In This Article:
- What is Local SEO?
- What is Hyperlocal SEO?
- How Does Local and Hyperlocal SEO Affect The Healthcare Industry?
- 5 Tips To Hone Local And Hyper Local SEO For Healthcare Practice
- The Numbers Don’t Lie.
- 6 Things To Keep In Mind For The Ultimate Local Search Strategy
The ever-changing behavioral patterns of Google searches tend to put a dent in perfectly laid out marketing strategies by businesses and healthcare practices without regular updations.
So, has the new Google algorithm update and its mysterious SEO ranking ways left you stumped?
Do words like Local SEO and Hyperlocal SEO leave you perplexed?
Are you looking for ways to improve your healthcare practice’s patient traffic and SEO rankings of your website?
Suppose you answered yes to any of these questions; congratulations! You are in the right place!
Let us dissect the fundamentals of Search Engine optimization by shedding light on what local SEO is and why it is essential for the healthcare industry.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a specialized subset of SEO that focuses on optimizing your business, services, or products for location-specific queries and searches. The process of optimizing your healthcare business or medical practice according to your specific location is done by locating the user’s IP address or geolocation and showing relevant results near them.
There has been a significant increase in Google searches that include location-specific words such as “near me.” It helps Google (and other search engines) pinpoint your location and rank local businesses from your geographic area.
Local SEO enables small businesses to gain visibility, making Google search results more relevant for the user. The local SEO process is a culmination of several marketing strategies.
If you perform keyword research about your industry and business type, Google shows a map with three listings appearing under it (also known as a map pack). It indicates that local SEO can help you grow your practice.
The first step to understanding Local and Hyperlocal SEO is getting acquainted with Google’s ranking and indexing process. So, what is a Google Map Pack and Local SERPs?
Local SERP and Google Map Packs
Local SERP or Search Engine Result Page contains all the local search results for your targeted Google queries.
While Google diligently ranks businesses and their services, not all SERPs are organic. There is only one solution to this problem: Local SERPs.
Local SERPs help generate organic traffic and search results.
Google maps the behavior patterns of its users during the numerous daily searches it receives. Upon close inspection, Google matched the specific keyword used for a particular search and the expected results.
It wasn’t long before Google uncovered the critical factor that remained missing from enhancing its user experience: a proximity factor promptly included in its local search algorithm update to connect users to nearby relevant businesses.
So, if the intent of your Google Search is location-specific, Google takes into account your exact location and adjusts the local SERPs accordingly.
The proximity factor in Google’s Ranking Algorithm isn’t limited to searches containing “near me” or location name; instead, it is embedded into how Google processes your requests to deliver an enhanced user experience.
if you are in seething pain because of that wisdom tooth that has been bugging you all week and you wish to see a dentist ASAP, Google has you covered.
All you have to do is type “Dentists near me” in the search bar, and you get the best dentists in your area with their contact and business details.
However, the search results you get depend entirely on your current location, which means if you look for a dentist from your home vs. your office, you will get completely different results.
What does this mean for search marketers?
Notice the three search results under the map of your geographic area? It is called the Local Map Pack.
The local map pack uses location-specific information and alters its search algorithm to rank businesses that affect your local SEO ranking and local map pack results. As a business owner, this creates a unique opportunity for your business to appear both within the organic search result and local map pack results.
Local SEO has been around for a long time, but the current shift from desktop use to mobile usage has changed Google processing your queries and generating relevant search results.
The foundation of Local and Hyperlocal SEO remains the same:
To compete with local businesses from your industry and be the best locally, not globally.
What is Hyperlocal SEO?
Hyperlocal SEO is a subset of Local SEO, making it the micros to Local SEO’s macros. Hyperlocal marketing embodies the effects of comprehensive marketing techniques designed to deliver precise location-specific results.
Hyperlocal SEO enables businesses to target prospective customers or interested patients by delivering search results from a specific, geographically limited area such as a particular street or a block.
It works on a micro-level, helping businesses expand their customer base and visibility in a granular manner. Suppose you are a medical practice offering plastic surgery services in a locality. In that case, Hyperlocal SEO can help you grab the attention of the local prospective patients from the town or the city.
If you are in Auburn, Alabama, and are looking for places to eat, searching “restaurant Auburn, Alabama” in Google provides hyper-local search results.
Now that you have acquainted yourself with Hyperlocal SEO, let us move on to learn its advantages and what it means for the healthcare industry:
How Does Local and Hyperlocal SEO Affect The Healthcare Industry?
