You’ll undoubtedly have heard of online business directories, such as Yelp and Angi (formerly Angi’s List) but you may not have thought of these directories as a way to increase your online presence and give your business a boost in the search engines.
However, that’s exactly what directory listings can do for you, and the good news is that many of them are free to be listed.
But what are the benefits, how do you make the most of your directory listings, and how do you manage such a huge number of websites without losing hours of your time? Read on for our tips on directory listings management for physical therapists.
What are directory listings?
We talked about Yelp earlier, so if you’re not sure what a directory listing is, try searching for physical therapists in your area on Yelp.
You’ll see a whole list of local businesses, probably including at least some of your competitors, and if you want to narrow things down, you can use filters to tailor your results. You’ll be able to see a map showing the location of each business and you can bring up more details of individual businesses just by clicking on their listing.
You’ll then be able to see their opening hours, contact details, website, videos, images, insurance accepted, and a description of their business.
You can see how helpful that is for customers. They can quickly find a range of different physical therapists and narrow it down to what they want.
Obviously, that’s also good for you too. You can add your own details to these sites and when people search your area, you’ll be one of those results.
If you’re still not sure if listing your therapy business in directories is worthwhile, bear in mind that all of the search engines, including Google, are in fact business directories. So is LinkedIn, Facebook, your Google Business Profile, and more. What you’re getting are free listings advertising your business online. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?
You can also find industry-specific listings and local listings too, like your chamber of commerce and these can help build your local online presence and get found more easily in local search.
There are literally thousands of directories online, and it’s important to add your business to as many as you can. Once you start, you will find that you automatically get added to other online directories, but this isn’t something to worry about as long as you’re able to claim these directories and control the information that is shown. These directories work by pulling information from other directories to create their own listings.
Benefits of directory listings for physical therapists
There are many benefits of directory listings and we’ve included just a few of them below to give you an idea of why it’s worth spending time on this.
1. Increased visibility
Every time you create a new directory listing, you’re creating another opportunity to be found online. Every listing gives you the opportunity to add in all the information people could need about your physical therapy practice, including why they should choose you. In many directory listings, you can also add images and videos to make your listing highly attractive and provide insight into your business for potential clients.
When you look at the search results, you’ll often see business directories listed near the top of those results because they’ve been online so long and gained Google’s trust as a reputable site. You could find that when people search for you, your business directory listings will come up first, even before your own website. If you’re a new practice and your own SEO efforts haven’t yet kicked in, this can give you great visibility on page one, long before they do.
Every business directory is based on location. Look at your listing and you’ll find your address, your location, a map, and directions to your practice. While that’s helpful for patients, it also helps to give you visibility and get your business found on local search.
Google Business Profile is also a business directory, and if you fill in your profile and optimize it, you give yourself the best chance of appearing in the Local Map Pack, in the top three listings right under the map on Google Maps.
Directories are vital for local search.
Every time you add your business to another online directory, you also add another citation for your business online. A citation is simply the appearance of your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) on a site that’s not yours, but the more of these you have, the more credible and genuine your business appears. Patients can trust that you are the real deal.
Some directories also offer current clients the chance to leave reviews, giving you vital social proof that you provide an excellent service. People put great stock in reviews when looking for a new physical therapist, so this can give your online reputation a real boost.
Some directories also insist that you verify your business in some way before you can have a listing. To do that, you’re proving that your business is real and that people can trust it.
4. Direct contact to your practice
Every directory listing provides at bare minimum your contact details and there’s usually far more information than that, so people can go to any listing and find a way to get in touch with you, either to inquire or to book an appointment. This makes it so easy for potential clients to talk to physical therapists in their area and get their questions answered. They don’t even need to go to your website to speak to you. In fact, some directories, like your Google Business Profile, include a click-to-call button to get through to you directly.
How directory listings help physical therapists attract more patients
In addition to the other benefits we’ve mentioned, using directory listings really can help you attract more patients. You can see that you’re already going to gain more visibility from these listings, and here are just a few more reasons why using directory listings can work so well for physical therapy businesses:
1. Improves your online presence
People are already looking for your services online and you can’t afford to be in a position where your competitors are listed but you aren’t. It’s vital that you add yourself to every directory you can and that you fully complete your profile on each one. Each listing is another chance to be found and contacted by potential clients. It’s also another chance to add local keywords and boost your local SEO.
Each listing that provides consistent business information, particularly for your NAP, is also another layer of credibility added. Google will look at these listings and if they are all accurate and correct, it’s another reassurance for them that yours is a genuine business that they can trust. They will then use that to move you higher in the rankings.
2. Strengthen your reputation
Directory listings are a trusted source of information. Some directories have been on the internet since almost the beginning, and they have an excellent reputation. Add yourself to their directory and you gain a little of that reputation by association. You also benefit from their high visibility in the search engine rankings. Many of these directories appear at the top of the search results, as we said earlier, probably even above your own site. This gives you more visibility, and the more listings you have the more chances you have of appearing higher in the search engines.
Not only that, but many directories also offer people the chance to post reviews. Encourage your patients to leave reviews on these sites and you’ll be building your online reputation and attracting new clients.
3. Increase brand awareness
With so many directory listings, you have the opportunity to provide your business information and show off your branding all over the internet. You should write your listings in your brand voice, and use your logo, color palette, and chosen fonts wherever possible. Every listing should look as close to your branding as possible.
You want people to look at listings and be able to tell that they are yours because of the consistent look and feel.
4. Grow your local visibility
Directory listings help increase your local visibility so you become more easily found on Google. Every directory is location-based as we said earlier, so there is so much local information provided on each listing that it’s great for local SEO.
You can also add to that by including local keywords in every listing.
5. Get discovered more easily
Directory listings help your business get recommended in voice search. Google Business Profile is excellent for this. All you need to do is include your opening hours on your profile and if people search for “physical therapist open now” when you are open, you will come up in the results. It’s simple to do and can have a big impact, especially with the popularity of Siri, Alexa, Echo Dot, and others now for search.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform demo
We’ve likely convinced you that being listed in business directories is a good idea, but you’re probably thinking what a huge amount of work it will be to manage all of those listings and keep them all consistent and up to date.
However, we do have a way that we can help. Surefire Local’s business intelligence marketing software can help you post to and update your Google Business Profile and over 80 business directories with just a few clicks. You don’t have to sign into each one individually. You don’t even need to leave your dashboard.
That makes life easier, doesn’t it?
However, we don’t stop there. Our marketing software can help you manage your most important online marketing activities all in one place.
Manage and nurture your leads, request reviews and reply to them from our software, plan, create and schedule your content, manage your social media, manage your email marketing, work on your paid ads, and so much more.
You’ll also get quality, detailed analytics and reports to keep you on track with your marketing and ensure you’re spending your time and your marketing dollars wisely.
Why not book a demo and see what a difference the right marketing software can make to your physical therapy business?