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Local SEO for Doctors: Healthcare Industry One of the Most Affected by Inaccurate Local Listings

Local SEO for Doctors

Local SEO for doctors is one of the best methods of ensuring that your patients can find you for a visit. If they search for “pediatrician in Miami,” then your office will come up in the search results if you have included your location in your listings. Online marketing for doctors should include your city or region in your company name to help patients find you. Since statistics show that one-third of doctors have an inaccurate or no online listing, it is important to go online and double-check any listings of your office. You can do this yourself (or have your office staff do it), or you can hire a Medical SEO company to assist you.

Poor or Missing Listings Result in Loss of Business

In April 2019, Yext posted results of an analysis of 1,800 healthcare facilities and 15,000 listings that revealed:

  • 31.5 percent lacked an online local listing. (3.6 times greater than other businesses, at 8.68 percent)
  • Of listed healthcare facilities, 48 percent had basic address errors
  • 29 percent were missing accurate phone numbers

As you can imagine, these problems result in lost business, missed appointments and frustrated patients. It is crucial to understand that Pew Research Center has established that 62 percent of smartphone owners used their phone in the past year to research a health condition, and 67 percent use their smartphone for turn-by-turn directions en route to a location. With 95 percent of patients looking for a doctor in a “nearby location,” and 77 percent of patients using search prior to booking their appointments, having a correct listing is of utmost importance.

How to Correct Your Physician Office Listing

To ensure that your listings are correct, search for your office online and find all of the listings. Then, check the accuracy and correct those that are wrong. You can also check your website listing and any healthcare directories to ensure they are correct and up-to-date.

How has marketing for doctors changed? 

A few years ago marketing your clinic or medical service only required you to place an ad in the Yellow Pages. But thanks to the internet, things have changed. Now, potential patients turn to search engine pages to look for local doctors and healthcare services. Local seo for doctors has become the way to get patients today. Studies show that 54% of potential patients under the age of 35 turn to search engines to look for a local medical practitioner. Even older generations are getting comfortable using search engines as data shows that 27% of people between the age of 55 and 64 embraced search engines while looking for a doctor. This is why it’s important for doctors and medical practitioners to invest in local SEO to stand out and stay ahead in the game.

Difference between Local and Organic SEO

You might think that SEO is just one simple marketing concept, but it’s more than that. Search engine optimization actually has two branches: local SEO and organic SEO.

Organic SEO refers to the marketing practice used to obtain a high ranking on search engines by optimizing your website and by making it SEO friendly. It does not have a geographical component and is not usually associated with a brick-and-mortar business. It is more oriented towards finding information instead of a specific location. Organic SEO strives to increase traffic based on the website’s content and improve a website’s placement.

Local SEO refers to the optimization of a business’s online presence so that the website will show up in local searches. It builds signals of relevance around a specific location. Local SEO aims to improve rankings through its relevant and trusted locations. Basically, the geographical aspect of the two concepts varies.

How important is local SEO for Doctors?

Local SEO not only provides a higher ROI, but also increases visibility, traffic, credibility, and branding. Through this digital marketing initiative, you can attract qualified leads and new patients to your clinic and gain an online reputation as well as increased visibility.

Effective local SEO techniques, allow you to have better online visibility. This is important as nowadays users trust Google, and by appearing on top of a search listing, you provide a strong endorsement of your business. Potential patients believe that a clinic or medical service that features on the top is more credible and reliable than those that rank lower on the listings. Local SEO is also important because by marketing yourself to more people, you increase the chances of attracting potential customers. This is just like having a clinic set up on a busy street vs. a low traffic street, the busy street might bring you more customers which, in turn, will make you generate more revenue.

With local SEO, all you need to do is show up in the search listings and convey that your service is best for the potential patient’s requirements.

Benefits of local SEO

For doctors and physicians to reach success with new and returning patients seeking treatment, they too need a special prescription that will improve their performance. That is why local seo for doctors is of extreme benefit to make your practice stand out from the thousands of medical practitioners operating in the US. Local SEO can help you promote your practice and make your business grow. Here’s why:

  1. It has better conversion rates than almost any other digital marketing strategy.
  2. Local SEO goes hand-in-hand with voice search, which is now a rising trend in search engine optimization.
  3. It delivers better ROI than PPC and reduces advertising costs.
  4. Local SEO drives immediate foot traffic, data shows that 88% of localized searches result in a call or store visit within 24 hours.
  5. It reduces reliance on Google and Facebook ads.

