Local directories are important online tools that allow you to list your medical practice contact and service information, often for free. They provide patients with accurate information about your practice and enhance your online presence.
Taking the time to add your information is important because it not only serves as a look into your practice, but also helps your SEO. If the information you add is searched for by potential patients, Google will find your directory listing and include it in the search results.
In this article we will discuss the importance of local SEO tools and how they can help build your online presence. Learn which platforms to use, what information to include and more.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a marketing strategy that helps your business become more visible in Google’s local search results. As a medical practice with a physical location, using your geographic area to your benefit is key.
If you search Google for any common terms (keywords) related to your business, a map will generate with three listings (also known as a map pack). This list will show the businesses closest to you that match the words you are searching.
Using local SEO as part of your marketing strategy can help local patients find your medical practice with a simple search.
How Do Directories Help Local SEO Results?
You can think of local search directories as online versions of the Yellow Pages. They allow you to list your business, its contact details and a link to your website.
When you don’t list your medical practice in a local search directory and your competitor does, their practice is more likely to show in Google’s search results than yours is. The less visible your practice is online, the harder it is for prospective patients to find. With each listing you create, your practice gains more exposure.
Another reason search directories are among the best local SEO tools is that they create backlinks. In short, each time a reliable website links to your website, it’s sending a signal to the internet that your website is dependable. The more reliable links it has, the higher it ranks in search engines.
How to Boost Your Local SEO
Now that you know why it’s important to focus on local SEO, you’ll need to learn how to improve your results. Follow the tips below to jumpstart your efforts and get more patients in the door.
Register Your Business With Directories
There are plenty of local directories out there, so which ones should you aim for? Ideally, your medical practice should be featured in reputable, well-recognized platforms that patients trust. The directories listed below are a great place to start.
Yelp is a go-to resource for people to find professionals and businesses of all kinds. As one of the top 50 most viewed website in the United States, Yelp attracts more than 170 million unique visitors per month.
When you list your business on Yelp, you’ll gain access to one of the best free local SEO tools any marketer could wish for — authentic reviews. Encourage your patients to leave a review, which will in turn help build your online reputation.
If you receive a bad review, you’ll have a chance to let your professionalism shine. Respond promptly and politely and offer to take the issue offline. While bad reviews aren’t ideal, all practitioners encounter them and the way you frame your response can make you look favorable.
Listing on Yelp is free, and you can pay for additional services to boost your visibility.
Bing Places for Businesses
As one of the world’s most popular search engines, Bing has the power to give your practice a lot of exposure. It’s also the search engine that feeds Amazon’s Alexa. Because of this, if someone is using Alexa to find a service in their locale, adding your practice to Bing can be very beneficial.
You can add your business to Bing in three simple steps.
- Claim your listing
- Complete your profile
- Verify your posting
If your practice has more than one location, Bing allows you to claim all locations at once.
As one of the most popular phones in the U.S., the iPhone is used by millions of people each day. iMacs, iPads and Apple Watches are all used as search devices too. Whenever one of their owners makes a search, their results will take them toward Apple Maps.
By listing your medical practice on Apple Maps, you ensure that people searching for practitioners in your field can find you. You’ll need an Apple ID and password to submit your listing, and you’ll be asked to verify certain pieces of information, including your phone number, location and your hours of operation.
Other Free Local SEO Tools You Can Consider
While the above listings are among the best local SEO tools, it’s important to include your business information on an array of sites. The directories listed below are great options as they are reputable and trustworthy.
- US Enroll Business
- Merchant Circle
- EZ Local
- City Squares
- Super Pages
Tips for Success With Local SEO
Listing your business in local SEO directories is fairly simple. Follow the steps below to get started and get your business online quickly and easily.
Prioritize Consistency and Accuracy
Aim for consistency in the information you use across all the directories. If Google senses inconsistencies, you may struggle to rank as highly as you’d like. A nuance as small as using avenue on one listing and street on another can cause problems.
Additionally, make sure each detail is correct. Pay close attention to your hours of operation and how they may differ on national holidays and weekends.
Provide Relevant Details
If the local directory you’re using allows you to do so, provide details beyond your location and website link. If your practice specializes in a particular type of treatment, be sure to mention it.
When your service offerings change, remember to change the directory listings you created.
Focus On Quality
It’s good to have your business listed on a wide array of directory platform. Be sure to focus on ones that have a trustworthy reputation and provide high-quality information to its readers.
With a careful approach and consistent details, business directories can become your best free local SEO tools. Creating an online presence will help more patients find your practice and will build your reputation.
If you’re struggling on where to start or finding the time to get started, our team can help. Request a quote and learn how our team of professionals can help improve your online brand today.