A lot of business owners are always thinking of ways to improve their business. This holds true for healthcare businesses as well. Whether you have a doctor’s clinic or a nurse practitioner’s practice, constant improvement is always necessary – especially in an industry that’s so competitive.
There are a lot of conventional methods that people apply to improve their practice. You can invest in marketing, train your staff, or buy better equipment. There’s no denying that all these steps are important for your practice. However, one important aspect that every practice needs (yet very few have) is local SEO.
With local SEO, you get to build a good reputation in your neighborhood and attract a plethora of new customers – all at a low cost. If you want to know more about why local SEO is important for your healthcare business, keep on reading.
What Is Local SEO?
Local Search Engine Optimization (Local SEO) is a branch of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) focusing primarily on your geographic locality. Local SEO refers to any attempts a business makes to target an audience/potential clientele in their local area.
While conventionally local SEO refers to optimizing your website and online content, it also includes ground effort, like printing flyers. Local SEO also involves listing your business in local directories, managing reviews on local sites such as Yelp! And keeping local social media (such as your Facebook page) up to date.
A lot of online sites list local businesses, like Google My Business and Apple Maps. It’s a good idea to make sure your business rates well on these directories as well. You should always encourage your customers to leave positive reviews on these local directories to make your business stand out.
An excellent way to do local SEO is to keep your website up-to-date. Use high-quality images and ensure you haven’t made any errors on your website. Small grammatical mistakes can drive potential customers away.
The most important thing for local SEO is to stay active. Update your social media sites daily, keep adding content to your website, and organize events for people in your neighboring area!
Local SEO may seem like a hassle, but it’s important for businesses – especially healthcare companies.
Why Is Local SEO/Targeting Important For Your Practice?
1. Attract Consumers
The primary reason local SEO is important is that it attracts customers to your practice. For doctors and nurse practitioners, it’s essential to bring customers in because the industry is so competitive.
According to research from the BIA/Kelsey group, nearly all customers (approximately 97%) use online media when researching local services. The same study found that people use an average of 7.9 sites to decide which local service to use. In 2008, this number was only 5.8. This shows the increasing trend of people using the internet to decide which local services to use.
Another consumer study, User View Wave VII, found that 90% of consumers use search engines, 48% use online directories, 24% use vertical sites and 42% use comparison websites. Research from comScore showed that half of the consumers who search for a local business online, visit the store on the same day.
In the healthcare industry, local SEO is the best way to attract customers. When people search for doctors or nurses, they always search for a ‘doctor near me.’ This is because convenience is a significant factor when people are deciding which doctor to visit. No one is going to travel hours to see a doctor when they can just go to one in their locality. Thus, if your healthcare practice does well with local SEO, you’re likely to attract a lot of clients.
2. Low Cost
Local SEO is also an inexpensive way to attract customers. It costs nothing to list your business down on online directories; it’s basically free marketing!
3. Increase in Revenue
More and more people are looking towards the internet to find information related to their health. A good local SEO strategy drives more traffic to your website and can increase the number of patients coming to your practice (like we discussed above). In fact, according to Google, 46% of all searches are local.
With local SEO and an increase in the number of patients coming to your practice, your revenue will increase too. Not only does that mean more profit for you, the business owner, it also means you can reinvest into your practice. With more revenue, you can expand your business and invest in training and equipment.
4. Establish a Reputation
Local SEO can also help you build a good reputation for your practice. As we mentioned above, a lot of local SEO depends on customer reviews. Focusing on your social media presence and encouraging customer reviews can help you build a good reputation in your locality.
If your customer reviews are positive, and your overall rating is high, it’ll be easier for you to attract clients through local SEO. With a good reputation, people are also likely to recommend your practice via word of mouth. Hence, focusing on local SEO and building a reputation can help you attract customers online and offline.
No matter what your profession – a doctor, medical representative, or a nurse – local SEO is vital for the success of your practice. The importance of the internet is rising day by day, and an increasing number of customers rely on online searches to determine which local service to use. You won’t need to focus your attention on marketing your practice to a wide area, and you can also make use of other online services, such as online scheduling!