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You Found This Article Because of Physical Therapy SEO!

We are going to reverse engineer the physical therapy SEO strategy that brought you to this article.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization.

Before you found this webpage, you had a problem and you were looking for a solution to that problem.

What was your problem?

You wanted to know how to improve your physical therapy website’s SEO. You already knew what SEO was and how important it can be in getting traffic to your website.

You likely also knew that hiring an SEO expert was too expensive for your budget. 

How did I get this article to the top of Google search results?

Hi! My name is Anthony Maritato, and I have been a licensed physical therapist and private practice owner since 2001. As a hobby, I also have always built and optimized my own business’s website.

In fact, I have obviously created this website as a way to connect with PT’s, OT’s, and SLP’s who want to learn about Medicare billing and grow their business.

Since I knew you would be looking for information about improving your physical therapy SEO and I knew that there wasn’t much information at the top of Google on this topic, I decided to use the following SEO checklist to create this article and optimize it just for you.

Related Article: CPT Code 97161

Best Physical Therapy SEO Checklist!

This list will include all of the essential SEO items I include on every physical therapy article or blog post.

1. Organize Site Structure with H1, H2, H3 Tags

Google is a machine, and it needs to understand the structure of your site. Providing basic H1 (title tag) and H2 (subheading tags) will go a long way in helping all search engines better understand the structure of your blog post.

2. Create Original Photos or Graphics

Photos are very important for several reasons. First, Google and YouTube both have image recognition that can help the algorithm understand where your photo was taken or what is going on in your photo.

Optimize for Image Search Results

You can see in the image below, when I type my name and go to Google’s image search feature, all of the following images show up.

Screenshot of Google Image Search for Anthony Maritato

If you are competing against high-authority websites for competitive keywords, you might not be able to outrank them with your article, but the images in your article might show up in the image carousel.

Below you can see image results in the Google Search Image Carousel.

Screenshot of Google Images in Organic Search Results

3. Use Rich Media Elements

Rich media elements will help improve your physical therapy SEO because it will improve your article’s user experience and provide Google with an easy to see element.

What are rich media elements?

Bullet Points, numbered lists, and tables are the easiest way to start adding rich media elements to your articles. 

For example, you might use bullet points for your list of insurance companies.

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Aetna
  • Medical Mutual
  • Humana

You might use number lists when talking about conditions you treat.

“We treat over 42 orthopedic injuries:

  1. Low Back Pain
  2. Neck Pain
  3. Hip Pain
  4. Shoulder Pain…”

The easiest table would be for days and hours of operation:

Day Open Close
Monday 8:00 AM 7:00 PM
Tuesday 8:00 AM 7:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM 7:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM 7:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM 7:00 PM
Saturday Closed Closed
Sunday Closed Closed

Richer Media Elements

More advanced rich media elements include informational graphics, data charts, and simple tools.

The best part about these elements is that they tend to attract backlinks from other, more authoritative websites. This article refers to this as linkbait.

4. Understand Search Intent

How did I know you were searching for this information? Because when I was a new practice owner trying to learn about physical therapy SEO I was searching for an article just like this.

Back then, the only articles I could find focused on SEO for affiliate websites and other kinds of business. There was nothing specifically written for physical therapy seo.

Identify the Problem

To understand search intent I start by identifying the problem. You want more traffic to your physical therapy website and you can’t afford to hire an SEO expert. 

You want advice specific to physical therapy SEO if possible and ideally from a physical therapy practice owner like me.

Solve the Problem

Once you have identified the problem you will create the solution to that problem. In this case, I am proving you with this physical therapy SEO checklist. These are proven strategies that I know will work because they have worked for me and many other physical therapists.

My website went from practically no traffic for 10+ years to over 35,000 pageviews in 12 months. It continues to grow as I optimize more articles and pages for my ideal physical therapy client.

Physical Therapy SEO Website Growth

5. Establish Your E-A-T

As a physical therapist, you are an expert in your progression. Google’s representatives have said multiple times that they are seeking the best information from the highest quality sources to answer the searcher’s query. 

E = Expertise

As I mentioned already, you are an expert. You have likely been working in the profession for several years already. You have a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree. You have probably forgotten more than the layperson will ever know about various conditions that are affecting your ideal clients.

Embrace your expertise and share it with the world. Create an about me page that shares all of your academic accomplishments. Go on various podcasts and YouTube interviews to reinforce your expertise. Publish content with professional references and citations.

A = Authority

Authority comes in many forms. As a licensed physical therapist you are licensed by the state. You should link to your professional licensure listing on your about me page.

Another form of authority is when people in the community seek your advice. If you can help answer questions in forums or participate in social events you will start to build that local authority.

T = Trustworthiness

Finally, building trust comes from your relationship with other highly trusted websites. For example, I am a contracted Medicare provider. I often link to my Medicare provider listing as a way to build trust in the eyes of the Google algorithm as well as the prospective new client reading my content. 

Linking to your NPI directory listing is another way to build trust. These are government websites of high authority and trust. 

6. Always Start with Keyword Research

Never just start typing. Successful physical therapy SEO is about serving the ideal prospect. It is not creative writing.

Google, Bing, Yahoo, and all the other search engines have what are called “keywords.” These are identified words that the search engine looks for across your content.

I have strategically used the exact words “physical therapy SEO” multiple times in this article because I am trying to convey to Google that this post should show up at the top of search results for anyone searching for “physical therapy SEO” and all related terms.

You can use free or paid tools to help you identify established keywords. You should create a list with your primary keyword at the top and related keywords below.

These keywords will also help you stay focused and on topic.

My favorite tools for Keyword Research are:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • SEMRush
  • aHrefs
  • MOZ

7. Competitive Analysis

Finally, after you have all of the information above in place, I would perform a competitive analysis to see what Google tells us it wants to see and what the current search results are.

For example, if I Google search “physical therapy SEO” the following results show up today 10/16/2022:

Google Search Results for Physical Therapy SEO

Bold Letters

You can see the bold letters and words which indicate what Google is identifying as important keywords for this search query.

  • SEO
  • physical therapists
  • PT

You can see how the page titles are optimized.

Optimized Titles

  • SEO for Rehab Therapists | SEO Physical Therapy – WebPT
  • 4 Effective SEO Strategies for Physical Therapists – Dietz Group
  • SEO Strategies for Physical Therapy – WebFX
  • SEO Keywords for Physical Therapy Websites
  • How to Optimize SEO for Physical Therapy – Raintree Systems

Publication Dates

You can see one article was published in 2015. Others were 2017, and 2021.

If you click through to the articles I would look for the following items:

  1. Article length – how many words
  2. Article structure – H1, H2, H3
  3. Original images
  4. Does the article match the search intent?
  5. Is anything missing from the article?
  6. Do I enjoy the user experience?
  7. Are there internal links to other related content?
  8. Is there external links to other related content?
  9. Are there external links to this specific article?
  10. Is there related video content that has been embedded?
  11. Are there display ads on this site?
  12. Are there affiliate links on the site?
  13. What is the overall domain rating of the site?
ahrefs Domain Rating

Domain Rating

You can see the top organic search result for physical therapy SEO is an article published by WebPT. WebPT has an incredibly high domain rating and really great content. I may not be able to outrank their article and in fact every domain with an article in the top 10 search results has a domain rating higher than my site.

The reality is we all need to start somewhere. My hope is that even if this article doesn’t rank organically on page 1 of Google’s search results it will be supporting content to elevate other less competitive keywords on my website.

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