Attract More Patients With Highly Targeted
SEO for Orthopedic Doctors & Sports Medicine Clinics
Written By: Joey Randazzo
Joey Randazzo is the owner and Founder of Portland SEO Growth Partners based in Portland, OR. He’s worked with hundreds of businesses to build growth-centric SEO campaigns.
Updated: January 11th, 2023
Explore Our Orthopedic SEO Resources
This Orthopedic SEO Guide Has Been Comprehensively Updated for 2023
Due to consistent algorithm updates, the relatively recent Helpful Content Update in late 2022, we’ve updated the written content that already existed on the page. We’ve written new content. And we’ve filmed new video content. Everything is up-to-date, fresh, and helpful for your orthopedic business to dominate Google for 2023.
Caution Before Continuing! SEO For Sports Medicine is Changing. Gone Are The Days of "Hacking" SEO.
If you’re looking for the quick fix…
The “can’t I just buy some backlinks for my orthopedic website and rank?”
The “SEO should bring me sports medicine leads like tomorrow, right?”
Then this is the wrong guide for you.
Sure, there are some cool keyword tricks we can show you. And some interesting local SEO strategies.
But, nowadays, SEO is a more holistic process. If you don’t have a legitimate business with good reviews, then no amount of “SEO hacks” can help.
With that in mind, this guide is for those of you willing to put in the work. Willing to invest the time & money for months before seeing a return. Those who are playing the long-game, strategically plotting to dominate their competitors 12-18 months from now.
How We Help Orthopedic Doctors Grow Their Practice & See A
5.7x ROI on Their Monthly SEO Investment
Increase Google Rankings
Get your orthopedic website ranking on Google for high-value keywords that potential patients are searching for.
More High-Quality Web Traffic
Get more interested patients coming to your website each month.
Increased Leads & Phone Calls
Get more motivated patients calling your office to schedule an appointment.
You Get Your Time Back
Stop having your receptionist write your blog content or trying to figure out digital marketing on their own.
Here's What You Want To See With Your Orthopedic Practice's Website & SEO
When Someone Types into Google "Orthopedic Doctors Near Me", You Show Up Here...
When Someone Types into Google "Orthopedic Doctors Near Me", You Show Up Here...
Think about the way people search for orthopedic doctors. They’re probably experiencing some pain from a dislocated joint or broken bone, so in an attempt to set up an appointment, they pull out their smartphone.
They go to Google and type in something like “Orthopedic Near Me” – the FIRST thing to show up is the Maps area of Google called the Google Local Pack. The orthopedic doctors that show up here “win” and get the most phone calls.
When Someone Types into Google "Best Sports Medicine in [City]", You Show Up Here...
When potential patients are looking for othopedics, they often use the language of “best orthopedic doctor near me” or “best orthopedics in [city]”.
The orthopedic doctors that rank in the Maps area for these keywords get the most phone calls and website visitors.
When Someone Types Queries into Google like "How Long is an ACL Surgery Recovery", You Show Up Here..
When Someone Types Queries into Google like "How Long is an ACL Surgery Recovery", You Show Up Here..
People ask tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of orthopedic-related questions into Google each day. Questions like…
- “What do orthopedic doctors do?”
- “Do orthopedic doctors treat back pain?”
- “orthopedic foot and ankle”
Ranking for these keywords in Google proves that your website is an “authority” and is trustworthy.
People Are Searching Differently For Orthopedic Doctors Than They Used To
Just take a look and see the increase in people searching for “orthopedic near me” over the last five years.
This screenshot above comes from a tool called Google Trends (a tool created by Google itself). You can see the steady increase in the number of people searching for “orthopedic near me.”
See The Common Theme? You Want To Increase Your Orthopedic Practice's Digital Presence Online To Be Found By Motivated Patients.
What it all boils down to is, you want more people in your city to know that you exist. Whenever they do a Google search online around orthopedics, you want to show up over your competitors.
How Do You Get Tangible Results With Orthopedic SEO Services?
