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Put Your Practice on the Map: Googles Latest Local SEO Updates

While medical practices are accustomed to clinical, financial, and operational changes, the events of the past two years have brought forth more change than most of us were prepared for. Many busy healthcare practices have had to learn to do more with less, while patient demand for greater access and convenience has skyrocketed. A Google My Business listing for healthcare practices is valuable real estate.

Photos make the user experience more memorable, which Google strongly encourages, but they also serve as location guides. External shots of your office provide a visual point of reference for local searchers. Verify the details of your practice — including name, address, phone, specialty, etc. — and these will be distributed to other Google platforms, including Google maps, Google Analytics, Adwords, and Google+. Ultimately, you’ll want your primary category to be specific and additional categories to be comprehensive.

Finding, claiming, and refining your information on each of those sites helps patients find and connect with your practice. Your online reputation can make or break the way prospective patients see your practice. Too many negative reviews, and too few reviews, can hinder growth. The primary purpose of your website is to convert visitors into new patients.

The local finder displays the same information as a three pack of local results with each location pinpointed within Google Maps. People searching online with Google can also do so directly within Google Maps. In that case, Google Maps displays local business results and a map with a location for each business. This “three pack” can appear at the top or middle of a search results page. They exist to discover, understand, and organize the internet’s content in order to offer the most relevant results to the questions searchers are asking. Hidden text and links Doorway pages — pages created to rank well for specific searches to funnel traffic to your website.

Our 2020 survey research shows that patients are 50.5 percent more likely to post an online review when asked for feedback. Google will respond to a practice that people engage with more often, and reviews are a key indicator of that engagement. A 2021 survey of patients shows that when practices don’t acknowledge negative feedback, patient satisfaction drops by 96 percent. In 2022, healthcare practices that focus on offering digital conveniences stand to gain more new patients — and hold on to those who will switch providers to save time and avoid hassle.

PatientPop is the first healthcare technology provider to offer the convenience of scheduling provided through Google My Business. Business categories for each online directory, you want to get as specific as possible, and maximize the number of categories you can add to describe your practice. It should come as no surprise to learn that the majority of patients looking for a new doctor or healthcare provider will rely on the internet to find their best local options. Possible so Google’s search engine correctly identifies the type of practice, key personnel, hospital affiliations, services, and specialties.

Google knows which customers might be interested in your services. (It turns out they can learn a lot from people’s search history.) Paid search lets you target those potential patients specifically. The most effective keywords are usually the ones that are hardest to optimize for, particularly if you’re a small practice running a small site. Your name, or the name how to exclude a phrase from google search of your practice might make the front page of organic search results, but it wouldn’t get a lot of traffic on its own—you’re only going to get searches from people who already know about you. “Dentist in Los Angeles” would be the gold ring, but to reach the top of search results for such an in-demand keyword, you’re probably going to have to lay down some money.

Over that period, I saw nearly an 8% increase in online bookings. Paid search allows you to set your own budget and bid prices, and the pay-per-click model means you don’t have to pay for an exposure that doesn’t drive traffic to your site. And medical keywords are particularly cost-efficient—the cost per click can be fairly low, and the impact on your search results can be fairly high. Using SEO to grow your practice’s online visibility isn’t necessarily free, but it’s affordable, it’s got a high ROI, and you can easily find guidance online. Paid search can be a huge boost to your marketing, placing you at the top of search engine results pages.

Google My Business allows patients to make an appointment directly from the search engine listing. Simply link your existing scheduling service — or choose one through Google — to your Google My Business account, and start receiving bookings. In the same survey, 69.3 percent of patients said they were most likely to read online reviews on Google. Having a presence on Google can help you keep a pulse on patient satisfaction at your office. Currently of the social media management services, I only know of Sendible and Yext offering the ability to post to GMB in addition to Facebook and all the other ones.