive. There are a number of factors that affect how you rank on the search engines. A few missteps can have quite an impact on your patient load, but with a bit of knowledge and the assistance of a professional company, you reach the top and increase your patient load.