The best local SEO strategies for doctors can help attract prospective patients to you. Your site is likely the only place where people can find information about you, your practice, services, and products. And if it isn’t well-optimized for local search, new customers probably won’t be able to find you. As you can guess, this can negatively affect your business.
But with local SEO for doctors, you can get more traffic and profit from people near you. Local SEO refers to optimizing your website and improving your search rankings based on information about your services and location. That said, local SEO boosts the traffic flowing through your site, reducing the time prospective clients take to find a medical professional, streamlining appointment scheduling, and increasing patient retention.
While local SEO for doctors can be challenging, it does a great job at improving your visibility on search engines. So, if you’re ready to learn some of the best local SEO strategies for doctors that you can implement to rank higher in the local search results, keep on reading.
Local SEO (search engine optimization) helps your site rank higher in the search results for location-specific queries. For example, a San Francisco-based clinic will rank for searches like “doctors in San Francisco”. Patients also search with key phrases like “doctors near me”. Then, search engines use the searcher’s geolocation or IP address to connect them with relevant nearby businesses.
Local SEO for doctors is an effective tool that can help your medical practice obtain excellent online visibility. And if done correctly, it can help you rank among the top-3 “pack”. This can help you beat the search results even if your site doesn’t appear on the first SERP.
As you know by now, local SEO is vital for medical professionals. It’s not enough to have a website, business cards, and social media presence. Now, you need to be visible and easily found by prospective patients searching for your services in their location. That said, here are the benefits of investing in local SEO for doctors:
Now that you know a thing or two about local SEO for doctors and its benefits, it’s time to check out the best SEO practices for medical professionals that can help you improve your online visibility.
Before anything else, correct and update your healthcare website design and the information contained therein. Ensure you have a dedicated contact page containing your NAP (name, address, phone) contact details. These should also be uniformly used across all other listings and review websites.
Uniformity is a keyword here. Place the contact information in the universal footer of the website and put it on the contact page of your site, as this is one of the first places Google will look for these details.
Instead of Yellow Pages, nowadays, people turn to directories like Google Business Profile and Yelp. These options typically appear on the first page of a query for doctor information. That’s why these business listings must remain up-to-date regarding your practice. Otherwise, you could miss out on many high-quality leads.
Ensure you have claimed and verified your listings on Google Business Profile and Yelp if they already exist. If not, create them. Moving forward, you need to update and maintain them to make sure clients have the correct information.
Keyword research is vital for local SEO because it shows you which keywords to use so that the search engines can connect relevant searches to your listing. That said, local keywords differ from regular keywords because they are marked by location-specific phrases like “dermatologist near me” or “dentist Chicago”.
To do local keyword research, get into your patient’s head. Ask yourself what they think when looking for a healthcare provider and what words they may use when searching. Then, create a list of possible key phrases they might use when searching, and once you have it, find keyword research tools, such as Ahrefs, and search the phrases from the list.
Then, shortlist the keywords relevant to your phrases and find the perfect balance between competition and search volume. Note that the search volume for local keywords and key phrases is typically low, so don’t hesitate to shortlist relatively smaller search volume keywords.
Google Posts is Google’s feature for businesses that allows businesses to create short posts on their business pages. They are shown in the search results when users search for their company name and will appear above organic listings. Moreover, they have an image that links back to the original website content, so why not take advantage of them?
Nowadays, people want to know the health and safety practices of a place before they visit it. That’s why Google has added health and safety attributes in GBP listings. Besides these vital attributes, there are other information chunks you can use to give your potential clients the information they want. This will give them peace of mind and the information they need without them having to look for it.
Many doctors interested in local SEO for medical professionals are targeting multiple locations, like the city where the practice is located and a couple of nearby areas. But that’s a mistake because it confuses both Google and your website visitors. However, ensuring each location has its landing page will keep things organized and effective.
That said, fill your landing pages with valuable original content that tackles issues potential patients from that area might have, such as driving directions. You can also embed a map within your content to make it more useful.
Backlinks are your website’s URLs placed within the content of other websites, and link building is the process of acquiring these links. Google prefers sites with a high amount of backlinks because these websites are considered trustworthy and authoritative.
For regular SEO, you would seek out and get links from relevant high-authority sites. However, for local SEO, you need to get backlinks from local entities. This way, Google will trust your presence in that locality and rank you for queries from there.
Local link building is the process of obtaining links from local websites, and you can get these links in numerous ways.
For example, you can create valuable content for doctors and get it posted on your community blog with a backlink to your site. Or, if your practice makes sufficient revenue, you can sponsor a local school team and get a link from this or similar institutions.
Moreover, you can create PR content for local newspapers, write articles, offer advice, and link back to your site. These websites usually have high domain authority, and links from them are valuable. These are just a few examples of local link-building strategies, but if you get creative, you’ll find many other ways to obtain them.
Creating high-quality content relevant to your audience is an excellent way to attract traffic from local clients. Consider creating content like newsletters that contain information about news stories covering your industry or local events. This will help build authority around your brand while helping local searchers find what they are looking for.
Businesses listed on GBP can get direct calls from searchers, so ensure you have someone to receive and respond to them if you have added your phone to GBP. If you don’t respond to these calls and messages, you may get negative reviews due to poor customer experience, which can damage your reputation.
58% of global web traffic comes from mobile devices, making mobile accessibility critical for any local SEO strategy. Make sure your web design is streamlined, fast, and can adapt to different screens. Also, ensure any buttons and on-site functions are compatible with touch-screen technology. By doing this, you will show Google you’re offering an excellent user experience and satisfy its mobile-first indexing policy.
Positive reviews can do wonders for your local SEO for doctors as they give potential patients more information about your business. Additionally, they let them develop an opinion about your services before deciding to visit your practice. But how to get positive reviews? It’s simple – all you need to do is ask for them during client interactions. Just remember to thank them after they leave feedback.
Social media marketing is another effective local SEO practice, as social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are great for connecting with potential patients. Use them to share articles about health topics or post pictures of your office or employees. You can also learn about your patients by checking their profiles and use this information for marketing purposes.
Video content is an excellent way to attract potential customers, so why not include videos on your website? You can also use them to answer any questions your potential patients might have and offer information about treatment options or procedures. On top of that, videos can increase the time spent on your website, helping with conversion rates.
Now that you understand the importance of local SEO for medical professionals, it’s time to take advantage of the strategies we described above. Implementing these practices will boost your online visibility, improving everything else that comes with it, such as higher revenue. So, go ahead and play with local SEO techniques – you won’t regret it.
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