Working as a physical therapist and owning your own business requires a high level of skill. You need to understand the ins and outs of helping your patients heal, while also understanding how to manage a business. It’s essentially like having two separate jobs. However, you have the skills to make it happen and grow your business in your local area.
One of the ways your business can get discovered and gather more clients is through organic search. This type of online marketing can help you expand your brand’s reputation in your local area and bring in more leads who can eventually become clients when they are in need of your services. In order to develop your physical therapy practice, you need to know the organic search best practices for physical therapists. That’s where we come in to help.
What is Organic Search & Local SEO?
To begin, let’s talk more about what organic search and local SEO mean. Local search or SEO (search engine optimization) is the way in which a local business is found on a search engine and the process of optimizing your website to increase local search engine visibility. For example, when you search for “best steakhouse near me”, the Google search results will display a number of links to websites that meet that description. Your ultimate goal is that when someone searches for “physical therapy clinics near me”, your website will appear at the top of the results page.
There are several factors that can play into your visibility in local organic search results, including:
- Google Business Profile: This is your Google business listing that will appear when someone searches for something relevant to your brand on Google. It’s important to keep this updated and accurate at all times.
- Business directories: Google isn’t the only online business directory, so making sure that you are listed in multiple locations and that all of those listings are accurate is also important for the visibility of your business.
- Social media profiles: Social media is another powerful tool that impacts your visibility. Think of your social media profiles as other business listings, and make sure that your posts and profiles are all in alignment with your business information.
- Website structure: The actual layout and design of your website also affect the ways in which search engines interact with your business. It’s important for your design to be clear, accurate, fast, and helpful to customers.
The Benefits of Appearing in Organic Search Results
Ranking high in organic search results isn’t just an optional idea for physical therapy businesses. It’s an essential part of getting discovered and finding new clients to help support and grow your business. These are just a few of the great benefits you can get from appearing in organic search results for your local area.
Greater Online Visibility
The first benefit is greater online visibility. When you appear higher in search engine results page rankings, you increase the visibility of your business in your local area. More people will come across your brand and keep you in mind when they are in need of your services. It also helps you gain authority and improve the trust that people have in your business.
Outrank Your Competitors
The competition in your local area can be fierce. You want your practice to stand out and become the go-to choice for people living in the area. It’s also true that customers tend to click on the first few results on a search page rather than scrolling down to the bottom or going to page two. If you can rank higher than your competitors, you have a much better chance of gaining new business and appearing higher than them in search results.
Drive More Traffic to Your Website
As mentioned above, customers tend to click on the first few links on a search results page. That means that if you can appear in the first few results, you will get a significant boost in traffic coming to your website. That allows you to collect more leads for your campaigns and get more people added to the top of your marketing funnel so that you can convert them into customers down the line.
Educate Your Customers
Another valuable benefit that comes from appearing high on organic search results pages is that it gives you a chance to educate your audience so they are more likely to buy from you and become customers of your practice. When you publish content that gets found through organic results, you can help educate and inform customers while answering the important questions that they have regarding physical therapy and related topics.
Local SEO Tips
Now that you know why local SEO and organic search are so important for your business, let’s take a look at organic search best practices for physical therapists that you can start implementing today.
Improve Your Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile is your most important online directory. Keeping this accurate and up-to-date with relevant information is one of the most important steps you can take to grow your online presence. Keep track and manage reviews, business hours, location information, services, photos, and questions to optimize your profile.
Be Active on Social Media
It’s important to make sure that your social media presence also grows and improves for organic search results. When you make social media posts and tag your business, you are adding location information that helps boost your local presence. And you can add posts to your Google Business Profile to further optimize your digital presence.
Maintain Consistency with Brand Information
While it’s important to have different directories and profiles across marketing channels, it’s equally important that the information you have about your brand on those channels is accurate and consistent. Things like your business name, physical address, phone number, hours of operation, and areas of service all need to be consistent to build authority and rank high on Google.
Claim Your Business on Local Directories
While a Google Business Profile is essential, there are other types of directories you can be listed in. Places like local business directories, industry-specific directories, and even online publications can all have places to claim your business. Then you can optimize your presence with photos, reviews, and up-to-date information on your business practices.
Optimize Your Website’s Metadata
Both information that is read by your customer and information that works on the backend plays into your organic search rankings. Keep things like your website URL structures, title tags, headers, meta descriptions, and backend content in mind as you build out your website and create new pages.
Add Location Pages to Your Website
Another important best practice is to have a location page on your website. These types of pages help add content for location-based keywords and help you prove to Google that you deserve to be ranked for local searches in your area. A location page is also helpful when you have multiple branches or locations that all need to be found in organic searches.
Create Local Content
Creating content is an incredibly important part of being relevant online and appearing high in organic search results. When you create location-based content, such as news pages or information on local events, you can help boost your pages to the top of search results in your local area.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
A large number of users will access websites from their mobile device, not a desktop computer. That means that your website needs to be just as accessible from a mobile layout as a desktop layout. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you can damage the amount of traffic coming in, which can hurt your rankings in organic search results.
Engage with the Local Community
Your local community is a marketing tool in itself. When you respond to other local pages on social media and get mentioned on the pages of other local businesses, you can establish your brand as an authority in your area. A great idea is to get links from others to improve your relevancy and authority search signals for organic search results.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
Being found in local search results and organic searches is an incredibly important way of ensuring that your physical therapy practice becomes an established and recognized name in your local area. However, in order to implement these best practices, you need to have the right marketing tools by your side. That’s where Surefire Local can help. Surefire Local is a marketing business intelligence platform at just the right price for small, local businesses. Our all-in-one tool helps you implement all the best practices you need for organic results in one location. To learn more, get a demo of the Surefire Local marketing platform today and see for yourself how we can help your business grow.