Does your practice need Local SEO?
Remember the radio ad that aired during your drive home? Remember that television commercial that played during the breaks of your favorite sitcom? Chances are you don’t — because we’ve been bombarded with so many ads that our brains have been trained to tune them out.
Does this mean that TV ads, radio ads, and print ads are things of the past? No, but it does mean that dental and healthcare service providers need to change their traditional marketing strategies. If traditional marketing is losing its effectiveness then how can you get yourself in front of prospective patients? Well, you can start by using the Internet to your advantage. Using local Internet marketing is a way to get in front of prospective patients when they need your services and you’ll be seen as a solution and not an interruption. The key to showing up at the precise moment when your services are needed starts with local search engine optimization (SEO).
What is local SEO?
Local SEO brings visitors to your website by helping your practice rank higher in search results when potential patients search for local doctors or dentists online. Where do you want your website to be ranked? Pages 1 through 5? Over 85% of searchers do not go past page five. If you’re not one page one, you may as well be on the last. Keywords are at the core of local SEO. They are the terms search engines use to find and rank your practice (i.e. dentist, orthodontist, chiropractor, dermatologist, psychologist, etc.). Since the average patient isn’t going to travel more than 7 miles if it isn’t necessary, you practice’s location is an important factor. Therefore, to attract local prospects, your website must contain your geographic location. Successful local SEO optimization is both on-page and off.
On-page optimization refers to changes made to your website (i.e. pages, images, copy and coding, etc.). When writing copy, remember to use words and phrases that prospective patients would use when searching online. This will allow search engines to properly categorize your website and its content to show up in search results when relevant. In addition to copy, HTML tags such as page titles and meta descriptions also factor into on-page optimization.
Two major factors to off-page optimization are backlinks and business listings. These take place outside your website but play a role an important role in search rankings.
Backlinks are links of your website that are placed on other websites and connect back to your site. Simple right? Not so much as Google penalizes backlinks on irrelevant or “spam” sites and may negatively impact your ranking.
Business listings can drive traffic directly to your website and also affect your search ranking. NAP (practice name, address, and phone) are important data. Consistency and accuracy are the two key elements when optimizing your online business listings across all professional directories.
Creating an SEO strategy takes time and effort. It may seem confusing and overwhelming, but it is a key component to Internet marketing and neglecting it can be hazardous to the growth of your practice.
Still not sure you’re ready to tackle SEO on your own?
At Beyond Marketing Solutions LLC, we take on the heavy lifting and responsibilities of digital marketing management on your behalf, giving you more time to truly focus on your practice and patients. We promise to give you a peace of mind while assisting you in growing your practice.