Healthcare providers nowadays don’t rely on traditional marketing to acquire patients. They are starting to find other ways to promote their services - one way is through digital marketing.
Digital marketing has opened up a lot of opportunities for medical practices to continually increase their number of patients without increasing the money they spend on marketing their services. And today, when it comes to digital marketing, one of the most powerful and effective marketing disciplines that a healthcare provider can utilize is the use of search engine optimization (SEO).
What is SEO?
As a healthcare provider, you may be so focused on taking care of patients that you may have not familiarized yourself with the term search engine optimization or SEO. If you have no idea what this term is, SEO is the marketing discipline that focuses on increasing the number and quality of visitors to a website. It mainly consists of optimizing website pages and the domain as a whole to achieve organic positioning in search engines.
SEO has been used by many organizations of different segments and sizes to improve their rankings on prominent search engines (like Google and Bing). It is a great way to be visible online. Furthermore, SEO ensures that a website is accessible and can easily be found on search engines based on the words and phrases that pertain to what an organization offers.
What is the difference between organic SEO and Local SEO?
We’ve already established what SEO is and what it does. However, there are two kinds of SEO that you should know. The first one is organic SEO and the other one is local SEO. What is the difference between the two?
Organic SEO is a marketing practice that refers to the method used to obtain a high placement on a search engine results page. With this type of SEO, a local element may not be included and it’s usually not associated with a brick and mortar business. Some examples of techniques used for organic SEO include using keywords and keyword analysis, backlinking, link building to improve link popularity, and writing content relevant for the target audi
Local SEO, on the other hand, is an incredible way to market your local medical practice online. It is an effective way to promote a practice’s services to a local audience or a specific location. There are a variety of methods used in local SEO which are easier to manage using a local SEO tool.
Basically, organic SEO involves improving a website’s ranking and increasing traffic by producing content that provides value. So, when it comes to organic search, search engines rank and favor websites that have relevant content. But with local SEO, search engines rank and favor websites that have relevant and trusted location-based content.
Why is local SEO important to your medical practice?
According to BrightLocal’s Consumer Review Survey, 97% of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017 with 12% searching online for a local business everyday. In addition, according to the 2014 Local Business Search Study performed by comScore, 78% of local-based searches on a mobile device end in purchases being made offline. These numbers tell you how relevant local SEO is. And clearly, these studies suggest that there are good opportunities out there for medical practices to gain more patients if they understand how to utilize digital marketing.
So, how exactly can local SEO help you? Good question.
Having a website is one way of promoting your services online, but adding a local element might help you to improve your visibility to your target audience. This is where the benefits of local SEO comes into the picture - it helps you grow your medical practice, assists you with meeting your business objectives, increases your visibility for your website, and improves your searchability online in a specific location. Regardless of whether your medical practice is small or not, implementing an SEO strategy is a great way to drive traffic in your website. Thus, increasing your number of patients and increasing your revenue.
How can local SEO help your medical practice attract new patients?
Medical practices just want to have a steady stream of patients coming in the front door. For that to happen, you need to implement some marketing strategies - one of which should be using a number of SEO strategies. If you are just starting out in the healthcare industry, your target market should people in your local area. Those people are the ones who will likely pay you a visit for a consultation or medical check up.
Most people don’t want to go out of their way or travel for several hours just to visit a doctor. People want a doctor that is nearby that they can visit anytime. So, for example, let’s say that you’re an orthopedic surgeon. If a patient in your local area needs a joint replacement, he or she would just search “orthopedic surgeon near me,” and your name or your clinic would come up if you optimize your website using local SEO. This is why it is important to focus your marketing strategy on localization. Content, on-page optimizations all with a focused, localized intent can help you be visible online and get more patients.
To help you get started, here are the important things you need to remember to ensure that you can be found online by local patients:
- On your website, make sure that you include your city together with some important keywords.
- Your web pages should contain your full address. And make sure that it is the same everywhere; it should be consistent.
- Your Google Maps listing should be linked to your website.
- Use local keywords in your URLs, heading tags, and content.
Focusing your marketing efforts in a specific area will help your practice grow. That is why it is important to use local SEO. We recognize that your first priority is to take care of patients - therefore, if you don’t have the time to market your practice, DrCatalyst can help you. We partner with your practice to provide you with cost-effective, patient-friendly, and accessible medical marketing services to improve your health care delivery. Schedule a meeting with our SEO specialists and we’ll help you get started.