Doctors and medical professionals benefit greatly from effective search engine optimization. Of course, to some extent, all local businesses will benefit from some kind of SEO campaign, but doctors especially can make good use of the demand-oriented nature of search marketing.
When planning an SEO campaign for a doctor in Dallas, the basics of SEO in general apply. This means having a well-optimized website, creating quality content, being active on social media, and so forth. However, doctors specifically need to be aware of the importance of local directories and local profiles in executing SEO efforts.
Why are local directories so important? From a local SEO perspective, local directories are critical for improving rankings in Google. Google uses local directory listings, also called “citations”, as a key factor in determining where a given website should rank. Additionally, local directories for doctors often have plenty of direct traffic and usage in their own right. These factors combined make local directories critical for medical SEO campaigns in Dallas.
However, we know that there are a great number of local directories out there – it’s important to prioritize in order to maximize your SEO campaign’s efficiency. In this post, we’ll cover 4 of the most important directories for Doctors.
- Google+ Local. Also previously known as Google Places, Google+ Local is probably the most important directory on the web. This should be your first priority in beginning a local SEO campaign. Make sure that you claim your profile, and then fill out all of the fields fully. Pay special importance to the category and description fields. Additionally, be sure to take advantage of Google+ Local’s social sharing features, and push content to your G+L profile just like you would on Facebook.
- Yelp. While Yelp might have started as a website mainly for restaurants, these days Yelp serves all industries, and in fact has plenty of traffic in the medical and dental field. Doctors should be sure to complete all of Yelp’s optional fields, not just the basic name/address/phone content. The more information you can put on your profile, the better it will rank, and the more attractive it will be to users. In terms of reviews, while you should never try to create any false reviews, you can certainly ask your happy patients to review you on Yelp.
- ZocDoc.com. A popular and growing startup, ZocDoc allows physicians to create a profile including all of their business details. Additionally, ZocDoc allows consumers to book appointments, contact the doctor directly, leave reviews, and more. ZocDoc offers a great professional profile page for physicians, and is likely to generate some direct traffic, while also proving SEO benefits.
- HealthGrades.com. Another growing directory of medical professionals, HealthGrades is focused on reviews and patient feedback, and is an important website to include within any medical marketing strategy. While some medical professionals might be hesitant to embrace the online feedback, remember that consumers will leave reviews no matter what you choose to do. Better to optimize your profile and deal with customer feedback – good or bad – directly.
Of course, these are just 4 important options – there are many more directories that doctors in Dallas should consider. In general, be sure to optimize both for general directories (like Google and Yelp), as well as medical-specific directories. If you’re a physician in Dallas or North Texas/DFW looking for local SEO advice, Tech-Critic can help – contact us today for a free consultation.