Expanding Marketing Reach by Focusing on Local Searches
Online search is today’s digital native patients’ first step in their care journey. So, healthcare SEO has become crucial to improving HCPs’ visibility. It is simple, if you’re not found, you won’t be considered in the customer’s decision-making process.
Therefore, search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is an essential tool for healthcare providers and other health professionals to establish a closer link of communication with patients. Consequently, this establishes them as trusted partners.
Strategizing for the healthcare audience with SEO means optimizing local and organic searches through a better understanding of the consumers’ needs and expectations. Furthermore, you need a clear picture of what ranks best in search engines to take full advantage of this leverage.
Both location-specific and content must be optimized to meet the pain points and cater to the preferences of the audience to increase the score.
The higher the ranking, the higher the visibility, awareness, and credibility achieved. Thus, doubling the chances of an effective conversion for doctors, providers, and hospitals.
Improving online experiences
Ensuring that the patient moves along the path from the initial research to the appointment scheduling is the main goal of any healthcare provider. Hence, a positive experience is both needed and expected from the customer.
A combination of several elements enables better use of the local SEO, namely:
- A complete, accurate directory and local pack listings;
- Having an easy-to-navigate with accurate medical data and relevant business information for a good user experience;
- Sharing content that is business/industry-focused and local-specific for higher page ranking and trust-building;
- Review of search volume for keyword optimization within all content – website copy, blog posts, educational videos, and more;
- Use of technical SEO to increase search engines’ understanding of the content; and
- Consider customers’ feedback as extra knowledge for further optimization, prioritizing quick responses to increase effective engagement and accelerate conversion.
By improving the visibility, the rest will follow through. Yet, you must ensure you integrate it alongside relevant, up-to-date, educational content. This will encourage patients to proceed with their decision-making process.
As a result, trust is built. This helps establish your business as a go-to trusted source. To further succeed, credibility ought to be used as a powerful ally to further develop high-value long-lasting relationships with your target audience. And, we can’t forget that loyalty plays a huge role in a business’s success. Why? It impacts both customer retention and new audiences’ reach through a patient’s personal network.
Optimizing the the local packages is a good starting point. Find out which competitors are ranking more and for what, through local searches with keywords such as “near me” or “near my location”.
Also note, that local nearby options are displayed automatically by the search engine, doubling the chances of being seen.
Key factors to score
Are a featured snippet, a pinned map location and a place in the top three of the local search resulte your main goals? Then, there are some key factors for the algoritm’s calculation you should take into account:
- Proximity from the current location;
- Business authority in the local market;
- Product/ service relevance for users’ search intent.
The content will also be crucial for scoring higher and increasing effective engagement. This can be achieved if you support and guide patients with educational resources that meet their care concerns and pave the way for finding a solution to their health problems.
Within a plethora of factors that influence website ranking, for better local SEO results, one must have as a priority:
- Business profile creation in industry-related directories and in search engine providers’ services, such as Google Business Profile;
- Encouraging customer feedback for good reviews is also considered by the search engines to score higher. This has a direct impact on the click-through rate and influence patients’ choice through relevant and positive social proof;
- Search engine results page, or SERP, can be increased exponentially through on-page SEO that includes relevant keywords, industry-related content, and up-to-date contact info; and
- Use backlinks from websites with high authority to score higher ranking for high-value content and increase both organic and local SEO.
Mistakes to avoid…
- Clearly identify the objective and what to target in order to rank higher where it counts most for business results. Make use of specific keywords that suit best the type of searches performed by the audience with the highest probability to convert;
- Allow a timely response to customers’ reviews, for higher ranking and click-throughs through increased social proof and credibility;
- Don’t ignore bad feedback. Instead, address it directly and in a timely manner, humanizing the brand while developing a unique digital personality in line with the business mission and values;
- Don’t dismiss the importance of business profiles being created in both industry-related directories and search engine providers’ services to boost score, visibility, and website traffic;
- Keep the contact information up-to-date, visible and consistently present everywhere. Also give multiple options to increase patients’ chances of reaching out;
- Add backlinks to sources considered experts and with high authority in the field/industry to enhance added value scoring and increase even faster visibility and trust-building;
- Optimize for mobile through customer preferences data. Non-responsive websites and content pieces are more likely to discourage patients from proceeding with the engagement;
- Consider that the new era of digital native patients are more concerned with their health and wish to become more knowledgeable of their care options and active in their decision-making process. So, content must be personalized, educational, and seen as valuable;
- Use high-quality imagery with alt text, tags and captions accounted for and improve the resources on-page SEO with a relevant keywords in an adequate volume, being identified as best practice with a 2% density; and
- Apply technical SEO to improve the search engines’ access, interpretation and listing. Equally use analytics from the content performance to clearly identify if it matches the intent of the user searches and continuously improves.
SEO strategy in healthcare:
Physicians and healthcare organizations must set the differentiation tone with their marketing efforts focused on the patients’ needs and expectations. Combining an increased customer’s knowledge to cater to content preferences and match the search intent is a must. This will guarantee higher ranking scores in search engines with a direct positive impact on business visibility and brand awareness.
To improve both scoring and users’ online experiences, ensure you provide valuable educational content that touches upon patients’ pain points. This facilitates conversions.
In the healthcare industry, building trust is essential and content is king when it comes to establishing yourself as a go-to source. But don’t forget the backlinks that can accelerate this process through higher scoring granted in the content value category.
Search engines account for proximity, credibility, and relevance before showcasing your business in the top local search results. So, consider the tips and tactics explored in this article to take the best advantage of this optimization and increase the patients’ network.