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When it comes to SEO for doctors, finding the right online marketing agency to work with can be challenging.

Below are the top three qualifications an agency specializing in SEO for Doctors should provide.

1). The SEO Agency Should Specialize in Healthcare

There are so many SEO agencies out there, and most of them serve a wide range of clients from several industries. Their model isn’t necessarily bad from a business standpoint as they have a more extensive potential customer base. However, as anyone in healthcare knows, this industry has many nuances in which to navigate. And that’s true for the online marketing aspect as well.

Similar to how physicians specialize, SEO for doctors should also be specialized. An agency that focuses and specializes in working with doctors will almost always produce better results.

2). The SEO Agency Should Not Work With Hospitals Healthcare Systems

It may be tempting to use an agency that works with a large healthcare system. This is especially true if you work for the same system and are already familiar with some of the people involved.

But there are two primary drawbacks to working with these types of agencies:

  • Potential conflict of interest: If a healthcare system employs you that a particular agency also represents, there is a potential conflict of interest. Their primary contract and obligation will be to the healthcare system, not to you, the individual doctor. If other doctors found out they were marketing you and raised an issue, the agency would be quick to drop you as a client.
  • The individual doctor is a small fish: SEO agencies that work with healthcare systems typically have significant contractual agreements tied to them. That means that any “extra” individual clients they choose to take on are viewed mostly as supplemental revenue. In other words, the individual doctor is a small fish in a big pond. They’re not as committed to growing your personal brand and patient base as they are to the healthcare system (even if the two go hand-in-hand).

3). The SEO Agency Should Provide a Local Non-Compete by Specialty

Having local market exclusivity is probably the most important factor when considering an agency that provides SEO to doctors.

Truthfully, I’m appalled at the number of SEO agencies representing multiple clients who compete against each other locally. In my view, that is totally unethical.

When it comes to SEO for doctors, any agency representing competing physicians will have to game the system eventually. As the Bible says, “A man cannot serve two masters.”

It may cost a little more to have the non-compete in place, but think about how much it will cost you if you don’t, and that agency is sending patients to your competitor while still being paid by you.


SEO for doctors needs to be handled differently than in other industries. When selecting an agency to work with, using the guidelines above can help you find the best ones to work with.