Search engine optimization can be an absolutely different ballgame depending on the client. The vast differences in optimizing for a national client versus a local client necessitates a completely different approach to citation building, conversion tracking, social media, blogging, and adding page titles and meta descriptions.
For SEM, the geographical targeting must be considerably narrower for local clients. For most local SEO clients, like contractors, landscapers, and retailers, you must determine how far potential customers are going to be willing to travel. This will provide you with your service areas: the towns and cities you optimize your client’s website and SEO approach for. Even for local SEO clients, different industries also require different strategies. For instance, clients in the medical field, whether it be urgent care, chiropractors, medical laboratories or primary care doctors, need to follow a stricter set of guidelines, due to complications created by medical regulations and our nation’s health insurance policies.
For medical centers, the following must be considered in implementing your SEO strategy:
Similar to any industry, there are medicine-specific listing sites that you should add your client’s to. For urgent care, there’s urgentcarelocations.com, while for immigration doctors, there’s www.uscis.gov. In addition to providing your client’s website with a valuable backlink, building up citations on industry-specific sites helps refer patients who may haven’t visited their website otherwise.
The most common conversions for local SEO include call tracking, completed contact forms and visits to directions pages. Yet, due to HIPAA guidelines, which help prevent the public sharing of private medical records, contact forms on medical websites are highly discouraged. If your client insists on including a contact form on their site, try to make sure there’s no field or question on the form that a patient could interpret as a platform to share their specific medical conditions.
For conversions that you can track, as long as your client uses an EMR or vendor that supports appointment scheduling, event tracking for check-ins online will enable you to track conversions that virtually guarantee a patient in the door.
Fortunately, people tend to be pretty interested in health and medicine. This makes your social media and blogging approach considerably easier than say, a mold client. Topical subjects, like sporting events, unseasonable weather patterns or Award ceremonies are relatively easy to adapt into a health-related blog. For example, during March Madness, you could blog about healthy lifestyle choices to practice while you’re not at the sports bar, eating chicken wings while watching the Final Four. Also, literally every week is National (Medical Condition) Awareness Week.
Post engaging links on social media and keep things light. People are generally more interested in reading about fun health tips than deadly diseases or potential outbreaks.