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SEO6 min read What are the best healthcare keywords?

Choosing the best healthcare keywords will help you create content that brings the right people to your site at the right time.

April 7, 2022Jeremy Dietz, Executive Digital Editor

Whether you're sitting down to create a service line page, blog post, location page, press release or a provider listing, healthcare keywords will play a key role in making sure that content ranks well in search.

We're often asked what the best keywords are for a healthcare search engine optimization (SEO) project.

The short answer is: "It depends on your goals and your community."

That said, there are some keyword phrases that tend to work in many markets.

20 of the best healthcare keywords

Doing your own keyword research is essential. But the terms below should give you an idea of the kinds of searches people are doing across the country. We chose these examples because they are relevant to the types of services healthcare organizations often offer and they are likely to return local results rather than just national organizations.

Healthcare keyword Monthly searches in the U.S.
Urgent care near me 4,110,000
Hospital near me 725,000
Pediatrician near me 291,000
Gynecologist near me 242,000
Doctors near me 235,000
Emergency room near me 213,000
Walk in clinic 175,000
Primary care physician near me 127,000
Cardiologist near me 106,000
Doctor's office near me 78,100
Orthopedic doctor near me 70,600
Mammogram near me 45,000
Medical clinic near me 44,300
Women's health clinic 40,300
Heart hospital 19,000
Oncologist near me 18,400
Pediatric clinic 18,300
Orthopedic clinic 13,000
Cancer center 9,300
Sleep clinic 7,600

4 attributes of good healthcare keywords

Finding the best healthcare keywords for an SEO project doesn't just mean choosing the terms that people search for the most. You want to target terms that help you reach the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

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In your research, look for keywords that are:

1. Specific to your community. Healthcare keywords often come with stiff competition. For example, a keyword like "mammograms" will be very difficult to rank for nationally. These types of keywords also tend to have results that are dominated by national organizations.

To find out if there's interest for a keyword like this in your community, look for searches that have local terms associated with them. For example, "mammograms in Walla Walla" or "mammograms near me." As you probably noticed in the chart above, "near me" searches are quite popular.

2. Relevant for the people you're trying to reach. The terms people search for can vary significantly from one region to another, so it's important to perform local keyword research that looks specifically at data for your audience. For example, we often find differences across communities in whether people are searching for a medical specialty by an official name like "cardiologist" or with an everyday phrase like "heart doctor."

3. Possible to rank for. An essential part of evaluating a keyword is looking at the results a search engine returns when someone looks for it. There are a few things to check, including:

  • Do the results match your page? For example, searches for "rehabilitation" sometimes return results related to substance abuse treatment rather than physical therapy.
  • Are there local organizations present? If the results are all national organizations and medical journals, you might not be able to rank with a page about a local health service or provider.
  • Where is the first organic result? Advertisements, answer boxes and local packs are among the things that can push the first organic result down the page. The lower the first organic result is, the less likely it is to be seen. In cases like this, the keyword may still be valuable to rank for. But you'll probably need to adjust your strategy to specifically address how the results are displayed.
  • How strong is the content that ranks? If the first results are competitors who all have really strong content, ranking ahead of them may take significant time and effort. It may be worth it. But you might also consider going after keywords with less competition.

4. Implemented with care. Once you've found the right keyword, remember to use it in the right way. Put it in your headline, if possible. But don't use it repeatedly or awkwardly throughout the article. Instead, write naturally and make liberal use of synonyms and related phrases.

In some cases, you might not need to use your exact keyword phrase at all. For example, "near me" search results are compiled based on the searcher's location, not on whether or not you have those exact words in your text.

Finally, make sure your page is truly useful to the person using the keywords. For example, someone searching for "cardiologist near me" wants to find out about your team and their expertise. A page that only talks about your facilities and the overall service line isn't as likely to rank for a provider-focused search.

Get expert help with healthcare SEO

SEO can be a do-it-yourself task. But hiring a team of experts can often provide better results and free you up to do other work. If you're looking for help, Coffey has a team of SEO experts who will do the research and content creation needed to make your content rank.

To talk about your SEO strategy and find out how Coffey can help, schedule a meeting with one of our business development consultants.