It’s hard to pick the right medical SEO services among a sea of contractors that all look the same, bring up the same benefits and charge more or less the same for their services.
Something that should be an easy and fun process becomes a headache that you just want to end. Then, when you finally think it has come to an end and you can get back to the business problems you were working to solve before, comes the technical explanations and you have to figure out what all of that means along with which type of SEO specialist to hire.
The biggest challenge I’ve noticed between clients and contractors with medical SEO services has been that contractors want a long-term contract because search engine optimization is a long-term game and requires ongoing work month after month. On the other side of the table, clients are naturally skeptical and reluctant to enter long-term agreements when they haven’t yet seen signs of results.
Case studies can be helpful but until you’ve seen the results on your own body — your own business — you’ll never know for sure, and marketers are known for promising the farm and not delivering.
That leads to an odd and difficult situation where the client is too risk-averse to bet on the project and the contractor is too aggressive and isn’t meeting the client where they are.
The easy way to test out medical SEO service contractors and find the perfect fit
The solution is simple.
Agree on a small project upfront to better judge the partnership after you’ve worked together for a short while. If the contractor is smart, they’ve already prepared that solution as part of the sales process and will have great examples for you to collaborate on. For medical search engine optimization services that can for example be:
- Keyword research
- Website loading speed (e.g. if Google search console’s Core Web Vitals are giving you certain errors)
- Fix UI/UX problems (e.g. if Google search console’s Core Web Vitals are giving you certain errors)
It could also be ranking related although I’d be careful with that since we don’t own the search engines and so whatever they do on their end is out of our control.
It’s tricky because we want fast results but often they can only be achieved by what’s referred to as blackhat SEO, meaning to use methods that are against the search engines’ terms and will eventually get us caught and ensure that we won’t get any traffic in the future at all.
The better alternative is called whitehat SEO and is growing your business using techniques that follow the search engines terms.
Common medical SEO services – which one is the best fit for you?
The most common types of medical SEO services are
- Technical SEO
- Keyword research and on-site optimization
- Backlink building
- Content writing
Some contractors do all of it while others specialize in a certain portion of it. Technical SEO is often used on larger sites with a large number of different pages and complex content. For example, a startup that both have an ecommerce component, an informational blog, a physician booking component, and other pages.
Keyword research and some level of on-site optimization are usually necessary for all businesses and if your service area is limited to a local area, local SEO is necessary too since we can’t service demand outside our area.
Backlink building refers to building links from other websites back to a certain page of ours since search engines tend to count them as votes that our page is relevant for the particular keyword.
Content writing is the most obvious one and is all about creating the content. Most often that is writing articles and it is important since the more relevant keywords we target, the higher chance we have to drive more customers and traffic back to the business.
The most common SEO problems for medical startups
We all feel unique and like no one else out there is quite the same as us. The lucky reality is that we are not. We get to live in a society that is built upon our ancestors’ insights that in turn are built upon their ancestors’ insights. If that hadn’t been the case, we would still be struggling to spark a campfire at night.
The same principles are true for most of our business problems and that is awesome because it means that people out there have already experimented with different solutions to our problems and solved them! All we gotta do is find those who have solved it and get their help replicating the experiment again.
Medical SEO services tend to be a solution to a set of specific problems. For example:
- Patient acquisition: ads are working and we need to scale organically
- We have loads of organic search traffic but it isn’t converting
- Or perhaps you have a ton of content that is supposed to rank and drive traffic from search engines but for some reason, it doesn’t
For overall patient acquisition with medical SEO services, you might work with an SEO manager that knows each SEO subcategory well and understand what to do with each sales funnel to make it a success for your business. They can lead the project and delegate the work for more specialized SEOs.
If you already have loads of organic search traffic but it isn’t converting into new patients and growing the business, it’s often a funnel optimization problem. It doesn’t sound like an SEO problem on the surface but we could be getting the wrong traffic. To solve that, you might work with a keyword research and on-site optimization specialist who can help work out if the search intent on the targeted keywords might not be exactly what you are looking for – or the keywords that are relevant are not driving traffic while other ones that aren’t relevant do.
If your services include fulfilling demand in a local area but not others, you might want to work with an expert in local SEO to ensure that you are getting targeted traffic in your local area and not as much from other areas.
Another situation is that we have lots of pages and content published but for some reason, it isn’t driving much traffic or ranking as expected. At an established startup and a large website, it might require a technical SEO specialist to remove any bottlenecks or a backlink campaign assuming that your content is competitive and of high quality.
When should you hire a contractor vs in-house
With the explosion of remote lifestyle businesses based on consulting, I’ve found that the safest choice often is to hire a contractor when first starting a project like this. We get a better understanding of if the skills they have are the right ones or if adjacent ones are a better fit for the project, and we’ll get insights on how best to solve the project from an expert who knows the space better than us.
If the pace is fast and the north star is growing at all costs, hiring contractors first can feel like a step in the wrong direction if you know that you’ll sooner or later need to scale it with an in-house team. One of the benefits of starting with a contractor is that tends to be easier to make things performance-based, and even if you can replicate the same model in-house, it will give you a decent idea about the benchmarks and general performance the team should push when it is up and running in-house.
Medical SEO service Pricing examples
The problem with giving pricing examples is that there is no upper limit since different sized businesses have different needs.
The common ways of pricing SEO services are by hourly rate, project-based or with a monthly retainer. I was considering doing a survey to give you some sort of baseline but as I was looking at other surveys done, I realized that it can be misleading as there is virtually a perfect SEO contractor for every need; a specialist in niche problems, a specialist in SEO for large-scale businesses, etc. It’s challenging to reach a meaningful data set in order for you to make meaningful assumptions based on it.
Instead, I’ll say this; if you aren’t able to prioritize investing at least a few thousand dollars per month, you are probably better off taking a course and doing it yourself or in-house. A few thousand dollars is the bare minimum and a lot more would help.
The most widespread service with the most supply is content writing and it is the most likely type of work to outsource for these kinds of projects. If you are serious about scale, building a well-oiled content engine that produces new content to target new keywords consistently, is essential.
In general, I’d expect to pay between $200-$300 per high-quality article with a contractor. Sure, it’s possible to buy them for more or less but the quality will follow and it’s easy if you are looking for just one written article per week. But when scaling, we need many articles each week and we’ll need many writers since one can usually only produce a couple of good ones per week. Suddenly, we are competing with their other clients for their time, and paying a little extra can help ensure stability so we don’t have to find and test new content writers all the time.
5 Contractor examples
I took the liberty of scouring the web for contractors offering healthcare SEO services for your convenience. I haven’t had the pleasure of working with any of them yet so don’t take this as an endorsement but rather a short list of contractors that appear to offer relevant services.
Interestingly, as I looked on popular contractor platforms like Upwork I could only find medical or healthcare specialized SEO content writers – not SEO specialists focusing on other areas of SEO within our industry.
1. Content writing-focused
2. Content writing-focused
3. Content writing-focused
4. Content writing-focused
5. General SEO specialist with a focus on law firms and medical practices
If you are looking for more examples, check out this article on healthcare consultants.
- If you are concerned with engaging in a contractor’s long-term projects before seeing results, collaborate on a small project first to see if you are a good fit
- There are four main SEO skill specializations and content writing is usually the one you need the most
- Paying more for healthcare SEO contractor is usually worth it as you’ll get higher quality and some things, like technical SEO, can hurt you in the long term if it’s done with short term results in mind