Search Engine Optimization is a method of setting up one’s online presence (website, blog, videos) to be best and most readily noticed and ranked by search engines such as Yahoo, Bing, and Google. In this article, the focus will be on search engine optimization (SEO) for surgeons trying to improve their search engine ranking in regard to their local area.
When you look up local businesses on Google, the results will display as what is now being called the Google local 3 pack. Basically, this is three elements of information about your practice that Google has chosen to display to its users. The main points of the information are location, website, and reviews. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to local SEO for surgeons.
A Primer on Local SEO for Surgeons
One of the things that it is important to note regarding the local SEO for surgeons is that local SEO is dependent upon the geographical location of the person making the search. If your practice is not the closest one geographically to the searcher, it will not be the first one to show up in his or her results list. However, the user does have the capability to expand their search. So it is important that you follow the steps below in order to improve your local SEO and claim your place in the rankings alongside (or hopefully ahead) of your local competitors.
Claim & Verify Your Google+ Page
Google’s local search algorithm is influenced by Google+ Local, formerly Google Places. Because of this, Google gives some weight to local businesses and surgical practice’s Google+ pages.
In order to get a Google+ business page you have to sign up for a Google profile. Once you have done that, you can click on the left-hand menu and find “pages”. From there, it is relatively self-explanatory to put together the page featuring your practice. After you have gotten this accomplished, you need to verify your page with Google. This entails the following steps:
- Go to Plus.Google.com, and click “manage this page”.
- Click “verify”.
- Make sure the information is right. Google will send a postcard with a PIN number on it to the address specified.
- Click “request postcard”.
- When your postcard arrives, enter the PIN online at Google.com/local/verify.
Get Listed on Major Surgical Directories & Websites
This can be accomplished by searching for and going through the listing process for the individual websites that relate to the specialty of your practice. Taking the time to do this will build credibility for your local surgeon SEO strategy through links and citations
Optimize Your Website
Website optimization is a big job and is best left to someone or a company that specializes in this technical SEO component. However, it is an important part of getting your surgical practice noticed on local SEO, so it needs to be done. Website optimization has to do with the placement and frequency of your keywords along with tweaking the site for technical fluidity (for better crawling and indexing). We suggest a specialized company that offers local SEO for surgeons, OptimizedSurgeons.com.
Audit & Optimize Your Citation Profile
A citation represents the Name, Address, and Phone number information regarding your practice. It is important that you audit your citations (see what information is out there) and make sure it is all the same on various directories, social media sites, and other web properties. This is especially important to rank in Google’s local 3-pack. Tools like Yext.com will help you with this.
Create a Content Strategy
By publishing blog posts, videos, and the like on your site (and on key, optimized money pages), you can create greater “credibility” in your business, in addition to keep fresh content populating your web presence. Google’s search engine algorithm is geared to crawl and index sites that continue to offer fresh content. As a result, creating and employing a content strategy can not only help with our surgeon SEO strategy, but also increase the credibility, validity, and professionalism of your surgical practice.