Online marketing for doctors has in many ways changed drastically over the past few years. The majority of all doctor-related keywords show up associated with a specific geo-targeted location. The first 10 results for a specific doctor-related search includes local search results. When search marketers speak of a local search result, we speak of Google’s local search algorithm. That, while separate from Google’s organic search results, lists the local businesses or offices near the area in which you are searching from.
Search Engine Optimization & Local SEO: Relevant for any local business within various industries
You should already know that you have to create an online presence to compete with other doctors, but now you have to worry about a website, SEO for that website and local SEO algorithms. How did things come to this? Mathematical inevitability I guess. All of a sudden, how you’re going to accomplish marketing yourself is a bit overwhelming; so let’s make things simple. In this article, we’ll walk you through 3 steps to do online marketing for doctors. No you do not need to be a doctor to use these steps, however every industry has its necessities and may vary from one industry to the next.
Step 1 – Create a Website
For an online marketing campaign to work, you must have a website. Your website acts as a center point for all online marketing campaigns. Why?
- It’s needed for you to rank organically for doctor related keywords in your area.
- It’s a factor for ranking in local search results
- It is an avenue to allow your clients to write reviews of your services.
Without a website, your online marketing campaign will struggle to survive and there’s no real way to measure or monitor all of your other marketing initiatives. Now we’re not saying go out and buy a 10k website (you can), I am merely saying you need the bare minimum of a website for this to work. WordPress and Drupal are 2 very excellent platforms for creating a website that are easy enough to learn and create a website with. Getting a simple WordPress theme specifically for doctors, makes creating your website fast and affordable.
Now, your website should have at least 10 pages. The main pages you should build consist of homepage, contact us page (with a Google Map to your location), an about us page, reviews page and a blog. The blog page allows you to create blog posts or to be exact more content on your website. Fresh content is an important factor for the health of any website. Each week you should create at least one new piece of content (I would recommend much more but creating content can be difficult). At this point in this section, it’s important to know that most doctors ranking organically have a SEO agency working on their site so it ranks for high search volume keywords. So the more you optimize your site, the more you can compete.
Step 2 – Local SEO & Review Sites
Next you’ll want to address the local search results (or Local SEO) by creating and optimizing all local pages. Set up your Google, Yahoo and Bing local business listings pages targeting your specialty. While there are many more local listing that can be created, these are main listing pages that will come up in local search results.
Looking at Google’s local search, we see a search algorithm that uses proprietary factors to determine how business listings rank. Local listing reviews are an important factor for ranking in Google’s local search. So it is important that you are asking patients to review your services on Google, Bing and any other review sites ( vitals.com , healthgrades.com, etc.). Using your review page on your website to link to your Google local pages or review sites, you can ask all patients during your end discussion with them to review your services as a way to improve your services to patients. Service improvement is a legitimate way to persuade patients to review your services that doesn’t make you sound like you’re a marketing robot. Review me or be destroyed!!! This almost always never works.
Step 3 – Social Platforms
Lastly, you’ll want to create profiles on social sites. I know, I know, you want to leave my article now but social signals are beneficial not only for SEO efforts but for search reputation management. A social signal happens every time a link is created from a social platform to any digital property. So every time someone tweets about your website a social signal is created to your website. Social signals are an important as a factor for ranking for keywords. Now, when you create a website, you in essence are creating an identity online. Your business technically takes on an identity that is directly related to you the doctor. Like any identity on Google, whatever comes up in search for that identity is by default related. There are thousands of doctors if not millions of doctors and the odds that another doctor with the same name exists, is very slim. However, to be on the safe side, it’s best to create social profiles that push down search results that are not related to your website. It’s quick, simple, there are thousands of college interns that can set you up with a Twitter profile and a Facebook page in 30 minutes or less. That’s faster than most pizza places.
Remember SEO is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Neglecting your SEO campaign will move you back to square one. Take it slow but keep it consistent. If my article in any way helped, please feel free to add me to your circle on Google for more articles to come.
Are you a local business in NYC looking for an Search Engine Optimization Agency? If so, contact us and one of our Search Marketing Specialists will reach you.