The vast majority of private healthcare practices rely on attracting patients who live or work in their immediate geographic areas. Similarly, most patients seek out healthcare practices that are geographically close to them to reduce travel time and provide greater convenience.
Healthcare practices use a strategy known as local search engine optimization to attract those high-value patients (SEO). This is because local SEO for medical professionals is the most effective way to help more local patients find their practices online.
You can improve your medical practice’s digital presence and attract more patients with a well-designed healthcare search engine optimization campaign run by a healthcare digital market agency.
The following are some of the most effective ways to use local SEO to increase patient traffic:
- Obtain and improve your Google My Business listing
Everyone in the community, including health care providers, should claim their Google My Business (GMB) listing. GMB has a significant impact on search engine rankings and is also one of the first things potential patients see after conducting a local search query (Google’s Local Pack).
Fortunately, claiming your GMB account is simple and costless. After you sign up and claim your listing, you must provide the following information:
- Practice name
- Phone number
- Email address
- Hours of operation
- Practice photos
- A brief description of the practice
The idea is to bring the GMB listing to life by providing potential patients with detailed information about the practice. To optimize a GMB listing, keep it up to date and answer any questions that people may have.
What about having several locations?
Even if you have a central phone line for answering calls and scheduling appointments, each office location should have its own Google My Business listing.
If a patient searches for your secondary locations (satellite offices), they will most likely find the Google listing for the main location. This can lead to patients going to the wrong office or becoming confused about where to visit.
- Develop an effective content marketing strategy
Approximately 89% of healthcare firms use content marketing to engage potential patients and grow they are practice. This is not a surprising trend because there is no substitute for high-quality, relevant content in medical SEO. It is also critical that patients have access to up-to-date information.
Relevant content is not only valuable to your readers, but it also provides search engines with a wealth of data and keywords that they can use to rank your website. Furthermore, strong content will assist in establishing the authority of your healthcare practice.
A blog is the most basic way to begin your content marketing strategy. Create well-written long-form content for your target audience, such as blog posts, case studies, whitepapers, and so on. Investigate the most popular topics by using keywords that your service users use to seek answers to their wellness questions.
- Encourage patient feedback
Online reviews have become an essential component of healthcare marketing. You should inspire your patients to leave reviews about your practice because 84% of patients use online reviews to analyze healthcare practitioners.
As previously stated, the patient journey begins with online research because patients want to find the best practice for their specific needs. Potential patients will read online reviews about your practice to help them make a decision. To begin receiving reviews, simply ask your current patients to leave feedback about their experience at your practice. Encourage them to leave reviews on your Google My Business profile, Yelp account, and other sites.
When you receive reviews for your practice, make sure to respond to them, whether they are positive or negative. Many practices communicate with patients about appointment reminders and other updates via texting apps or email. These can be useful tools for obtaining patient feedback and requesting reviews after a visit. Simply share the link to the site where you want them to leave a review.
- Improve your website’s performance
Approximately 90% of visitors have abandoned a website because it is slow to load, nearly 80% left because of non-responsive concerns, and 70% left because of poor navigation, among other usability issues.
7 For many of your patients, your healthcare website is their first point of contact with your brand. As a result, it must be visually appealing as well as usable.
In terms of design, your website should convey professionalism and expertise; therefore, invest in creating a user-friendly and informative website. Visitors must have a positive experience while navigating your website and must be able to find the information they seek. For example, your medical website should include vital information such as the clinic’s address, phone number, and operating hours. Furthermore, your website must be optimized for mobile browsers by incorporating a responsive design that adapts to the browser being used.
If you require assistance with local SEO services, you should contact a local SEO agency or a local SEO company such as Your Reputations Consulting and take advantage of our knowledge. Just keep in mind that local SEO will assist you in driving more patients to your practice.
Local SEO can help you improve your online presence and attract more patients to your practice. The above local SEO strategies will get you started in the right direction.