5 Essential SEO Apps for Doctors

November 8, 2016

Search engine optimization (SEO), like other marketing campaigns, requires some sort of tracking and measurement to determine its success. At docero, we use a variety of SEO apps to improve our methods and ensure that they’re working as intended. Our top 5 SEO tools are AWR Cloud, AdWords Keyword Planner, Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, and Ahrefs. In this article, we explain the functionality and benefits of each app.

1. AWR Cloud

AWR stands for “Advanced Web Ranking,” and, as its name suggests, the tool tracks your search engine rankings for keywords you input. At docero, we use the tool to check weekly changes in rankings and make quick fixes to counteract any declines. For doctors, it’s extremely useful for checking your local rankings. For example, as a New York-based doctor, you might rank first for “sinusitis specialist” in NYC, but you won’t rank at all in LA. That’s okay because most of your patients will also be searching from NYC. If you have multiple locations, you can also search for your rankings in each area.

In the example below, we are looking at medical weight loss related keywords in Walnut Creek, CA. You can see that our rank for “medical weight loss center” increased 3 positions since last week.


2. AdWords Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner is a free AdWords tool that finds keyword ideas and estimates their search volume and competition. You don’t need to create an AdWords campaign or anything other than a free Google account to use the tool. At docero, we use Keyword Planner to find the search volume of specific keywords we want our clients to rank for in their service area. Furthermore, you are able to find local search volumes and add several areas if you have multiple practice locations. The tool also helpfully suggests related keywords.

In the example below, we are searching for “ent doctor” in New York. The average monthly search volume in NY is 2900, and some related keywords are “ear doctor” and “ear nose and throat doctor.”


3. Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results. Although not necessary for ranking in Google, the tool can be used to boost your rankings and check if Google has any issues crawling your site. Below are some of its most useful features:

  • “HTML Improvements” can be used to check which pages have duplicate, long, or short meta descriptions and title tags
  • “Manual Actions” reveal if Google is penalizing your site due to prohibited activity. Hackers, unnatural backlinks, poor content, or other reasons could be the cause.
  • “Content Keywords” show the most significant keyword phrases found on your site. If there are any unexpected keywords, such as “Viagra,” it could mean that your site has been hacked.
  • “Crawl Errors” reveal if Google is unable to crawl (track) some of your pages. These pages will not rank in Google search results.

The example below shows the Google Search Console Dashboard. To view more in-depth features like the ones listed above, you can use the navigation bar on the left-hand side.


4. Screaming Frog

The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a website crawler that crawls websites’ URLs as Google would and finds the key onsite elements, such as title tags, heading tags, and meta descriptions. It’s a great tool to analyze your onsite SEO. Useful features include:

  • “Response Codes” show you if your site has any pages that are not reachable or crawl-able. A large number of 3xx (Redirection), 4xx (Client Error), and 5xx (Server Error) results are a sign that your site isn’t working as it should.
  • “Page Titles” list all of the available page titles on your site. You can see if any are missing, duplicate, too long, too short, or if you have multiple on the same page. The same goes for “Meta Descriptions” and “H1”s.
  • “Images” allow you to check if your images have Alt Text.

Screaming Frog is also a great tool to analyze your competitors and discover what keyword phrases they’re using in their page titles, heading tags, and more.

The example below shows the crawl results for docero. The right side allows you to navigate through the on-site elements, and the main section shows the results for each specific page.


5. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is an SEO backlink checker and competitor research tool. The app tracks your backlinks, keywords, brand mentions, and more. Some of its most useful features are:

  • “Backlinks” are the pages that link to you, and “Referring Domains” are the sites that encompass the backlink. Sometimes, one referring domain can include multiple backlinks.
  • “Top Content” shows you which of your pages are the most shareable on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
  • “Anchor Cloud,” located in the Overview section, shows you your anchor text. Your anchor text is the text being used when other sites link to you. Good anchor text will include relevant keywords, not just your URL or brand name. This section also can be used to check if spam websites are linking to you, as you’ll see nonsensical anchor text.

You can also use Ahrefs to analyze your competitors’ link building tactics. Enter your competitor’s website and then look at the “Backlinks” and “Referring Domains” sections to see which sites are linking to them. If the links are valuable in a local or industry sense, you can also try to get those sites to link to you. 

The example below shows the overview for eos sleep. You can navigate to more in-depth analysis on backlinks, referring domains, and top content with the navigation bar on the left-hand side.


Let Us Help

These are just a few of the tools we use to improve our doctors’ search engine rankings. If you need help marketing your practice and acquiring new patients, give us a call or request a free practice assessment today. We are a full-service digital marketing agency, exclusively focused on connecting healthcare providers with prospective patients in their communities. Let us fill your waiting room with patients!

Get a Free marketing assessment