SEO For Chiropractors: How To Rank Your Practice On Page #1

SEO For Chiropractors How To Rank Your Practice On Page 1

If you’re like 85% of small business owners in North America, you rely on word-of-mouth referrals to build your chiropractic business.

But did you know that 99% of consumers searched online to find information about a local business in the last year? Or that the top three organic search results attract 68.7% of all clicks? Or that only 0.63% of searchers actually click on links from the second page of results?

Bottom line: Referrals are great for business, but if you’re not ranking for localized search terms on page #1 of search engines, you’re losing out to competitors who are.

So, what’s a chiropractor like you to do about it?

In this post, we’ll divulge nine ways to improve your local SEO and put your practice in a position of prominence—and on the map (so to speak). But before we dive in, you should understand exactly where you’re aiming to place your web properties, such as a website, within the results.

Where Do Organic Search Results Appear?

When ranking organically, there are two distinct sections on Google’s first page of results where your practice can appear.

The first is in Google’s “Local Pack” (a.k.a. Map Pack, Snack Pack, or 3-Pack), as seen below:

SEO For Chiropractors 1

This section displays the three most relevant organic listings for local businesses related to a specific search query with local intent. The Local Pack can also include a paid ad that appears above the three organic results and is labeled as such.

The second place is in organic results. This is the section of the results page that contains listings that most closely match the search query based on relevance, as per our example below.

SEO For Chiropractors 3

Now that you know where you’re trying to get your web pages to place, the question becomes: which variables do search algorithms factor into localized organic rankings?

Factors That Affect Your Local Search Engine Rankings

SEO experts have been debating ranking factors for decades, with the most comprehensive list containing over 200+ SEO factors. Believe it or not, former Google employee Matt Cutts, confirmed that there could be up to 50 sub-signals or variations for each of those factors, making SEO a far more complex beast than most people realize.

However, when we refer to local search ranking factors, we’re talking about variables experts have identified as having a demonstrable or theoretical impact on the rankings of local businesses like chiropractic offices.

In 2018, Moz published findings from a Local Search Ranking Factors Study that indicates how the most important factors are categorized and prioritized for both Google’s Local Pack and localized organic search results. Here’s that breakdown:

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(Source: Moz)

While additional studies weigh the importance of these factors differently, they all contain the same or similar categories. So, let’s take a brief look at each.

  1. Google My Business (GMB) Signals: Having a fully completed and verified GMB listing can drastically improve local search rankings. Google uses information from your listing to display your business in the Local Pack, map results, and other local search features.
  2. Link Signals: Backlinks from other local and industry-based websites provide search algorithms with insight into your credibility and level of authority. Google’s algorithm considers things like the relevancy of linking domains, link quality, link authority, and link diversity when determining which businesses to rank in the top results of their Local Pack.
  3. Review Signals: Since 77% of consumers read online reviews when browsing for local businesses, it’s no surprise search algorithms use this type of social proof as a ranking signal. Reviews prove you run a credible, trustworthy business and deserve better positioning in result pages.
  4. On-Page Signals: Optimizing your website for local search includes using keywords in your page titles, headings, and content, as well as including your city and state in your site’s Meta tags and schema markup, ensuring your content is an optimal length and implementing other SEO tactics to improve your domain authority.
  5. NAP Citation Signals: Consistently listing your NAP (name, address, and phone number) information on local business directories, review sites, and across your practice’s web properties can help prove to algorithms that your business is legitimate and can be verified by multiple sources. Search engines consider citation volume, site authority, and NAP consistency when evaluating these signals.
  6. Behavioral Signals: User behavior relates to how visitors interact with your website. These signals include click-through rates, dwell time, bounce rates, return visits, check-ins, and more, effectively impacting your local search rankings.
  7. Personalization: This refers to how search results are tailored to the individual user based on their search history, location, and other factors. If a user frequently searches for businesses in a particular area, those results are more likely to be personalized and rank higher in their search results. Although you don’t have too much control over this factor, taking certain steps to improve user experience so that visitors return to your site can help make people feel you’re concerned about creating an optimal experience for them.
  8. Social Signals: While social signals don’t directly impact rankings, having an active presence on social media platforms and regularly posting relevant content can improve your content’s placement in search results since search algorithms consider engagement, such as shares, likes, and comments, on your social media profiles to understand how popular a piece of content is for ranking purposes.

With these factors in mind, let’s explore how you can leverage SEO tactics to boost your practice’s search visibility.

How To Improve SEO For Your Chiropractic Office

1. Create Interesting And Educational Chiropractic Content

It may sound cliché, but content always has been and always will be king. It’s the lifeblood of everything you do online, which is why consistently publishing high-quality content liberally sprinkled with search terms your target audience is already searching for is fundamental to your success.

