When people use search engines for their local area, they’re most likely finding a particular business. Maybe they need to recall the address of that Italian restaurant they were at last night. A second common reason is that they’re searching for a particular product or service, such as hearing tests. In this instance, they don’t know what company they are looking for.
Your hearing practice could be that business.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO helps you better position your company to promote to local customers at the exact time they are searching for services like yours. There’s no better opportunity for a prospective customer to see your website than when they really need you.
Appearing on what is known as the’ local pack’ or’ 3-pack’ of search results is what hearing practices need most to get more hearing aid patients walking through their door. This is the block of three business entries that appear in the results shown below the map after a local Google search, such as ‘hearing aids near me’.
The rank your website receives is based on three factors:
- Relevance: whether your business matches the intent of the search query
- Distance: how close you are to the searcher
- Prominence: whether your business is well-known around the web (this can be increased with backlinks, see tip below)
How to Get Your Hearing Practice in the Local Search Results?
1. Claim and optimize your Google My Business profile
Google My Business (GMB) is the profile of your hearing practice on Google. It gives data to a variety of locations, including the local 3-pack as well as your Google Maps information. A crucial step in helping your business be visible on essential Google services, such as local search results and Google Maps, is to claim your Google My Business page. It should always be the first online directory you make.
Here are some tips for filling out your business profile:
- Make sure your business name, address, and phone number are listed exactly as they are on your website! Google looks at consistency in NAP (name, address, phone number) data.
- List your services – a more complete profile will also look more attractive to search engine algorithms.
- Set your business category – this helps categorise your hearing practice to be easily found.
Respond to all reviews – positive or negative
Answering reviews written by your customers offers an opportunity to add to your brand’s online conversation. It’s a chance to thank clients who leave positive feedback and try to reclaim the loyalty of those who leave negative comments. Google also openly acknowledges that further feedback and positive ratings would probably improve the local ranking of your hearing practice.
Remember to stay professional and have a plan if you ever get a poor review. Even the most customer-friendly company can get a negative review at some point. Despite what you might fear, it is not the end of your business. But others will be watching to see how you respond to the review, so it makes sense to do everything you can to win back the customer.
This effort will reap rewards – studies show that 89% of users are ready to change a negative assessment of a company based on how the company reacts to their or someone else’s review.
Build a strong local backlink profile
How did Google become the best search engine? It’s because of their now-famous PageRank algorithm.
Search engines in the past ranked websites with a view to content quality. Yet Google pioneered looking at how many users have linked to that site instead of merely evaluating the content of a website. To this day, it is still the best indicator of the quality of a website. That’s why the most important ranking signal is still backlinks.
A backlink is when someone else links to your website from theirs. Google regards this as a vouching for your website. People only link to other websites if there is some good content to be found on it. Building links from related sites in your local area helps your hearing practice to increase its popularity in the eyes of search engines.
Nick Fitzgerald is the President and Owner of AuDSEO. With 13 years of digital marketing experience, Nick is a highly data-driven marketer, with expertise in search engine optimization, digital analytics and forensics, social media, digital advertising, and web development. He has been involved in the construction and optimization of nearly 1,000 web presences, including some of the largest Fortune 500 companies