There are several dozen directories consumers can use to find and provide feedback on local businesses. Many healthcare providers pay little or no mind to these directories, allowing their business information to be missing or unverified. This could be because they do not realize how great an impact local business directories can have on patient acquisition.
Claiming and optimizing listings on local business directories is a simple, yet effective way to spur patient acquisition and grow your practice. We discuss this in more detail below and also share how to optimize business listings for success.
Local Business Directory Listings Can Spur Patient Acquisition
When you claim a business listing, you verify that you are the owner of a business and are authorized to update and maintain its online presence. Claiming your business listings:
- Ensures Your Information Is Accurate: Some directory websites do little to authenticate a business ownership claim, so it is possible for another person to claim your practice’s business listing before you have had the opportunity. This means your listings could contain inaccurate information, which can frustrate prospective patients so much they ultimately choose another healthcare provider.
Helps Prospective Patients Find Your Practice: According to Google, about four out of five consumers use search engines to conduct local searches. As a business owner, you should want to increase your online footprint so prospective patients can find you no matter where they are looking online for healthcare providers.
- Inspires Confidence in Prospective Patients: Increasingly, people want to see photographs of a practice and its owner before scheduling an appointment. They also want to read qualifying information, like a provider’s education and experience. The more relevant information and other content you include, the more likely a prospective patient is to request an appointment or visit your website to get more information.
- Boosts Search Engine Rankings: Search engines crawl local directories to find relevant information for search queries. When you claim and optimize your business listings, you increase your chances of being found by search engines, which can improve your rank on search engine results pages.
Grow Your Practice with Optimized Local Business Directory Listings
Now that you understand the benefits of claiming listings for your healthcare practice, let’s discuss the components of an optimized business listing.
- Business Title: Use the actual name of your healthcare practice for business listings and not a variant. Keep the name consistent across all directories to prevent any confusion. Do not use modifiers, even if you have multiple practice locations.
- Contact Information: This should include your practice address, phone and fax numbers, and website URL. It’s critical that your business name, address, and phone number are consistent across directories. If there are discrepancies in spelling, abbreviations, or digits included in phone numbers, a search engine might not be able to determine which piece of data is correct.
- Descriptive Text: Share your background and highlight the most attractive elements of your practice — the things that most convince a potential patient to choose you. Typically, you have several hundred characters available to create a short pitch for yourself and your practice.
- Business Hours: Prospective patients need to know when a provider is available to see them, so be sure to include accurate business hours.
- Other Essentials: Any licenses and professional certifications that could persuade a prospective patient to choose your practice should be included on your listings. Other items to consider including are the types of insurance and payment methods you accept.
- Map Marker: Ensure any map marker is on the exact location of your practice address. The benefit to having a Google Maps listing is it not only makes your business more visible in terms of its physical location, but your business is more likely to show up in basic web searches, too.
- Photographs: Google has noted that images have a major impact on local business listing views and website visits. Take advantage of this by adding photographs of yourself, your staff, and the interior of your practice.
Curious to see how your healthcare practice appears on local business directories? Check out our helpful diagnostic tool.