Ranking on the first page of Google can make or break a business. This is especially true in healthcare where prospective patients are usually in a rush to get immediate treatment. This is why doctors must be concerned about local search since it can seriously affect their ability to bring in new patients.
Research shows that 77% of patients use online search before booking an appointment. Considering Google is the principal local search entity, medical practices need to ensure that they’re prominently ranked for a variety of phrases utilized by their target audience.
Google’s recent update to its local search algorithm was designed to improve results with more relevant results. The update caused significant fluctuation in established local search results, which caused many properties that were once prominently ranked to fall out of visibility.
To help healthcare marketers and practices increase their odds of ranking on Google’s first page, HealthcareSuccess.com offered eight vital tips for local search engine optimization.
8 Remedies for Making Your Practice Front-Page News
1. Keep a Close Eye on Local Performance – If your local search listings have remained highly ranked, continue to seek out opportunities to improve them. Local search platforms provide an opportunity to showcase what makes your business unique and trustworthy in relation to competitors, so utilize them fully.
2. Monitor Analytics Carefully – A major drop in website traffic is one of the first symptoms of search-listing lag. This is a sure sign that you need to improve your search situation.
3. Key In on Your Keywords – Some sites report that Google has changed the vocabulary of words that previously connected to local searches. Check to see if your keywords still work as well and, if not, test out some new options.
4. Get Directory Assistance – It seems that directory listings are having more and more of an impact on search results. This is why you need to confirm that your business profile and online information are accurate in all digital directories and local listing platforms.
5. Go as Local as You Can Go – Advances in geo-targeting and the need for consumer convenience mean that both search engines and site visitors are likely to look for local businesses in hyperlocal terms. That’s why all of your online content and listing information must be extremely specific. Rather than just list your city, list in terms of your neighborhood, district, or even section of crossroads.
6. Move into Mobile – Mobile is the perfect fit for local search. Google knows that the on-the-go, on-the-fly nature of local searches means that most searches are made on mobile devices, so they favor businesses that are mobile compatible. And healthcare marketers know that the combination of mobile devices and local searches leads to immediate action. Plus, the smaller screens on mobile devices allow higher-ranked businesses to stand out from lower listings and get much more attention and response.
7. Take a NAP Check – It may sound simple, but inconsistencies in your name, address, and phone number can confuse search engines. That’s why you need to check the spelling and accuracy of this information on your website, in all directory listings, and on any additional digital properties.
8. Clean Up and Clear Out – To keep your website going strong, give it regular check-ups. Fix broken links, update your content, add user-friendly features, and do anything your website needs to keep it generating healthy results.
MDG Advertising, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Boca Raton and New York City, is one of Florida’s top healthcare marketing companies and branding firms, whose healthcare clients include Dental Care Alliance, MDVIP, Max Planck Florida Institute, HCA East Florida, Primary Pharmaceuticals, the biostation, and MD Now. MDG’s core capabilities include branding, logo design, print advertising, digital marketing, mobile marketing, email marketing, media planning and buying, radio and TV advertising, outdoor, newspaper, video marketing, infographic development, Web design and development, content marketing, social media marketing, and SEO. To learn more about the latest trends in healthcare marketing, contact MDG Advertising today at 561-338-7797.
Written by Michael Del Gigante