It can be a struggle for doctors to find the right digital marketing strategy for their practice. Some doctors may not know how some digital marketing techniques can help them, so they rely on more familiar marketing techniques like mailing out flyers or emailing newsletters to their patients every month.
However, local search engine optimization (SEO) may be a type of digital marketing that you’ve never considered using. And that’s a shame because paying more attention to potential patients in your immediate area can be very beneficial.
What is local SEO and why can it be useful for doctors?
You can be sure that most if not all of your patients are doing a Google search at some point. After all, research shows that more than 8.5 billion searches are processed by Google every day. Even more importantly, it’s been reported that 46% of the Google searches people do are to find local information.
Its very name shows how local SEO can help doctors harness the power of local searches. Local SEO is simply a SEO strategy that’s designed to help a business, health care provider, nonprofit, etc. improve their visibility in local searches.
Taking advantage of local SEO can be particularly useful for doctors. Why is that? It has to do with how far patients are willing to travel for health care. A 2021 study by the Department of Health & Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality found that on average, people drive 8.7 miles to seek medical care. Local SEO can specifically help doctors target potential patients within this radius. Doing so helps ensure that the potential patients your practice is targeting are more likely to actually be willing to travel to your location(s).
5 local SEO techniques that can be beneficial for doctors
Local SEO techniques can be helpful for doctors who wish to grab and hold the attention of patients who are close to their offices. Here are five techniques that can be particularly helpful:
- Optimizing your website for voice searches.
There are few people in the U.S. that aren’t aware of voice search. Many people have even done one, which isn’t surprising since research predicted that 55% of global households would have some form of voice assistant by 2022. Another study reveals that 46% of voice assistant users perform local searches daily. As a result, optimizing your practice’s website for voice search can be an effective way to target people doing local searches for doctors.
- Creating content that features local events and themes.
It’s critical for health care websites to incorporate informational content that offers visitors exceptional value. However, you may need to take additional steps to optimize your practice’s content for local searches. Some steps you can take to make your content more visible in local search results and more appealing to local potential patients include:
- Writing about local events that your practice is taking part in.
- Researching and creating content for topics that prospective patients in your area are searching for.
- Creating content about medical conditions that are common in your area.
- Requesting reviews from current patients.
We’ve already mentioned that many patients’ health care journeys began online, and one of the things that your potential patients are looking at is the reviews for your practice and of specific doctors in your practice. According to a 2020 survey conducted by Software Advice, 71% of respondents reported that their first step toward finding a doctor was to look for online reviews. Thus, having reviews for your practice and physicians could be the nudge someone needs to become your patient.
- Creating website pages for each city your practice serves.
This technique may seem like something that can only work for large practices that have dozens or even hundreds of statewide or even nationwide locations. And it can and does work well for such practices. However, even smaller medical practices can take advantage of the benefits of creating separate pages on their site for the cities and towns that they serve. Taking this step can even work for practices that may only have two or three locations in one city. You’ll just have to work with your content creator to figure out how to name the pages and talk about each location so that it speaks to people in a specific area or neighborhood name in your city.
- Having a competitor analysis done for your practice.
It can be difficult to know exactly what will and won’t work when it comes to promoting your practice locally. But what if you could take away some of the guesswork on what may or may not work in your area? Well, you can with a free competitor analysis. Competitor analyses are designed to provide information about how your business is performing compared to other similar businesses that you’re competing against. They can also help you:
- Determine what your competitors are doing to promote their businesses.
- See how successful the various strategies they’re using are.
- Develop a strategy that has a higher chance of success.
BURG+CO. can help doctors find effective local SEO
Increasing traffic to your website from local potential patients plays a major role in increasing new patient numbers. However, it’s difficult to attract new local patients to your site or physical locations when you don’t know how to set up a local SEO strategy. Fortunately, this is one of the techniques we specialize in at BURG+CO.
Our team has years of experience in helping health care providers improve their digital presence and attract new patients from their local area. If you’re looking to perform better in search engine results for local searches and attract more potential patients to your site, we’re ready to talk to you to see how we can help. Contact our team today for more information about all our digital marketing services or to schedule a complimentary consultation.