If you’re interested in dominating local search results, read on. In this article, we’ll be sharing healthcare local SEO tips to help you build your practice’s online presence. Online reputation management is important for health providers; it can directly impact the number of patients you attract.
These tips are easy for you to implement—and will help you rank at the top of the search engine results for local terms in 2022.
Our Tips about Local SEO for Healthcare Providers
For businesses servicing a particular location(s), local SEO is crucial. For all search queries with a local intent (e.g. doctor near me, naturopath Sydney), Google will display local search results at the very top of SERPs.
Google Maps—which draws on Google My Business listings—also takes up much of the real estate in organic results. For healthcare providers not listed in these local searches, this can mean fewer patients.
Local SEO allows you to connect with customers in your community. It positions your business as helpful and authoritative, providing the right information when users need it most.
In fact: local SEO is just as (if not more) important as answering phone calls or answering visitor questions at your practice.
“Most of these tips can be applied independently. If you’re a doctor ready to learn and put extra effort into SEO, you can easily apply our advice.”
1 – Optimizing Google My Business (GMB)
Google My Business (GMB) is certainly the most important tool for local businesses. Claiming your GMB is also important because if you don’t manage it, Google users will. An unclaimed GMB listing can still receive reviews, and receive suggestions on office hours and pictures of the business. In some industries, competitors may also modify your listing with negative reviews and incorrect information.
“For businesses that have multiple locations, it’s important to manage GMB and listings to avoid conflicts that mix up phone numbers and addresses.” —Nilo Luz, SEO Specialist at Vine Digital
Here are our tips for updating your Google My Business:
- Once you have claimed your GMB listing with Google, it’s time to audit your account. While an SEO agency can assist you with a swift and comprehensive audit, it’s also possible to do this on your own.
- Note any inaccurate or unoptimized:
- Answers to questions.
- Operating hours.
- Name, address, and phone number (NAP).
- If your NAP changes, update your GMB listing immediately.
- Add your business’s services and products to Google My Business.
- Keep all this information regularly updated
Optimizing Your Business’s GMB Posts
For a healthcare practice, connecting with potential patients is important. One way to do this is through GMB posts. This shows Google (and your local community) that you are active and invested in helping your local community: and also help with online reputation management.
It also allows you to rank your local practice for extra keywords that Google would not have thought about.
Google My Business posts should be consistent and frequent, and can easily be written with templates if needed.
2 – Local Citations & NAP
One of the easiest ways to improve your medical practice’s digital presence is by acquiring and updating citations. Quite often, when local businesses are listed in directories, it’s with incorrect information. While citations are a powerful way of improving rankings, an incorrect one will have no positive impact on your local SEO efforts.
If you’re aiming to rank for “doctor near me” queries, your practice’s Name, Phone, and Address (NAP) should stay consistent across the web. Potential patients need to be able to find you, using the correct contact information. Citations and local links need to align with the information listed on your brand’s website.
You can use tools to spot incorrect citations or mentions Brightlocal is probably one of the best. It is the tool we use. It will scan all the directories, and based on the information you provided to the tool, tell you where you need to update either the name of your practice, the address or the phone number.
Be aware that these directories are still getting visitors. Some web users still like to check for local businesses on Yellow Pages. Or they like to search for reviews on Yelp or other platforms. If your phone number is incorrect on these websites, you will lose patients.
3 – Generate Local Backlinks
Backlinks are important for building your healthcare practice’s presence online, as they signal to search engines that your website has authority. This is a key ranking factor in search engine optimization as Google measures the authority to rank for competitive keywords with the number and the quality of links coming from recognized authorities.
In theory, a link pointing to your practice’s website from the mayor’s office’s website will be one of the best links to acquire. Highly relevant, very localized, and coming from a recognized authority. Local newspapers and directories can be great as well.
Here are a few other strategies you can use to boost your local SEO through backlinks:
- Form partnerships with other local businesses to gain backlinks—from their websites to yours. This is mutually beneficial, as both businesses can gain authority. For healthcare providers with existing partnerships, this may simply be a matter of reaching out to request link placement.
- Contribute to local blogs that welcome guest contributions. This can range from official community blogs to local news blogs and message boards.
- Sponsor local events that cater to small businesses. From award ceremonies to conferences, carnivals, and charities, this can earn you links from the event’s sponsorship page.
4 – Localised Site Content
If you wish to grow your organic traffic, content production is essential. By creating local content such as landing pages and blog articles, you can generate a steady flow of foot traffic as patients nearby can find you via a search engine.
To successfully optimize local content, it’s best to:
- If you service multiple regions, tailor your keyword research accordingly. Each piece of content should focus on specific local search queries.
- Create website bios for all of your doctors and team members. We explain how to do this, and why this will improve your local SEO results.
- Use templates if needed, to create consistency across content on your website, Google My Business listing, and other platforms.
- Engage the help of a local SEO agency for the creation of new pages on your website. Specialists can do this at scale, which results in a cost-effective search engine optimization strategy for your practice.
- Ensure that your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) remains the same across your website, and is marked up with structured data. This will improve the positioning of your business listing in local searches.
5 – Mystery Local SEO Tip – Managing Reviews
For local doctors especially, word of mouth is important—and this is no different for search engines. By managing reviews and taking the time to answer them, whether they’re good or bad, you can control and improve the perception patients have of your business. If you’re a family medical practice or regularly service members of the local community, reviews from happy patients can go a long way.
To additionally manage your online reputation, you should ensure that your business listing is consistent across the web—with no broken citations.
With these tips for local SEO, you can help local patients find you via search engines. In the long run, a local SEO strategy will generate a consistent stream of steady leads which builds over time. For more search engine optimization tips, get in touch or comment if you have any questions!
And if you manage a medical centre, you can also read our article A Guide to Medical Centre SEO.