Hospitals, clinics, and private healthcare practices serve a critical role in the local community. They are places of help and healing for the sick and injured. People rely on them in times of need and crisis.
Because of this, investing in local search engine optimization (SEO) strategies by healthcare institutions is good for everyone. Improving online search visibility helps patients find much-needed healthcare services without wasting time.
In this guide, we will briefly introduce local SEO and how it works, followed by five great tips and strategies you should try for your hospital, clinic, or private practice.
Ready? Let us get into it!
5 Great Local SEO Healthcare Strategies
SEO focuses on making your website rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). It does this by correcting and enhancing website features that search engines want to see.
On the other hand, local SEO influences these features to improve your website’s rank in local searches. Doing this is essential because your local market is your biggest market.
It is hard to convince someone from a different state or city to travel several hours for an appointment at your hospital or clinic. However, someone who lives 20 or 30 minutes away will be glad to know you are nearby. In short, it is easier to convert local prospects into patients.
Now that you understand why and how local SEO works, it is time to discuss strategies.
SEO does not have to be expensive. Below, you will find five tips laid out in simple steps and terms.
1. Stand Out with Amazing Branding
Good branding keeps you in the public consciousness. Think of Coca-Cola’s successful campaigns that hinged on a few words. Iconic slogans like “open happiness” and “real magic” evoke feelings of warmth and positivity. Appealing to emotions is an effective marketing tactic.
That is what you should aspire to for your brand. Talk about how good your service is or how well you treat your patients. Build your brand identity around an ideal and make everyone know it.
Here are some prompts to help you come up with good branding ideas:
- What do you want people to associate with your hospital or clinic?
- What major concerns do your patients have, and how do you address them?
- How do you set yourself apart from other hospitals or clinics?
2. Set Up Profiles on Maps and Apps
Digital Authority Partners said taking ownership of your Google My Business profile is a great way to get more leads. When you give search engines more opportunities to recommend your hospital or clinic, you give yourself more chances to be seen by patients.
It is not just Google that offers this free service. Bing, Yahoo!, and DuckDuckGo also have local listings you can sign up for. However, the best services to have are ones that have maps.
A person who urgently needs to see a doctor is more likely to use a map app than a search engine. Maps are more straightforward and provide navigation for greater accessibility.
These are the most important services to include in your local SEO strategy for healthcare.
- Google My Business / Google Maps
- Apple Maps
- Bing Places for Business / Bing Maps
3. Rank on Local Search with Keywords
Keywords help search engines understand your content. Think of them as labels you put on a web page. This label tells search engines where to index them so that your page shows up when someone uses that label or keyword.
Maximize local SEO by using place names as part of keywords. Your goal should be to get leads from people in your immediate area. Using counties, states, or the whole US as keywords would not work for local SEO.
Target your hospital’s or clinic’s city plus two or three surrounding areas. Smaller areas like towns and boroughs are also good for local keywords. Be careful of similar place names to avoid confusion.
For example, ‘Spokane dentist,’ ‘opthalmologist in Raliegh,’ or ‘Philadelphia pediatrician.’
4. Have an Active Social Media Account
Injuries and illnesses are not Instagrammable moments. Nor should hospitals advertise themselves as photo ops. However, social media accounts provide a tangible benefit for local SEO healthcare strategies.
A constant and consistent online presence is important now more than ever. Accessibility and responsiveness win loyal customers. Any local SEO success strategy that gives you more ways to reach patients is good.
The following explains why:
- Platforms such as Facebook also double as business listings. Most patients today will likely use whatever they can in their search journey. Use this to your advantage.
- Apart from finding hospitals and clinics, they might also want recommendations. Your social media page is an opportunity for users to comment and interact.
- You benefit from increased brand awareness online. One viral moment on social media can keep your business in the public eye for a while. Leverage this for free advertising.
5. Level Up Through Good Web Design
According to Contentsquare, 58% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices. This trend will continue as technology evolves, so mobile-first is going to be more and more important.
What does this have to do with local SEO?
If your website offers a poor customer experience, search engines are less likely to recommend it. This negatively impacts your SERP ranking, and you need to avoid it as much as possible.
Good web design is especially important for landing pages. A landing page is a web page that has a singular purpose. For healthcare providers, it is mainly to showcase services and doctors and to get calls or appointments from prospects.
A good local SEO strategy for healthcare has many great benefits, such as increasing brand awareness, getting more quality leads, and improving your SERP ranking. It does not have to cost a lot to get started, either.
Easy strategies you can use right now include making small changes to your keywords, claiming business profiles, and being active on social media. Help yourself and help patients find you today.