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Understanding and ranking for keywords that your ideal patients are searching for is still the key to succeeding in online marketing.

But once the primary keywords have been established, it’s time to focus on the long-tail keywords.

What Is A Long-Tail Keyword?

A long-tail keyword is a specific keyword phrase that someone is searching for. Typically, these are three to five-word phrases typed into Google.

People use long-tail searches to narrow down the results specific to what they are asking. In terms of healthcare searches, they’re often asking a question similar to how they may ask in person.

For example, “Why does the outside of my knee hurt?”

Long-Tail Keywords Can Be Easier To Rank For

Often, the competition for primary keywords is pretty fierce, but these long-tail searches can be easier to rank for.

If you’re trying to rank for the keyword search: knee pain, you’re unlikely to make the first page of Google, at least without a local SEO focus.

But, ranking for the long-tail version of that search: why does the outside of my knee hurt? can be much easier. Plus, answering that specific question the patient is asking delivers direct value to them and makes them much more likely to schedule an appointment because they associate expertise with the page result.

Long-Tail Keywords Can Attract A Lot Of Additional Traffic

Don’t be fooled into thinking that long-tail keywords don’t represent enough volume to go after. The truth is, they add up.

For example, a common long-tail search for pregnant women is: eating Jimmy Johns during pregnancy. We strategically targeted this search with a client, and they now not only rank, but own Google’s Featured Snippet for the search.

long tail featured snippet

This one blog post drives around 200 unique visitors per month to the site.


Sophisticated internet marketers have focused on long-tail keywords for many years now. However, the healthcare industry is still largely untouched in this area, representing an incredible opportunity for physicians who take advantage.