SEO for Plastic Surgeons: A 9-Step Guide to Get More Organic Traffic to Your Plastic Surgery Website

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Today, more people than ever are choosing to get plastic surgery, thanks to it being more accepted and the rise of new technologies that make it less expensive.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a big change. Even when times got tough with money post-pandemic, the interest in looking good didn’t slow down. A study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons discovered that in 2022, there were 19% more surgeries than back in 2019.

With so many people looking into cosmetic changes, clinics like yours are opening up everywhere, making the competition tough. And forcing you to compete on multiple fronts.

When both men and women think about getting some work done—like cosmetic surgery—they usually start by looking online. They’re on Google, typing things like “plastic surgeon near me” or searching for the “best plastic surgeon in New York.” Now, think about your clinic. Is it showing up in those searches on Google or Bing? Or are you still hoping that word of mouth is enough, while other clinics are way ahead in the game because they’re all over the internet?

With plastic surgery SEO (Search Engine Optimization), you can catch and turn those online searches into real patients walking through your door.

Plastic Surgery SEO. What Does It Actually Mean?

Plastic surgery SEO is a digital marketing strategy tailored specifically for plastic surgery clinics and surgeons. It involves optimizing your clinic’s website and online content to improve visibility and rank higher in search engine results.

Plastic surgery clinics that dominate search results on Google and Bing can generate better leads, increase their conversion rates, and stand out among their competitors.

Top 5 Benefits of SEO for Plastic Surgeons

SEO can have a ton of benefits for plastic surgeons looking to attract more clients through online channels. Let’s unpack the most important ones:

1. Increased Online Visibility

The primary reason you should be doing SEO is to be discoverable on the internet. Think about it—if you’re a plastic surgeon and nobody can find you online, you’re pretty much invisible to your potential clients.

It’s frustrating, right? You’re there, ready to offer top-notch cosmetic treatments, but your waiting room is quiet.

SEO for plastic surgeons can help your practice appear in search results for a wide range of keywords related to your clinic and the treatments you offer. Moreover, a successfully executed SEO campaign can secure higher rankings on search engines. This, in turn, can increase your likelihood that potential patients will click on your clinic’s website, as it’s been shown that the first page of search results captures the majority of traffic.

In short, SEO helps to get eyes on you, your clinic, and the fantastic work you do.

2. Enhanced Local Presence

Another upside of SEO is that it helps you build your presence in local searches. People prefer local options for discrete services like plastic surgery, but if they can’t find you, they can’t choose you.

SEO puts you on the map, literally. By claiming and optimizing your Google Business listing, such as by ensuring your contact information is accurate, adding photos of your clinic, and collecting patient reviews, you can improve your local search presence. There are around 18,000 monthly searches for the keyword “plastic surgeons near me.”

Plastic Surgeons Near Me Semrush Keyword Magic Tool 04142024

With SEO, your clinic can show up on these local searches and capture a ton of organic leads.

3. Higher Quality Leads

Not all leads are created equal. You want patients who are ready to book a consultation, not just window shopping. Think about the energy spent on leads that go nowhere. It’s frustrating and a waste of time.

SEO allows you to target highly specific keywords relevant to your practice. 

Let’s say you specialize in breast augmentation, which is the second most popular procedure in the US.

Instead of using a general phrase like “breast augmentation surgeon,” you can try more specific ones like “best breast augmentation surgeon for a natural look” or “breast augmentation recovery tips.” These are the kinds of searches done by individuals who are pretty much ready to go for it and are just figuring out the details.

With good content, credible customer reviews, and an optimized website, you’re literally in the best position to convert these leads into consultations and, ultimately, into surgeries booked. That’s the power of plastic surgery SEO.

4. Competitive Advantage

You know how competitive the cosmetic surgery industry is. It’s packed. To not just survive but thrive, you need an edge. Watching competitors snag all the attention online is discouraging. You know you’re just as good, if not better.

With SEO, you can outrank your competitors by targeting niche keywords and offering in-depth educational content, further improving your SEO performance. Studies show that the top three search results get more than 50% of all click-throughs. SEO can help you reach and stay at the top of these search results pages.

Take a look at this practical example. Imagine someone is looking for nose surgery clinics in Chicago. They search on Google and see a list of clinics.

Rhinoplasty Clinics In Chicago Google Search 04142024

The first clinic on the list gets about 27.6% of the clicks, the second gets 15.8%, and the third gets 11%. After the third, fewer people click on the links. While clicks do not directly equate to booked consultations, it’s fundamentally a numbers game. The more individuals click, the greater the likelihood they will become actual patients entering your clinic.

