Let’s face it, we all want our business to be at the top of “pile” when it comes to internet searches. Like it or not, it’s actually a good thing that all 141 million results for “physical therapy chicago” don’t end up sharing the very top of the search results.
So how can you ensure that your website listing doesn’t end up buried 20 pages deep when someone searches for “physical therapy” in your region? We’ll start with five easy fixes that can help.
(I use the word “help” because in the game of search rankings, nothing is guaranteed.)
Before we begin, I suggest that you take note of two things:
First, search for “physical therapy [your city],” replacing your city, of course, with wherever your clinic resides. Jot down how many pages you have to look through and how far down before finding your listing.
Second, if you’re using the Google Chrome browser, go to the top-right corner of your window where you’ll find a small button with three horizontal lines. Click it, then click on “New incognito window.” This will open new browser window, one that will allow you to search the internet without any of your personal settings (i.e., location or past searches) influencing your search. It’s like a clean slate.
Perform the same search as before, and again, make note of how far back your web site is listed. I’m betting there is a difference between the two!
Now, let’s briefly discuss ways to improve your clinic’s online ranking:
1. Make sure you claim and complete your free Google+ Business Page, including an accurate Google Maps location.
Visit plus.google.com and search for your listing. This is much like a mini-website or a Facebook page, so claim it (this can involve a confirmation process) and fill it with correct and current information including photos, hours, and a correct address that will show in Google Maps. Perhaps unsurprisingly, having an accurate and updates Google+ page can vastly improve your search ranking.
2. Address consistency.
Your address is all over the internet – your web site, your aforementioned Google+ page, Yelp, Yahoo, and even your Facebook page. Make sure that all of these are exactly the same … even down to abbreviations. To abbreviate or not to abbreviate – either one works. Just be consistent across the board (e.g., ‘Street’ or ‘St.’ ‘Avenue’ or ‘Ave.’ ‘Suite’ or ‘Ste.’ ‘Calif.’ or ‘CA’, etc.)
3. Add a blog to your website…
…and write short but frequent posts. This is huge. You might have to call your webmaster to get a blog going, but trust me – it’s worth it. Once it’s set up on your website, try to blog at least once a week, a minimum of 300 words each. Write about your business and continuing education, conferences and your industry. Just write! Consistently adding new content to your website will significantly improve your ranking.
4. Add keywords in your web page title tag
Make sure the tag begins with that keyword. Again, this might require your webmaster, but it can make a big difference. You can see what your title is by looking at the internet browser tab along the top of your window. Are you a “physical therapist” who performs “physical therapy”? Use the term “physical therapy,” not the initials “PT.” The general public won’t know what PT means and doesn’t use that as a search term.
5. Add keywords to the body of your page. As long as it reads well, mention physical therapy, yoga, dry needling, spine care – whatever you offer – more than once in the body of your webpage. This needs to be typed text, not images with those words on them. Imagine someone on the Google team reading your web site and checking boxes on a form. If you want to sell these services, don’t be afraid to use them, as long as what you’re saying sounds natural!
If you’d like to learn more ways to move your clinic’s search ranking up toward the top of the pack, or are interested in getting a thorough website/search audit for your clinic, we’re happy to help! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can provide you with feedback and suggestions that are specific to your private practice.