Your online presence is similar to being listed in a phone book. There are hundreds of sites that offer your business information to potential patients whenever they search for your business, or various services related to your business. So, how would you update your phone book listing? You would ensure the information was accurate and double check every punctuation mark. The same goes for online listings. Once those listings are updated and accurate, make sure your website is correct, too. Your website is the hub of your online presence, and it influences how you rank in local results.
Why does Website Optimization for Local SEO Matter?
If you’ve optimized your site for search engines, you’re on the right track, but you aren’t finished. Frankly, you’ll never be “finished” when it comes to your website and online marketing strategy. The internet is in constant flux for the better, and as a website owner, you need to understand what makes your site the best it can be for users.
So what does this constant change look like? One area is local SEO. If optimized correctly, it accounts for about 18 percent of your overall online ranking factors. Local is also receiving around 7 billion searches a month. Your small business needs to be in the local game, or it’s missing out on patients.
What does Optimizing my Website do for my Business?
Local optimization helps your site show up more often in proximity searches. This means that if a potential patient is near your business and they search for a service you offer, you’ll show up in the local pack in search engines. Patients who are looking for a specific service are usually ready to purchase, and it’s extremely advantageous to be one of the first practices they discover.
On-site optimization increases the chances that your practice will show up in various places on a search engine page, such as:
- Local Pack
- Local Knowledge Graph
- Map Pin
How do I Locally Optimize my Site?
The first step is to make sure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are accurate and consistent. This means all versions of your NAP should have the same spelling and punctuation. A comma, period, or misspelled word can jeopardize your local rankings if they don’t match your citation listings and directories elsewhere online.
The second step is to create location specific content. This typically involves tying your practice in with local events, festivals, holidays, etc., that patients may search for. For example, if your city has an annual 5k marathon, become involved then write a page for your site about it. This is a great way to spread brand awareness throughout the community while giving back.
The third step is to add local keywords to your title tags. First determine what terms you want to optimize for each page on your site by doing some local keyword research. Then add the terms and phrases potential patients are using to search for your type of business. This will offer you the greatest opportunity to be discovered online.
The final step is to add schema markup to your site. Schema, at its most basic level, tells search engines what data means. It translates so search engines know that a string of organized characters and numbers is an address. It’s like learning a second language. You know “verde” is a string of letters. However, you don’t know it’s the Spanish word for green. Schema offers search engines this information. This structured data is important in a few ways:
- It helps search engines understand the meaning of the data it wraps.
- It allows search engines to store the data and compare it to other local listings and directories for authority purposes.
So what type of elements can benefit from structured data markup?
- Hours of operation
Here are a few resources about how to implement schema:
Want to learn more about on-site, local optimization? Can’t decide what strategy is right for you? We’re here to help! Call MDPM Consulting today at 972-781-8861, or Email us at:[email protected].