Keep in mind that at the heart of content are your keywords. Your prospective patients are looking for answers to why they have back pain, how they can alleviate neck pain, how to heal sports injuries naturally, and more. They’re using search terms related to these topics, so it’s understandable search algorithms will only deliver results that match what users want.

To stay ahead of the game and at the top of search results, you need content that’s created based on search intent, provides value and is optimized to beat out competing sites. If you’re not sure what that entails, check out our in-depth post on how to create content that ranks well, woos readers, and generates leads. You’ll be a pro in no time.

2. Create A Winning Google My Business Listing For Your Chiropractic Business

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GMB is a fantastic free tool that helps amplify your exposure while creating a presence for your practice across all of Google. Since it’s a Google-owned product, the search giant naturally prioritizes GMB listings in search results, which is why it’s so important to include it in any location-based SEO strategy for chiropractors.

If you haven’t already claimed your listing, sign up for Google My Business now.

To get set up and optimize your GMB account correctly so that your listing has a better chance of ranking in the top three Local Pack results, check out our previous posts here, here, and here for complete tutorials and tips for creating an unbeatable profile.

It’s crucial to note that GMB ranks listings based on three key factors:

  1. Relevancy: how well your listing matches the searcher’s intent.
  2. Proximity: how close your business is to the searcher.
  3. Prominence: how popular your business appears to be based on reviews, citations, links, authority, etc.

If you already have a GMB profile, here’s our list of quick-fire optimization tips to ensure your listing is page #1 perfect:

  • Add more categories to your listing so that Google better understands your niche and when to serve your listing to searchers.
  • Set your business hours.
  • Provide additional contact numbers, as well as a call tracking number, to give searchers more ways to reach you.
  • Include attributes and amenities (e.g., wheelchair access, online bookings, parking, Wi-Fi, etc.) that may be relevant to your patients.
  • Add a link to your contact page or appointment software.
  • Write a keyword-rich, compelling business description.
  • Create a custom list of relevant services, so that prospective patients searching for specific treatments can easily find you.
  • Activate GMB’s Messaging feature to let prospects chat with you or your team directly.
  • Upload attention-grabbing, visually appealing, and relevant images and videos.
  • Encourage patients to leave ratings and reviews.
  • Use the Google Posts feature to publish new content, promote special offers, and engage with search on Maps and in result pages.
  • Monitor and respond to people asking questions in the Questions & Answers section.
  • When adding links, create UTM tracking codes for applicable URLs so that you can monitor your listing’s effectiveness in driving traffic.

On a final note, be sure to claim and optimize your business listings on Apple Maps and Bing Places for Business as well. This will help maximize your traffic sources and generate more patient inquiries outside of Google search results.

3. Build A Bigger NAP Citation Profile

Citations are critical to attaining visibility in local search results. In fact, research by BrightLocal reveals that local businesses ranked in the top 10 spots have at least 81 citations.

However, you need to ensure existing citations are consistent and accurate before you start growing your citation profile. You can do this by manually conducting a local citation audit and clean-up or by using free tools like Moz Local. You can also outsource the work to SEO freelancers or use paid solutions like The HOTH or WhiteSpark.

Here’s what a good NAP citation looks like.

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Once your existing citations are consistent and accurate across all platforms, you should focus on identifying opportunities for new citations to strengthen your geo-location search presence.

You can create new citations in four different ways:

  1. Consumer directories: Algorithms crawl sites like Facebook (Business Pages), Google My Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Foursquare, so be sure to claim and complete your profiles on these directories.
  2. Local directories: These sites can help establish you as a local practice. Check your neighborhood business associations, local Chamber of Commerce, and Better Business Bureau about possible online local directories.
  3. Industry directories: These directories not only allow you to create citations, but they also help algorithms identify keywords relevant to your business. Some top options include, National Chiropractors Association, U.S. Chiropractic Directory, and
  4. Data aggregators: Neustar Localeze, Infogroup, Factual, and Acxiom are data mining systems that distribute business information online. You can submit your NAP information through citation-building tools like BrightLocal and Moz Local.

You can also use tools like BrightLocal’s top local citation sites by business category, Omnicore’s 200+ local SEO citation sources, and Whitespark’s top 50 citation sources in the U.S. to search for additional citation sources. More citations result in more exposure, so create as many as you can.

4. Work On Your Practice’s On-Page SEO

In our post on optimizing blog content, we explained how to ensure your content ranks well by strategically placing keywords in your page title, Meta description, sub-heads, permalink, anchor text, image alt text, image descriptions, and more. While it’s an excellent start, there are other site-wide on-page SEO techniques you can use to help boost rankings.

