Back in the old days, healthcare professionals got new patients by hanging signs to inform people about the medical services they offered. Then came newspaper ads and the Yellow Pages. However, in today’s world dominated by the Internet, those days are long gone.
The number of people relying on the Internet to get information on various health-related matters, more specifically finding the right healthcare provider, has significantly increased.
In the US, about 72% of the population use the Internet when searching for a healthcare professional. Interesting to note here is that 77% of the population uses a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo for their search and only 13 percent use a health-specific directory.
Growing your online presence as a healthcare provider is no longer optional
To thrive in this digital age, it is indispensable to have a great online presence so that new patients can find you easily. Otherwise, they are finding your competitors, which is obviously, not the desired outcome.
Getting your potential patients to land on your website is the major reason healthcare providers leverage search engine optimization or SEO services, which is the process of increasing the organic (natural) visibility or ranking of a website in a search engine using a methodology of strategies, techniques, and tactics.
It is a strategy used to ensure your website is one of the first non-paid listings in the search engine results for health conditions and medical treatment searches related to your specialty.
Local SEO brings customers through your door
Now you may be wondering where does Local SEO come into the picture?
Local SEO is about bringing customers through your doors, thus helping you and your practice grow by meeting your business goals through improved search ability online and increased visibility for your website in a specific location.
So if you want to expand your reach in your locality, you need local SEO. This marketing approach is now widely utilized by healthcare professionals.
One important feature of local SEO is the Google Maps Local 3-Pack. The primary objective of local SEO is to get your business listed highly in Google Maps, with the ultimate goal of being listed in the Google Maps Local 3-Pack and preferably for multiple keywords.
Google Business Profile Listing is critical for your local SEO
Google Business Profile is crucial to your online success as well. GBP is a free online profile offered by Google, that helps consumers learn about your business. GBP also functions to help professionals like you manage your business presence online on Google-owned properties such as Google Search and Google Maps.
As you sign up, you will be asked details of your practice/ business so your potential patients can have as much information as possible. It is important that you make the most of the features in Google Business Profile as Google relies on this for local searches.
In fact, according to a recent study, GBP signals are the number one ranking factor for the 3-Pack, accounting for over 25% of a 3-Pack ranking!
When a patient searches for a healthcare provider, Google displays the 3-Pack, which consists of top three results near the patient, in the form of a map indicating clinic or office location and then a list of three providers, with basic information, including the name of the business, address, phone, website, and directions.
Google then decides which businesses show up in the 3-pack based on relevance, distance, and prominence for local SEO.
Optimizing Your Google Business Profile Listing
As mentioned earlier, you will be asked details of your business as a healthcare provider. It is essential that you have a complete account profile.
Avoid leaving blanks and ensure that the details you provided like your phone number, website URL, business hours, and business categories are all accurate. If you can, try to also provide significant photos of your practice and yourself especially those that can manifest your credibility.
You will definitely miss out on your chance making it to the local pack on search results if you failed to provide accurate information. Google also sends a verification card to your physical location before you complete your listing.
If you will not receive the card, then you cannot proceed. This goes to show how important it is to have a correct address.
Consistency is vital to any local SEO technique. Do not assume that search engines and potential patients are smart enough to distinguish the right NAP (Name, Address, Phone) data among different names, varying addresses, and incorrect phone numbers.
When Google see inconsistencies as it crawls your website and online directories, then it will simply won’t place you in the local pack. Worse yet, according to a recent survey, 80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online.
Boost your Local SEO through Positive Patient Reviews
You may probably underestimate the impact of online reviews on your practice. You may be the best as a specialist but the absence of online word-of-mouth could jeopardize your business.
While online reviews do not necessarily reflect your competency as a medical professional, almost 90% of people who search online are influenced by positive online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Thus, if you want to boost your local search engine rankings, you have to strive to get your positive reviews from your patients.
Google is now the fastest growing online reviews platform in the world and because it handles the majority of search traffic, acquiring a five-star rating for your business can immensely affect your online reputation in a very constructive way.
You need to leverage your patient’s experience through testimonials. This way, people looking for comparable health-related issues can be provided valuable information while driving traffic to your site at the same time.
However, if negative reviews make you hesitant to solicit feedback from your patients, you may benefit from an expert online reputation manager who could strategize a way to help you prevent getting a bad review online.
Leverage local SEO techniques to win more business
So, if this is the first time you are setting up a business listing, or you are reviewing a current marketing campaign, or you are simply unsatisfied with your current search rankings, we are here to help you boost your local rankings with our advanced local SEO practices.
The team at NewStar SEO can help your business grow by helping you achieve your goals as a healthcare provider.
Get ready to show up on the first page of search results with our full-service digital marketing solutions!