When prospective patients are searching for a doctor, clinic, or a hospital, they are likely searching for a local medical service or a doctor
People rarely look for reputed health practices worldwide since most people aren’t willing to travel several hours to visit a doctor.
Refer to the screenshot from “doctors near me,” and you can notice the benefits of the local pack result.
The localized results offer top reputed practices from your locality with the doctor’s name, a “directions” link that shows the location of the medical facility on Google Maps, and the services they offer, along with testimonials that help their ranking.
People searching for doctors near them are more likely to set an appointment, minimize the hassle of booking in-person meetings, and search for the right doctor based on their ailment.
Local SEO enables patients to look up details about you and your medical practice and provides an easy way to reach you via video consult or in-person consultation. It works by maximizing your local visibility for people looking for healthcare services in your area by driving organic traffic to your medical website.
Advantages of Hyperlocal Marketing
- Lets consumers make informed decisions about local businesses that may otherwise get ignored and struggle with foot traffic.
- Hyperlocal advertising uses a call to action ad on interested customers’ phone numbers and provides a map with their current location making the brand’s services more accessible.
- Your current location is then sent to the ad networks responsible for managing the local ad spaces helping advertisers target relevant audiences efficiently.
- Hyperlocal marketing is used in conjunction with traditional advertising techniques such as hyperlocal channels, small print ads, regional radio, and newspapers to target potential customers depending on their budgets.
- Hyperlocal digital advertising uses real-life testimonials and reviews, helping achieve a well-managed online reputation for your healthcare practice and nudges inclined patients that are on the fence.
- You can use hyperlocal advertising to sponsor local events or local influencers with their social media content and branding to make your brand more trustworthy and accessible.
- Hyperlocal advertising is a digitized form of word-of-mouth advertising that creates a ripple effect once the local reviews and testimonials come pouring in.
- It lets prospective customers familiarize themselves with your brand, generating brand awareness and recognition.
Let us dive right into the best practices and tips to maximize the benefits of Local and hyperlocal SEO for your healthcare practice and get more patients in return.
5 Tips To Hone Local And Hyper Local SEO For Healthcare Practice
The following section delves into a real-life example of “dentists near me” and showcases how you can optimize your healthcare practice with Local and Hyperlocal SEO the same way! Check out these five tips to get started:
1. Claim Google My Business Listing
If streamlining your healthcare practice’s visibility and garnering success using local SEO is your goal, Google My Business listing is a great place to start. Once you claim your listing in GMB (Google My Business), it enables your practice to appear in the top search results with two other businesses, also known as the local SEO 3-pack.
Claiming your business in the GMB listing is free and easy. It would prompt you to share information about your business such as:
- Practice’s name.
- Contact information (phone number, email).
- Hours of operation.
- Photos of your practice.
- A small blurb about your practice.
For example, here is a top result for the search “dentists near me.” Notice the details listed on the practice’s listing, which makes it accessible for prospective patients.
2. Manage Your Listings on Local Directories
As important as it is to list and claim your business in GMB listing, posting your practice details on multiple websites and directories is equally essential. Yelp, JustDial, and other directories that list practices enable local customers to get accurate information about your practice.
Tools such as LocalFX can help you manage your local online listing effectively by allowing you to:
- Sync your local listings across multiple directories,
- Access insights and reports to measure your real-time performance,
- Monitor live listing status such as listed or unlisted.
Your listing won’t be fruitful until you provide accurate information and verify your details. Updating your listings periodically enables patients to access your practice and your whereabouts successfully.
It is crucial to provide correct information on published listings, platforms, and directories where your healthcare information appears.
Look at the listing on JustDial for the dentist’s clinic found in the top three local SERPs for “dentists near me.”
3. Patient Reviews and Testimonials
Organic online reviews and testimonials instill confidence in prospective patients looking for relevant medical practices. The current data indicates that 80% of consumers trust reviews as much as word of mouth advertising.
When conducting online searches, people look for relevance and a medical practice that meets all their requirements. While it is important to provide contact information and highlight services you provide, it is equally important to showcase reviews hat can help interested clients make informed decisions about the quality of care.
Reviews enhance your ability to deal with negative testimonials and provide:
- Customer feedback.
- Helping you identify areas of improvement or garner appreciation.
- Fostering a lasting patient relationship.
- Enabling you to build a trusting community.
Asking your customers for feedback and reviews once you have served them can help you validate your medical practice. You can encourage them to leave feedback on your GMB profile and other local listings.
Once your current patients leave their positive or negative feedback, you can send them an email or thank them via personalized or automated text message. For positive reviews, you can thank your clients and appreciate them lending their time to your practice.
