A few years ago, Google identified several product and service categories where searches were mostly found to seek information about businesses in the local area. Home maintenance services, medical services, restaurants and entertainment venues were among the hundreds of categories that Google identified. Google then made a change: from that point, every search made in one of these categories automatically generated several search results for the local area that the search came from, whether or not the name of the city or neighborhood was specifically mentioned in the search.
Google’s local search has taken off since then. In May 2014, Google published a study called Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior. The findings suggest that when people make searches that throw up local listings, between 35% and 50% of the time, they follow them up with a visit to one of the local businesses listed within a day.
You need to put in a bit of work to get listed
It’s clear that local search is a powerful way for businesses to find new customers and clients with. Search engines, though, don’t get local business information out of thin air. They are only able to list businesses that have the right search engine optimization in place to present themselves as reputable choices in their local area. Businesses that don’t do much to optimize their websites lose out to businesses that do. This is advice that applies to every business — medical practices such as chiropractor’s offices, included.
As a chiropractor, how do you get Google’s local search to recognize you?
Many chiropractors do not realize how essential it is to success in their field to invest in a high-quality website. Often, they make do with nothing more than a page on Yelp. It can be a serious mistake to entirely depend on a third-party site to keep you online, though. You don’t control what shows. No matter what free third-party site you depend on, for instance, you will always see advertisements for competitors show up alongside of your listing.
Third-party pages also do not allow you the freedom you need to build the exact kind of superior web presence that you need to look good both to Google and your patients. It’s a given that you need to own your website. Once you have it, you need to build it up.
You need to invest in local SEO
Even today, after all the evolutionary changes that Google’s search algorithm has been through, keywords are still important. Whatever terms patients and their families are known to search for chiropractors online with, you need to have them appear in the title of your website and in the content. The terms chiropractor, chiropractic, back pain, spondylitis, neck pain, lower back pain, massage therapy and other related terms needs to appear on your website, along with the name of the cities that you expect patients to visit you from. These keywords appear in the content on your site, in the title tags and in the meta-descriptions.
Create original content
The more original content you have on your website to help patients and fellow professionals learn about and discuss chiropractic therapy, the better-respected your site and your business will be. When the content on your site gains recognition for its authority, you will find other professional chiropractors and reviewers linking to your website and quoting your content. It is this type of action that makes a website reputable in Google’s eyes.
If you’re not sure that it could be worthwhile investing heavily in your website, you should try looking at your competitors’ sites. You will usually find that few invest in content creation. There’s a reason why Google considers quality content a great indicator of a quality business — very few businesses are serious enough about their future to put their resources into high-quality content. When you create such content, you stand apart.
As a chiropractic practice dedicated to patient satisfaction, you should have many patients who are willing to put out a good word for you. You need to encourage them to do so. To have the people you treat review you on Yelp and other review websites can be an excellent way to get new chiropractic patients.
Add a map and detailed directions
Studies find that businesses that show up on Google’s local listings with detailed driving directions do very well with searchers. To have such directions appear on your listings, you only need to go to Google Maps and mark yourself in.
Raise your expectations
When a chiropractor’s practice is serious about optimizing its web presence, it should easily gain many new patients and referrals each week. It is with such high expectations in mind that you need to invest yourself in search engine optimization.
Bonnie Stephens is very adept at running her chiropractic office. After years with her own practice, she often shares her insights and experience to help others in the medical field build their own.