Local SEO for Doctors – In this guide, we’ll share the top ten local SEO strategies to help you rank higher in local search results, attract more customers and convert them into paying patients. It’s not difficult to do; all it takes is some time and effort on your part. So let’s get started!
1) Is Your Profile Complete
Your local business’s profile is one of, if not your most, important assets in driving traffic to your website. Take care to include all of your practice’s information, including services offered, physical address (including a suite number or specific location), hours of operation, office phone number(s), fax number(s), email address(es), website address(es) and social media handles.
2) Customizing Citations
It’s essential to have citations on your website for local searches. If a consumer is searching best dentist in Arlington, TX, make sure your business’s information pops up first by using keywords like dentist, doctor, or orthodontist. Citations can appear at any time on your site; they don’t have to be directly in your Local Business Listing.
3) Consistency Counts
Websites need regular updates to keep content fresh. That can be hard if you’re not a professional copywriter or don’t have time to do it yourself, but it is essential. As much as possible, update your website monthly with new information that engages users and keeps them coming back. Plus, Google often sees fresh content as relevant, which increases your ranking with search engines.
4) Optimize Titles & Meta Descriptions
Titles and meta descriptions—those short snippets of text that appear in search results alongside your link—are critical to how people find you, click through to your site, and ultimately convert into paying patients. A poorly written title or description can lead searchers to your competitor’s website before yours. Search engines also look at many other factors when deciding where a site should rank in search results, but titles and descriptions are some of the most important components.
5) Optimize Keywords and Tags
Think about which keywords your practice should optimize. A good start is using Google AdWords Keyword Planner to get a sense of what terms you should be targeting in your content.
6) Claim an Address on Google My Business
Claiming your business on Google’s local search hub, Google My Business, is one of your most important moves as a small-business owner. Once you claim your business listing, you’ll be able to add up to four photos of your office, add additional details such as hours of operation, and provide more accurate contact information. Claiming an address on Google My Business also gives you access to tools that can help improve local SEO.
7) Validate Phone Numbers & Email Addresses
Many patients will give you a phone number or email address when you speak with them. You’ll want to validate these addresses before sending marketing emails, as there are a lot of spam lists out there that could deliver your emails into spam folders. There are numerous email validation tools online, some free (namecheck) and some paid (double-verify). At least once a month, search your email lists for invalid emails and remove them from your list.
8) Create Relevant Links on Relevant Sites
One of many strategies for improving local search rankings is to create relevant links on relevant sites. For example, linking your website to other sites containing information about your service area (such as review sites or professional organization websites) is a good idea. And by all means, create a page on your website with important information about your practice’s services—but be sure to include links that take users directly to those pages in directories such as Yelp or Angie’s List.
9) Participate in Online Reviews
Good reviews can attract new patients to your practice, while bad ones scare them away. Participating in online review platforms like Yelp or Google Local is critical. While these reviews may not always be accurate, they help potential patients decide where to go for care—especially if you’re a newer doctor or dentist in town with no established reputation. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that you might get some street cred within your industry by participating in these platforms.
10) Analyze Competitors’ Workflow
Reviewing your competitors’ workflows can give you great insight into how they rank their pages. It will also show you what works and what doesn’t in local optimization. For example, if you find that your competitors have an excessive number of citations with exact match business names, then it might be best to avoid them for a new listing of your own.
The main goal of local SEO for doctors is to ensure that your practice shows up in search results on Google, Yahoo!, and Bing when a user searches for a term relevant to your practice. As outlined in our step-by-step guide above, you can use many strategies to reach that goal. By implementing just one or two of these strategies into your marketing mix, you’ll immediately start to see positive effects.