Step 1: Comprehensive SEO Audit
This step is often missed by most other SEO companies. And it’s crucial for the steps after it to work.
How can you get your SEO where you want it to be if you don’t know where you are now?
We recommend doing a comprehensive SEO audit to determine your:
- Current SEO performance
- Current SEO errors
- What your local competitors are doing
- Technical SEO performance
- And more
Step 2: Local SEO Visibility Audit
SEO for orthopedic doctors has the goal to increase your “local visibility,” as we call it.
We use powerful and robust third-party tools to run an “SEO visibility test” on your business. This allows us to see how visible your orthopedic practice is on Google.
The report looks like this:
Step 3: Create a Roadmap Based on Data
We now have a lot of data from the SEO audit and the local SEO visibility audit.
SEO for orthopedics should be strategized based on data. But do most other SEO companies do it this way? Unfortunately, no. Instead, they go off of a “hunch” that something will work out.
We recommend putting together a comprehensive roadmap based on the data. If the data shows that your website is loading too slowly (which is negatively impacting performance), you should probably focus on fixing that first!
Step 4: Implement Highest Priority Changes First
Not all SEO activities are created equal.
Add alt text to images on a blog post from 2017 won’t be as impactful as improving the content on your homepage.
So, based on the data, you should target the “low hanging fruit” opportunities first.
You don’t have a Google Business Profile set up for your orthopedic practice? Creating one is a great place to start! You don’t have a Services page? You should probably build that first before worrying about the images on your About Us page.
Step 5: Local SEO Best Practices & Content Creation at Scale
Local SEO for orthopedic doctors comes down to the following:
- Consistent information that Google trusts
- Accurate information
If your business has a different phone number on your website than what’s on your Facebook page, that’s not going to look trustworthy to Google.
If Google chooses to rank your business, they have no way of knowing if a person will be able to get through to your office if they try to call.
Having consistent NAPs on high-authority directories across the internet is critical.
Now, in regards to “authority,” that’s where content comes in clutch. If you create content that answers your target audience’s questions, Google will see your business as more authoritative than an orthopedic doctor that doesn’t have much content on their site.
Step 6: Meticulously Track Data
The goal of SEO is to have a tangible impact on your orthopedic practice. To increase your phone calls. To increase website visitors. And to ultimately have those activities lead to increased revenue.
To ensure your SEO campaign is performing well, you have to track data. Build a comprehensive dashboard that gives insights into your:
- keyword rankings
- website visitors
- phone calls
- and other important KPIs
Orthopedic SEO Services Shouldn't Be Cutter - Everything Is 100% Customized To Your Business
Orthopedic SEO isn’t the same as other types of SEO. Unfortunately, many other SEO companies fail to make the distinction. They use the same “tips and tricks” that they use in other industries, thinking that it’ll work with orthopedics. That’s not the best way to get results.
Your business is unique, and we treat it as such. We take an individualized approach to each individual industry (such as orthopedics), to your specific city (Dallas might be different than a smaller town in Montana), and your specific website (is your website built on WordPress or Squarespace).
5 Tactical Local SEO Strategies for Orthopedic Doctors
Strategy 1: Google Business Profile Optimizations
This is an example of an orthopedic doctor’s Google Business Profile:
Well this is an example of the front-end of a Google Business Profile, which is what someone searching on Google can see.
Actually, let’s back up for a minute:
Why do Google Business Profiles matter for orthopedic doctors? Google Business Profiles are relevant and important ranking factors in order to rank in the Google Local Pack. If you forgot what the Google Lack Pack is, below is a screenshot:
Optimizing your Google Business Profile helps you get found there ☝️
This is how you WIN. When you show up in the Google Local Pack, you get more phone calls and website visitors than your competitors.
So, how do you properly optimize your Google Business Profile so you get found in the Google Local Pack?
The answer is… drumroll please… Comprehensiveness.
The best way to optimize your Google Business Profile is to provide as comprehensive information as possible.
