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Local SEO for Doctors [+4 Strategies for Getting Started]

by | Aug 5, 2022 | SEO Consulting Tips

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Are you a healthcare provider looking for a way to get started with local SEO for doctors? Focused and strategic local SEO for doctors provides a way for medical practitioners to reach potential patients, provide health information, and aid patients throughout the journey to finding the right healthcare provider.

Competition among local healthcare providers is standard, and unless you engage in local SEO for doctors, your office may never fully appear for the right searches.

Local SEO for doctors is laser-focused, strategic, and must be continuous; and works best if you’re working with an SEO consultant with experience in helping healthcare providers and clinics in the past.

Getting started earlier is always better, as SEO takes time. SEO is an investment—it’s like building an entire city for your medical practice instead of renting space in front of patients. ‘Renting space’ means you’re stuck running Google Ads, which may not provide the level of ROI that you’re looking for.

What is Local SEO for Doctors?

When it comes to healthcare-related websites, Google is a significant source of traffic. Five-seven percent of patients use search engines to find doctors and schedule appointments.

Patients who search for a medical center online usually have severe needs and expectations. According to recent digital marketing surveys. as much as 87% of all healthcare-related traffic is sourced from organic search results.

However, getting a high Google page rank requires more than just having a website. The internet has advanced tremendously since then.

In addition, modern patients typically look for nearby medical facilities when seeking treatment.

If your primary goal is to generate significant foot traffic in your clinic, you must repeatedly appear for targeted local searches.

Because of this, modern medical practices that want to take advantage of the internet’s potential and increase their earnings must implement local SEO strategies. Local SEO aims to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results for geographically specific queries.

For instance, an internist website with good SEO in LA may do well in search results for “internists in Los Angeles” and other essential search terms. This is because search engines now use the user’s geolocation or IP address to provide better and more relevant results.

Local SEO is invaluable for increasing your medical practice’s online presence. Even if your website doesn’t make it onto the first page of search results, if done correctly, it can assist you in reaching the local Google three-pack in SERPs.

Claim Your Google Business Profile

The first step in local SEO for doctors is claiming your Google Business Profile. Google minces no words in encouraging all businesses to claim their listings and verify their location with the free service.

It costs nothing to claim yours and verify your address. Sometimes it’s a postcard; other times, they require a video verification.

It varies per country/region. The bottom line is you still must do it, as Google Business Profiles matter so much to local SEO for doctors.

After claiming your free Google listing, proceed to the following:

      Double-checking your NAP details (name, address, phone number)

      Verifying your listing ASAP

      Specifying your business hours and special business days

      Posting updates

      Turning on messaging so potential patients can message you directly

Like any other digital platform, your Google Business Profile will fare better if you update it regularly. Set a posting schedule and share relevant content that you’d just as quickly post on your Facebook page or Instagram account.

Perform On-Page Optimization

On-page optimizations are critical if Google doesn’t index or display any of your content. Start with your title tags; make sure your primary keywords are listed before anything else.

Your blogs (if you have some already) should also prominently display essential keywords for which you wish to rank.

That way, Google can review your website, and maybe your page will begin to rank more prominently for local searches. However, in the long term, there’s still a considerable need to improve how you match local search intent with your published content.

Conduct Keyword Research Relevant to Your Area in the Healthcare Industry

Healthcare keyword research is essentially market research.

If you’re planning to publish more content on your blog to draw more readers and get more patients, you’ll have to learn how to conduct keyword research. Monthly search volume is just one factor for determining which keywords will bring in organic traffic and the right kind of readers.

Not all readers are ideal, and for local SEO to work, you must bring your expertise and SEO together to ensure that your content marketing efforts are successful. Keyword research also determines the effectiveness of your content because Google uses keywords to identify relevance and usefulness based on the topics you’re covering in each piece of content.

You can perform basic keyword research using Google and search for likely topics you’re already familiar with.

However, you’ll have to expand your research at one point, so using keyword research tools like Moz is necessary to widen your net. Once you have identified potentially profitable keywords, the next step is to find the topics that will go with your keywords. General keywords are rarely the specific topics themselves.

Sign Up for Local and National Business Directories

Business directory listings remain critical for local SEO efforts. Having your medical practice’s information listed repeatedly across different business directories is fine.

No one has a monopoly over which business directories people use. Despite Google Map’s dominance in SERPs, consumers still love using smaller business directories that they’ve used for years.

These business directories sprung from when the local yellow pages were becoming obsolete, but the need to find local businesses remained steady and robust.

You can also try finding special SEO tools to help sync your business directory listings. These tools will help monitor listings, check reports, display performance in SERPS and synchronize your listings across dozens or hundreds of different business directories. 

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