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One question that I’m often asked is if focusing on long-tail keywords still works for physician SEO?

The answer is a resounding yes! And, perhaps better than ever.

What Are Long Tail Keywords?

A long tail keyword is a lower-volume keyword phrase. Often, these long-tail keywords are less competitive to rank for because they are lower volume. However, they are often particular questions/phrases patients are searching to try and find a specific answer. This is all what makes them valuable.

Ask yourself this, If ranking for this long tail keyword only brought in one new patient per month, what would that equal in annual revenue?

Why Do Long Tail Keywords Still Work for Physician Websites?

The truth is that long tail keywords still work, and I would argue they now work better than ever!

The reason that long tail keywords still work goes to the fact that 15% of Google searches every day are brand new.

One of the drivers of this is more people using voice search. This has driven Google to handle Natural Language Processing (NLP) better. And as Google has improved in returning valuable results for natural language searches, patients have continued to use it.

As an example, instead of a patient typing in a search for “hip pain” (not a long tail keyword), they might sight for “Why does my hip hurt at night?.”

What Is the Future of Long Tail Keywords?

While long tail keywords did experience a bit of a decline in 2019, they’re back and stronger than ever, thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP) from Google.

Physicians who want to incorporate long tail keywords in this NLP world of SEO will need to understand what exactly patients are searching for and covering the core concepts valuably in their blog posts.

Continuing to invest in keyword research and monitoring changes will be a key competitive advantage in local SEO competition.