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SEO for Plastic Surgeons—Increase Web Traffic and Leads

Pills and bottles in pastel colors

With nearly a decade of experience in the SEO industry, our agency has served many international and domestic health centers and plastic surgeons. In analyzing competitors’ strategies over the years, we’ve often seen subpar SEO tactics like keyword stuffing or mismatching search intent without a deep grasp of optimization best practices or patient journeys.

We’ve also encountered sites with excellent technical SEO implementations and high-quality backlink profiles. This experience has given us valuable insights into effective optimization strategies for healthcare providers looking to attract more patients.

In this article, we’ll share key learnings on how to make smart marketing investments that deliver results.

Expert-backed SEO ideas to attract more prospective patients

In today’s digital landscape, search engine optimization has become highly specialized. Before launching or rebuilding their website, it’s crucial for plastic surgeons and cosmetic centers to determine whether they will focus on local markets or expand internationally.

For those looking to attract patients in their metropolitan area, optimizing for local SEO is key. This includes listing your business on directories like Google My Business, building local citations and reviews, optimizing contact information and location pages on your site, and creating content focused on serving your city.

If your goals involve appealing to an international audience, additional marketing strategies and efforts will be required. 

Whether optimizing locally or internationally, building brand awareness should also be a priority for plastic surgeons. Brand traffic that directly types your business name into the search bar converts better than other channels.

Effective ways to boost brand visibility include:

  • Launching social media profiles
  • Starting a YouTube channel with e.g. educational videos
  • Proactively showcasing genuine patient testimonials
  • Setting up alerts to track mentions of your clinic name, surgeon names, and brand terminology across the internet and social media
  • Networking within your local community and medical associations

There are many tools available to track brand keywords and mentions online. By developing your brand identity and reputation over time, you can earn direct traffic and trust as a leading provider.

From our experience, most plastic surgery clinics and surgeons do not proactively plan out their SEO and content strategies. One key insight we’ve learned is that realistically, some surgeons or clinics  will likely never dominate the top search results for broad, competitive keywords in the niche.

Well-established brands with more authority and resources will continue to rank highest for keywords like “best plastic surgeon” or “best breast augmentation.” While you should still optimize for relevant terms, being at the very top across the board is extremely difficult.

That’s why a clever, targeted approach to content and keyword planning is so important:

  • Research long-tail, and/or location-based, and procedurally focused keywords that are less competitive.
  • Create content optimized specifically around ranking for those terms.
  • Focus on conversing with potential patients rather than overtly optimizing content.

We recommend beginning with keyword analysis to identify relevant keywords, including long-tail variations. Ranking on page one for low competition long-tail terms can drive qualified traffic without a large investment. Consider your goals—would you prefer a top 10 position for less prestigious keywords that attract potential patients, or rank further down on high volume keywords that likely won’t convert? Define the right keywords that align with your business objectives and budget. With strategic optimization, you can achieve top rankings for terms that deliver results.

In addition to core service keywords, consider including terminology that relates to issues plastic surgery can resolve. For example, target keywords around common patient concerns like “wrinkle reduction”, “post-baby body”, or “aging skin treatment”.

Monitoring trending topics in your industry can reveal new patient interests and pain points to address in your content. Check sites like to stay on top of emerging plastic surgery trends. Optimizing for these rising searches can help you attract more clients looking for solutions. Being quick to create content around new trends can give you a competitive advantage and position your practice as an authority on the latest procedures patients are exploring.

Building high-quality backlinks is critical for plastic surgery practices looking to improve SEO. However, it can be challenging to obtain links from reputable sources. Avoid low-value links from irrelevant websites, as these won’t impact rankings. Analyze where top-ranking competitors are getting links and aim to earn mentions on similar authoritative sites related to plastic surgery and health.

Ways to build valuable backlinks include: actively participating in online medical forums and discussions, setting up a Help a Reporter Out (HARO) account to connect with journalists seeking sources, contributing insightful commentary and thought leadership to national/international medical conferences and publications. Focus on obtaining links from trusted industry resources rather than spamming low-quality directories. Quality over quantity is key when building links for your practice.

