Local SEO Tips for Doctors
How does SEO work for doctors? While most SEO advice focuses on retail selling, doctors usually have a different approach to both marketing and reaching out directly to patients. SEO is unique in that it reaches your patients from the perspective of their own Google searches. Local SEO for doctors means creating pages that are the natural answer to questions like "How do I find a medical X specialist?" Searches may range from "Doctor near me" to "Women's health doctor in Boston". Your patients may search for you by location, specialization, and features of your practice like kid-friendly or immediate appointments.
Did you know that nearly 7% of all Google's daily searches are health-related? That's 70,000 health searches a minute. With the right local SEO for doctors, you can reach local residents who need medical care, provide useful online information, and quickly become their physician of choice. Any keyword that helps to identify your practice to your patients including your specializations and areas of greatest experience, certain helpful policies, and insurance compatibility can all play a role in your SEO. Most of all, however, doctors benefit from local SEO strategies to ensure their content reaches readers who live nearby enough to book an appointment.
Bring in targeted leads that are actively looking for your services or specialty. This provides an affordable marketing strategy with long-term rewards.
SEO Tips for Doctors
Create your Google Business Profile
Geotarget for local searches
Build a link network with guest expertise
Hire an SEO expert in health & wellness
Local SEO for doctors is about building visibility and reaching your future patients. In some ways, this means predicting the circumstances and searches that will lead your future patients in order to target the right keywords and answer the right questions. In other ways, SEO is networking in order to share and build authority - an important consideration for Google which seeks to provide only high-quality and trustworthy search results.
By reaching your patients through answers to their searches and improving your ranking in those search results, you can market your medical practice in a highly efficient and affordable way.
1. Create Your Google Business Profile
The first step is to create your Google Business Profile (which recently replaced Google My Business). Your business profile is your pin in Google Maps, your listing when your business is searched, and how many locals will find and assess your services like a doctor or office before making a decision. Here's how a doctor can improve SEO by setting up their Google Business Profile.
Set Up Your Pin
Your pin is your spot on the map. Claim the address of your medical practice, whether this is a private office or clinic. If you work in a larger medical facility that already has a pin, you can sometimes claim a suite address, similar to businesses in a shared industrial park or building.
If there is already an entry for your practice address, it was added by a patient or helpful archivist. Claim the address as the business owner.
Create Your Medical Practice Profile
Build out your profile. Name your practice, office, or clinic. Write a small description of your location and the services you offer. List the services and medical practice types that you offer. Provide new patient information to help read leads convert right away. Fill out every form, checklist, and slot that Google offers to optimize results.
Set Up Google Appointment Booking
Set up appointment booking through the Google Maps and Google Search widget. This will allow future patients to convert directly from their Google search that discovers your doctors' office.
Ask Patients for Reviews
Once you are established on Google, don't be shy about asking your patients for the occasional review. Good reviews can drastically boost your online credibility and visibility.
2. Geotargeting: Optimize for Local Search
Geotargeting is the art of creating content that mostly reaches those clients who live nearby. Doctors need local SEO because all of their patients need to be nearby, which means smart targeting of those who live within range to book an appointment - or those who are making plans to be in the area at a future date.
Mention Your City, Region, and Neighborhoods Often
The best way to geo-target your content for SEO is to mention your region regularly. Mention your city and nearby cities in a comfortable driving distance. Mention your county and any prominent neighborhoods. If your area has a nickname, like "The Bay" or "Chicagoland", use this as well.
Simply find places to mention these areas, which will help catch searches like "Family doctors in Harrison County" or "Pediatricians in the Woodlands".
Include Title Tags, Headlines, and Content
Don't forget to weave your regional mentions into not just your content, but also title tags, article headlines, and subheaders throughout the content, as well. Add geo-targeting to the titles of your videos, your social media content, and most things that you do.
Place Location(s) and Service Area in Your Footer
Place your address and/or surrounding region in the footer. Your footer is shown at the bottom of every page and mentions of your local cities and counties can serve as an every-page geotargeting strategy.
Get Involved and/or Spotlight Local Events and Programs
The best organic source of geo-targeted content is written about local events and programs. Write about what's going on in your city or region. Get involved, contribute, join groups, and even host your own programs to create exciting and valuable reasons to write about your area.
3. Link-Building with Partnerships
Link-building is about getting links back to your home website from outside domains. This builds authority with Google by establishing those other websites trust your content, which raises your search result ranking and visibility.
Doctors are in the best position when it comes to expert link-building. You can offer your expert medical opinion as a guest blogger and interview guest, which with partnership can easily lead to hosted links back to your page and guest posts on your own website to spice up the content and share audiences with your partner brands or influencers.
Join Medical Directories and Organizations
Doctors and practices should join online organizations and directories that help people find local medical providers. Below are 3 FREE directories specifically that doctors can join!
Guest-Post with Other Doctor
Swap expert content with other doctors and clinic brands. This is a great way for both brands to do a little link-building while also providing interesting and new topics.
Guest-Post with Publications
Publications like virtual magazines and consumer reports often find doctor-written guest articles to be highly valuable. Provide linked guest content to build authority and your professional network. Focus on topics that are uniquely relevant to the publication in regards to medical knowledge.
Offer Expert Interviews to Podcasts and Influencers
A doctor's opinion is also useful to those currently broadcasting through sound and video. Podcasters and influencers may appreciate an interview, which is a great way to increase your reach and your links.
4. Hire an SEO Expert in Health & Wellness
Of course, most doctors don't have time to manage an entire SEO campaign solo. You're already running a medical practice. The most efficient choice to quickly boost your SEO using the latest strategies is to hire an SEO expert who is experienced in the health & wellness sector. This allows you to streamline your inbound content marketing and online visibility to search engine users while focusing your time on the tasks that matter most to your patients and chosen career.