These days, search engine optimization is just another tool of the trade for surgeons looking to promote their practice and - consequently - put yourself in a position to select the patients you want to work with. SEO is widely considered a cornerstone of modern marketing. SEO is a broad, expansive topic, but here we'll boil down the essentials for you.
Local & Organic Search
Organic search comprises all of the results found on a search engine like Google, with the exception of the paid Google advertising links at the top of the page. Google's algorithm determines which results appear where based on a complex formula involving a site's relevance to the given search term and a variety of measures of a website's authority and trust.
Local search encompasses the techniques and strategies employed to promote a business that meets face-to-face with its customers. Think of the online business listings you find on Google Maps when you search for "Mexican restaurant near me." Online business listings play a crucial part in local search, but more on that later.
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There's a world of difference between operating a Mexican restaurant and running a surgical practice, but in the realms of local and organic search, operationally it's much the same, with the same factors playing a part in catapulting your business to the top of the search results (in varying degrees), whether it's your website or a Google Maps listing that's competing for rankings.
Building Up an Online Presence with Local Business Listings
How do you go about getting your surgical practice to top the localized Google search results in your market? The consensus among SEO experts, as evidenced by the results reflected in this annual survey from Moz.com, is as follows:
- Get your Google My Business listing right - publish the essential location information such as your business name, address, phone, and more. Be as comprehensive as possible when it comes to your profile, as your GMB listing is the bedrock of your local presence.
- Don't stop at just one local business listing; publish accurate, consistent information across the web, including on Facebook, Yelp, and Bing Places. These are called citations, and the more they align with each other, the better off you'll be.
- Staking out an online presence is one thing; next, you need to use your listings to engage and interact with prospects and customers, and the most important way a business does that is by encouraging customer reviews responding to customers when they leave you a review.
Optimizing Your Website
4. Finally, you'll need to lavish some attention on your website. Put simply, you'll want to make your website a valuable resource for anyone who might be searching for your services. Develop a Frequently Asked Questions page to advise your patients on what they should know when they look for a surgeon. Add a blog so you can turn out new, fresh content. By making your site an authoritative source, you'll naturally encourage other sites to link to your content, and you'll reap the benefits.
Of course, you're bound to have questions along the way. WebMarkets has offered help and guidance to doctors and surgeons when getting their physician marketing programs off-the-ground. Contact WebMarketsfor a no-cost, in-depth analysis of your online presence.