Creating valuable content for prospective patients can also improve opportunities for backlinks and social shares. Consider developing resources like eBooks, blog posts, or FAQs that address common patient questions and concerns.

Share your expertise through posts that detail your experience with specific procedures or conditions. Helpful tools like calculators, quizzes, or checklists allow potential patients to engage further with your content and practice.

The goal is to produce content that informs and assists people interested in plastic surgery procedures. If you provide something useful, other sites and professionals are more likely to link to your content or share it on social media. Aim to be a trusted source of knowledge for your target audience. Helpful, relevant content can pay dividends in referrals, links, and engagement.

When publishing content on plastic surgery websites, follow Google’s recommended guidelines for providing proper authorship information. For each blog post, clearly attribute the author by including a byline with the author’s full name and credentials.

Additionally, create author profile pages that link to the external professional profiles of each contributor. This could include linking to the author’s LinkedIn page, staff bio page, or other pages that provide details on their background and qualifications.

Properly identifying content creators helps establish authority and trustworthiness. Following authorship best practices demonstrates your commitment to transparency, and shows potential patients  your plastic surgeons are credible experts in their field. Clear author attribution and details allow Google to better understand the expertise behind the website’s content.

Using high-quality images and videos can benefit both SEO and conversion for plastic surgery websites. Optimizing visual assets makes them more findable in Google Image search, bringing in additional organic traffic.

Images and videos also help convince prospective patients by visually demonstrating your clinic’s facilities, equipment, and actual patient results. Before and after photos of cosmetic procedures build trust by showing examples of the quality outcomes you can deliver.

Videos give an inside look at the environment and allow potential clients to see your surgeons and staff in action. Ensure all visuals have detailed file names and alt text descriptions for SEO. Compelling images and video content help visitors connect with your practice on a more personal, emotional level and feel confident choosing your services.

One common issue we see on plastic surgery websites is a lack of strategic internal linking. Without a defined internal linking structure, sites often have minimal or chaotic connections between pages. However, even smaller websites can benefit greatly from interlinking content properly.

Taking the time to map out a plan for internal links helps search engines better crawl and interpret the relationship between pages. This in turn can boost rankings without relying solely on external backlinks.

There are many opportunities to improve navigation and search visibility through an effective and purposeful internal link building strategy. The effort pays dividends in long-term organic performance.

Regularly monitoring Google Analytics and Search Console should be standard practice for plastic surgery clinics’ marketing teams. These tools provide valuable insights to the sit performance.

For example, you may notice high mobile traffic in Analytics. If your website’s mobile experience is slow or buggy, you could be losing conversions. Staying on top of mobile friendliness and performance is key, as more prospective patients use smartphones to research procedures.

Use data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console—or other analytical tools— to make informed decisions about the website and SEO. Identify high-value landing pages and uncover issues like indexing errors. Continuously optimizing based on actionable data will help convert more of your website visitors into patients booking consultations or treatments.

Final thoughts

For plastic surgeons focused on a specific local area, optimizing for local SEO and building a strong regional brand presence can be an effective strategy with less complexity than scaling nationally. Partnering with an SEO specialist who has proven expertise with local search engine optimization can help expedite results.

Plastic surgery practices looking to establish or expand their reach with international patients should consider partnering with a SEO expert or agency experienced in the medical and health niche.

Specifically, look for expertise in areas like international SEO, medical tourism marketing, global social media marketing, multilingual campaigns, reputation management across borders, and cross-cultural nuances. A data-driven, full-funnel approach tailored for international plastic surgery marketing will provide the greatest chance for success in acquiring more overseas patients.

Our seasoned team takes a consultative approach to develop customized solutions that follow search engine guidelines and map to each client’s unique objectives. By leveraging our expertise in technical and medical SEO, we help clients increase visibility, gain trust signals, and attract qualified prospects at each stage of their decision journey.

Get in touch with the DreamGlue team at to discuss your next project.

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