Are you using the right keywords for your private practice website?


By now, you’re hopefully evangelical about the importance of writing really excellent content for your private practice website. But what if the important messages you wish to be conveying to your patients and referrers appear to be falling on deaf ears? Have you ever felt that your beautifully crafted blog post was reaching absolutely nobody in the universe? Chances are your website’s SEO (search engine optimisation) is up the creek.

In order for people to find your fabulous information, you and your content consumers need to be speaking the same language. When they search for the cure for their bumpy liver illness, you want them to find YOU, and not ‘Bumpy Livers R Us’.

 Private practice Ninja helper  I’d like to encourage you to embrace your inner Tech nerd and take an hour away from clinic to think about keywords.

But before I start philosophising on the wonders that keywords can bring for your practice, you first need to ensure that all of your website is being seen by Google.

Yep, it’s not enough to bash out a Go-Daddy site and expect that it will instantly have the internet traffic lure equivalent to the gravitational pull of Jupiter.
A key rookie pitfall some folks blunder into, is forgetting to register their site with Google.
If you have an inkling that your website designer might have done this for you, but you’re not entirely sure, you need to go check it out. The good news is, it’s easy to remedy.

If you visit you will come to a page with a green button that says ‘search console’. This will give you a list of ‘properties’ (which basically means websites and other things hosted on the web). If yours isn’t there, you’ll need to follow the steps they prompt you to take, to ensure listing success. Now’s a good time to check, go on, click on the link. Don’t worry – I’ll wait for you..

Private practice Ninja helper  Once Google knows of your existence you can start to get groovy with keywords.

In a nutshell, a ‘keyword’ (which is sometimes actually an entire phrase), is an expression that people use when they are searching the internet. These can be quite lengthy and are often known as ‘long tailed keywords’. You need to use the keywords that patients and referrers would actually choose to search for – in their own words.

For example: If you were a taxidermy collector (humour me), you might choose to search: “where can I buy a stuffed flamingo in Surrey?”

If, as the taxidermist, you chose to litter your site with keywords such as:‘tall, pink, dead aquatic bird of the family Phoenicopteridae’, chances are, you ain’t gonna secure that sale.

Block out an hour or two in your calendar to have a full-on brainstorm of the keywords that you are using in relation to your website copy, and the blogs that you are posting on the internet. Make yourself a big fat list and then you can use some on-line tools to see which are going to be the most useful for you.

Private practice Ninja helper  To get started, first make a list of expressions that patients regularly use when they are describing their pain or symptoms to you.

Do they talk about ‘sciatica’, or do they use words like ‘groin pain’, or ‘feeling out puff’? Sometimes the curse of knowledge means we default to using medical terminology, such as ‘radiculopathy’ and ‘dyspnoea’. Unless your patient has Munchausen’s, chances are, they won’t be using this kind of language.

Next, you might like to take a peek at the kind of terms your peers are using. Type into Google the names of other Clinicians you think are doing well, and look to see who ranks highly in the organic search listing. Have a nose around the terminology they are using, and see if they would work for you too.

Need some tips on, How Google ranks you? Click HERE to read my blog.

There are several on-line tools you can also use for discovering good keywords, e.g: and


In particular, Google AdWords is especially useful in the way it can tell you which keywords are particularly ‘commercial’ for your industry.

Companies will pay to advertise with Google (called pay per click – PPC) using keywords (aka AdWords). The more expensive the keyword that’s listed, the more profitable business there is surrounding that keyword.

For example: if your business is involved in domestic home removals, and you chose to go with a Google Adword such as ‘home removals’, you’d discover this to be a less expensive AdWord than ‘international removals’. This signals that international removals draw more revenue.

If your keyword isn’t listed in Google AdWords, or it’s pretty low in monetary value, chances are that not many people are searching for it.

Once you have got all your keywords together, put them into your Google keyword planner and come up with a list that you think best represents the kind of patients you want to target.

Here’s a top Ninja tip…

Allways mention your location in your keywords – Patients are visiting you at your location they need to know where you are.

If you are a clinician who practices in a specified area, and you e.g. want to be listed as an Osteopath in Notting Hill, you’ll need to include some terms in your keywords that will identify that particular geography.

For Example: you could put ‘Osteopath in Notting Hill’ or use the first three letters of a postcode that relates to where your practice is.
If you are running an educational event that has a particular date – especially if it involves a calendar year in its description, be sure to include the date in the keywording.

Private practice Ninja helper  Getting great keywords is an important part of optimising your website’s SEO

In fact, it’s far more important than trying to drive poorly targeted traffic to your website via social media. If you have only a few moments to spare, use it to think about keywords for your writing, rather than faffing about on snap chat.

Still a little unsure about SEO? Click on this link HERE to read my blog page on SEO and Google to refresh your memory.

Sometimes, we all need a little extra help in building our practices – from a business perspective, as well as a clinical one.

Are looking for guidance and advice ?

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