Dealing with negative feedback can be tricky. You don’t want to delete it to retain your transparency while pacifying the customer and genuinely sharing ways to relieve their issues and apologize for a less than ideal patient experience.
For example, check out the automated “thank you” message for the GMB listing showcasing the practice’s seriousness and appreciation towards their clients.
4. Alluring and User-Friendly Website
Your healthcare website acts as a window to your healthcare practice’s function serving first impressions for new prospective patients. It is vital to design a responsive website that abides Google’s new algorithms, such as the mobile-first indexing and web core vitals, while ensuring that your website translates your professionalism, expertise, and patient-centric attitude in its appearance.
A user-friendly, informative, and engaging website that focuses on facilitating the utmost patient experience is what helps you get on top of your game. It is essential to have clarity in your goals to create a website that appeals to your patients visually, containing relevant information with easy navigation.
6 Ways To Instantly Optimize Your Medical WebSite For Local SEO
- Create content that can easily be crawled by Googlebot and other web crawlers boosting your site’s rank in local searches.
- Leave a lasting first impression on a well-designed website that visually appeals to your customers with a great UX that improves your patient’s perception of your healthcare practice.
- Research and curate content considering your local audience’s needs and search intent.
- Create your website and content focussing on mobile device usage to improve access to your informative content; a responsive website cuts down on time consumed to make a separate desktop-first and mobile-first website.
- Optimizing your healthcare site for local SEO allows it to appear in local searches that include “near me,” aligning your website’s content with the relevant user intent.
- Taking these steps improves your chances of organic traffic by helping you appear on a Google local 3-pack, helping you drive traffic to your website and physical clinic.
5. Engaging and Informative Content Creation
Driving more patients to your medical facility is an art and investing in creating content that caters to your target audience is the key. The quality of your content decides how your practice ranks on Search engines which directly controls the traffic to your website and in-house foot traffic.
Creating informative content that empowers your audience with the latest updates from the healthcare industry can help you drive more traffic to your website and healthcare practice.
Some examples of engaging content include:
- Information containing a local event you are sponsoring or attending.
- Feature article by medical experts from your industry or company.
- Ads and Posts about the new services you are launching at your practice.
- Seasonal offers, discounts, and packages.
- Videos and podcasts about how to stay healthy during weather changes.
- Generic health-related information that is currently trending and seems relevant to your target audience.
You can use long-tail keywords, conduct keyword research, and other organic SEO-related practices to rank your content on search engines. An excellent way to improve your reach is by posting Q&As on Quora and marketing your services.
Your healthcare marketing strategy is dependent on the demographic, geographic layout, and other key differentiators that decide the success of your practice. It is crucial to design a strategy to help more patients while improving accessibility to the patient care they are looking for.
The Numbers Don’t Lie.
Are you still on edge incorporating local SEO into your marketing strategy?
Let us look at some exciting statistics proving the importance of the local search for businesses:
- Fifty percent of people conducting local investigations via their mobile devices visited physical stores within a day.
- Eighteen percent of local mobile searches result in sales within a day.
- Fifty percent of users conducting local investigations on their mobile devices look for local businesses’ addresses and contact information.
- Seventy-eight percent of online location-specific searches on a mobile device lead to offline purchases.
- Seventy-one percent of people who participated in a survey said their primary reason to search a business online is to confirm its existence before their first-time visit.
6 Things To Keep In Mind For The Ultimate Local Search Strategy
Local search is the basis of local and hyperlocal SEO. Having a successful local search strategy ensures your healthcare practice’s success and plays a crucial role in branding and engaging with prospective patients.
When creating an effective local search strategy, it is essential to:
- Understand key differentiators of healthcare local search.
- Prioritize service lines based on the local search intent, your business goals, and current performance.
- Target localized keywords and anticipate common queries by analyzing user behavior.
- Conduct competitor analysis to find new opportunities and gain market insights.
- Keep track of your current patient’s journey and identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement.
- Understand your patient needs and how patients may vary depending on your services.
Local or Hyper-local SEO is similar to organic SEO because it uses the same tools to achieve maximized visibility for your business or healthcare practice helping you increase your patient base.
With the help of keyword research, quality content, and on-page and off-page technical SEO, focusing these tools on delivering a location-specific SERP makes Local SEO the optimum choice for the healthcare industry.
Now that you have familiarized yourself with the powerhouse of localized marketing- Local and Hyperlocal SEO, you can take your medical practice to new heights.
Which of the tips mentioned above did you find the most helpful, and are you planning on using local and hyper-local SEO for your healthcare practice?
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!