Today, most people rely on search engines to help them to find answers to health-related questions, and then ultimately to locate a healthcare practitioner.
Over 75 percent of people begin their search for healthcare information online. With that said, it’s imperative that your organization’s website is optimized for search and your business listings are correct.
The reason: inaccurate business listings not only make it hard for potential patients to find you, but also force your site ranking down in search engines.
In fact, your listing is already competing with the search engine’s own local directory listings, healthcare review sites – such as WebMD, RateMDs and Healthgrades – in addition to your competitors. So an inaccurate listing will only push you further down the first page of results – which can be the equivalent of not showing in search at all.
However, by actively monitoring your business listings, your location can rise in search rankings giving potential patients a better chance of finding you.
Here’s how you can get your listings to pop in search results.
Take Control of Your Listings
You have two very important reasons for claiming your healthcare business listings:
- You want to be found easily online. Search engines like Google and Bing give top billing to the organizations that have claimed their healthcare business listings. They also favor those with the most reviews.
- You want to present complete and accurate information to potential patients.
There are hundreds of healthcare-specific review sites online. So, unless you have the resources to claim and manage listings on each site for each of your physical locations, you’ll need to use a platform to ensure you take control of all of your locations’ listings on the top healthcare sites.
This will give you maximum exposure and top search ranking on these major search engines. Then consider a few others relevant to your healthcare organization. Make sure all information is accurate and consistent across all review sites where you have listings.
Recent research on the correlation between number of reviews and SEO visibility showed the first 10 reviews that a location gets can boost that location from a second page or bottom of the first page ranking to the top half of the first page.
Once you control your listings, you can customize these pages. You should fill in all the required fields. These may include a brief business profile, office hours, payment options, and lists of services. Now that patients can find you, make sure they like what they see.
Some sites will allow you to include photos and videos. The more complete your profile is, the more likely it is to appear high up in search results.
Now you’re ready to ask patients to review your organization online. Our recent research on the correlation between number of reviews and SEO visibility showed the first 10 reviews that a location gets can boost that location from a second page or bottom of the first page ranking to the top half of the first page. Additionally, it demonstrated that having 50 reviews can increase the expected click through rate (CTR) by 266 percent compared to a baseline location.
To learn more about managing your business listings, visit our Learning Center where you'll get more strategies, tips, and best practices to help your healthcare organization improve its online reputation and drive operating results.