SEO for Holistic Medicine: How to find keywords

Effective keyword usage is one of the cornerstones of SEO. The following post presents some basic techniques for finding keywords for your Holistic practice’s website content.

In How to use SEO to build your Functional Medicine Practice I indicated that optimizing a website for SEO involved two 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.

Establishing the Searchers Intent

The first step in finding keywords for your website content is to determine the intent of the target audience you are trying to attract.

When someone looking for information enters a search term into Google or other search engines, they are typically used to address four basic issues or content themes:

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

A frequently used content theme for a Holistic medicine practitioner is the I want to know moment.

For example, people who investigate Functional, Integrative, and Holistic medical practices often have questions concerning how the root-cause approach to disease and illness differs from conventional medicine’s typical focus on the relief of symptoms.

Their initial inquiries are often in the “I want to know…” category.

If someone is searching online for information regarding functional medicine they might have a question such as “What is the Functional Medicine approach to autoimmune disease?

Dr. Christine Maren supplied one of the top-rated answers to this question (i.e., page one Google search results) in the post titled: The Functional Medicine Solution for Autoimmune Disease.

Dr. Maren’s title is an excellent matching answer to the question regarding autoimmune disease. The blog post accompanying the title also provides an in-depth discussion of functional medicine approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of auto-immune disease, symptoms, and advances in treatment and diagnosis in recent decades.

Google also considers Dr. Maren’s well-known status and authority in her field when awarding her a first-page placement for this post with its search quality rating guideline E-E-A-T, which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Although not all holistic practioners—especially those new to the field—have Dr. Maren’s authority and status to achieve page one rankings on high-value, competitive keywords, there are techniques for finding closely related keywords to rank for on subjects such as autoimmune disease.

Finding Keywords Using Google’s Autogenerate Function

One of Google’s tools to assist with keyword finding is its Autogenerate function. If you are looking for keywords related to autoimmune disease, you can open a Google page and start typing in a phrase concerning autoimmune disease. Google will begin searching its database for alternatives such as those shown below when I type “What is autoimmune?”

Google Autocomplete offers a drop-down list of anticipated suggestions based on search traffic. So, if you wish to offer diagnostic and/or treatment options for autoimmune disease, using Google’s Autogenerate function can help provide other closely related terms to use as keywords in your blog posts and website content.

Finding keywords using the “People also ask” and “Related Searches”

In addition to its Autogenerate function, Google also provides a “People also ask” section and a “Related searches” entry, as shown below, for the “What is autoimmune disease?” keyword question. These provide additional keyword options to consider.

Other non-Google Keyword Finding Tools

In addition to Google, other companies have developed programs to help users find keywords. Companies like Semrush, Moz, and Ubersuggest produce free and for-pay versions of keyword-finding tools. The graphic below shows an initial search using the free tool

For this search, I entered “autoimmune disease,” and the program returned 364 alphabetical listings using “autoimmune disease” as one of the keyword options.


The first step in finding keywords is to determine the intent of the target audience you are trying to bring to your website. Themes that are frequently used by people investigating holistic health services include:

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

After attempting to match their search with your services, e.g., “What is the Functional Medicine approach to autoimmune disease?”

You can generate additional possibilities with Google’s

  • Autogenerate function using Drop-down suggestions
  • “People also ask” section and
  • “Related searches” (usually at the bottom of the first page of Google listings)

In addition to Google’s offerings, free and for-pay keyword-generating applications (e.g., are available that can provide other keyword possibilities.