Google contributes a large percentage of traffic to many health websites.
To make an appointment with a doctor, 57% of patients start using an online search. And when patients search for a healthcare facility on Google, they really think about work.
SimilarWeb reveals that 85% of traffic to ClevelandClinic.org, 83% of traffic to HopkinsMedicine.org and 87% of traffic to MayoClinic.org comes from organic search.
But ranking on Google is not as simple as creating a website. The online world has now grown far from that.
Patients today are looking for doctors in their vicinity. This means you need to rank your local audience to generate significant traffic to your clinic.
That is why local SEO has become necessary for all modern dental and medical practices that want to use the potential of the Internet and use it to increase their profits.
In this article, you will find 10 local SEO strategies that can help you find the audience that is most important to your practice.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the type of SEO that helps your website appear in a higher position in search results for site specific searches.
For example, ranking a dental office based in Nashville for tests like “dentists in Nashville”.
Sometimes patients also search with key phrases such as “dentist near me”. In this case, search engines use the user's IP address or geolocation to connect them to relevant and nearby businesses.
SEO for local health is a powerful tool that helps your medical practice gain significant online visibility. If done correctly, it can help you get into the top 3 “packages” and win search results even if your website doesn't appear on the first page.
Why Should Doctors And Dentists Consider Local SEO?
The first thing most patients turn to when they want to see a doctor is, ironically, the internet.
If someone thinks they need a dentist, they would not open the yellow pages and search the “D” section of the directory for the local dentist. Instead, they will turn to Google or some other search engine, type in a key phrase like “dentist near me” and book an appointment with whom they like best.
This is the approach adopted by most modern patients. And practices that want to maintain or increase their pedestrian traffic must adapt to this approach in order to be among those that emerge in response to specific locations and relevant searches.
Local SEO helps to make this possible.
By optimizing your Google business profile for ranking for relevant local searches, you can diversify your traffic acquisition channels and be where your customers are looking for you.
When you rank for relevant local tests, your patients will know you as an option they have. And since other factors are met, they are more likely to contact and schedule an appointment.
Increasing the number of visitors in your medical practice is just one of the ways in which local SEO contributes to your income.
It also helps you save on expensive online ads, which reduces your marketing spending and ultimately increases your ultimate value.
Local SEO also allows you to be where your peers are and compete with them on equal footing. If you rank side by side with your competitors, you are more likely to get a share of their potential patients, which would be a million times better than leaving all your patients online to them by not finding them in local search results.
All the benefits that local SEO brings to your practice are increased deadlines in your office and higher revenue. Let's talk about some top-notch strategies to help you get started with local SEO.
10 Practical Local SEO Strategies
After reading all the benefits of local SEO, you may be inclined to assume that it is expensive, time consuming and tedious, like regular SEO. However, this is not the case.
It is true that certain local SEO factors require time and dedication to generate truly sustainable results, but getting started is much easier.
1. List Your Practice On Google Business Profile
Here are the best local SEO strategies that could help you find profitable online visibility:
The Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is a source of local online visibility.
Google Business Profile helps small businesses find exposure and showcase their services or products to an interested audience. It offers all the tools you need to create an optimized, accurate and descriptive list that helps your patients learn what they need to know about your practice.
You must have your practice listed on your Google business profile to take advantage of local SEO benefits.
Sometimes Google automatically creates business lists on GBP. In that case, you should request that list, confirm it, and check that it is accurate to make sure it will not take your potential patients away by spreading incorrect information.
2. Double Down On Keyword Research
Also, adding a booking link to your Google business profile can currently increase your booking bookings because one of LoudGrowth’s customers saw a 44% increase after adding a booking link.
Keyword research is the heart of local SEO because it tells you which keywords to optimize with so that search engines can link relevant queries to your listing and potentially lead patients to it.
Local keywords differ from regular keywords because they are labeled with location-specific phrases such as “Dentist near me” or “Nashville Pediatrician.”
