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Why DOCTORs should do local seo

Medical school teaches doctors about medicine. What to look for in a diagnosis. What prescriptions to write for ailments. How to juggle their many responsibilities. What medical schools often don’t teach their students is how to become self-employed doctors, and the fact of the matter is, many would-be doctors do plan on being self-employed. That being the case, what should these doctors do to get their first clients or to bring in additional clients?

While myriad solutions exist for this question, many newly self-employed medical professionals look into SEO services for doctors. And they should for a number of reasons. For self-employed doctors who want to expand their practices, here are some reasons why learning about SEO for medical practices makes sense.

Why Local SEO Matters

Presumably, most medical doctors hope to take a bite out of their local markets. That is to say, they expect to find the most of their patients locally. According to Cision, 33% of mobile and 20% of desktop searches are done by users looking for local goods and services. Forty-five percent of mobile searches are done with a goal in mind. Seventy-three percent of mobile searches are followed by some kind of conversion or follow-up action. Finally, of the 30 billion or so local mobile searches that are done, 12 billion of them are local.

If the majority of these Internet searchers are looking for local businesses, it would make sense for the local medical professional to have a strong web presence. The way to build a strong web presence is by adhering to some solid SEO practices. (Those are detailed below.)

Long-Tail Keyword Searches

Search Engine Journal points out that local SEO is by its nature, long-tail SEO. For those who don’t know what long-tail SEO is, it’s basically the practice of using certain words to attract more search volume. These are words that people searching the Internet would use to find a product or service. It is likely, then, that those who create SEO services for doctors would use keyword phrases like “Your City Name doctors” or “medical doctors in Your City Name.”

These SEO professionals know that people searching the web for local doctors will be using the same phrases to find doctors in their area. Local doctors wanting to capitalize on this would then also add phrases like “Your City Name doctors” or “medical doctors in Your City Name” to their website.

Search engines like Google will then subsequently add these doctors’ offices to their search results for those local search terms. Once that happens, those doctors’ medical practices will appear in a search for doctors in that area.

Titles, URLs, and Other Elements

The way a website’s URL, meta description, and on-page titles are created have a direct impact on that site’s SEO results. These are the elements that Internet searchers will see first when their web search results pull up. The meta description is that small paragraph that appears in search results, which give you a brief description of what’s on a webpage before the URL is clicked on.

The URL, of course, is the web address of the website and its pages. If possible, local doctors should include their name in the URL as well as their location, which will help their websites rank in a local search.

Finally, titles and subtitles should features the site’s keywords, provides that it makes sense to put them there. These are just some of the features that search engines will “look for” when they’re trying to determine the content of a website. All of these elements can be tailored toward the local search. Doctors who add these elements to their websites can more easily attract local clients.

Google My Business

Google, arguably the world’s most-used search engine, makes it easy for local businesses to establish a web presence, according to Search Engine Land. Good SEO for medical professionals in this case will include the doctor/s in question creating a business identity on Google.

Once there, the SEO-savvy medical professional should create a profile, which includes a description of the business, the local contact information, photos, a business category, days/ hours of business, etc. Doing this helps Google catalog a business, making it easier for the doctor’s office to rank locally. Doing this helps local doctors build on the SEO they’re doing on their websites. It’s like a cross-reference.

Final Thoughts

The doctor who capitalizes on local search traffic will attract more business with less effort. By using the right long-tail keyword terms as well as by taking steps like adding his/ her practice to Google Business, the savvy self-employed doctor can start creating an online presence that’s built on solid SEO practices. Overall, effective SEO for medical practices is consistent, local, and targeted toward the right market.