SEO is a pretty common part of the lexicon these days. But even if you know that it stands for Search Engine Optimization, it can still sound like a foreign language. As a whole, SEO consists of the things you do on your website to signal to search engines like Google what your site is about. Google can then use that information to show your website in relevant searches.
There is an entire industry built on optimizing websites for search engines. The holy graille is a spot on page one of Google.
For doctors, dentists, and other healthcare professionals, there is a very important sub-component of SEO that often gets overlooked – Local SEO.
When you think about it, local search for medical practices makes sense. Most people don’t type “gastroenterologist” into a search engine. They type things like “top gastroenterologist milwaukee.” Patients in Milwaukee don’t want gastroenterologists in Reno showing up in their search, and the Reno gastroenterologist doesn’t really benefit from that either.
There are some important things a medical practice can do to show up on local searches for their area. The most important is to get local business listings in online directories.
Some of these listings appear in directories specific to medical practices like Healthgrades, Zocdoc, Vitals, RateMDs, etc.
Other listing directories aren’t industry specific. These include sites such as Google+ Local, Yelp, Yahoo! Local.
If you want to get started building up your presence in local searches, start claiming your local listings.
Today’s task is a small but important one. Set up your page on Google+ Local, or double check the one you already have to make sure it follows Google’s guidelines. Why do we start with Google? Well, 67% of searches are done on Google, so it seems like a smart place to get this moving.
Make sure that the contact information you add to Google is identical to the contact info on your website. If you abbreviate boulevard on your website, abbreviate it on Google. If you use your middle initial on Google, make sure it’s on your website, too. Then, for every listing you create on other directories, be sure you use the identical information.
Once your Google location is set, you’re off to a good start. Now set a goal to start adding your listing to a new directory once a day, twice a week or some other frequency that works for you. Soon you will find that this small effort yields great results!
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