How to Do Keyword Research for your Medical Practice

Master the Art of Keyword Research: A Comprehensive Guide for Medical Professionals


Have you ever wondered how the pros consistently land at the top of the search results on Google? Get ready to unravel the secrets and gain access to a vital resource in understanding the core concepts of keyword research. Just as you must crawl to master walking, you must understand the basics of keyword research before you use them to build your online status.

What is a Keyword?

A keyword is a word or phrase used in online searches, particularly in search engines like Google. In medical and dental contexts, keywords range from "emergency dentist" to "local pediatrician," reflecting the needs and interests of potential patients. By understanding and utilizing these keywords, you can tailor your website's content to align with your audience's searches. This strategy is essential for enhancing your practice's online visibility and accessibility, ensuring that your services are easily found by those in need.


What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research involves identifying and analyzing the terms potential patients use when searching for medical or dental services online. This process is more than just recognizing popular terms; it's about understanding the intent and needs behind these searches. Conducting thorough keyword research is fundamental in developing an effective SEO strategy. It ensures your website's content resonates with what your audience is looking for, thereby improving your practice's visibility in search results and making it easier for potential patients to find your services.


The Importance of Keyword Research for Medical Professionals

Keyword research is essential for medical professionals, including doctors and dentists, to establish a strong online presence. With the increasing trend of patients using the internet for medical information and health services, it's crucial for your practice to be visible in these online searches.


Understanding the specific terms and phrases patients use in search engines is a key challenge. Medical jargon can often differ from the language used by the general public. In order to position your practice well it's important for medical professionals to align their keyword strategy with their patients' level of health literacy and education. This ensures that your practice appears in search results when potential patients are looking for medical information or services. 


Tailoring Keyword Research for Medical Professionals

Tailoring keyword research to the needs of medical professionals requires a specialized approach. It involves identifying the terms commonly used by patients when searching for medical information or services. This can range from specific treatments, symptoms, and local healthcare queries. Considering the language and terminology used by the general public is essential, as it may differ from medical jargon. Incorporating local geographic terms like the city or town name are imporant, given that most patients seek local healthcare providers in the area. Tailoring your keyword research will allow your practice to capture specific types of patient search intents, like "emergency dental care in [City]" or "child asthma specialist near me," can significantly enhance your practice's online visibility. This local keyword research strategy allows you to effectively connect with and attract the right patient demographic to your practice.


Getting Started: Key Steps of Keyword Research

Completing your keyword research and finding those magical keywords can seem daunting, but at Digital Highlander we break it down into a simple, manageable three-step process. 


Step 1: Find Keywords

Start by compiling a list of potential keywords that align with what potential patients might use when searching for dental services online. Begin with broad terms like "dentist" or "primary care physician" associated with your practice, then expand to include more specific services. Utilize tools such as Google Keyword Planner or engage in brainstorming sessions to generate a diverse set of keywords.


Step 2: Analyze Keywords

Once you have a list of potential keywords, the next step is to analyze them. Look at factors like search volume, keyword difficulty, and relevance to your services. This analysis helps in understanding which keywords are popular among users and how competitive they are to rank for. Tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs can provide valuable insights during this phase.


Step 3: Select Target Keywords

The final step is selecting your target keywords. These should be the keywords that are not only relevant to your health or dental practice but also have a good balance of search volume and competition. Target keywords should align with the specific services you offer and the queries your potential patients are likely to make. This careful selection ensures that your SEO efforts are focused and effective.


How to Select the Right Keywords

Choose keywords that strike a balance between search volume and competition. Also, consider the intent behind the keywords – are people looking for information, or are they ready to book an appointment?


1. Selecting Keywords Relevant to Your Business and The Procedures You Want to Be Found For

It seems obvious but the first step is choosing keywords that are relevant to your medical or dental practice. You want to select keywords for the services you want to be found for. This step goes beyond general terms and dives into the specifics of your services and expertise. For instance, if you specialize in holistic dentistry, keywords like "holistic root canal alernative" or "ozone therapy" might be more relevant than general terms like "dental cleaning."


2. Selecting Keywords with Search Volume

When selecting the right keywords, it's important to consider their search volume. Search volume indicates how many times a particular keyword is searched for in a given timeframe. For health professionals, this metric is invaluable as it helps gauge the popularity and demand for specific services or queries. However, it's a balancing act. High search volume keywords can drive significant traffic but are often highly competitive. On the other hand, keywords with lower search volumes may be less competitive and more targeted, potentially attracting more qualified leads.


