Local SEO is vital for any bricks-and-mortar based business. You want your existing and potential patients to be able to find your dermatology practice easily when using Google Search. To do that, you have to include local SEO in your marketing mix and optimize every aspect of your online presence.
But if you’re not an SEO expert, how do you do that, and what will have the biggest impact on your business?
In this article, we’re going to look at organic search best practices for dermatologists and give you what you need to be found in local search.
What is Organic Search / Local SEO?
Local SEO is the practice of improving your rankings in the search engines as a local business and getting found in organic search. We will look at what you need to do to achieve that as we go through the article.
On Google, what you’ll see when you search locally is the usual standard search engine results you’d expect. But you will also see what’s known as the Local Map Pack results. At the top of the search results, above the standard listings, you’ll see three listings just under Google Maps. Google does its best to ensure these three listings are the best possible results in the local area for your search.
Naturally, these three listings are what you want to aim for so you get found above your competitors in your local area.
What factors determine your visibility in local organic search results?
1. Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile, or GBP, is a business directory listing. What makes it different from other listings is that it’s a free listing provided by Google themselves. If you haven’t already claimed your GBP, it’s time to do it now because you have to have a fully complete and optimized Google Business Profile to have any chance of appearing in the Local Map Pack results.
2. Business Directories
In order to gain more visibility, you need to also gain citations for your business online. A citation is simply a mention of your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) on any other website than yours.
As you might imagine, quality business directory listings make for excellent, reputable citations, so it’s worth the time to add your business to as many of them as you can. And to help with local SEO, add your business to any good local directories you can find. It all helps.
Be careful when adding your NAP and ensure it’s written exactly the same way every time you add it to a new directory. Any lack of consistency can cause confusion for potential customers and also reduce your ranking on Google. However, this can be made considerably easier if you use Surefire Local’s marketing platform, where you can update over 80 business directories at once.
3. Social media profiles
Again, you can add your NAP to your social media profiles to gain more citations for your business.
However, don’t just leave it there. Ensure you’re posting regularly with quality content that you’re sure your audience will love. And, of course, include your main keywords and local keywords in your content to help with your local SEO efforts.
4. Website design
When designing your website, be aware that this is where you are sending any traffic you gain, and your site must be visitor ready. It should have clear and easy-to-use navigation, excellent, well-keyworded copy, quality images, and a clear path through your sales funnel. It should be obvious what you want people to do next and easy for them to do it. Your contact details should also be front and center on every page.
Your website is about you, but it’s also about giving your clients and potential clients what they need.
As with any other site you add your information to, you must include the right keywords.
Benefits of improving your organic search rankings
As if the chance to appear in the Local Map Pack results wasn’t enough, there are even more benefits to appearing higher in the organic search results:
1. Greater online visibility
While it takes time, even the smallest business can put the work in and gain visibility online with local SEO.
When you do that, you’ll attract more potential customers, build trust, grow your audience, and build your brand.
2. Outrank your competitors
Keep optimizing your website and following our other steps and you will rank higher in the search engines. We can’t promise you’ll outrank the competition, but we can promise you’ll be able to give it your best shot.
3. Drive more traffic to your website
This is what it’s really all about. Your business needs traffic going to your website because, without a good supply of potential customers, you really don’t have a business.
The more visibility you have online, the more chances you have of gaining traffic and sending it to your website. As long as your website is ready to go and fully optimized, it should do its job and help to turn visitors into patients.
4. Educate your patients so they are more likely to buy from you
As you gain traffic to your site and your social media platforms, you can continue to post content aimed at your ideal patients. You can establish your expertise, answer questions, reassure patients, talk to them about what they can expect when they book an appointment, and give them everything they need to make a decision to buy.
This is the internet equivalent of selling your services and handling objections, and it works.
You can post content at each stage of your sales funnel to guide people through to the point where they are happy to book with you.
Local SEO Tips for Dermatologists
Below are nine local SEO tips to help your dermatology clinic rank higher in local search:
1. Improve your Google Business Profile
We mentioned earlier that you must have a fully complete and optimized profile to have any chance of being listed in the Local Map Pack. This is what you need to do:
Ensure you have filled in every last section of your GBP with quality, well-keyworded, relevant content.
You’ll also need to choose relevant categories for your business, add to the Q&A section with helpful content for your audience, and ensure you have included your opening hours and your contact details, with your NAP added accurately.
