Top Mistakes Made by Plastic Surgery SEO Websites

by Stuart McHenry November 1, 2018

Does Your Plastic Surgery Marketing Make These Mistakes?

SEO Mistakes Made by Plastic Surgery Websites

Over the years we have done a lot of work in the plastic surgery SEO space. We have consulted, created content, built links, and performed technical SEO for plastic surgery marketing.  We have seen so many issues over the years that causes the cosmetic surgeons to lose online business and cost them money. If you want your plastic surgery website to rank well in Google ensure these key areas of SEO are not neglected.

This sounds so basic but most plastic surgery businesses are too busy to stay on top of all the latest SEO trends.  Often times Internet marketing is ever-changing and it needs a laser-focused strategy.  This article only covers plastic surgery SEO mistakes and not PPC.  (Two very different animals)


Website Not Secured by SSL

Does your plastic surgery website have an SSL? An SSL helps make your website secure and the URLs will all show as HTTPS Vs HTTP.  Why is this a problem? Some web browsers will now label your website “not secure” and show a warning.  Chrome is one that does this.  If there is a warning people won’t click through to your website.  Imagine ranking well but there is literally a label warning people about visiting your website.

How to fix: Work with your SEO Consultant and web hosting to implement SSL for your website.

Learn more here:


Lack of Content about Procedures

One of the most common issues we encounter is poor or lack of content. If you want to rank for a specific medical procedure in Google then you better have content that is better than your competitors.  A good example is, if someone is looking into rhinoplasty, you need to answer nearly all of their questions.

  • What is the procedure?
  • Which doctor performs the procedure?
  • How long does it take?
  • Where is it performed?
  • How much does it cost?
  • How long is recovery?
  • What to expect?

These are the basic questions your content needs to answer.  Potential customers want to see before and after pictures as well.  Gone are the days you pay someone overseas to write a 400 word article about your procedures and call it a day. Your content needs to be comprehensive and well written.  You should strive to have superior content compared to your competitors.

How to fix: If you have someone in your organization that has the knowledge and time to create great content use them. They can use our outline above to start with. However, if you don’t have anyone with the time and good SEO Company can help. Shoot us an email and see if we are available.


Inconsistent or Missing Local Citations

Business citations are a huge part of local SEO but many businesses fail to handle this properly. It is important that your business has a consistent NAP or Name, Address, Phone across all business listing sites. One of the most common issues we find is the lack of consistency.  A business may have moved, changed phone numbers, or for other various reasons have wrong information that needs to be corrected.  This is paramount if you want to rank locally in the Google 3-pack.

Important tip: If you have multiple locations ensure each location listed has its own unique address and phone number for each listing.

How to fix: Search for all your local citations and audit each one.  If there is incorrect information contact the listing website to make corrections. Ensure you don’t miss any as this will cause inconstantly issues with the search engines. Don’t have time to do this? Contact us we can help.


Online Reviews for Plastic Surgery

What does your plastic surgery business do to encourage reviews? Reviews can be tricky. For instance, it’s against Yelps TOS to ask for a review. However, it’s not against Google’s TOS to ask.  Encourage customers to leave reviews.  Most companies rarely think about reviews as an SEO strategy but it is. Not only do reviews help with ranking in the major search engines but having positive reviews helps increase conversion rates.

You should be proactive and monitor review websites as well as the popular social media website like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for mentions as well.  This way you can respond to both positive and negative reviews.

How to fix: Put a plan in place to encourage patients to leave reviews. Most all plastic surgery businesses obtain customer data including email addresses. Having the name and email address of your patients is the first step. You can then use review software or have someone in-house handle the promoting of reviews. But a word of caution, know the review company policies and federal/state laws regarding online reviews. If you’re not sure, consultant with an SEO Firm.


Lack of Quality Backlinks

You need links!  But not all links are created equal. We heard you can get 25 links on a website called Fiverr for $5.  But here is the truth about those links, they are more than likely off-topic and come from very low-quality websites. There is a good chance you will do more harm than good by building links this way.

Good links are hard to build because they take time. Nowadays, one quality link is far better than 100 low-quality links.  So what makes a quality link? The page your link is on should be relevant to your business. The website you get the link from should also have traffic from Google and a decent amount of backlinks itself. We use various tools to measure website traffic and look for backlinks.  You could do the same with tools like SEMRush.

How to fix: You can build links yourself if you have time. Start with local opportunities that make sense for your business. Places like the Better Business Bureau, pitch to local reports, find local bloggers and give them a story to write about. The cosmetic surgery industry is extremely competitive and depending on the city you may need ongoing link building.


Poor Setup of Google My Business Listing

If you have been around for a while this was called Google Places but has since been renamed Google My Business.  If you are not up-to-date on the changes Google My Business has made, you are missing out.  Just in the past six months alone Google has made numerous changes and added new functions for businesses.  If you have not kept abreast of the changes it may be best to have an SEO agency help manage your account for you.

Some of the most common mistakes plastic surgery SEO clients make are:

Spammy business name – The title of your business should go in the title and not your keywords. Adding keywords is a spam tactic that will eventually hurt your local rankings.

Wrong office hours – The most common mistake here is listing your business open 24/7 when it is not.

Wrong business category – Adding the wrong category or too many categories can hurt your ability to rank in the Google local 3-pack.

No Website listed – Yes, this happens. Businesses create a Google My Business listing but fail to add their website.

Not getting reviews – Remember, reviews are a huge part of the ranking algorithm. You need to foster the review process to obtain reviews from your patients.

Lack of photos – Photos are an essential strategy for Google My Business. Google has reported that listings with photos get 35% higher click-through rate Vs business without them.

How to fix: There are plenty of good articles online on how to properly manage your Google My Business listings yourself. If you don’t have time we can help.


Slow Loading Website

How long do you wait for a website to load before clicking the back button?  To some people, it might be three seconds and to others, it might be five seconds. 40% of all people will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.  Think about all the hard work that goes into creating a website. The content, the marketing, the backlinks. But if your website loads slowly, you will lose nearly half of all those potential customers.  Ouch!

How to fix: You can test your website speed using Google Page Speed Insight Tool.  If your pages load slowly, it is paramount you have the issues corrected, as soon as possible.  If you need website speed optimization feel free to let us know.

Learn more: Google Pagespeed Insights.


Focusing on City Related Keywords Only

Sure, your main goal should be to rank for “procedure + city name” but you are leaving searches on the table if that’s all you do.  Google has shifted its algorithm to include more local results over the past few years. If you happen to search for words like “liposuction” or “facelift” from a specific city you will get both local results and more national results. Google understands that search users within a city will probably want both, information about the procedures, as well as doctors in the area to help with this cosmetic surgery. This leaves another ranking opportunity for these keywords.

How to fix: This can be a bit more advanced. Generally, websites that rank in the search results for head-term keywords have a good amount of authority. Authority is created from lots of aspects like quality content, quality backlinks, and expertise within their industry. Want to increase your authority online?



The above common mistakes can make or break a business.  Especially when so much traffic is generated online these days.  We hope this guide helps with your online marketing efforts.  You can also find some good tips in our medical spa marketing tips post.  Should you have questions about anything you read feel free to reach out to us.

Stuart McHenry
Stuart McHenry is a US-based SEO Consultant focusing on link building, content marketing, local SEO, and reputation management. Follow Stuart on Twitter @smindsrt