Local SEO

Local SEO for doctors: Give your rankings a full examination

What medical professionals need to know about local SEO and the simple steps necessary to improve rankings

Quick summary
  • Local SEO can serve as a vital lifeline for doctors and medical professionals who need to attract new patients.
  • Five-star reviews, local content and well-distributed citations should be part of doctors’ local SEO strategies.
  • Semrush’s Listing Management tool boosts local SEO for doctors by taking care of the busy work a lot of offices don’t have the time or resources to manage.

Why focus on local SEO for doctors and other medical professionals?

Doctors rely heavily on local search to attract new patients, so working on improving local SEO to appear in the top results should be a priority.
After users search for a local doctor online, as many as 76% could end up visiting one of the results within 24 hours.
But if your office isn’t in the top three results (known as the Google 3-pack, local pack, map pack or snack pack), chances are potential patients will go to a competitor.
This is where good local SEO for medical professionals comes in.
Google results for doctors in Frenchtown, only one of which has reviews
Google results for doctors in Frenchtown, only one of which has reviews

In the results pictured, the profile with reviews is likely to get the most attention, but there’s clearly a lot of potential for one office in this area to stand out against the competition with a little local SEO work.
Rankings vary depending on the user’s distance from the office, but profiles with good reviews, up-to-date contact information, accurate opening hours, and pictures of the office and team will go a long way to encouraging users to get in touch.
Keeping on top of your local SEO so users feel confident to reach out can feel like a daunting task for those that lack the resources or knowhow.
Fortunately, Semrush is here to go through all the basics of local SEO for medical professionals to get you moving up the ranks in no time.

Big local SEO wins: Semrush´s Listing Management tool gives you handy prompts to improve your local visibility and takes care of a lot of the heavy lifting that can earn you more attention and conversions. For example, healthcare-focused digital marketing agency WebServ saw a 74% increase in website visits and 83% more phone calls for its client after using Listing Management.

Local SEO for doctors: Where to start

The first step to boosting a doctor’s local visibility is getting the office’s online presence set up properly.
A compelling website, blog and Facebook page are a great start, but for local SEO, the most important thing to have completed is your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business.
A Google Business Profile for a doctor in Frenchtown with a lower than 4.0 star rating
A Google Business Profile for a doctor in Frenchtown with a lower than 4.0 star rating

As the most popular search engine in the world, Google is most people’s go-to when looking for local services, including doctors and other medical professionals, so it pays to give your Google Business Profile a little extra attention.
Make sure the company name, address, contact details and opening hours are consistent with other listings. Take the time to write a detailed description including your specializations and accreditations and select appropriate categories to make it easier for people to find you. Post photos of your office and team, offer updates and news so your profile looks fresh, and add questions and answers to resolve common queries.
Leave a link to your website or third-party booking platform to send users directly to where they can make an appointment, freeing up your receptionist to focus on other more pressing tasks.
While Google Business Profile is key to a good local doctor’s SEO strategy, it isn’t the only place you should have your office listed. Getting your NAP data (name, address, phone number) into all the other important directories helps Google verify that your data is accurate and that you’re a legitimate business worth showing to its users.

Fast prominence boost: Semrush’s Listing Management tool distributes your listings to 70+ directories with minimal input from you, leaving you free to focus on the other aspects of your office that need your attention.

Reviews matter more for local SEO for doctors than other categories.

When you’re looking for a medical professional to take care of your health, you’re going to pay special attention to other people’s experiences before you make your choice.
Great reviews not only help with local rankings, but they can also be the difference between a patient making an appointment or going to a competitor’s office.
A series of one-star reviews for a doctor’s office in Frenchtown
A series of one-star reviews for a doctor’s office in Frenchtown

Doctors and other medical professionals tend to suffer from negative reviews unproportionately to other businesses. Patients are often in a vulnerable state and have a much lower tolerance for poor customer care; a rude receptionist in a doctor’s office is less likely to be met with as much indifference than at the post office.
However, if you’re able to keep an eye on all your reviews, you’ll likely see patterns in negative comments that indicate where your office could improve.

Check the pulse: Semrush’s Listing Management tool brings all your reviews under one roof so you can spot chinks in your armor and make positive changes to patient care processes.

Once you’ve worked out what’s going wrong and fixed the issue, start reaching out to patients with a polite request to leave you a review on Google (make it easy for them by providing a link) and work on increasing your average rating, remembering to reply to every user that was kind enough to offer feedback.

Content builds trust and authority when it comes to local SEO for medical professionals.

Potential patients tend to scrutinize doctors and other medical professionals more closely than other local services, which is understandable when they’re considering trusting you with their health.
Good local SEO for medical professionals should involve creating content that addresses patients’ pain points and makes them feel confident that they’d be in safe hands with you.
As well as demonstrating your medical expertise, use local keywords in your healthcare SEO content to make it clear to search engines that you’re serving the area you claim to be.

Do your research: On top of the handy Listing Management tool, Semrush also offers other features to help you write content to improve your organic rankings, including the Keyword Magic tool and Social Poster for easy sharing across your channels.

With great content on your side, it’ll be easier to encourage other local websites to link to your content. For example, you could get involved in a local charity event and write a post on it, which might earn you a link from local news sites and the charity themselves.
If your office serves more than one geographic area, consider setting up local landing pages for each one so users know they’re in the right place.
Of course, you’ll need to make sure all that compelling content is published on a well-optimised website, paying special attention to site architecture and internal linking, as well as HTML tags in pages and posts.

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Semrush’s Listing Management tool: A lifesaver for local SEO for doctors

Let them know there’s a doctor in the house

Doctors need a healthy online presence to get noticed in local search.
But getting your business details out to all the relevant directories can be hard work and difficult to keep on top of, especially when you’ve got a busy office to look after.
Let Semrush’s Listing Management tool distribute your business listings to more than 70+ trusted directories and save you the hassle of having to create all those profiles individually.
Successfully distributed listings in Semrush’s Listing Management tool

Discover where your local SEO hurts the most

Location matters when it comes to local SEO for doctors. Users in some areas might see you ranking in the top spot for relevant searches, while for others you might not even appear in the top 10.
Checking keywords in Google yourself, even in incognito mode, isn’t going to give you an objective view of where you rank in the various areas you serve, blinding you to the bigger picture.
Semrush’s Listing Management allows you to track up to five keywords and shows your average local ranking. Premium Location subscribers can also see their rankings on Heatmap so they know which areas might need to be added to their Google Business Profile coverage or have a dedicated landing page.
Semrush’s Heatmap, which can help with local SEO for doctors by showing specific local rankings

Take the pulse of patient sentiment

Patients come to doctors and other medical professionals to be looked after, and if you don’t make them feel that way, they’ll soon let you know.
But until you’ve worked out exactly what’s troubling your patients, you can’t get to work on solving the problem.
Semrush’s Listing Management brings your reviews across all platforms together in one simple interface so you can better diagnose issues and improve service for future patients.
Semrush’s Reply Rate interface shows average review progress over time

Keep your citations in the peak of health

When your citations aren’t in order—whether it’s old listings with incorrect contact details or duplicate profiles—your local SEO is going to start feeling a little under the weather.
Search engines like Google rely on your online prominence to verify your business details and they can get confused when they encounter errors.
Leave it to Semrush’s Listing Management to keep a close eye out for inconsistencies and let you know so you can make the necessary adjustments in a few clicks.
Duplicate listings that can be bad news for local SEO for medical professionals
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