Gone are the days when it was essential to know a website’s web address beginning www. Now a simple search for a doctor’s surgery name in Google will usually find the correct website. However, have you noticed that search engines are now featuring local businesses in their search results? Having a local web presence is becoming essential for GP surgery website local search ranking. More often local listings from Google Places are showing up more prominently than the doctor’s website in the search engine’s results page. So, lets get started with these simples steps to improve your GP surgery website local search ranking.
GP surgery website local search ranking steps to improvement
- First step to a better GP surgery website local search ranking performance is: Review the content of your practice website to confirm that it includes information to help the search engines know your location.
- Set up a Google Places profile
- Ensure your practice receives the recognition it deserves through good ratings and surgery reviews from your patients. Google will reward a listing with high ratings and good user reviews.
Review site content
Page Title Tags: Include your location in the page title tags. Most importantly your home page should include your town e.g. Dr Smith and Partners, Anytown.
Page Description Tag: Include your full address and telephone number
Address in Page Head or Footer: Feature your full address and telephone number in a consistent, prominent position on all pages of your practice website. This helps to highlight the importance of your location for search engines.
Phone Number: Include your local telephone number. Try to avoid special business numbers like 0845 which are not associated with physical locations.
Set up a Google Places Profile
Now set up a Google Places profile for your practice. If Google can be certain of your location in will greatly enhance your GP surgery website local search ranking.
First log in to your Google account and go to maps.google.co.uk/maps. Follow the link “Put your business on Google Maps”. Fill in your surgery name, address, phone number etc – not forgetting to include, most importantly, your practice website address.
You can add extras like photos and descriptions if you have them handy, or go back to add them later. These photos will feature in searches and good quality photos will always attract attention. Therefore it may be a good idea to get some professional practice photographs. These can also be featured on your surgery website.
At the end of the sign-up, you’ll be asked to verify your submission by phone or postcard. This is to make sure that only the right people are able to change any public data about your practice.
Google creates profiles from information already publicly available on directory sites like Yellow Pages. So, you may find that there is already a profile set up for your practice. If that is the case follow the link on the profile to confirm with Google, by telephone or postcard, that you are the business owner.
Gain good reviews for your practice
The next step is to gain as many reviews as you can. It will take some time to build up reviews. Avoid the temptation to create fake reviews, because Google takes this matter very seriously, and you do not want to be penalised by Google.
Encourage patients to write reviews on their personal experience with your practice. This will greatly improve your GP surgery website local search ranking. In addition any potential patients looking for a GP will be made aware of the quality of your practice’s services.
The importance of geotagging for your GP surgery website local search ranking
Another important aspect of Google Places is the ability to pinpoint your practice on a Google Map. Many of your site’s visitors will access your website via a smartphone or tablet equipped with a type of GPS or geographic location system. When a user searches with these devices the search engine cross references the location of the user with the location of the business and will bring up the most relevant local search results. Your practice telephone number or web address can then be tapped to dial the number or to view the website.