There are multiple sections in which you can provide comprehensive information, such as:
- Your categories
- Your main description
- Your products
- Your photos
- Your services
Here’s a short example that explains the difference between being comprehensive and not being comprehensive:
For your main description, you might be inclined to just write a sentence like… “Dr. Jones is a trusted orthopedic surgeon that’s dedicated to the wellness of his patients.”
That sounds great and all, but it’s just one sentence… Google allows 750 characters for the main description. Use them up! What types of surgeries do you perform? Do you offer joint replacement procedures? What about arthroscopy? Do you offer ligament and tendon repair?
Answering EVERY possible question is how you can be more comprehensive.
Strategy 2: On-Page SEO for Your Homepage and Location Pages
On-page SEO for orthopedic doctors is just a fancy way of describing the content on your website.
It includes things like:
- Your title tags
- Your meta description
- Your header tags (H1, H2, H3)
- Your images
- Internal and external links
- And anything else that you can put on a web page
Why does on-page SEO for orthopedic doctors matter? Well, Google cares about it.
For single-location orthopedics, the most important page on your website, from a local SEO perspective, is the homepage. For multilocation orthopedic doctors, the most important pages on your website are your location pages.
When doing on-page SEO for these pages, you want to implement SEO-friendliness through keywords while also providing as comprehensive information as possible to the user (and Google).
For example, instead of a title tag like “Oregon Orthopedic Clinic – 503.111.2222” you can provide more context to Google by writing something like “Trusted Orthopedic Doctor in Portland – Oregon Orthopedic Clinic.”
Strategy 3: Website Architecture Best Practices
This is an underrated SEO strategy for orthopedic doctors. Your website architecture and your sitemap are intimately connected.
Google crawls your sitemap to understand your website architecture, which in turn allows Google to understand what your website is about.
Here’s what a sitemap might look like to Google:
It might look a little intimidating, but don’t worry about it too much. Just know that when Google looks at a sitemap like this one, it’s putting together what your website is about (which is super important for local SEO).
The main point is that your website structure should make sense hierarchically. Let’s use two of the main services that orthopedic doctors offer – 1) surgeries and 2) arthroscopy.
Where should these pages live on your site? First, you should probably have a “services” page that has a URL structure similar to .com/services/
Now, any services that you offer (such as surgeries and arthroscopy) should live UNDER this main services page. See below:
This seems obvious, but many websites do this incorrectly. There’s no vertical architecture. Instead, every page lives directly under the homepage. See below:
With this structure, it’s not clear to Google that “Arthroscopy” is a service that you offer. It’s just another page on your site!
Strategy 4: Content Creation at Scale
This is where it gets fun. Potential patients search for thousands of questions into Google every day.
Some are very local:
- best orthopedic surgeons in Portland
- best orthopedic shoulder doctors near Portland
Some are generic:
- How are torn ligaments repaired?
- How long is knee replacement recovery?
- How does sports medicine help athletes?
If you answer these types of questions through comprehensive blog articles on your website, it will do 2 things:
1. You may rank in Google for these keywords that people are searching for and drive traffic.
2. Google will take notice and see your website as an authority over your competitors. Google will think, “Hey, they’re answering all of these orthopedic-related questions that users have. Their website is more valuable than local competitors who haven’t answered any questions.”
Strategy 5: User Experience is a Bigger Deal Than You Think - Stop the Keyword Stuffing!
The old strategies are a thing of the past. Keyword stuffing… PBN link building… all the stuff that used to work.
Google’s figuring things out. And Google’s starting to understand that a user’s experience on a website is important.
What does this mean for you as an orthopedic doctor?
- Make it easy for users to find what they’re looking for. They shouldn’t have to spend 5 minutes figuring out if you offer sports medicine or not.
- Make it easy for users to contact you. Your phone number should be clickable on a mobile device. You should consider an online schedule so someone can easily schedule an appointment and fill out initial paperwork. Anything to make the user’s experience SUPER easy.
- When writing content, you should actually offer value to the reader. Gone are the days of outsourcing writers who produce vague, keyword-stuffed articles. Your content needs to thoroughly answer the user’s questions and add value to them.