3. Understanding User Intent

User intent is a very important aspect of keyword research that should guide your keyword selection. For instance, when a user searches for “pain remedies” their search intent indicates they are looking for information about pain remedies and not quite to the point where they are ready to schedule an appointment. Whereas the search “emergency care near me” indicates the user is further along their decision making process and is looking to book an appointment.

4. Leveraging Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that are less competitive and often align closely with user intent. Examples include "pediatric dentist for braces in [Your City]" or "affordable dental implants near me."


Sample Keyword Lists for Medical Professionals

For doctors, dentists, and health professionals looking to enhance their online presence, having a well-researched keyword list is essential. Below are sample keyword lists for various medical specialties that you can use to begin your own research process. These lists will serve as a starting point for your SEO keyword research:



Effective Keyword Research Tips


Getting Better at Keyword Research

Improving your skills in keyword research is a continuous journey, and it begins with establishing a strong foundation in the basics. To enhance your understanding and stay updated with the latest trends and techniques, it's beneficial to regularly read and learn from the leaders in keyword research. Start with these comprehensive guides:



How to do free keyword research

Conducting keyword research doesn't need a hefty investment. Premium keyword research tools can provide a lot of information.  There are also many free alternatives that can help you with your keyword research.


Google Keyword Planner

Google's Keyword Planner is a great starting point, offering insights into search volumes and trends. It helps gauge keyword popularity and the evolution of search queries, making it useful for initial SEO planning. However, it's designed more for Google Ads and may not provide the detailed SEO insights or nuanced understanding of user intent that specialized tools offer.


Google Trends

Google Trends is effective for monitoring the popularity of specific search terms, especially in identifying breakout keywords. These are terms with a sudden surge in popularity, useful for tapping into emerging trends and breakout keywordds. While excellent for spotting trends, Google Trends lacks the detailed analytics needed for a complete SEO strategy.



ChatGPT can generate initial seed keywords, offering a range of relevant terms based on its training data and language understanding. While it's good for brainstorming, it doesn't provide real-time search data or detailed analytics. It's best used in conjunction with dedicated keyword research tools for a more in-depth strategy.


Ahrefs Keyword Generator (Free Version)

The free version of Ahrefs Keyword Generator offers insights into popular keywords and phrases. It's useful for generating a quick list of ideas, but with limitations in search volumes and trends. For deeper insights, consider supplementing it with the full version or other advanced tools.


Semrush Keyword Magic Tool (Free Version)

Semrush's free tool provides a glimpse into a wide array of keywords and basic metrics, aiding in identifying relevant terms. However, it has limitations in search volume data and competitive analysis. For a more detailed strategy, exploring its full capabilities or integrating with other tools is recommended.


Also Asked

Also Asked explores interconnected questions related to your main keyword, helping to expand your strategy to include question-based searches. It focuses on question patterns without providing search volume data or trend analysis, so it's best used with other analytical tools.


By utilizing these free resources, you can conduct comprehensive keyword research without financial commitment, laying a solid foundation for your SEO strategy.


How to maintain your keyword rankings


To maintain and improve your keyword rankings, it's essential to stay proactive and adaptable in your SEO approach. 


First, keeping yourself up to date with the latest SEO trends and adapting your keyword list to reflect these changes. This ensures that your keyword strategy remains effective. 


Second, using your keyword research to create high-quality content. Your content needs to be optimized correctly to target your primary and secondary keywords, but also informative, engaging and tailored to meet the search intent of your visitors. High-quality content will help you maintain and hold onto your keyword rankings and establish your practice as a trusted authority in your market. 


Lastly, monitor your website's performance so you know exactly how your website’s keywords are doing. Regularly check Google Search Console, your Keyword Research, Rank Tracking software, and be ready to adjust your strategy if things change. 

Key Takeaways

Keyword research is an important digital marketing skill. Keyword research helps you discover what your target audience is searching. Targeting the right keywords is foundational to building a successful SEO campaign for your medical practice. By understanding the search behvaiors of your target market you can effectively market to them, you can significantly enhance your online presence, attract more patients, and establish yourself as a leading health professional in your area. 


Being keyword savvy is ultimately the prescription for online success.

Benjamin Davidson