Focusing on Local SEO: Healthcare Trends
Modern healthcare providers don’t rely on “old world” or traditional marketing to attract new patients. They are finding other ways to promote their services – primarily through digital marketing.
Digital marketing has opened up many doors for medical practices to continually grow their practice and patient base without increasing their marketing budget. One of the most effective marketing tactics that a healthcare provider can utilize is search engine optimization (SEO).
What is Local SEO for Healthcare?
Traditional SEO focuses on your website’s visibility on a national scale, whereas local SEO allows you to capture local search results in your area. This means you will attract more potential patients within a certain radius of your practice – leads who are more likely to actually visit your practice and become loyal patients.
Local SEO is the science and art of creating your patients’ online experience for your practice. This includes the whole journey from the initial research to appointment scheduling. This often includes:
- Having a website with clear navigation paths
- Writing original, localized content and blog posts
- Optimizing your website with local keywords based on search volume, keyword density, and industry competition
- Managing your local listings
- Optimizing site data so search engines can read and understand your content
- Responding to reviews
Why Do I Need to Focus on It?
Google’s algorithm changes almost 600 times a year. And with each change, Google is becoming more and more focused on local SEO – which is good news for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations who utilize local SEO techniques.
Years ago, if you did an internet search for a local doctor or physician, there would likely be nationally-focused providers or services on the first page. For many people, those results were useless and irrelevant. In more recent years, those top search results are dominated by Google’s local main directory local listings – generally Google My Business, Healthgrades, and WebMD.
It is crucial in creating a well-rounded local SEO strategy for a medical practice to dominate local search keywords – and to outperform the competition. A clear strategy will drive new patients to your website and generate more leads.
There are 4 key indicators for local SEO that matter the most for Google rankings:
- On-Page SEO
- Google My Business Listings
- Medical directory business listings
Using Local SEO to Attract New Patients
It is important for medical practices to have a constant stream of patients coming visiting their practice. In order for that to happen, your content and keywords should be targeting people in your local area. Those are the people who will likely visit for a consultation or check-up.
People tend to not go out of their way or travel several hours to see a doctor. People want doctors who are nearby so visits are convenient. For example, if you’re a pain specialist, a local person could search “pain specialist near me” and your practice’s name or clinic will appear first if you utilize local SEO.
With the desire to stay local, it is important to focus your marketing strategy on localization. Content, on-page optimizations, all with focused, local intent, can help increase visibility and generate more leads.
Below are the essential things you need to ensure that you can be easily found online by local, potential patients:
- On your website, include your city or surrounding towns with some important, industry-focused keywords.
- Your web pages should contain your complete address. It should be consistent everywhere it is visible on your website.
- Your Google Maps listing should link to your website homepage.
- Use local keywords in your URLs, meta-descriptions, header tags, and original content.