Local SEO for Healthcare: Lead the Patient Pack with These Tips

Local SEO for Healthcare: Lead the Patient Pack with These Tips

Over the years, LaneTerralever has partnered with many different clients across the healthcare industry and discovered some of the most industry effective ways to use local SEO to drive results for our clients. Use these tips from the SEO team at LaneTerralever to optimize your Google Business Profile and local SEO strategy for increased patient satisfaction rates and decreased stress on both parties. Become a leader in the healthcare industry by understanding the importance of the patient search experience, as well as the benefits and other SEO opportunities for growth within your medical practice or healthcare organization. 

What is local SEO?

Local SEO is a strategy implemented to help a business be more visible within local search results. While nearly everyone uses it, not everyone realizes that Google isn’t actively searching every time someone enters keywords or text into a Google search bar. It is instead pulling results from previously crawled pages and sites that have been stored away in a metaphorical vault known as the Google Index. When you search for something, Google will then return with a list of results from this vault that are selected based on keyword relevance, popularity and page authority in an attempt to provide the user with valuable content that is most closely aligned with what was initially searched for. 

Over the years Google has steadily increased the volume of searches that display local search result elements as it recognized that users often need results from their immediate areas. Google accomplished this by including what is known as a proximity factor (or few). Meaning that if you search anything locally (example: “marketing agencies near me”) while in one location, versus searching the same set of keywords from a different location across town, you will be given a different range of local listings in the SERP (search engine results pages). Thus emerged local search. 

Now, why does it matter? Ranking higher and landing a place in the local map pack (the local listing of 3+ businesses that show up in the first page of a local search result page accompanied by a proximity map) is a goal most businesses should aim for, although it is important to note that a position cannot be guaranteed. With the increase in local search in 2021, LaneTerralever found that the best way to optimize Google, is for the user. You can accomplish this by making sure that you are optimizing your content to be as efficient and as patient user-friendly as possible by providing valuable, detailed information in a fast and easily accessible way to your potential patients.

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Importance of the Patient’s Search Experience

The digital patient search experience is paramount because when any patient seeks out a healthcare facility, or initiates any type of health-related search query, more often than not the information requested is needed in an instant (example: “where is the nearest urgent care?”) This is where the importance of optimized local SEO search comes into play. A healthcare organization will want to align their services with exactly what people may be searching for, as well as gain a better understanding of exactly how the patients are searching for it. For example, if a patient needs an x-ray, they may not think to search for the technical term of radiology, and if a healthcare site is only optimized for radiology Google may or may not serve them up as a result. LaneTerralever’s healthcare-focused SEO strategy can help your organization or practice to better identify and optimize your business profile to suit your prospective patient’s needs and improve their search experience.

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Local SEO Opportunities for Healthcare

As a Healthcare provider, you know what Local SEO is but how do you get a leg up on the industry competition and make sure that you are accessible to prospective patients? Some of the present actionable opportunities to improve your healthcare SEO strategy for local search include the following:

  • Execute a local SEO audit
  • Improve your internal linking structure
  • Optimize title tags, meta descriptions, content and headers
  • Add detailed directories and other key local information
  • Maximize your Google My Business profile
  • Add or improve location pages 
  • Ensure it is mobile-user friendly
  • Ensure your business contact information is consistent and up to date 
  • Create valuable local content
  • Engage on social media and in your community

An additional opportunity to maximize your SEO for your healthcare organization is adding a separate landing page for each location. The value in this is that by creating hyper-local content on each of those pages, you are providing Google with as many clues as possible that your place of business resides in a particular local area. Additionally, by linking each of these respective landing pages to your Google Business Profile, it will take the user to the specific location they may need instead of simply a homepage. By doing this you are both prompting further navigation (a good thing to a search engine) and helping your prospective patient find what they need in a more user friendly way. By using these tips to maximize your Local SEO strategy you can improve your online visibility, enhance your site (and foot) traffic, lower advertising costs, and increase revenue. It also presents a unique opportunity for public relations and SEO to work together with the similar goal of engaging more with your community by building trust and authority with both Google and your users directly.

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Benefits of Google Business Profile

The benefits of having and optimizing a recently updated Google Business Profile (GBP) formerly known as Google My Business, grants you the opportunity to list your location on Google map packs and in Local SERP. Giving users an important at-a-glance tool and reference point for vital information such as operating times, location, contact information, directories, addresses, and other imperative details. The key to optimizing your local search amid the latest in Google algorithm updates is by providing as many details as possible for the user. For example, answering FAQ’s to eliminate the need for further search, and utilizing Google posts to answer more urgent and location specific questions (such as: “Do you have covid-19 testing available here?”). Making sure the services provided at a given location are listed so that people arrive already knowing without a doubt that they can get the help that they need.  

Let the SEO strategy experts at LaneTerralever help you reach your goals by improving your local visibility, helping prospective patients meet their needs and optimizing your Google business profile while prioritizing a stress-free patient search experience.

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