Search-engine optimization (SEO) is a buzzy phrase that many brands, regardless of industry, grapple with (hopefully) on a daily basis. But how should a hospital or clinic approach local SEO? And what does it mean for your potential patient acquisition?

Here are a few little ways you can improve your local SEO prospects for your healthcare brand.

Review Your Reviews

When Google's algorithm takes stock of your healthcare brand's physical locations, such as clinics and offices, it tends to source everything from local data and Google Maps shares to customer reviews and testimonials. So your local SEO prowess depends on your ability to address a range of potential search-ranking sources. Even voice search has played a big role in recent years in determining your SEO "score," so to speak. A rule of thumb is this—if you have physical locations as opposed to a digital-only brand presence, pay special mind to reviews and how accurate your listings are on these platforms to gain higher-quality ranks in the future.

Make Content Local

Your hospital or clinic's website content is the lifeblood of your search-ranking prowess. In that sense, local SEO is greatly aided by local content. If your healthcare brand serves a vicinity, such as a given city, region or state, make sure to include these localized terms naturally throughout your site. After all, "Chicago urgent care clinics" is likely a more rewarding search ranking for a Chicago-based healthcare brand than the broad search term "clinics." Your prowess in this arena can be improved upon with page content that speaks to, in this case, your Chicago-local nature.

Address Your Address

This is particularly evident among healthcare brands with multiple clinic or hospital locations, but your business's primary address is critically important to your ability to show up in local search results. For one, confirm with services such as Google My Business that your information is up-to-date and accurate. Subsequently, engage with your local profiles on platforms such as Google, Bing, YellowPages and Yelp to confirm each of your locations has a correctly listed address and phone number.

Localize Your Keywords

When operating on a minimal budget, free tools, such as the Google Keyword Planner, can be a great help in determining search-term popularity in your target areas. You may be able to determine, for example, that searchers in your key communities are likelier to search "Cleveland physicians" than "Cleveland doctors." These small details can do you a great service in developing content that actually reflects the desires of your core consumer audience.

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