To get started with local keyword research, you must first be intuitive and get into your patient’s mind.
What do they think when they look for a doctor? What are the words I can use to seek a doctor?
Think of a bunch of key phrases and make a list.
Once you have a list, find keyword research tools and search for phrases from your list.
Narrow your keywords relevant to your phrases and strike the right balance between search volume and competition.
It is important to note that the search volume of local keyword phrases is usually low. Therefore, don’t hesitate to shortlist relatively smaller SV keywords.
3. Capitalize On Google Posts
You can also use the keyword tools to see which keywords your competitors are ranked by. These words have been proven to connect patients who search with practices like yours. So they can also help you find the right kind of visibility.
Google Posts is a free tool that offers local businesses a fantastic opportunity to engage and interact with their audiences.
Google posts allow you to display up to ten of your most recent posts, which, according to some sources, remain active for up to 7 days. You can use this space to announce, offer and promote your services, and explain your characteristics to the audience.
You can display textual content and images via Google posts and end it with a CTA that links to your local landing pages.
Tip for professionals: Be sure to use UTM parameters so you can track how much traffic is coming from your Google posts.
Google posts are designed to provide quick information to potential patients and persuade them to take the desired action.
They can be used for many different publishing ideas such as offers and special offers, products and services, events, business updates, etc.
A study conducted on £ 600 profiles found that posts related to services and discounts yield the highest conversions compared to other postings of ideas.
It’s crucial to have a proactive Google posts strategy because this is a space for communicating recent messages with potential patients, you’ll need to work not only on sharing Google posts, but also on updating them as the situation changes.
For example, your office offers free flu shots near the flu season, and you promote it through Google posts. Once the flu season is over, you will need to replace this post with something else as outdated content can damage your reputation.
To harness its power and harness them to achieve results, you will need to write a clear, concise, and accurate copy that clearly conveys your value.
Also, keep in mind that although Google posts have a limit of 1500 characters, only a few words are visible above the break. So you need to concentrate as much information as possible in that space.
4. Health And Safety Attributes
Google posts have a zero price and offer you a great opportunity to communicate with your audience and promote your service. However, you will need a verified Google Business Profile to use this tool.
Ever since the pandemic, people have wanted to know the health and safety practices in places before visiting them.
Therefore, Google has included health and safety attributes in the GBP lists. In addition to these essential attributes, there are other pieces of information that you can use to be more intuitive and give your future patients the information they need.
In addition to health and safety attributes such as temperature checks, mask requirements, staff precautions, etc., you can include other attributes, such as whether patients must make an appointment in advance or can be given an appointment.
5. NAP And Office Hours Consistency
These attributes offer peace and trust and give potential customers the information they need without having to look for them.
You can add attributes directly to your listing via GBP.
According to one survey, 62% of respondents said they use GBP entries to find business numbers and contact addresses.
This suggests that perhaps the number one reason people turn to Google for local businesses is to find out about their business hours, contact number, and address.
We can conclude with certainty what could happen if any of the above is incorrect.
The potential would get annoying and would probably leave a negative review.
Imagine that your business hours are listed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, as is sometimes standard. But you exercise from 1pm to 4pm alternately on weekdays.
Can you imagine the frustration of someone who saw working hours on Google and stopped by your office just to find out that the timing wasn’t correct?
Again, imagine the frustration of someone calling your office using a Google contact number, but ending up trying for hours without answering.
These cases are likely to lead to a negative review of your GBP listing, which is something we must avoid at all costs.
6. Local Landing Pages
Therefore, you must ensure that your business hours, name, address and telephone number (NAP) are accurately listed on your GBP.
You also need to ensure that this information is consistent at all points of contact of your customers as even minor inconsistencies can lead to significant downturns.
When doing local SEO, many people are confused about whether they should link a call to action (CTA) to the home page of a website or have separate landing pages for each different keyword.
In this case, the most viable option is to link the CTA on your GBP entry to your local keyword-relevant landing page.