  • Make sure your site has HTTPS encryption to create a secure connection for visitors. All this requires is an SSL certificate, which you can get from your domain host if it wasn’t already included in your hosting package.
  • Make sure all title tags are accurate, less than 60 characters in length, and contain at least one keyword and your geo-location when applicable.
  • Customize each page’s content with a persuasive, keyword-rich Meta description, as this will show in search results below the page’s title.
  • Use proper header tags within your content.
  • Improve your page load speed by optimizing your pages and images, compressing files, reducing redirects, cleaning up your site’s code, leveraging browser caching, and minimizing third-party scripts.
  • Make sure your site is mobile-responsive and looks great on a variety of devices.
  • Implement an SEO-friendly URL structure that reflects your website’s category hierarchy and provides relevance and context to the page’s topic.
  • Optimize images by using JPG files instead of PNG, compressing image files, and adding descriptive, keyword-focused title tags, captions, and alt text when uploading images to your site.
  • Create an internal linking structure to help searchers and search engine spiders properly navigate around your site.
  • Add schema markup to your site to help improve the way it appears in result pages, thereby increasing other ranking factors like click-through rates.
  • Embed a Google Map on your website. This not only helps in boosting your localized organic search ranking but also creates a visually rich and engaging interface for users.

You should also perform an SEO site audit using tools like SEO Analyzer, Ahrefs Site Audit, or WebFX’s SEO Checker. These tools will analyze and grade your website’s ability to appear in search results, providing insight into areas that need work. If these on-page SEO concepts are new to you, consider hiring an SEO pro to assist you.

5. Build Quality Backlinks

Algorithms use links as a vehicle for finding new websites and pages online. They also use links to assess a site’s credibility, which makes developing a solid link strategy critical to your success.

How can you build a massive backlink profile?

  • Use guest blogging opportunities to link back to your website, a relevant landing page, or specific content.
  • Create and promote useful chiropractic resources that include backlinks.
  • Build valuable relationships with local business owners and influencers who are open to review and content swaps.
  • Submit your practice for relevant industry awards or business-focused contests where your practice info and a link to your website may appear on a relevant award website or landing page.
  • Sponsor or partner with local schools, sports teams, or other groups and communities in your area where you may have opportunities to publish a link on their websites.
  • Create a chiropractic college scholarship program and promote it. You’re not only creating goodwill and a positive reputation, but programs like this tend to generate loads of backlinks naturally.
  • Answer questions on Quora and similar sites. This can help drive huge volumes of traffic back to your website and content.
  • Host local meetups and events you and others can promote online with links to your website or a landing page.

Building a massive backlink profile will take time, but it can pay off massively in search results. Make sure you’re regularly looking for opportunities to help in your efforts so that you can improve your rankings faster.

6. Maximize Review Signals

Reviews not only affect local search rankings but also impact your reputation and credibility. And more often than not, they’re the deciding factor for prospective patients.

Since reviews can either make or break your positioning in search result pages, let’s take a quick look at how they’re measured by Google’s algorithm.

Google considers four main factors when considering reviews:

  1. Recency: how old are your reviews?
  2. Frequency: how often does your practice receive reviews?
  3. Quality: how authentic and helpful are the reviews?
  4. Quantity: how many reviews does your practice have?

A chiropractor with lots of helpful, genuine reviews that are posted regularly and frequently is likely to rank higher than a chiropractor with few poor-quality reviews that were posted two years ago and don’t say much.

Although you cannot control every aspect of ratings and reviews, you can encourage a culture of reviewing within your practice. For example, check in with patients and ask them to leave a review if they mention that they’re happy with your care, add a review request email to a follow-up sequence, and create a social media post asking past patients to let others know about how you helped them.

In addition, you can set up processes and systems to make generating reviews easy.

Here are some basic steps to follow:

Step 1: Claim and optimize your profiles on review sites like Yelp, Facebook, Google My Business, and other review platforms and sites that your chiropractic patients might frequent.

Step 2: Be proactive in creating an optimal patient experience by training employees on customer service, implementing quality control measures, and practicing proper review management. Happy clients write positive reviews.

Step 3: Provide multiple opportunities for patient feedback so that you’re catching any grievances before they turn into negative reviews. Conduct face-to-face check-ins with patients and monitor social media for mentions of your practice.

Step 4: Make responding to reviews—good or bad—a priority. This lets patients know that you’re listening to them, which makes them feel valued.

Ultimately, reviews have the power to affect your rankings, reputation, and revenue. Although you can’t govern what people say, you can systemize your approach so that you’re consistently and ethically harvesting positive reviews from a satisfied patient base.