5. Cost-effective, Long-term Results

Marketing can eat into your budget, with ongoing costs that keep adding up. It’s like you’re constantly throwing money into a bottomless pit, especially with paid Google or social media ads. And for what? A temporary bump in traffic?

Unlike paid advertising, the results from SEO are more cost-effective and have a longer-lasting impact. Sure, it takes some effort and investment upfront, but the payoff is huge. Ads might buy you clicks, but SEO builds a foundation that continues to attract patients over time. This means your customer acquisition costs go down, not up. And your lead pipeline becomes more predictable.

9 Steps to Rank Your Plastic Surgery Practice

1. Ensure Your Plastic Surgery Website’s Technical Foundation Is Solid

You don’t start building a house from the roof, and the same applies to SEO. First come the foundations. These foundations are the technical elements of your website.

Google can only find, crawl, and index websites that are in good SEO health. Therefore, you should audit your website to identify any technical issues you are facing and fix them immediately before proceeding with the remaining steps.

To get started, run an SEO website audit using an SEO tool like Semrush, Ahrefs, Moz, or Google’s own Lighthouse solution. In parallel, you can use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to identify and rectify your site’s speed issues.

What should you be focusing on? Well, it’s a bunch of things, such as:

  • Site loading speed;
  • Mobile-friendliness;
  • SSL certificates;
  • Site structure;
  • Broken links;
  • Images;
  • Structured data markups;
  • Sitemaps.

2. Conduct Competitor Research

Most of your competitors are already implementing SEO strategies. Some may have even invested significant funds to secure a spot in the top 3 positions on Google. Now, don’t get discouraged! Instead, leverage your competitors’ SEO strategies to your advantage.

SEO tools like Ahrefs and Semrush allow you to delve deeper into your competition, uncovering keywords they’re targeting and ranking for. These tools also help you identify your competitors’ strengths and capitalize on their weaknesses.

Here’s how to get started with competitor research:

Identify Your SEO Competitors

These are the cosmetic surgery clinics that offer similar services to yours and target similar keywords. You may already be familiar with some of them and can directly input their information into an SEO tool. Alternatively, you can use SEO tools to help identify your organic competitors.

For example, you can use the Semrush Organic Research feature to help you discover who your competitors are and what keywords they’re targeting.

Semrush Organic Search 04142024

Understand What Drives Their Organic Traffic

Using Semrush or another SEO tool of your choice, you can also uncover your competitors’ most significant traffic statistics. SEO tools can not only reveal your competitors’ best-performing pages but also unwrap all strategies and sources of traffic, including organic, paid campaigns, referrals, and social media.

Cover Competitors’ Gaps with Better Content to Outrank Them

Finally, using the Semrush Keyword Gap feature, you can also identify keywords your competitors are after and some gaps that you can leverage to your advantage.

Simply plug in up to 5 competitor domains to reveal their keyword profile.

Semrush Keyword Gap Domain Analysis 04142024

3. Find High-intent, Money Keywords

Competitor research alone will reveal keywords you can target in your SEO campaign. However, you should conduct additional research to identify “money keywords,” which are high-purchase-intent search phrases that directly align with your product or service offerings. 

These keywords are typically more specific and are used by potential customers who are closer to making a purchase decision.

Here’s what to look for when doing keyword research:

Search VolumeHigh volume indicates many searches, but seek balance to avoid overly competitive terms.
Keyword Difficulty (KD)A lower score suggests easier ranking potential; moderate levels are often acceptable for high-intent keywords.
Cost-Per-Click (CPC)High CPC values suggest high commercial intent, implying more valuable conversions.
Search IntentFocus on keywords leading to product/service pages or buyer’s guides, indicating readiness to purchase.

For example, suppose your practice in Los Angeles offers tummy tuck surgery. Enter this keyword into the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool to extract data on it. Then, begin analyzing the results. Does it have sufficient search volume? Is it realistic for you to rank for this keyword given its difficulty? Analyze all keywords relevant to your business to identify the most profitable ones to target.

Tummy Tuck Los Angeles Semrush Keyword Magic Tool 04142024

4. Create High-quality, Relevant content

Your clinic’s website will feature a variety of different pages. From the “About Us” section and services to pricing and your blog, you’ll need a lot of quality content to rank.