On Average, Our Orthopedic SEO Services Cost
31% Less Than Other SEO Companies
Compared to Other SEO Companies That Average Between $1.5k and $3k Per Month.
FAQs About Orthopedic SEO Services
Here are the most common questions we’ve heard.
What is Orthopedic SEO?
Orthopedic SEO is a form of digital marketing that helps orthopedic doctors increase their visibility in search engines, particularly Google.
The specific SEO strategies that are used for orthopedics vary greatly (which is why all orthopedic SEO is NOT created equal).
- keyword research
- on-page SEO
- off-page SEO
- local SEO
- Google Maps optimizations
- content creation
- landing page creation
- and more
Why is Orthopedic SEO Important?
Orthopedic SEO is important because it allows you to get in front of your target audience (the potential patients looking RIGHT NOW to find orthopedic care in their area).
Think about how social media marketing for orthopedics works: People are scrolling through Instagram or Facebook and stumble upon an advertisement for an orthopedic doctor in their city. They might be actively looking for an ortho doctor, but it’s fairly unlikely.
On the other hand, SEO puts you in front of motivated people looking for what you have to offer:
SEO for orthopedic doctors allows you to show up in Google for people actively looking for orthopedics. People searching for “best orthopedic doctor near me” or “orthopedics in Willamette Valley.” Ranking for those keywords has a MUCH higher conversion than people scrolling on Instagram.
How Long Does SEO for Orthopedic Doctors Take To Work?
Orthopedic SEO can take 1 week – 6 months for you to start seeing results. It depends on a variety of factors:
- How long your website has been around for
- How big of a city you live in
- How high your website’s “domain authority” is
- How your current SEO is performing
- And much more
Some of our clients have seen 2x – 3x the phone calls within a month after starting their SEO campaign. Other clients don’t see noticeable increases in phone calls for 2-3 months.
Think about this, though:
If everyone could make a couple of tweaks on their website and rank overnight for the HIGHEST value keywords out there, like “best orthopedic doctor in St. George” then the internet would go haywire.
These things take time. Google built their algorithms that way on purpose.
What Orthopedic SEO KPIs Should We Track?
Orthopedic SEO should be meticulously tracked.
You want to know, with absolute certainty, that the money you’re investing in SEO is working for your orthopedic practice.
Because of that, you need to track certain metrics to ensure that the campaign is working:
- Keyword rankings: Are your ranking on Page 1 of Google for your industry’s most important keywords? How are your keyword rankings changing from week over week? Month over month?
- Organic website traffic: Is your organic website traffic from Google going up or down? Which keywords are driving the majority of traffic to your site?
- Online lead submissions: Are you seeing more online leads? How are they changing from one month to the next?
- Phone calls: Are you getting more phone calls from people searching on Google? How are phone calls changing over time?
What Type of Content Should Orthopedic Websites Have?
Orthopedic SEO should include content that your target audience is searching for on Google:
How do we know what keywords/content your target audience is searching for? We use advanced software and tools that give us insider information and data. We, for example, know that 390 people per month (on average) search for “appetizers for wine tasting”.
So, with that being said, we do extensive keyword research to find the topics/questions related to orthopedics that people are asking.
- “What does an orthopedic surgeon do?”
- “Orthopedic shoes for men”
- “What is orthopedic impairment?”
If you create content that answers these questions, then you can potentially rank in Google when people search for these.
Also, Google will favor your site over your competitors because Google will have more trust in your site.
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How To Work With Us
First of all – we don’t work with all orthopedic doctors.
We only work with orthopedic doctors that:
- Are ambitious about growing their business
- Have the bandwidth to take the growth that will come from working with us
- Treat their employees and their customers well
Request a 'Free SEO Audit'
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Check Your Email
In less than 24 hours, one of our talented SEO specialists will send you a 3-5 minute customized video analysis. It will explain opportunities for you to outperform competitors.
Sit Back And Watch Your SEO Skyrocket
Just look at our case studies of the success that other Portland businesses have seen. You can have the same results.