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Plastic Surgery Website SEO - How to rank number 1

The best performing plastic surgery websites average 409 pages per site Tweet This

Two weeks ago Google unleashed another major algorithm update favoring recent content over aged content for more queries. As a frequent search engine user, I welcome these updates because in nearly all situations, I would rather see recent content in the results as opposed to aged content. And I think most search users would agree. However, maintaining recent-optimized-content on a site is now a much larger task than simply maintaining optimized-content because the content must be updated or added to regularly.

In order to create recency in content we have two options:

  1. Provide regular updates to existing content (update existing pages)
  2. Regularly add new content (new pages) to the site

Search engines love both methods and the type of query you are targeting will determine which method is most appropriate. Generally we know which method to use by categorizing the targeted query as a head phrase or a long tail phrase. Head phrases are short (1 to 2 words) phrases that have a large search volume but are more general than specific.  An example would be the phrase “plastic surgery.”

Google tells us there are 3,350,000 searches conducted each month that include the terms “plastic surgery” or any related terms, synonyms etc.  Google also tells us there are 2,740,000 searches per month that include the exact phrase “plastic surgery” and 110,000 searches per month for the phrase “plastic surgery” all alone.

This data tells us there are 2,630,000 searches per month that include the phrase “plastic surgery” plus some other words.  Plastic surgery makes up the fat head or chunky middle of the volume graph and phrases like “facial plastic surgery houston” make up the 2.6M phrases in the chunky middle / long-tail.


Sites generally see better performance in created recent content for long-tail phrases by adding new pages and by updating existing pages for most head and chunky middle phrases.

As you can imagine, when you multiply 2.6M long-tail phrases for plastic surgery times the necessity for recent content you get a site that is growing in content day by day, week by week and year by year.

So how do we know this is true? How do we know that the most successful plastic surgery sites are adding content and growing in size? My favorite answer is, “let’s look at the data.”

In October we published our first Who’s the best in Plastic Surgery SEO report.  For our report we analyzed the top 10 phrases in plastic surgery search in each of the largest 200 metro areas in the U.S.  We compiled the results and build a list of which sites consistently perform the best in their market.

Recently, I took the data from our who’s the best report for the top site in each market.  After removing duplicates I had a list of 169 of the best plastic surgery sites as determined by Google.  I then checked each site for total number of pages.  What I found is that the average plastic surgery site from the list of 169 top sites had 409 pages.  Now I don’t have historical data to determine if these sites are growing in size and regularly adding content but I have a pretty good hunch they are.

Now if 409 pages seems like a lot for your average plastic surgery website, you can rest in knowing that the average is carried by some very large sites at the top end of the graph and our median site had 158 pages.  I’ll plan to update the data next spring to see how the median and average have climbed by sites maintaining recent content and targeting new phrases.  You can see the distribution of pages in the graph below.

I also collected Twitter links from each of the sites and Facebook links.  In a meeting with a clinic last week I was told that nobody would “like” a plastic surgery clinic’s Facebook page.  I have data from our own clients that proves that notion wrong but I thought it would be interesting to see how many likes the top sites are getting.  Anyhow, that is for another post.

To summarize content is still king in plastic surgery SEO and based on the direction Google has been moving, that won’t be changing anytime soon.

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About Marc
Marc Ohmann is president of Digital Solutions, Inc in Minneapolis. Digital Solutions is the company behind the MDWebPro blog and tool set. Marc was a computer science and engineering student at the University of Minnesota in 1999 when he started Digital Solutions. Marc, now a husband and father of 3, greatly enjoys the clients and creativity he is involved in each day through Digital Solutions. Follow Marc on Twitter @marcohmann and @MDWebPro and also on Google Plus

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