7. Boost Social Signals

A while ago, we published a post on rocking your local inbound strategy with social media. In it, we explained in detail how to optimize your social profiles for search, engagement, and lead generation. However, you’ll also want to make sure you’re taking steps to improve your SEO.

Even though social media won’t directly increase your rankings, we know that there’s a strong correlation between ranking position and social signals. In addition, we know that search algorithms like Google are always trying to understand the authenticity, expertise, and authority of a creator or author. Therefore, social media signals can be an indicator of relevance and quality.

So, what can you do to aid in boosting your social signals?

  1. Claim and optimize your social network profiles. Each site is an opportunity to create a NAP citation and leverage relevant keywords that algorithms will use to associate with your chiropractic business.
  2. Make sure your website and content are set up for social sharing. Using plugins like ShareThis and AddThis on your website not only makes it easier for visitors to share your content and follow your social media profiles, but they also display social proof factors like number of shares, comments, follows, and likes, which drastically increases your credibility.
  3. Make sure content previews look great. When you post a content link to social media, the social platform in question will pull in a thumbnail image and metadata from your site to create the post. If you don’t properly optimize your content with an accurate title, compelling Meta description, or featured image, your social media post can look a mess. Therefore, you should always preview your social media post before publishing.
  4. Maximize engagement signals. You can do this by posting to your social media accounts regularly and interacting with your followers. This not only humanizes your brand and helps close more prospects into paying patients, but it gets social signals firing by boosting behavioral metrics like shares, likes, comments, and reviews.

Social is assuming a bigger role in local marketing, so it’s vital to factor it into your local SEO strategy. The reality is that chiropractors with a greater presence on these platforms tend to rank higher than those without one, so get more social today.

8. Improve Behavioral Signals

User experience is becoming increasingly important for SEO, as every action a user takes on your website and external online assets sends a signal to Google. If your content doesn’t meet a specific search query, it’s unlikely the searcher will interact with it. Therefore, you need to incentivize users to click, engage, and convert. Thankfully, this entire post has been priming you for success by helping you create the optimal user experience.

Let’s recap:

  • The searcher’s proximity to your practice when conducting a search is crucial, so setting up your website and GMB listing with your NAP info, embedding a Google Map on your website, and using geo-targeted keywords will help put you in the radius relevancy of the user.
  • Searchers essentially vote on perceived relevancy by clicking a specific search result, which is why it’s so important to optimize elements like your URL, title, and Meta description, as well as build on other factors like reviews and ratings. The more people who click, the better you’ll rank.
  • Satisfied visitors stay longer. Fast-loading pages, logical navigation, compelling content, relevant links, easily shareable pages, and prominent CTA buttons all help create a gratifying experience. Since behavioral signals on GMB listings include things like link clicks, bookings, getting directions, and phone calls, you must ensure your listing enables these activities.

Ultimately, interpreting user experience is the key to boosting behavioral signals. A great experience equals great results.

9. Optimize For Personalization

As we mentioned, you don’t have much control here since Google applies personal usage data to surface search results relevant to the individual searcher. However, there are four key things you can do to help your efforts.

  1. Whether you run one practice location or multiple locations, make sure you optimize for all locations so that it’s clear to both searchers and search engines where your chiropractic offices are situated.
  2. If you serve a large community of patients who speak a different language, optimize for languages by building an alternative version of your site in the relevant language.
  3. As mentioned earlier, your site should be mobile-responsive. However, you should make sure your content downloads quickly and looks good on all devices, including mobile phones, desktops, and tablets.
  4. Always keep search intent top of mind. Think about what prospective patients are looking for when asking questions about chiropractic and then create content and use natural language people might use during searches and voice searches accordingly.

Google is always learning more about its users in an effort to display relevant results. What one person sees in SERPs may be different from what another person sees, so make your content and site as relevant as possible if you hope to influence personalization factors.

Over To You

We hope this post has not only helped you understand why chiropractic SEO should be your #1 priority for growing your business in 2023 and beyond but also identify areas of SEO optimization that need work.

So, what can you do right now to level up your SEO game as a chiropractor?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, develop an action plan that has you working on at least one aspect of your SEO for just a few hours every month. And if you need help accelerating your efforts, reach out to our team to chat about how we can help put you on page #1.

And if you’re wondering whether we’ve got the SEO chops, check out our case study on how we ranked 3,748 keywords on page #1 of Google and increased conversions by more than 71% for just one of our chiropractic clients.

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Shawn Manaher
Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of Ignite Marketing. He's one part local business growth specialist, one part campaign strategizing ninja, and two parts leader of an awesome nerd pack. He won't eat pancakes unless you call them flat waffles.
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