Local SEO for Medical Professionals Can Attract More Patients!
Local search engine optimization can be a tricky business. But for medical professionals and clinics, it can be a minefield.
For starters, healthcare professionals tend to have a huge online presence. They have to keep up with their digital marketing, as they interact with potential patients via email, websites, social media, and even video platforms.
Also, in terms of online presence, doctors tend to have high expectations for themselves, for their practices, and for their reputation.
So there’s no surprise when they find out about some local SEO techniques that are meant to work against them. But with some careful planning and the right tools at hand, a doctor can build up a strong professional reputation. Here are a few tricks that can help.
Why Isn’t My Practice Showing Up in Search Engines Like It Used To?!
If you are a doctor who manages their own business listings, you might know that Google has made some changes to the algorithm which has affected local and organic SEO .
There are two important things you need to know for medical listings:
- Google has stopped using “local business” as one of its ranking signals. This means that if you want to rank well in organic searches, you will have to provide additional healthcare related content focusing on the specific areas you are planning to target for your practice to show up in the local results.
- Google’s new “Know Your Audience” algorithm has introduced a set of new signals which are more specific to a region. If you want to rank for a city, county or zip code, then your medical website and listings need to be talking about these specific areas in your content.
Need Local SEO Services for Your Medical Practice? Or Do You Want to Do It Yourself?
If you aren’t interested, or ready, to hire on an SEO specialist or agency (but if you are, we’re here to help!), then here are some basics that might help you get started in dialing in the local and organic SEO for doctors and medical clinics and seeing yourself at #1 in Google’s search results:
Local Keywords Your Patients Search For
Local keyword research is the lifeblood of any local SEO campaign. They are the search phrases prospective patients use to find things online. Without keywords, you’re lost in the woods. SEO for medical doctors requires a good content strategy, which includes lots of high-quality, unique, and helpful content.
Your local medical practice’s content needs to be optimized for Google searches if you want to bring in more organic traffic; and the important local keywords you use in the content can be used in the URLs as well for a nice boost.
It’s important to implement a back link structure that supports your keyword strategy. Keyword research can save a ton of time and money by targeting only the search terms that are possible and relevant for you to rank on.
Add Some Content Marketing into your Medical Search Engine Optimization Strategy
Local SEO for doctors and other medical practices is a challenge as search engines focus on content. Content is king, but creating quality content is easier said then done.
Search engine optimization in general is becoming increasingly important, but it can be challenging to come up with ideas and implement a content marketing strategy for it.
Show results, create and display the impact you have in your patients lives!
Write content on common questions your new patients have. Likely, people are searching online for the answers as well.
Explain your services, break them down and try to be as detailed and thorough as possible. Reputable sites are those that explain their services well, and those are rewarded by more website traffic from every search engine.
Create a Consistent Back Link Strategy
Potential patients tend to trust high ranking doctor listings when they are in need of medical clinics or practices. In order to reach these future patients, you must build a list of high quality websites that point to your site as the best choice.
Link building involves reaching out to relevant websites and blogs and promoting your content to them in hopes that they’ll link back to your site.
A search engine will see these links as a vote of confidence, and will send the relevant searches to your site.
This is where a healthcare SEO expert will come in handy (or maybe even an Albuquerque local SEO company?)
A local medical SEO specialist will be able to generate the link structure and content required to make sure that your medical website ranks high on a Google search with a solid local link building campaign.
Page Load Time and Other Important Technical SEO Factors
To really improve your local medical SEO rankings, you need to optimize your medical clinic’s website and its content for site speed.
You must make sure that your website loads fast and works on mobile devices.
Your website must also be properly indexed by search engines, or…it won’t be seen in search results at all! If you’re curious about your technical SEO, you can test it on Google’s PageSpeed Insights for some pointers.
YOUR MEDICAL PRACTICE ISN’T RANKING ON GOOGLE!
If patients can’t find you when they’re searching for your specific service, you might as well not exist to them!
These aren’t low quality leads either, these are people dealing with specific issues that YOUR office specializes in treating.
They’re looking, begging, for someone to help them.
