Local search is all about people in your area being able to find you when they need you, which is important for any local business, but especially important for medical practices. You can have the best doctors in the world, but it won’t matter if no one can find you.
Local Search vs Website SEO
It used to all be about website SEO, making sure you were at the very top of the search results. Well now, Google is showing local listings before webpages, so we need to change our approach a little bit. If I’m in Chicago and I search for a urologist, it’s going to give me urologist results in Chicago well before it gives me any sort of web pages. This is why these Google local search listings are so important.
Google My Business Listings
These local listings are separate from your website. These are known as Google My Business profiles or listings and businesses need to take care of these listings just like they would their website.
If you’re not managing your listing, that means Google is guessing that it has the right answers about your hours, your phone number, your website. Research has shown that 70% of medical practices have errors in their online profiles. Businesses who claim, manage, and optimize their listing are more likely to show up higher in these search results.
That means new patients will find you when they search for your specialty and your existing patients will find you on Google Maps when it’s time for their appointment. The same goes for individual providers. As much as possible, you want to be in control of what’s out there on your profile.
Google posts are a feature that almost act like free advertising on your profiles. Google Posts allow you to showcase services, events, announcements with images. These can help drive patients to your website.
Local Search Optimization vs. Reputation management
There are two main reasons to manage your listing for your local search.
- Showing up
- Looking good
The process of making sure you show up is called local search optimization. The process of making sure you look good is called reputation management.
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