Recent online marketing statistics show that 4% of Google searches a month are directed towards looking for local sites in the United States. Before you say that it’s just a small number, that 4% is equivalent to four billion local searches. Staggering number, isn’t?
So what does this mean for your medical website?
It simply means that the potential to increase your business is enormous if you are able to maximize the benefits of local searches. If you will analyze it closely, it is just practical for any person to look for a medical clinic or site within his area, right? So if you focus your SEO strategies on local searches, your medical site will be on top of search engine results when your location is included in the search parameters.
Understanding Local Searches
Search engine giants like Google plays around with their search algorithms to provide users with the most relevant search results. Since 2012, Google search results are a mix of SEO-driven outcome and local queries. In fact, search parameters do not necessarily need to include an area or locality to come up with a local result. Factors like the location of the person doing the search are included in the mix, resulting in search results that are local in nature.
Services like medical clinics often target customers within their area of operation. As such, it is very important that marketing strategies include a good dose of local search optimization. This includes local directory listings, social media efforts, and site reviews in Google+ and the likes.
How to Maximize Local Listings for Your Medical Website
In order for your website to rank well in local searches, you need to have your business listed in different online directories like Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Internet Yellow Pages, Bing Places, and other similar sites. Many of these online directories are for free and all you need is to provide them with your business information which includes:
1. Business name;
2. Local phone number from your location or area (not toll-free numbers, call tracking numbers, or shared phone numbers).
3. Physical address (not PO Box, shared address, or virtual office)
4. Ability to conduct face-to-face transactions.
Aside from your website, local directory listings will make your business more visible in the internet. Make sure that all information are current and uniform when listing your site in different directories especially when it comes to your business title. For example, if your medical site is listed as “Extreme Medical Clinic”, don’t use “Extreme Chicago Medical Clinic” in a Chicago-based local listing. This will make the search engines look at your business name as two distinct entities.
Similarly, if you believe that inserting your area of operation (as in the example “Chicago”) in your business title will have a positive impact on your business, then you must process a change in business name and register a new “Doing Business As” or DBA. If your website has been in existence for a long time, you must take extra precaution before changing your business title as it will have an impact on your ranking and previous reviews.
Local directory listings have great potential when it comes to pushing your website and your business to greater heights. However, it will require a lot of effort and dedication to see the results. The current search trends show that including local directory listings in your SEO strategy will provide great benefits – if you’d prefer to have an expert optimize your local search listings, contact us today for a free consultation!