The typical healthcare consumer journey often begins with extensive research. In fact, search engines drive three times as many hospital visits as non-search visitors.1
So if you’re not getting enough patients at your door, it’s likely that your company has a poor local online presence. Not enough patients are coming. Instead, go to a competitor just because you found it first while doing a local search.
But all is not lost.
RELATED: 5 marketing tips to grow your practice without breaking the bank
A well-designed healthcare search engine optimization (SEO) campaign can improve your practice’s digital presence and attract more patients.
Below are some of the best ways to leverage local SEO to get more patient visits.
1. Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing
All local businesses, including healthcare providers, are required to apply for a Google My Business (GMB) listing. Not only does GMB have a huge impact on search engine rankings, he is also one of the first things potential patients see after performing a local search query (Google’s local pack).
Fortunately, applying for a GMB account is easy and free.2 After signing up and applying for a listing, you will need to provide the following information:
• Clinic name
• telephone number
• e-mail address
• business hours
• practice pictures
• Brief description of practice
The idea is to bring the GMB list to life by providing potential patients with complete information about their practice. Optimize your GMB list by updating it frequently and answering user questions.
What about multiple locations?
Every office location should have its own Google My Business listing, even if it has a main phone line for answering calls and making patient appointments.
Otherwise, when a patient searches the second location (satellite office), they may find Google listings for the main location. This can lead to patients being sent to the wrong clinic or confused about which clinic to go to.
Related: Why Having a Marketing Plan Is Important
2. Have a strong content marketing strategy
About 89% of healthcare companies use content marketing to attract potential patients and expand their practice.3 This particular trend should come as no surprise when it comes to medical SEO, as there is no substitute for high-quality, relevant content. It is also important that patients have access to accurate information.
Relevant content is not only valuable to your readers, it’s a goldmine of information and keywords that search engines can use to rank your website. Plus, strong content helps establish authority in your medical practice.
The easiest way to start your content marketing strategy is with a blog.
Write well-written, long-form content such as blog posts, case studies, and whitepapers that are important to your target audience. Research the most popular and relevant topics using keywords that patients use to find answers to their health-related questions.
For example, if you run a primary care practice that frequently orders lipid panels as part of regular blood tests during health checkups, the topic “Why did my doctor order a lipid panel?” Please consider posting on your blog.
Related: How to Use Instagram and Pinterest to Grow Your Practice
3. Encourage patient reviews
Online reviews have become a non-negotiable part of healthcare marketing. If her 84% of patients use online reviews to evaluate healthcare providers, patients should be encouraged to leave reviews of their practices.4,5
As mentioned earlier, the patient journey begins with online research. Because people want to find the right practice for their needs. Potential patients check reviews about your practice to help them with their decision-making process.
You can start receiving reviews by simply asking current patients to leave feedback about their experience at your clinic. Encourage them to leave a review on your girlfriend’s GMB profile, Yelp account, etc.
When you get a review for your practice, be sure to reply to it, whether positive or negative.
Many clinics use text messaging apps and email to communicate with patients about appointment reminders and other updates.6 They are great tools for follow-up communication to get feedback and request reviews from patients after their visit. Be sure to share the link of the site you’d like us to leave a review for.
4. Optimize your website
About 90% of visitors abandoned a slow-loading website, about 80% due to unresponsive concerns, 70% due to poor navigation, and other usability issues .. 7 A healthcare website is typically the first point of contact for a brand for many patients. Therefore, it should be visually appealing and optimized for usability.
When it comes to design, your website should express your professionalism and expertise, so invest in developing a user-friendly and informative website. Your visitors will have a great experience when navigating your website and should be able to find the information you are looking for.
For example, a medical website should include important information such as clinic addresses, phone numbers, and hours of operation. Additionally, the website should be optimized for mobile browsers by integrating a responsive design that automatically adjusts to the browser in use.
Local SEO can help you grow your online presence and attract more patients. The local SEO strategy outlined above will help you stay on the right track.
1. Think With Google. Digital Journey to Wellness: Hospital Choices. September 2012. Accessed September 7, 2021. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-strategies/search/the-digital-journey-to-wellness-hospital-selection/
2. Google My Business Help. How to add or claim a Business Profile on Google. Accessed September 7, 2021 https://support.google.com/business/answer/2911778?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en
3. Skinner J. The State of Healthcare Content Marketing: The Age of Forced Evolution. September 8, 2020. Accessed September 7, 2020. https://truenorthcustom.com/blog/the-state-of-healthcare-content-marketing/
4. Online reputation management for healthcare professionals. Physician and healthcare review statistics. May 29, 2021. Accessed September 7, 2021. https://visual.ly/community/Infographics/health/doctor-healthcare-review-statistics
5. Tornetta J. Methods for Direct Review Requests from Patients. July 8, 2021. Accessed September 7, 2021. https://www.physicianspractice.com/view/how-to-ask-patients-for-reviews-in-person
6. Tornetta J. Tips for messaging patients. August 5, 2021. Accessed September 7, 2021. https://www.physicianspractice.com/view/tips-for-texting-patients
7. Fitzgerald A. 25+ Web Design Statistics You Need to Know in 2021. December 2019. Accessed 7 September 2021.