SEO in itself is a tedious and a time-consuming process. If you want your medical practice to rank on the first page of SERPs in your local city, then apart from optimizing your medical website, your SEO efforts should be better than your competitors (Other local medical clinics). The latter seems to be a very difficult task if competitors are constantly enhancing their SEO efforts. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road for you. Instead of targeting a larger geographical area, you can target your local area. Additionally, you only need to compete among local medical practitioners to get you more customers locally. Thus, local SEO for your medical practice becomes your best option. But how do you start with local SEO for your medical practice? To answer your question, here’s what you should be doing.
Make your medical clinic known to Google. Create a Google+ Local page and get your medical practice verified. There is a possibility that even your competitors might not be using Google+ Local and therefore, by using Google+ Local you stand a better chance of people finding you on Google. Follow these steps:
Go to Google+ Local and log in with your Gmail account.
Select the drop-down menu in the upper left corner that shows “Home.” Select “Pages” and then click on “Get your page” button.
Select “Storefront” on the next page. You will then be directed throughout the entire process of creating your Google+ Local page.
2. Provide Consistent NAP information of your clinic
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. Your NAP should be consistent wherever it appears in the digital world. If you use different information on Google+ profile and on your medical website, then search engines find it difficult to track you. They may mistake you with two separate medical practices. Also, it can impact your rankings. Furthermore, even your customers might get confused. To prevent this situation, ensure your NAP is the same across multiple platforms you use to represent your medical practice. In some cases, it may be difficult to update your NAP on every online location. Go to “Google My Business” page and check for any variations by clicking the “reviews from around the web” link.
Get your medical practice listed on popular medical directory websites like Canadian Medical Directory, Healthgrades, and Vitals. Listing on these websites indicates that you are a legitimate medical practitioner. Also, it will help to boost ranking for your webpages. Make sure that you get listed on relevant directories based on medical services you offer. If you do not provide dental services, then it makes no sense to list on dental directories. As mentioned in the previous point, keep your NAP information in the directories consistent with the information provided on your medical website.
4. Have Positive Reviews
Having positive reviews for a medical brand is instrumental in getting you more customers. For high involvement services like healthcare, word of mouth is critical in influencing customers to choose your medical practice. Therefore, ask your patients to give reviews about your service. On seeing positive reviews, it tells search engines that people like your services and that you site is active. Your local rankings also improve on account of positive reviews.
Reviews can be submitted on your Google+ Local page and also another popular listing which is Yelp. When reviews are given on your Google+ Local page, it features on Google Search and Google Maps by default. Likewise, Yelp listings are integrated with Apple, Bing, and Yahoo and so if someone searches for local medical practice from their iPhones, or using Bing and Yahoo Search, then they will see Yelp reviews. Therefore, it’s best that you use both these platforms to have positive reviews for your medical brand.
5. Optimize Your Social Media Profile
On your social media profiles include your physical location including the city and the province. Also, add an URL back to your website. Don’t forget to keep the information same across all these platforms. Also, claim your space on these platforms so that it gives your medical practices a better chance to rank well and customers can locate you easily. However, you need not have a presence on all the social media platforms. Some of the relevant platforms for a medical practice are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
If you have multiple branches, then create separate webpages for each location. Each location should have its distinct location webpage as this will ensure a flow of traffic from different areas. Locally optimizing is much easier than having a standard optimization plan for all your branches. Moreover, it helps search engines provide relevant results when a user searches for a medical practice in his locality. For example, if a person in Edmonton searches for medical services, then the results will display medical services in Edmonton. Likewise, a person located in British Columbia will get medical services located in this area. Hence, if you have medical services in both these locations, then optimize and have separate webpages to get local traffic from both these areas to your website.
7. Create a Mobile-Friendly Website
Having a mobile-friendly website is important to boost your local SEO. The reason being, people are more likely to search for services using their mobile devices and if you have a mobile-optimized website, then your website stands a high chance of getting a good rank on SERPs through mobile browsers. Moreover, it also helps in improving your conversion rate as mobile users looking for medical services may be in quick need of these services. As a result, they are more likely to book an appointment and avail your services. In addition, close to 80% of local mobile searches result in a purchase. Therefore, creating a mobile-friendly website and optimizing it constantly should be your utmost priority. Sign up to Google Webmaster Tools as this tool will identify elements on your mobile website to enhance it and provide best user experience. You can even ask your web designing team to look after your mobile website on a regular basis.
8. Provide Unique Content
Do not forget about your content. Create content that is useful for your local audience. Blogs are the best way to boost your SEO efforts. Therefore, fit in keywords phrases and terms in your content that will enable your post to get a good rank. Insert the name of the location where you operate so that your content pops up when users mention the location in their search query. For example, if someone searches for “dental clinic in Edmonton”, then your dental clinic webpage will appear on SERPs among all the other dental clinic webpages in Edmonton provided you have mentioned “Edmonton” across your blog posts.
Furthermore, your content should be relevant to the needs of your local residence. Therefore, provide them geo-specific content so that readers can relate it and avail your services. For example, if a particular place has severe winters, then your content should speak about health issues arising due to cold weather. Take help of a content marketing firm, to help you develop unique and relevant content for your audience. This way your content marketing efforts can be handled by a professional and you can focus on your medical practice.
If you’ve not begun with local SEO for medical practice, then start by following these above-mentioned points. As you strengthen your local SEO using these points, also keep up with what’s happening with respect to modification of SEO elements. However, if you do not have a dedicated SEO team, then it is a difficult task to manage both SEO and your medical practice. Therefore, it is suggested that you contact an expert local SEO firm to help you with current SEO efforts as well as implementing advanced SEO stuff for your medical website.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.