Yellow Pages are a thing of the past; consumers now turn to search engines to type a quick “near me” or “local” to find businesses in their proximity. In fact, 97% of customers use search engines to find local information. This means it’s essential for your healthcare company to stay active and present on search engine results pages (SERPs).
While local search is a critical component to your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, it can be challenging to execute. That’s why we’re here to help. We’ve put together local search tactics that you can start implementing today to boost your company’s search rankings.
Claim Your Listing
If your healthcare company has a physical location (or multiple) you need to claim your Google My Business listing. If you don’t, your website won’t appear credible to Google or to your visitors, which is crucial in engaging visitors and ranking higher on local search results.
Claiming your listing is also important in order to earn a spot on the right side of Google search pages. This feature, known as the Knowledge Graph, is critical in captivating audiences from the onset of their Google search, because it provides them with a brief overview of your company, along with key information, such as contact information, directions, reviews, and other details.
But don’t stop there. Once you claim your listing, you need to continuously optimize it. This means ensuring that every aspect of the listing is up-to-date with relevant information about your healthcare company.
Posts should include information such as services offerings, wellness tips, and even upcoming events. Google Posts are an effective tactic to encourage interactions with prospective audiences and specify your location to users and Google itself.
Utilize NAP Consistency
NAP is a simple acronym that carries a lot of weight in local search marketing. Otherwise known as “Name Address Phone,” it’s vital to ensure that every local search initiative is NAP consistent.
When search engines are crawling your site to collect information for the web, the slightest variation in key information could potentially lower your local SEO ranking. This is because search engines are designed to find quality sites to promote at the top of their results - and inconsistencies imply poor quality.
Search engines operate by offering accurate, up-to-date information to users, and any inconsistency signals a possible inaccuracy. Therefore, ensuring NAP consistency on Google Posts, third-party directories, and your website is key to boosting your local ranking.
Integrate Schema Markup to Your Website
Computer programs crawl your site and help index your content for search engines – similar to how your audiences read your latest blog. Therefore, you need to write for your target audience and for a computer program. This is where schema markup, or structured data markup, comes into play.
Schema markup is a standard form of writing blocks of HTML for a website in a manner that makes it easy for computers and search engines to understand. It provides the means to communicate directly with search engines for the benefit of getting your content indexed properly in Google and other search engines. If used correctly, your website can rank higher on search pages and be found easier by users.
Events are one example to integrate for when aiming to rank higher during every local search. For instance, if your healthcare company is hosting multiple wellness events for current patients, your goal is to drive them to register and attend. You can make this a simpler process by using the markup to tag your events, so they appear directly on Google’s results page. You can markup event name, date, and location.
By following the steps and best practices in our blog, you’ll effectively integrate schema markup and optimize for every local search.
Leverage Online Directories
When someone is new to the area or in need of a new healthcare center, they don’t have any idea of which places are best in their proximity. If they don’t have friends referring them, it can be difficult to know where to look first. This means there is an opportunity to build new relationships if you’ve claimed your company on the appropriate online channels.
However, businesses often overlook the significance of claiming your business online, not only on Google but on online directories. These directories can empower consumers, making them feel knowledgeable and prepared to find the most reputable businesses in the area. In fact, 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.
Claiming your healthcare facility on various platforms, such as Healthgrades, provides you with more links on trustworthy, credible sites that will direct traffic to your healthcare company’s website. As users are presented with these clickable links, there’s a heightened chance to attract prospective audiences looking for facilities like yours.
By fully completing your profiles, including links to your website and social channels, and keeping content fresh, you’ll establish credibility and start capturing more prospective patients.
While SEO is complex, local search is a simpler step to optimize. To earn a spot in Google’s coveted Knowledge Graph, claim your listing, utilize NAP consistency, integrate schema markup to your website, and leverage online directories.
By keeping these tactics in mind, your healthcare company will be set up for success on search engines and remain the top choice for prospects looking for local healthcare facilities like yours.