Do you know how potential patients search for doctors in their area? Unless they’ve received a referral, they are unlikely to look for a particular practice in their area. Instead, they’ll do a general location-based search. For instance, most people won’t type “cardiologist” into a search engine. They’ll most probably type something like “top cardiologist in Omaha.” Patients in Omaha don’t want cardiologists in Milwaukee showing up in their search, and the Milwaukee cardiologist won’t benefit from such searches either.
Now, to show up in local searches for their area, medical professionals must get their practice website listed on online local directories. All the websites that appear at the top of search results are likely to get plenty of calls when someone types in “Cardiologist in Omaha.”
Online local directories can improve the health of your medical practice. A lot of medical professionals have observed that joining a local online directory took their practice to the next level. While some of these local directories, like Healthgrades, Vitals, ZocDoc, Vitals, are specific to medical practice, other directories such as Google+ Local, Yahoo! Local aren’t industry specific. However, the majority of potential patients will find your practice through local online listings such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
The primary feature in a local online directory is a profile page where essential details of your practice are displayed. The profile page may include details like practice name, location, contact details, general introduction, and link to your practice. This profile page may appear in feeds on information pages and other pages throughout the directory’s website. The more places your practice name or link appears, the greater chance a visitor will contact you.
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In addition to the direct benefits of online exposure and lead generation, doctors also join online directories for connecting with other members of the medical fraternity. These connections can enhance a physician’s professional image.
By having your practice website listed in online local directories, your practice will benefit in a several ways:
- Online exposure: For those trying to market their practice in a city, online local directories can provide tremendous online exposure and local keyword targeting, which can make a listed practice stand apart from competitors. The registered practice will appear in a variety of places online, which is critical to establishing credibility and attracting new patients.
- Local keyword targeting: Local keyword targeting is crucial for those marketing in rural areas. Rather than losing potential patients to larger and modern facilities, small-town physicians can benefit from local keyword targeting that informs potential patients that the services they are seeking are available in nearby locations. New practices benefit from a listing due to a strong online presence, which allows them to get referrals and grow the business.
- Skill exposure: If the practice being listed offers specialty treatments, then joining an industry-specific local directory provides maximum exposure. Specialized directories target popular keywords such as ‘Lasik Eye treatment’ and help in connecting visitors to local specialists.
- SEO benefits: The reason local directories contribute to SEO is due to their emphasis on citations and link building. Consistency plays an important role, and when search engines notice same details and format for your practice, they find it trustworthy. Even if all the instances and listings don’t link back to your practice website, search engines still give you credibility and increase your visibility. However, you must take ownership to ensure your information is the same with all the links.