Steps to improve local SEO for doctors 

Now that you know why local SEO is important for your clinic or business, it’s important to learn the steps that can guide you towards improving your local SEO. Your first step to improving your local SEO performance is optimizing Google My Business (GMB) and Google Maps, which are the two most important aspects of local SEO.

Step 1 – Get verified on Google My Business: Google’s primary tool to improve results for local stores and services is GMB. It’s important that you get your clinic verified on GMB immediately. If you have various clinics, every location must have its own GMB listing to ensure each can be discoverable on Google Maps.

Step 2 – Optimize your clinic’s GMB: Once you’ve completed the verification process, you can start optimizing your profile. Include a strong description of your business, services you offer, contact information, clinic hours, holiday hours, photos of your clinic, covid information, and logo.

Step 3 – Turn on Google My Business’s calls & messaging: This step is optional but highly recommended as users want to have a fast way to get in touch with your business. Google My Business allows businesses to add a phone number users can call or message, in case they want information or to schedule an appointment.

Step 4 – Start posting on GMB: Active and up-to-date accounts look more appealing than stale ones, so try to post regularly. This means posting pictures, what is new, or even some offers.

Step 5 – Encourage customers to leave reviews: Create a customer review strategy that encourages clients to post authentic positive reviews on your GMB profile. This is important for local SEO for doctors since the number of reviews and ratings impact how high your profile appears in local searches and also impacts click-through rates. Ensure you respond to every review appropriately and professionally as well.

Step 6 – Get listed on directories & review sites:  It’s also a good idea to create profiles on all of the major third-party review platforms, including Yelp, BBB, and Glassdoor. Don’t forget about local directories, both universal directories, and niche medical directories.

Despite it being the most important local ranking factor, many doctors still haven’t optimized their Google My Business Listing. Now is the time to get ahead of your competitors and make the most of local web searches. You’ll witness a steadier flow of appointments, more new patients, and grow your practice.

Social media networks to improve your local SEO

Social channels can be an effective way to improve your local SEO and brand presence. You can publish content that includes location-specific keywords, to provide further signals to search engines that you have a presence in your targeted local area. You can also share information, stay in touch with your local customers, share any new updates or upcoming events, and introduce new doctors and team members. Some of the best platforms that can benefit your business and practice include Facebook and LinkedIn.

Getting ready for local SEO success

Before you get started with applying specific local SEO strategies, it’s vital to cover the basics to achieve good SEO results. Just like the name suggests, local searches target physical locations, therefore make sure you’re targeting local areas where your business has a physical presence. Another thing to consider is the level of demand and competition in the area you serve. Depending on this, you may want to target the suburb you’re located in or the entire city. This might mean targeting terms such as “Detox health clinic in Miami”, rather than “Detox health clinic in Ludlam Road”. Once you have a clear idea of your target market, it is advised to do some keyword research to figure out exactly what your local customers are looking for.

Improving local SEO for doctors, dentists, or other medical professionals is quite a task mainly because local SEO differs from normal or organic SEO. But also because Google takes great care to only rank trustworthy, experienced, and authoritative medical sites. Local SEO deals with helping medical practices grow in their specific locations. It improves searchability online and increases the visibility of your website. Whether you’re new to the healthcare industry or your practice is still growing, implementing a local SEO strategy would be beneficial, especially in attracting new patients.

It also helps with driving traffic to your website, which generally results in attracting more potential patients to your clinic. And it is no news that the more patients you bring in, the higher your revenue will be! Hiring a specialized and experienced agency in digital marketing and local SEO is likely your clinic’s best bet at improving your SEO performance.

If you’re interested in ranking top as the best doctor in your area, contact us to learn more about our local SEO services. We’ll be happy to help you improve your visibility, traffic, and conversions as well as keep your site up-to-date on all best practices.