You don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on Pay Per Click ads to experience rapid growth. 99% of practices fail to take the initial steps necessary to control online exposure and grow their practice in an organic, permanent way. Here are a few things you can start doing today:

1.       Set up a Google Alert for your name.

You need to get a handle on new information appearing in Google’s listings for your name, and the practice’s name. Setting up a Google Alert will send you a periodic email when something new gets crawled, giving you an opportunity to catch bad information early, new listings to claim, new PR opportunities, or even reviews that you will want to address. Customer relations is important – not just to the reviewer, but to those searchers who will appreciate seeing your professional response. The quickest way to know there’s new information out there is through a Google Alert.
See our article for a step by step example on how to set up a google alert.

2.       Claim your listings.

Having looked up your practice on Google, you no doubt see a lot of pages automatically created by sites like Vitals, Facebook, Yelp, Google+ to add your practice to their listings. Until you go through the claiming process for each of those listings, you have no control over the content of those pages. Claiming is an easy way to assure all the information is current, add photos, and even address any negative reviews you may have.

The claiming process varies for each site, but it’s well worth the time – and you may even receive a visibility/ranking boost for doing so.

3.       Change the content on your website.

Not just “adding blogs” but all of a page’s content need to be refreshed periodically in order to assure Google that the page is a still-used resource in the medical field.  An abandoned website, even one that is properly coded for SEO, takes a backseat to one that produces fresh content continually. Rewrite your introduction paragraph from time to time, or adjust the wording of your services. Your text should say the same thing, but in a different way.

4.     Check the internet for incorrect numbers and addresses.

Have you changed phone numbers or addresses in the history of the practice? Search for your name (or the practice’s name) on your old street or with your old phone number to make sure any traces of the old info is wiped away. Consistency of information is very important when it comes to ranking highly in local and map searches, and those local searches are more likely to result in appointments!

5.       Take advantage of your affiliations for backlinks.

High authority backlinks is a massive indicator of your importance online. Contact your professional organizations and medical school to inquire about a profile or alumni page that you can link to your practice’s website. Receiving an EDU domain backlink is as important as countless other links in terms of saying to search engines “this site is a resource on my specialty and should rank more highly than similar practices”

Building the foundation of an online machine to attract patients goes beyond your website – it requires dedicated attention to consistency, authority, and visitor value. This work can be time consuming, but the results are ongoing, increase over time, and represent the best practices of the search engines. You will never have to worry about surprise changes in the search algorithm penalizing your site – when you do things the right way, most updates will bring good news!