As a local healthcare practice, you need to take into account that you have a limited geographical reach and need to focus on local practice SEO (search engine optimisation) when it comes to getting found in search results. SEO for local businesses is different to that of other types of businesses.
Local practice SEO
Local practice SEO is more leaned towards an actual city, street, district or region. Typically, users looking for your health services search for a term that they want, plus a city or street name, making it more specific. For example, instead of searching for “best therapy clinic” they search for “best therapy clinic in Brisbane” and this makes a huge difference in terms of SEO. It also makes a huge difference for businesses that get listed with such keywords, since these users are more ready to make an appointment or enquire.
Consider the following ideas to push your website higher on search rankings.
Since you have a limited geographic reach, it’s pretty difficult, time consuming and costly to rank for global keywords. Instead, focus on local keywords and local SEO strategies. Local keywords include city names, street addresses, etc. These keywords are typically more specific, since you won’t get so much competition when trying to rank up for those compared to global keywords. Also, this will help you generate more quality visitors for your websites, thus ensuring higher conversion rates, which is what you are looking for.
Remember that a visitor looking for your services on the other side of the country is not likely to make an appointment with you. They will prefer a clinic more local to them.
Citations are like online listings that include your contact information like address, phone number, email etc. For example, having your business listed in Google Maps is a citation. There are many industry specific directories for getting good citations. The important part is to keep up consistency when thinking about citations. Get your clinic contact information listed in different local directories with exact same details not to confuse the search engines. Local social media groups or channels are another good, consistent way to acquire citations. Finally, try to get listed in some local online newspapers and health websites.
Apart from citations that are your contact information, it’s important to get back-links from high quality local directories and websites. Back links are links that take the user to your website page when clicked. For local practice SEO purposes, look for local directory listings and high quality local websites. For example, if you operate in Brisbane, try to find websites that are focused in Brisbane, like news websites, health services, etc. and ask them for back-links. Also, consider getting back-links from other health businesses in your niche.
Lastly, always focus on quality not quantity. Fewer links from great websites are more valuable than having many links from a mixed bag of irrelevant/average websites.
Clinic reviews are another important piece of your local SEO strategy. Having customer reviews of your patients on various websites is going to boost your search rankings a lot. Google’s algorithm focuses not only on the keywords that you provide, but also customer centric and valuable content. Reviews are one of the important things that people consider when choosing a clinic so Google pays attention to that.
Just note that many health industries are regulated when it comes to marketing and testimonials. Check this first to make sure you can request and use reviews for your practice.
Try to be on as many social media accounts as you can effectively manage. You don’t want to be on ALL the hundreds of social media networks just for the sake of it. Pick those that are relevant for your business and which you actually are going to be active on (this is actually a discussion in itself). If you can find some localised social media websites, it’s highly recommended to use them as well.