Today, many healthcare businesses use the open spaces to provide information on how they can help patients whether it is their website, or a print ad. However, not all healthcare providers are aware that optimizing and promoting a medical practice is an effective strategy for increasing website traffic
Local SEO for medical and healthcare business is a community-driven practice with social factors at its core, which means if done correctly, it can help you attract a high volume of visitors who are actively looking for help from practitioners within their local communities.
While doing local SEO can be complicated and even so with its local element adding an additional layer of complexity to it, but with the right strategy, you can evolve your healthcare business. After all, the internet has a vast amount of information and you should use this effectively to help people figure out which location they should go to when they want to use your services.
What is Local SEO for Healthcare and Why is it Important?
Similar to SEO in general, local SEO for healthcare is a process used to increase a website’s online visibility and search results to local customers in order to generate leads and patients to a local clinic or medical facility.
Local SEO has become a significant component of marketing strategy in the current healthcare industry as the majority of locals are more inclined to search for healthcare information online.
Moreover, local SEO for healthcare will help customers who are looking for healthcare services in a specific area of your city or state to quickly locate a local business that will provide the service.
If you’re a health care provider, dentist, doctor, therapist, chiropractor or physical therapist, one of the most important steps you can take is to optimize your website for local search.
7 Important Steps in Doing Local SEO for Healthcare
If you’re in the healthcare field, you have to make sure that your business is in the right spot. When it comes to local SEO for healthcare, the key is to take advantage of local-specific features and here’s how to do it:
- Optimize for mobile.
Some time ago, Google introduced the mobile-first indexing rule. They use the mobile version of your website for indexing and ranking exclusively, which means that if your site isn’t optimized for mobile users, you’ll have trouble ranking.
When it comes to optimizing your website, especially if you’re a healthcare provider, you need to consider the different channels your potential audience uses. One of these channels is mobile. There are many potential patients searching on their mobile phone, looking for your services and expertise. You must make sure you’re optimizing your site for mobile users.
- Authoritative Google posts/content.
It’s difficult enough to run your hospital, clinic, or other healthcare facility business. Local search rankings are not an area where you can mess around. Especially when it comes to a serious topic such as healthcare.
People expect reliable information. They expect information from reliable sources with extensive subject expertise and proven reliability. So, search engines like Google favor websites that demonstrate that expertise and authority. Make sure your site is one of them.
- Choose the right keywords.
Although popular, the approach of relying exclusively on search data to decide which keywords to target is a risky strategy. This is particularly the case for industries with niche audiences and high customer value, such as healthcare. In many cases, even if paid search data is available for your industry, it may not be all that relevant as many health terms are not synonymous with the products and services you provide.
When choosing SEO keywords for your website, you need to consider your website’s overall strength and not just the keyword difficulty score. Making a list of all the words and phrases associated with the services you offer, then figuring out how difficult they are to rank for can help you create landing pages that deliver the best ROI on your website.
- Provide reviews and social proof.
Usually, when patients are looking for a doctor, they search Google for the best local clinics based on reviews and social proof. Word of mouth has always been considered the most effective form of marketing. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but do you truly know how powerful your patient/customer word of mouth is? Word of mouth is hugely important for small businesses.
- Straightforward booking/appointment page.
Managing a medical facility, spa, or even just a brick-and-mortar retail establishment requires well-organized communication for success. The majority of businesses need to book appointments over the phone, but local SEO can make it easier.
By providing your patients and customers with a direct line to your business through your website page, you are increasing your chances of scheduling appointments.
Relying on alternatives such as booking via email or speaking to someone over the phone can be difficult for those who seek quick response. That’s why it’s important for you to make securing an appointment as easy and convenient as possible and you can achieve this by partnering with a website design agency and implementing a local SEO strategy.
- Backlinks from authoritative sites.
Search engines want to show their users the best answers to search queries. To determine which sites are relevant, they look at many factors including backlinks.
Backlinks from relevant, respected websites signal to search engines that a page on your site is authoritative. Make sure to build backlinks that have information people want so that your website will be worth ranking on page one of relevant search results.
- Premium citations
Citations are basically mentions of your business, whether it be your address, contact details, name of a product or service or a link to your website. Citations are also often accompanied with reviews of your business which is another way to build trust for your business. Search engines monitor the web for brand mentions (citations) and use them as a source of link building leverage.
As a part of any great local SEO strategy, citations are an advisable practice for local businesses. They can put your website on the radar for search engines, so your business stands out from the crowd and garners more attention from users searching for products or services that you provide.
Healthcare is an industry that many people think of when they think of Local SEO, but they could also be missing out on a lot. The fact remains that local search engine optimization is highly effective and should absolutely be utilized by healthcare businesses of all types.
It is a highly competitive industry with an ever increasing number of individuals getting their medical care locally. This has increased the importance of local SEO as a whole, including healthcare local SEO.
With proper optimization and promotion, you can develop your practice, construct an online presence, and rank higher in search engines.