Discover how to get your practice found by local patients using Local SEO
Local SEO for doctors and medical practices is essential for owners and PM’s wanting their practice, clinic or consulting rooms to be found easily by patients in their local area. And marketing to local patients can be a very effective strategy compared to wider marketing efforts.
According to a survey run by Digi Experts, The top 3 traffic sources for medical clinics were word-of-mouth (15%), saw it on the street (30%), and Google (55%).
However, despite the clear potential that optimising a medical practice website for local search offers, many practices have still not taken action to harness this valuable source of website traffic, a channel which leads to new patient bookings.
The benefits of local SEO for doctors and medical specialists include:
- Higher rankings for the treatments and services you offer
- Increased website traffic
- Reduced reliance on Google and Facebook ads
- Increased market share
- Reduce lost patients to competitors
Despite it being the most important local ranking factor, many medical practices still haven’t optimised their Google My Business Listing and don’t have a mobile friendly website.
If you want to get ahead of your competitors and make the most of local web searches, the time is now.
What would it mean to your practice to achieve a listing at the top of Google?
Some of the results we’ve witnessed as a result of a successful local SEO campaign:
- More new patients
- More visibility for the range of services you offer
- More visibility for your most profitable services
- A steadier flow of appointments
- An increase in practice growth and revenue
By making local SEO a key part of your overall marketing strategy you can attract more patients from the local area, achieve more patient bookings and grow your practice.
This article covers the main steps you need to take to make sure your website is optimised for local SEO so you can start to dominate the local search listings.
What is Local SEO for Doctors? (and medical specialists)
Before reading on, it’s worth taking a minute to understand what Local SEO is.
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the process of optimising your site to make it easy for web users to find when they search for a related keyword term in a search engine like Google.
Local SEO targets searches that have local intent – meaning that the searcher is looking for something located physically close to them in the local geographic area.
For example, someone typing in “child specialist in Islamabad” will most likely be looking for a child specialist in the Islamabad area.
If you’re based in Islamabad, offer this service, and optimise your website well for this keyword and location, you might expect to get some traffic to your website from those searching for this term.
Not all local intent searches include a specific place name. Google is quite clever at figuring out local intent based on location indicators on the device being used to search, so it knows somebody searching on mobile for “child specialist” is most likely looking for a specialist within a small radius of their current location.
Therefore it will tend to return listings for dermatologists in the local area.
So how do you optimise your online presence for these local intent searches and take advantage of the traffic they send?
That’s where local SEO comes in.
1. NAP CONSISTENCY
Some of the vital aspects of achieving success with local SEO are very basic and simple. Things like keeping your name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistent across all your web properties is a simple yet highly effective starting point.
NAP citations are used in local directories, and Google and other search engines use these citations as a ranking factor to determine your business’s authority in your local area.
Your NAP information should be displayed clearly on your homepage. In fact, your website footer is often the best place to show your main business address. If you have a multi-location business it’s not a good idea to include all locations in the footer though as it can be confusing and this is where a multi-location SEO strategy becomes critical in your success.
If these details match those in local directories and niche directories, the search engines will know that both your site and the directory listing are referring to the same business and are more likely to return your business in the local search results.
If there are inconsistencies, perhaps because you’ve moved business location and haven’t updated your address everywhere yet, Google may struggle to understand that the two listings refer to the same business which in a sense dilutes your online presence.
It’s therefore vital to make sure all your NAP information is kept up to date and consistent everywhere on the web if possible.
2. MEDICAL AND LOCAL DIRECTORY LISTINGS AND CITATIONS
Adding your site to business directories used to be an effective way of getting more links to your site for SEO purposes.
The power of these links has been devalued although they’re still a local SEO ranking factor and an important component of your presence in the local search ecosystem.
Many SEO experts agree that having good quality and accurate citations (listings in local directories) is vital for local SEO.
Google checks these listings to verify that the NAP data it has for your business is correct, and the more high-quality citations you have, the more authority your business appears to have in your industry and geographical area.
Entering your business into online directories can be tedious, but it’s worth making the effort to have a fully completed listing.
Make sure you have a well-written description, a full list of services and include extra information such as opening hours, accepted payments, a logo and photos when the option is available.
Be sure your practice is listed in these local directories and maps:
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS CATEGORIES
Choosing the right category within Google Maps is critical. For instance, you are child specialist then selecting Pediatrician will come much useful as compared to just selecting the doctor.
All in all, the right use of Digital Channels can boost up your business by many folds.