To grow your medical or healthcare practice and attract new patients, you need to utilize online marketing and advertising. One of the most important compnents of digital marketing and advertising is employing the right local SEO strategies for your healthcare practice.
Increasing patient volume entails enhancing your local online presence in today’s digital world. No matter what type of specialist you are, you need to level up and strengthen your online presence – and it starts with looking into local SEO strategies for healthcare and medical professionals.
If the phone is not ringing and you’re not getting new medical appointments, your practice may have a poor local web presence.
You don’t have many patients coming through your door because they will most likely be your competitors. This is all simply because they found them first while searching online.
However, you can still salvage the situation.
With well-executed local SEO strategies, you can significantly improve your healthcare practice’s online presence and get new patients through the door.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a specific subsection of general search engine optimization. This specialized subset optimizes your local business and services for area-specific searches and queries.
Local SEO strategies ensure that your medical website and information appear on searches done by prospective patients within your practice’s service areas. Local SEO allows local businesses and service providers to increase their visibility in search engines and make going online more valuable and relevant to consumers.
This feat is a combination of several digital marketing and local SEO strategies.
For instance, if you are a dermatologist located in Orlando, Florida, you want prospective new patients to find you when they search for “dermatologists in Orlando” or “dermatology clinics in Orlando, FL.”
Why Local SEO Strategies for Healthcare Professionals
Today’s patients use the internet and Google to find the best and closest healthcare providers. Extensive research on the internet is the typical start of today’s consumers’ healthcare journey.
According to Google, 44% of patients who found healthcare providers on their mobile devices contacted to schedule an appointment.
Your medical website appearing on top of search results means prospective patients have a higher inclination to click through your site and schedule an appointment with you.
If your practice is not showing at the top of relevant search results, it means your competitors are. This means you are losing out on new patients – plain and simple.
Therefore, using healthcare local SEO strategies is crucial to growing your practice.
Suppose your competitors are making the most out of local organic queries and search results relevant to your medical specialty, and you are not. In that case, you’re essentially handing those patients to them.
Focusing on Google’s latest recommendations and best practices for healthcare local SEO strategies can help you stay ahead of your competition.
How Does Local SEO for Healthcare Work?
If you are at home and want to get Chinese food delivered for dinner, you go online to search for Chinese restaurants nearby. You’ll see a list of restaurants close to your home in Google’s search results.
However, if you try the exact search when you are at work or at a friend’s house, you’ll get different search results. This makes sense because Google would want to show you the Chinese food places closest to you.
With the recent increase in mobile internet usage and access, mobile search has consequently exploded. As such, local SEO has also become a vital aspect of local businesses and service providers, including healthcare.
Attracting More Patients with Healthcare Local SEO Strategies
Google looks at many factors – inside and outside of your medical website design – to distinguish whether you should appear as a search result on keywords relevant to your medical specialty.
These factors make up your online reputation and digital footprint as a healthcare provider. Each element has a differing value or weight, which Google and other search engines look at as search ranking signals.
Your digital footprint establishes if you will be displayed as a top result to a medical or healthcare-related inquiry that consumers type into Google.
Prospective Patients Are Looking for You in Google
When someone types a search phrase or keyword into Google, the search engine checks different patterns of various search ranking signals. These signals include how relevant your medical website is and if it qualifies as one of the results for that specific search phrase.
Most users don’t realize that Google conducts a live search of the entirety of the internet every time someone searches something in the Google search bar. Google searches through its copy of all the websites it has discovered. This is referred to as the Google Index.
Google has developed an intricate process of consistently updating its index to always return relevant, useful, and valuable search results to users.
What Matters for Healthcare Local SEO
As a local healthcare provider, you should aim to appear within the main organic search results and the local map pack. The latter is what displays at the top of Google when a user searches for something with local intent.
These search results display a Google map that indicates their business location, hours of operation, and average star rating. Other options may include a click-to-call button for mobile users.
Identifying Healthcare Local Searches
Here are the ways Google identifies healthcare and medical-related local searches:
A patient will include the name of their geographic area (city, town, or zip code) within the search term. For example, “physical therapist in Austin, TX,” or “physical therapy clinic 78728.”
A patient will add “near me” at the end of the search query: “dermatologist near me.”
A patient will simply type their healthcare or medical service-related query, such as “gastroenterologists,” without any additional detail. Google will know that this patient.
Ranking Search Results
As a search engine giant, Google uses sophisticated algorithms to rank millions of websites in a flash. When you look something up in Google, the search engine algorithms check its index and then return pages of websites that complement your search. Those are organic results ranked based on the following factors:
- Popularity (through inbound links)
Local SEO strategies entail influencing the three essential factors we mentioned above. SEO companies work to make sure that your website’s digital footprint is optimized so that you can show up at the top of relevant search results.
93% of Google searches have local intent.
As a medical or healthcare provider servicing a specific geographic area, you should capitalize on this trend.
A massive number of prospective patients are seeking healthcare service providers within their area every day. Half of these patients are known to visit a nearby clinic within 24 hours.
This statistic highlights the importance of utilizing local SEO strategies for your medical and healthcare services.
Start Harnessing Local SEO Strategies for Your Medical Practice
Now that you have a better understanding of local medical SEO, you better understand how SEO agencies can help you improve your digital footprint in local search queries.
This is how your practice can show up higher on search results pages. With the help of healthcare local SEO, you can serve more patients in your area – and grow your practice further.