Medical worker using computer to work on SEO for Functional Medicine practice

How to use SEO to build your Functional Medicine Practice

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a tool that Functional Medicine professionals – as well as others selling products or services online– can use to drive traffic and potential buyers to their website. When used effectively it can improve your website ranking with the major search engines (e.g., Google, Bing, etc.). and provide information demonstrating your expertise and enhance your online visibility.

The ultimate goal of search engine optimization is to attract people interested in your expertise as a Functional Medicine practitioner. By using content that matches their search queries– your website will become more visible and help you find and develop clients who look to you for their health and wellness needs.

Using Keywords and Relevant Content to Build Traffic to a Functional Medicine Practice

Optimizing the website content for your Functional Medicine practice involves two fundamental principles:

  1. Producing high quality, relevant content that addresses the question or concern that your existing and future clients/ patients are looking for in their online searches
  2. Using keywords that reflect their search queries

A keyword or keyword phrase is something people type into Google and other search engines when they are searching for information. Some are short at only one or two words, e.g., “Alternative
Medicine”  or “Functional Medicine.”

These are known as “short tail keywords. Longer phrases are known as “long tail” keywords. For example, a long tail keyword phrase that is often asked by potential clients looking for alternatives to conventional medicine.

What is the difference between Functional Medicine and Conventional Medicine?

This is a question that can be addressed as a blog post or FAQ on your website, such as the following excerpt from The Functional Medicine Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment of Autoimmune Disease): 

The Conventional medicine approach to medical care

Conventional medicine focuses on acute care. There are times when this is necessary such as treating a broken leg or a heart attack. In these instances, doctors apply treatments such as medication or surgery that address the immediate symptom.

However, the acute care approach is less effective for chronic illness.

Conventional medicine recognizes that many diseases have a genetic component. Although genetics are important, there are environmental factors as well that conventional medicine does not address.

The Functional medicine approach to medical care

Functional medicine recognizes the importance of genetics but goes beyond that in diagnosis and treatment to include environmental factors, such as food sensitivities, toxins, infections, stress, and more, acting alone or in combination.

It is a science-based approach that examines the function of the body’s systems and how they interact with one another rather than naming a disease and addressing a symptom with a pill. Practitioners begin with a detailed medical history from preconception to the present. They examine the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors to determine the root causes of a disease or condition.

Organizing Keywords into Content Themes 

 Keywords are typically used to address four basic issues or content themes: 

  • I want to know moment
  • I want to go moment
  • I want to do moment
  • I want to buy moment

A frequently used content theme for a Functional Medicine practitioner is the I want to know moment. Potential clients searching online for information regarding functional medicine might have I want to know moments such as:

  • What is functional medicine?
  • How does functional medicine address intestinal problems?
  • Can Functional medicine reverse autoimmune disease?
  • Do Functional medicine practitioners accept insurance? 

When someone is close to selecting a Functional medicine practitioner and wants location information, I want to go moment becomes important. As they want to find a Functional Medicine practitioner in a particular area.

To address online location searches, Google has a free service for local businesses called “Google Business Profile.” Since most businesses for Functional Medicine come from local people, it is very important for Functional Medicine practitioners in any area to fill out the Google Business Profile to help attract local people to their business. You need to provide information such as:

  • Business address and city located in
  • Services specialized in
  • Hours of operation

These will help the practitioner appear on Google Maps when potential clients search for them locally. Also, having the address and contact information in the header or footer of every website page will help with local SEO searches.  


What is SEO – Search Engine Optimization? (