Ranking highly in Google searches for users in your area is crucial to a successful SEO strategy, especially for elective medical practices. According to a BrightLocal consumer survey, 93% of consumers used online searches to find a local business. You can lose a lot of valuable patients to competitors by failing to build a marketing plan that prioritizes local search rankings.

At MedShark Digital, we put together a basic overview of the major Google factors that currently drive local SEO rankings, what you need to do to leverage those factors for your practice, and tips for raising your local search rankings. We can also provide more custom information and recommendations to boost your new patient goals through medical local SEO.

The Importance of the Google 3-Pack

A while back, Google started tailoring local searches for specific goods and services by presenting a boxed-off list of five to seven nearby businesses that would best meet the searcher’s needs. Now, this list has been narrowed down to the top three results, referred to as the “3-pack” or “Google Map Pack”.  Research also shows that 68% of searchers trust local 3-pack listings, compared to only 27% that trust the organic results further down the page. Thus, getting your practice’s Google Business Profile into this coveted list for your most important searches can be vital to establishing and maintaining a good conversion rate.

Not only do 3-pack listings show up higher than organic listings, Google displays the practice’s name, address, touch-to-call phone number, average Google review rating, volume of reviews, opening/closing hours, review quotes, and links to your website and directions. Users who click through can visit the practice’s “Google Business Profile” profile, which provides even more detailed information. With that in mind, anyone who wants to rank highly in medical local SEO should fill out their Google Business Profile page, including vital details like your street address, contact phone number, hours of operation for each day of the week, and website link. You can also show visitors the services you offer, products you want to promote, and surrounding service areas.

Optimizing Your “Google Business Profile” Information

Filling out this profile is just step one of optimizing your medical business’s web presence for search engines. Beyond just the basic information listed above, you should also provide information about specific services, categorize your business appropriately based on those services, and generate frequently asked questions that a search engine user might ask with brief and helpful answers.

Most businesses know that it is a good idea to solicit reviews from satisfied customers and respond to positive feedback with gratitude. However, it can also be helpful to respond sincerely to negative reviews. After all, your average Google review score is one of the only details from your GBP profile that will show up in the initial 3-pack listing. Maintaining good relationships with existing customers can make a huge difference in how highly you rank and how many searchers you convert to new customers.

Other Strategies for Maximizing Medical Local SEO

There are many techniques and strategies that can help boost your medical practice’s ranking in local SEO. For example, Google Posts allows users to highlight up to ten recent announcements, promotions, or blogs within their GBP profile, giving searchers more direct access to important information.

It is also possible to have more than one business or location, and therefore more than one Google Business Profile. If you have multiple businesses at a single address, you need to secure and list separate suite numbers and use different phone numbers to help Google distinguish the different businesses. If you have different locations, be sure you customize each profile with relevant information unique to each location, particularly “areas served.”  This can be important for smaller practitioners who share office park space with multiple other tenants.

For more information and strategies, check out our article on How to Get in Google’s 3-pack Map Listings.

For more information on these and other strategies for medical local SEO, call us to schedule a consultation.

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