Searching for the right healthcare provider is a unique process that differs from other service-related decisions. Seeking medical care involves a great deal of research. Very few individuals make impulse decisions when it comes to their health or the wellness of a loved one.

A patient (or caregiver) goes through several stages of online research before scheduling an appointment to seek treatment. After learning about their diagnosis and considering possible courses of action, a patient’s final stage of research involves finding the closest and best organization to meet their needs.

Nothing is more important to an individual than their health. Taking the time to focus on your online reputation regionally can help instill confidence in your potential new patients as they near the final stage of the Digital Patient Journey: Conversion.

The best way to do this? Local SEO. By following a few of these best practices, you can represent your practice as a convenient and high-quality option to your most qualified local leads.

Update your Google listing

Unlike traditional SEO, local SEO involves a few simple tactics that can be very impactful. The first thing on your local SEO checklist should involve either creating or updating your Google My Business (GMB) listing. Your GMB makes important information like your business’ address, phone number, and hours of operation stand out when someone searches for you. Google My Business listings look like this:

google my business listing local SEO

Setting one up is simple and can be easily accessed and updated for free here. Before you create a new one, be sure to do a search for your brand’s name to see if one already exists. If you notice multiple listings for your organization, take the time to remove and consolidate them into one clear profile.

Set your website up for success

When your website is indexed by search engines, key contact and geographic information should be found easily. Don’t format this vital user information within an image. Place it in a prominent place on your homepage or on a global header and footer.

Make your hours of operation clearly visible on your homepage or informational subpage. If your organization has multiple locations, create separate landing pages for each one and be sure to include any unique phone numbers, addresses, and hours of operation.

Include location-based keywords and keyword phrases naturally throughout your website content. On your “About Us” page, showcase how proud you are to serve your local community, and make it clear where you’re located in your homepage copy.

Encourage patient reviews

Word of mouth still continues to be one of the most powerful marketing tools for healthcare organizations. Online reviews are a great way to establish credibility in your community and influence the decision-making process. Plus, reviews play a role in most search engines’ ranking algorithms.

Encourage current patients to share their experience on your online service review profile. This can be done via a follow-up call or email after an appointment. Unless the review is profane in nature, avoid removing negative reviews. An organization that only has 5 star reviews can appear phony to a user and indicate that you don’t value transparency as an organization.

Local SEO is easy to implement, and once done correctly, can be extremely beneficial to the health of your organization and your community.