As a bare minimum, build a landing page that targets your high-intent, money keyword (i.e., “best tummy tuck surgeon in Los Angeles”). But for a truly successful SEO campaign, be prepared to do more.

If you glance over the screenshot above, what do you notice? People are not only interested in the providers of tummy tuck surgery; they are also curious about prices. You should cater to that with content.

On the one hand, creating valuable and engaging content gives you an opportunity to educate your target customers, and who knows, after reading an article about the pricing of surgeries, they might click on your service page and book a consultation. On the other hand, with high-quality content, you can rank high for these long-tail keywords and attract a lot of organic traffic. The benefits are twofold.

5. Leverage Local SEO

People who search for plastic surgeons often look at the results in close vicinity. By simply adding “near me” to a keyword, users can access local results for their search query.

You can rank in the local search by implementing a local SEO strategy. For that, you should:

  • Create a Google Business Profile;
  • Fill out relevant information about your business, including services and treatments you offer;
  • Upload high-quality images of your clinic;
  • Get reviews.

6. Implement a Link-building Strategy

Building backlinks can help your plastic surgery clinic’s website get noticed online. Moreover, for highly competitive keywords, you’ll almost always need some backlinks to rank.
That said, link-building is one of the hardest aspects of SEO. To build backlinks organically, you should always focus on creating high-quality educational content that others want to refer to. You can also use other tactics, like getting listed in medical directories or societies, such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons or the Aesthetic Society.

7. Focus on Patient Reviews and Testimonials

Your client feedback, especially on Google, is a ranking signal. So, if you want to be thrown into the top Google results pages, you need patient reviews. And, no, you should never buy reviews, that’s a big no-no. But you can always encourage your clients to leave honest reviews after they have received a treatment.
These testimonials will also benefit your business by helping you build trust with your future patients. In 2023, 76% of internet users always or regularly read online reviews. Your potential customers are certainly part of this number.

8. Collaborate with an SEO Agency

You might be tempted to handle SEO on your own, thinking it can’t be that hard. However, SEO is a job in its own right. It requires expertise in understanding its intricacies, including proficiency with analytical tools.

And let’s be honest—you’re a surgeon, not a marketer. You wouldn’t outsource surgeries to someone else, but outsourcing SEO could be a smart business move. It can free up your time and let you leverage the expertise of agencies or consultants who specialize in SEO for cosmetic surgery clinics daily.

9. Oversee and Adjust Your SEO Strategy Regularly

Google’s algorithms are changing almost daily, SEO practices are evolving, and your competitors aren’t sleeping either.

Any SEO professional will tell you that for SEO campaigns to yield results, you need to keep a close eye on various performance metrics. This can include anything from search visibility, impressions, and clicks to consultations booked and actual surgeries performed.

There are several tools available to track these metrics, including Google Search Console and your SEO tool, among others. Clinics that monitor their SEO performance and make adjustments are the ones reaping the maximum benefits.

Plastic Surgery SEO FAQs

How long does SEO take for a plastic surgery website?

SEO results for a plastic surgery website typically take 3 to 9 months to achieve initial traction. The exact timeline depends on the website’s current SEO health, competition in the area, and the effectiveness of the implemented strategies. SEO is a long-term strategy, meaning a sustained SEO campaign will make your plastic surgery practice more visible over time.

Is SEO right for cosmetic surgery practices?

Yes, SEO is highly beneficial for cosmetic surgery practices. It’s a competitive industry, which makes it hard for clinics to stand out. With the help of SEO, you can make it easier for people to find your practice and services on Google and Bing. When you target specific keywords that people are searching for, like “nose job” or “facelift,” more potential customers looking for these services can discover your clinic. Properly executed, SEO can lead to a significant increase in consultations and patient acquisition.

How much do plastic surgery SEO services cost?

Plastic surgery SEO services range from $1,500 to $5,000 per month, depending on practice size and scope, website complexity, and necessary services like keyword research, content optimization, link building, and social media marketing. Costs also vary with location competitiveness and your website’s current SEO health.

What are the most valuable keywords to target for Cosmetic Surgery SEO?

The most valuable keywords to target for cosmetic surgery SEO are the so-called “money keywords“, which are high-intent search terms that people use when they are close to making a purchase or conversion decision. These include “[your city] plastic surgeon,” “best plastic surgeon near me,” and treatment-related terms, such as “rhinoplasty [your city],” “breast augmentation in [your city],” “tummy tuck specialist near me,” along with cost queries, such as “liposuction costs [your city]” or “facelift price [your city].”