You can use this landing page as your next step in communicating with potential patients and dive into more detailed keyword information.
For example, your keyword is “Pediatrician Boston.”
You can create a landing page that responds to common pain points that people in Boston have about pediatricians and communicate clearly how you can solve the problem.
Think about user issues and try to resolve them on your landing page. Use clear and precise headlines and edit your textual information to keep readers engaged.
Discuss the benefits, not the features of your service, and include attractive, compelling images on your page to keep your audience involved.
Also, make sure you optimize your page with the right keywords that are relevant to the service you are talking about on the page.
Try to include social evidence, such as testimonials and reviews, and trust signals such as rewards and certificates on the page to make your users trust your practice.
7. Local Link Building
Set CTA strategically on the page. Choose one action and stick to it if you want your readers to schedule an appointment, their CTA “Book your appointment” or something similar. Don’t use a mix of CTAs and avoid the paradox of choice.
Embed a dynamic map at the bottom of your landing page, making it easier for search engines to locate your object.
Finally, don’t forget to optimize your landing pages for mobile users because half of all visits to health websites come from mobile phones.
Backlinks are the URLs of your website that are located within the content of other websites. And the process of acquiring these links is called link building.
Google favors websites with a large number of backlinks because it considers such websites to be reliable and authoritative.
People seek and receive backlinks from relevant high authority sites for regular SEO. But for local SEO, you should get links from local entities so that Google can trust your presence on that site and rank your website for searches that come from there.
The process of gaining links from your local website is called building local links, and there are many strategies through which you can get a link from local websites.
You can create useful content for doctors and dentists and post it on your community blog with a link to your website.
If your internship brings in enough income, you can sponsor a local school team or students from a local school or college and get a link from these institutions.
You can also join your local chamber of commerce and post in their news section to get a link from there.
8. Make Good Use Of GBP Calls And Messages
Most cities have local newspapers. You can create PR content for these newspapers, offer tips or write articles for them and link to your website. These websites often enjoy high domain authority, so you can get valuable links from them.
You can also find local business directories and include your practices in them to get another backlink.
These are just some of the many local feedback strategies. If you can be creative, the sky is the limit.
9. Local Reviews
Companies listed on GBP can get direct calls from Google search.
Therefore, if you have included your phone number in GBP with the intention of receiving calls and messages from your online audience, make sure you have someone who will receive and answer them.
Not answering calls and messages over the Internet can lead to a bad user experience, which can manifest as negative reviews and poor promotion, which can be detrimental to your practice.
Patients want to be sure that the person they are going to address is good at what they are doing. More importantly, they want peace so that the facility is up to their standards and has no bad reputation. For these reasons, 98% of people read online reviews.
Therefore, most healthcare consumers say that online reviews influence their decision when choosing a healthcare provider.
Therefore, you need to ensure that your GBP listing contains enough diverse reviews to gain the trust of potential patients.
Getting reviews, however, is not as easy as you might want. A full 74% of consumers write online reviews.
People would love to leave a bad review, but rarely try to leave a good one.
Therefore, you will have to look for positive reviews for the sake of your profit.
10. Multiple Professional Listings At One Address
What you can do, in this case, is follow up each patient’s appointment with a request to leave feedback on your GBP entry.
Be sure to go through all of your reviews and remove any personal information that people may have accidentally shared in their reviews.
Also, while it’s important to respond to positive reviews, address negative reviews as well so that the rest of the world knows you are prioritizing your patients ’experience and working to make it good.
Google allows you to share an address with various other businesses that share the same location and have an independent GBP for your business, as your business is different and has its own tax identification code.
So, you can create an independent list if you have a clinic that is located in an office building where many other companies are located.
However, if you have a large hospital with several smaller clinics, it can become a challenge to create an independent list for each hospital.
Because you have to have different companies, each of which pays its own taxes and has its own phone numbers in order to create a different list for companies that operate from a similar location.