Any business within any industry has the opportunity to be successful on the internet. For local GPs, Dentists and Cosmetic Surgeons the growth of internet marketing combined with mobile technology has provided an opportunity to expand their client base. More people than ever are using the internet to find their local healthcare practices, book appointments and even reserve their prescriptions.
A well implemented digital marketing strategy is key to help build awareness of a healthcare business on the internet. However practitioners realise the importance of capturing patients within their local areas that can be very competitive. By adopting Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques, healthcare businesses can improve their visibility within local search results to help create a competitive advantage.
As the first part of a series looking into the ever growing importance of digital marketing in the healthcare industry, this post will provide some great tips for professionals and practitioners on how to make the most of Local SEO:
1. Get Added to Business Directories and Create Local Citations
Ensuring that your healthcare business is listed within local and creditable business directories such as Yell and the NHS is an ideal start to help people in your local area who are actively seeking your services. This will also help search engines such as Google determine your physical location too and can boost your rankings in search results. Just make sure that your citations in online directories match the information on your website and are consistent throughout.
You can also use BrightLocal to keep track of the citations you have created, as well as to identify what citations your local competitors have. This will allow you to identify further credible sites to get listed on.
2. Make sure you are listed on Google My Business
Formally know as Google Places, Google My Business allows your practice to further improve your visibility in Google search results, Maps and the social network Google+. You can sign up for free www.google.co.uk/business and it’s important to make sure you fill in all the sections to make a complete profile. Make sure that the contact details exactly match what’s on your website and you have a rel=publisher tag added to your website. Google My Business also allows you to fully verify your healthcare business’ address, which is essential.
3. On-Page Optimisation
For great digital marketing in healthcare you also need make sure that the pages on your website targets keywords that patients in the local area are actually searching for. This includes making sure they are within the on-page elements including Title Tags, Headings, body content on those pages as well as in the Meta Descriptions.
Images such as logos also need to be optimised because these will appear in local search results. You also need to make sure that the NAP (Company Name, Address and Phone numbers) are clearly visible in areas of your website, particularly within a ‘Contact us’ page. Take a look at our Essential SEO Checklist for further tips on how to optimise on-page elements on your website for search engines.
If you have multiple practices, create separate pages for those practices with their own specific contact details. This will allow Google to identify where your local practices are and will help you to target these locations. Below is an example of Oasis Dental Care creating individual pages for their practices around Nottingham.
4. Add a Reviews Page to your Website
Allowing your patients to add a review on your website is another important tool to improve your practice’s visibility on the internet. If you want to make sure you are listed within local search results, allowing patients to add honest and creditable reviews will add value to your website so be sure encourage your patients to provide you with some good feedback.
5. Build Links with other Local Businesses and Websites
Obtaining links to your site from other local websites can improve your local visibility in search results. Links are a critical element to Local SEO because each website linking back to yours (using a hyperlink) acts as a ‘vote’ of quality and can boost your rankings in search engines. Good examples of local websites you can obtain links from include local government websites and news websites. If you’ve issued a press release to your local paper and it appears on their website, be sure to request a link on that article back to your website.
It’s also important to obtain links from professional bodies such as the Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Dental Association. Make sure that you have include logos on your website and link to your page on the site as this will act a great trust signal for website visitors too.
If you’re looking to drive more patients with a digital marketing in healthcare, it’s important to consider Local SEO techniques to not only be more visible on the internet but also to build your brand and showcase your professional services. For expert advice on Local SEO and digital marketing for your healthcare business, call us on 0115 948 0123 or use our online contact form. Also I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments box below.