It’s vital that you have recent reviews on your Google Business Profile. Not only does it create an excellent first impression for potential patients, but the number of recent (and total) reviews is a factor in whether or not you’ll gain a Local Map Pack place.
2. Be active on social media and add posts to your Google Business Profile
Your social media platforms and your Google Business Profile shouldn’t be left for days with any posts. The idea is to keep regularly updating and providing great content that you know your audience will love. Again, remember your keywords and include them naturally in whatever you write.
Think about what content your audience wants to see and what types of content they respond to best.
Ideally, you want to build a vibrant, engaged community around your social media and continue that on your GBP. You want to create an interesting page, with regular updates, news, offers, informational posts, and more to keep your target audience coming back.
It’s also important to reply to and engage with your followers. People generally want to feel a part of something, and they enjoy following their favorite brands on social media. It should be a two-way conversation, not a monologue from you.
3. Maintain consistency when it comes to your brand information
We’ve talked earlier about your NAP, and it really is vital to keep your business name, address, and phone number consistent across the internet.
It’s also important to make sure your general business information, including opening hours, directions, and more, is consistent everywhere for the benefit of your patients.
4. Claim your business on local business directories and optimize your presence there
Just as with your Google Business Profile, it’s important to claim your business on local directories and ensure everything is filled in fully and optimized. We talked about adding citations earlier and this is certainly one of the benefits, but you can put a lot of information on business directories and provide potential patients with what they need to know.
You can add images, business information, posts, special offers, and more, and people can leave reviews on your directory listings too.
5. Optimize URL, title tags, headers, meta description, and content on your website
You can do a lot to optimize your website and the obvious place to start is with your keywords. Ensure you’re using your keywords in your URLs, in headings, and at least one sub-heading on the page. It’s also good to include your main keyword in the first paragraph of your copy and repeat it naturally throughout your copy. Your keyword should also appear in your meta description.
Internal linking is also very helpful for SEO as it helps to guide the search engine web crawlers through your site, enabling them to index more of your pages.
6. Add location pages to your website
If you have more than one dermatology practice, you can set up individual local pages on your site for each location or vice versa, if you have a single location, you can set up location pages on your website for each of the markets you serve, including local keywords in the URL, and in the rest of your content, as in section five.
You can include directions, maps, quality images, video tours, information about each specific location, and more, giving lots of opportunities to get your keywords in.
7. Create local content
In addition to your local pages, you can also create local content to give you the opportunity to include more local keywords.
That’s not the only reason to do this of course, but it does help with local SEO.
Your local content can provide relevant dermatology-related local information for anyone living near your practice, perhaps including information about any local workshops, demonstrations, skin care classes and anything else that might appeal to your target audience.
You can set yourself and your practice up as the local expert and source of knowledge about everything dermatology, which may well allow you to stand out from the competition as well as increase your search engine rankings.
8. Make your website mobile friendly
Your website has to work as well on mobiles as it does on a standard laptop or desktop. Too many people now shop directly on their mobile phones, look for directions, contact businesses with questions, and even book directly. Regardless of any SEO benefits, you can’t afford to lose that audience and you will if your site is a nightmare to use on a mobile phone.
Fixing this also has SEO benefits as it’s one of Google’s ranking factors, so it’s worth the time it takes to get it right.
9. Engage your local community
Having local pages and local information on your site gives you a chance to build relationships and gain relevant links from other local businesses in your area. Other businesses may recommend you and vice versa, and you can swap backlinks which also aid your SEO efforts.
For anyone in your local area, that’s very powerful. If they are already familiar with any businesses providing you with backlinks and recommendations, they are likely to take that very seriously and give your dermatology clinic more attention when choosing between you and your competitors.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform demo
Local SEO is a lot of work and it’s also ongoing, not a one-and-done task. It could take up huge amounts of your time, but with our business intelligence marketing software, you can hand over some of the load, saving you time and money.
Our all-in-one marketing platform can help you manage your most important online marketing activities, including some that you’ll recognize from our local SEO tips.
You can create, manage, and schedule your content, request and reply to reviews, manage your social media posts, and update over 80 business directories at once, including your Google Business Profile.
You can manage all of this and more from one straightforward dashboard and get detailed analytics and reports to ensure your marketing is bringing results.
Why not book a demo with our team and see how much time and effort you could save?