Attracting new clients to your physical therapy practice isn’t easy when you’re focused on providing a stellar experience to your current patients.

Are you looking for a way to bring in more leads without having to make individual phone calls every day? If this sounds familiar, physical therapy SEO is your answer.

Search engine optimization allows you to rank higher in search results for key terms, like “back pain relief” or “best physical therapist near me,” so you can automatically attract and convert new leads without lifting a finger.

The claim of not lifting a finger may be a bit exaggerated, we’ll admit. You will need to conduct quite a bit of hard work upfront to rank high and achieve these SEO benefits.

Let’s explore the most effective SEO tactics for ranking your physical therapy website high in Google search results.

Understanding Physical Therapy Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

First, you need to understand what search engine optimization is and why it’s important for healthcare practices. SEO is the practice of editing all the pages of your website so they rank higher in organic search engine results.

Optimizing your web content for search engines involves hundreds of complex tactics, ranging from technical on-page SEO adjustments to marketing-related off-page strategies, like sharing your content on social media.

200+ ranking factors may sound overwhelming, but once you increase your search rankings, you’ll improve patient acquisition.

The Impact of SEO on Patient Acquisition

When prospective patients are interested in finding a local physical therapist, many will turn to search engines to find local services. You want your practice to be the first search result when potential patients Google phrases like “physical therapists near me.”

Refining your SEO improves your website visibility so you can reach more patients, see more website traffic, and ultimately enjoy more patient inquiries.

Key SEO Strategies for Physical Therapists

An SEO strategy involves keyword research, content creation, and website optimization. First, you need to know what keywords to use on your website, then you write content, and then you fit it all together on your website.

Conducting Keyword Research and Optimization

Keyword research allows you to optimize your website for a specific target audience. By selecting relevant keywords, you can reach prospective patients interested in finding physical therapy websites in their area.

You can conduct keyword research by analyzing terms across different tools like Google Keyword Planner, Moz, Semrush, Ahrefs, and more.

When researching keywords, consider the term’s monthly search volume, difficulty score, and SERP (search engine results page). You want keywords with decent volume, but they shouldn’t be too difficult to rank for, otherwise you won’t see any traffic results.

For example, the term “physical therapy” likely has high competition, so you may want to choose something more refined, like “physical therapists in San Francisco.”

Be sure to check all SERPs before selecting your final keywords. You don’t want to waste time on your physical therapy marketing strategy trying to rank high for irrelevant terms, like a product name.

Once you have a diverse list of long and short-tail keywords plus easier and more difficult terms, you can add them to your content.

You can integrate keywords across your content, but focus on one primary term per page. Each web page should have its own focus keyword for the best chances at high keyword rankings.

Creating High-Quality, Relevant Content

You can drive more traffic to your website by developing content beyond your simple service pages. People search for all kinds of questions that you can answer. When you create informative and engaging content that addresses patient questions and concerns, you can drive traffic to your website while boosting your authority and expertise in the subject, helping more visitors trust your physical therapy clinic.

We recommend publishing quality content on a regular basis to keep your business relevant within search engines. Be sure to incorporate the keywords you defined above and keep an eye on any new Google trends.

Trends may include updates to the Google search algorithm or new keywords that your competitors are ranking for. Either way, your business needs to stay relevant if you want to dominate search rankings.

As you publish physical therapy content, try sharing it across other internet channels, like social media platforms or email marketing avenues, so you can reach as many potential clients as possible.

Optimizing Website Design for Search Engines

Google and other search engines also consider the usability of your website. Your website pages must load quickly and be user-friendly so potential patients can easily find the information they need. According to Google, user bounce rates jump by as much as 32% when your page load time increases from one to three seconds.

A user-friendly website for physical therapists also has intuitive navigational structures and easy-to-find contact information. With simple structures like a collapsible hamburger menu, more visitors will feel inclined to explore what your website offers.

One of the most important aspects of your physical therapy web design is mobile optimization. Over 60% of Google searches come from mobile devices, so you must optimize your site to work well on all screen sizes. 

We recommend using responsive elements in your physical therapy site design, as they automatically adjust to different screen sizes for easy upkeep and ideal rankings.

Leveraging Local SEO for Your Practice

As a physical therapist, you want to reach local patients. Local SEO for physical therapists allows you to reach users in the community searching for services similar to what you provide.

To optimize for local search, you’ll first need to set up a Google Business Profile. An optimized GBP allows you to appear in the top section of local searches for relevant keywords, like “physical therapist near me,” where Google displays nearby businesses connected to Google Maps.

Your physical therapy practice will appear with a few vital details, like your name, location, contact information, and average reviews, so you can quickly gain more traffic and appointments from patients searching for immediate relief.

We also recommend adding local keywords throughout your content strategy and core business pages. Local keywords may include “… near me” or “… in X city.”

At Weave, we provide a full webinar on How To Grow Your Medical Practice if you’d like more information on local SEO for physical therapists.

Measuring and Adjusting Your SEO Strategy

After launching your SEO-optimized content, you need to measure your website’s performance so you can refine your efforts for optimal results. Some of the top tools you can use for SEO tracking include Google Analytics and Tag Manager or SEO audit tools like Semrush.

SEO tools for website audits reveal errors in your strategy, like broken links or missing content, while Google Analytics can reveal information surrounding traffic rates, page performance, keyword rankings, etc.

Developing Effective CTAs To Encourage Patient Interaction

The end goal of your SEO efforts should be to encourage users to schedule an appointment. Your call-to-action (CTA) should be actionable, engaging, and precise, like “REQUEST APPOINTMENT: (000) 111-2222.” You can test out multiple CTAs across your site to see which resonates best with your website visitors.

You should also consider using an Online Scheduling tool to help boost the number of appointment requests; nearly 70% of customers prefer to book appointments online. Online scheduling can also help you book appointments after-hours when no one is answering your office phone.

Common SEO Mistakes To Avoid

After spending months working hard on your SEO efforts, you don’t want to be buried by other physical therapists in search rankings. So, how can you avoid the common pitfalls in SEO?

We recommend avoiding the following common SEO mistakes that many physical therapy websites make:

  • Over-stuffing keywords
  • Cannibalizing keywords (attempting to rank each page for the same keywords)
  • Missing or duplicate meta details (title tag, meta description, etc.)
  • Not adjusting each page for mobile devices
  • Attempting to rank for irrelevant or highly difficult keywords
  • Using duplicate content across each web page
  • Ignoring website errors
  • Not designing for fast page load times
  • Not staying up-to-date on the latest trends in Google’s algorithm

Interested in Physical Therapy SEO Services or Tools?

Executing successful physical therapy SEO takes a lot of time but can yield phenomenal long-term results. As more clients discover your website and your brand gains more local awareness, you’ll see more appointments on your schedule.

At Weave, we can help you streamline your SEO efforts with review collection toolsonline appointment scheduling, and more.

Get a demo of Weave’s marketing suite today to see how SEO can transform your clinic.

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