Gone are the days when boards had to be hung out to attract new patients. Yes, healthcare professionals and dentists used to hang these boards to inform passers-by about their services. However, today, when the world is dominated by the Internet, traditional methods are no longer relevant. When it comes to improving your reach in your locality, you need local SEO. This versatile approach is now widely used by healthcare practices.
Today, more and more people are relying on the Internet to get information on most matters, including healthcare. A recent survey found that about 72 percent of the population uses the Internet to find a healthcare professional. Moreover, 77 percent of the population searches on a search engine and just 13 percent uses a health specific site.
So how can patients find you?
In this age of the Internet,all you need to have is a good online presence so that new patients can find you easily. Build a good website which shows the medical services you offer. However, the main question is: how do you get patients to land on your website? This is where search engine optimization (SEO)comes in. This is strategy of getting ranked high on major search engines so that your targeted audience can find you when they search online for the services you offer. The key is to rank on the first page of Google or other top search engines for specific keywords – terms or words that your local audience uses to look for services/information related to your medical business.
This is where local SEO comes into picture.
This is good news for physicians and dentists. SEO is a growing field and Google has implemented an algorithm which gives importance to local results. Launched in July, 2014 for U.S. English results, Google’s Pigeon update provides more useful, relevant and accurate search results targeting a specific geographic area such as a city or region. It is designed to improve Google search results by linking to organic search results within the Google Maps feature. This update uses location and distance as a key factor in ranking search results.
Mobile users shouldn’t be forgotten! Don’t forget that maximum people are using their mobile devices for these searches. Ensure that you have a mobile-friendly site that is easily displayed and navigable to make people stay on your site.
Keep a check on algorithm updates to stay on top always, but don’t forget about traditional local SEO tactics and best practices such as:
- Listing on Google My Business
- Listing in directories like Yelp
- Managing listings well
- Developing content with emphasis on geographical keywords
- Using proven on-page SEO tactics
- Having a good social media presence
Managing SEO requires time and dedicated effort. The best option for busy physicians to build their local presence is to rely on a digital marketing company that provides medical marketing services.