3. Local search engine optimization (SEO)
According to PatientPop, three out of every four people have looked online to learn about a doctor, a dentist, or medical care. Getting the right online searchers to find your practice is a critical marketing tactic. Search engine optimization (SEO) is likely part of your current strategy, but it’s an always-moving target. In fact, over the past several years, the factors that help determine search result rankings have changed.
Online profiles impact your healthcare practice’s search performance
One SEO factor that has become increasingly important in recent years is the quality of a business’s online directory profiles, like those found on Google or Yelp. For 2021, the top factor impacting a practice’s ability to appear in the Google local pack is its Google My Business profile.
If you’re not familiar with the Google local pack, it’s a valued placement of three results (and a map) located at or near the top of unpaid search results. This is prime real estate in the Google search world, delivering greater practice visibility and the opportunity at more website traffic — both instrumental for driving practice growth.
The power of your online presence doesn’t stop there. In PatientPop research, more than one-third of patients (34.2 percent) said they use third-party websites to form an opinion about a doctor, dentist, or other healthcare provider. This can include dozens of online business and healthcare directories, including Bing, WebMD, and Vitals. Along with Google, these sites give patients easy access to details about your practice and services. Therefore, each profile needs to be in top shape and ready to appeal to patients.
To get there, first ensure your practice information is accurate and consistent across all directories — this is critical for your contact details and address. This consistency gives search engines the confidence to surface your practice, and can help you climb the results ranks. Also, when describing your practice and services, use the words and phrases people use most often when asking questions about your specialty. These keywords will help you connect with more prospective patients. Finally, when choosing your business categories, be as specific as possible (think ‘foot and ankle doctor’ instead of ‘orthopedist’).