Don’t you want them to see your office first?
Let’s Fix It!
Healthcare Provider Listings
There is a huge difference between national and local SEO. Local SEO for doctors is more about where your patients are and providing them access to local businesses when they need it. Good local directory listings are a must-have for doctors, surgeons, dental clinics, and…well, all businesses in general.
Without optimized local listings, search results will send your patients to pages that are hundreds of miles away.
Many search engine results even send patients to practices with no reviews at all. Most potential patients never even bother looking at these practices. If they do, they likely won’t trust the information.
This factor is double sided as well. The more local directories you are displayed on, the more prospective clients will see your practice; and the more local directories that display you, the more it helps your practice’s Google Map listing as well! Hitting multiple digital marketing channels at once!
Doctors do love efficiency, and so do we!
Google Business Profiles and Local Searches – Local SEO Strategies for Doctors
Your Google business profile is one of the most important aspects in local SEO strategies for doctors.
Many patients will see your medical practice here in local search results when they’re looking for medical services.
Search engines prefer to show you their own information first, which is why the Google business profile is so important.
Google wants people to use their service, so they show them your health practice right there on their site, complete with online reviews, directions, and business information.
Google Posts Help A Medical Practice Stand Out
Google loves engagement.
Your Google business profile is the perfect place to show search engines that you’re an active medical practice that engages with customers and prospective patients.
That’s where Google posts come in.
Using the post feature is a local SEO goldmine that helps rank your Google business profile higher in local search results by sending Google those signals that get you noticed.
Google posts also look good to potential patients.
A healthcare practice that engages with the community and takes time to answer questions and provide information is much more likely to stand out among other medical practices in the local listings.
These local searchers will feel more comfortable, which will lead to more patients.
Google Posts Should Include Photos or Videos
People love photos and videos.
Organic search results are full of them for numerous topics because many people prefer to consume content that is visual.
When posting on your Google business profile, remember to use photos and videos to grab that section of the population’s interest.
Many local websites neglect video, or meaningful images; use them correctly and you’ll stand out from the crowd!
Having a high quantity of patient reviews on your listings, especially on Google Maps, will both help legitimize your medical practice and boost your local medical SEO rankings naturally.
Try to give new patients a gentle nudge to review you on Google, create a QR code on your appointment reminder cards that they can scan and go straight to the review section.
This is just one of many ways to increase your Google listing engagement. People love reviewing services when they’re well taken care of, as long as you make it easy for them!
What goes along with this is engagement. You want that patient engagement on your healthcare practice’s Google listing, and you also want to respond with engagement of your own.
Thank people for their positive reviews, and try to correct any negative reviews if possible. You’ll never know who will change their negative reviews to positive reviews after a local business reaches out and at least tries to fix the issue.
Don’t forget to request removals of any bad reviews that break Google’s review terms.
Organic Social Media Marketing for Healthcare Clinics
Not necessarily a local SEO for doctors tactic, but posting on social media works in tandem with it, especially for local medical and healthcare businesses.
Social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to advertise your business or practice’s listing organically.
Doctors should embrace social media because it can increase their credibility, build their reputation, generate conversions, and improve the way their practice communicates with those important patients.
You should not be posting on social media as an excuse to promote your business or listing. Use social media to get to know your patients and create that trust. Then they’ll come to your practice when they need to.
Post consistently on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or wherever you might find your important health conscious patients. It’s a key factor in online marketing in general.
Do I Really Need Digital Marketing and Local SEO as a Healthcare Professional?
Whether you’re a surgeon, physician, dentist, urgent care/hospital, or anything else in the healthcare industry, then yes, you should employ an effective SEO strategy if you want to compete with other local medical practices.
If your target audience lives close to your medical clinic, then you should consider investing in local SEO for doctors and getting those listings optimized for organic search.
It is less expensive than traditional advertising and much more targeted.
Your medical practice’s website will have a better chance of being found online if your clinic or practice is listed in a search engine directory.
Help potential patients find you when they need your assistance.
They want the best, and you’re the best healthcare professional around, right?
May 15, 2022