An effective way to help you grow your private practice is through local search engine optimization (SEO). Local SEO won’t usually get a website ranking all on it’s own, but it is an important piece of the puzzle. Local SEO shows Google WHERE your website is relevant. Other components tell Google exactly who to send to your website (content & on-page SEO) and build up Google’s trust in your website (lots of things, but includes link building). But today, we’re chatting about the “where” part of working on SEO and that’s Local SEO.
So, in this article, we’ll discuss some key tips and strategies to help you improve your local SEO and grow your practice.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website for local search by making sure it appears in relevant local rankings. It can be used to target potential customers in a specific geographic area, country, or city. It’s how you tell Google “THIS is where I’m relevant. THIS is the area you should show my website in search results.”
Local SEO can be incredibly helpful for private practice owners. It makes sure your website is at the top of results when someone in your local area is the one searching for your services. For example, if you are a Speech Language Pathologist based in London, England, when someone searches for a “speech language pathologist in London” your website should appear at the top of the list. But it won’t if Google understands that your a speech language pathologist but has no idea that you’re actually located in London.
Create a Google My Business Profile
One of the most important steps in local SEO is creating a Google My Business profile. This is a free listing that appears in Google Maps and search results. By claiming and optimizing your profile, you can increase your visibility and attract more local clients.
Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
To optimize your Google My Business profile, be sure to include accurate and up-to-date information, such as your business name, address, phone number (NAP), website URL, hours of operation, and a description of your services.
Consistent NAP Information
Consistency is key when it comes to local SEO. Make sure that your NAP information (name, address & phone number) is consistent across all online directories and platforms where your business is listed. Inconsistencies can create confusion for search engines and make it harder for your business to rank. But when Google sees that you’re consistently using the same name, address and phone number throughout the web it helps build up Google’s trust in your site.
Local Citations on Directories
A local citation is an online mention of your business name, address, and phone number (NAP). Local citations are important because they help demonstrate to Google that you exist in the local area — and these citations don’t even need to include a link to your website.
Directory Listings Management Service
Simplified SEO Consulting offers a directory list management service that ensures your business is listed on all of the top directories and platforms, which can help improve your local SEO. We also offer this free report/option to get a baseline of what your directory listings look like at the moment. There are a lot of other list management options out there. The bottom line is that directories are a fantastic way to get that NAP information I mentioned above out there showing up all over the internet.
Create Local Content
Content is still king when it comes to SEO. Creating content with local keywords and topics, such as blogs or articles that focus on SLPs in your area, can help you rank higher in local search results.
Location References Throughout Your Website
Another way to improve your local SEO is by including location references throughout your website. This includes adding your city and state to your page titles, headings, content, and image alt tags.
Mentioning local places in a blog post is a powerful way to boost local SEO for speech therapists in private practice. For instance, an SLP in Ontario, Canada, might create a blog post about speech therapy techniques that can be used during a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum. This type of post would feature a relevant and popular local attraction, which would help to increase local visibility and improve the chances of attracting local clients. Similarly, a therapist in a specific place in the state of Washington could create a post about the benefits of speech therapy for children who live near Mount Rainier, highlighting the local aspect of their services and making it easier for potential clients in that area to find them.
Including pictures that are specific to your location can also improve your local SEO. For example, you can include pictures of local landmarks or events. I love including pictures I’ve taken or others have taken on my website. They may not be as professional (bonus points if you have a professional camera or photographer friend who can take these!), but they give it that local touch. They make your website more relatable.
Be sure to include your address and contact information in the footer of your website. This can help with local SEO as well as making it easy for clients to get in touch with you.
Social Media Presence
Having an active social media presence can also help with local SEO. Be sure to include your location information in your social media profiles and posts. Additionally, joining local groups on social media and engaging with other members can help you build relationships in your area.
Local Link Building
Link building is an important aspect of SEO in general, but for local SEO, it’s particularly important to focus on building links from other local businesses and organizations. Reach out to other local businesses that work with your ideal clients. Ask if you can be added to their resource list, write a guest blog for them or otherwise be featured on their website. Be humble in how you request this seeking to make real, genuine connections. Consider if you can do the same or if something else is helpful for them.
Sponsor & Attend Local Events
Attending local events and networking with other local businesses can also help improve your local SEO. One way to do this is to sponsor local events or charities. When you sponsor an event, they often mention this on your website and give a backlink to your website. This is essentially that local link building I mentioned above.
Local SEO can Help You Reach More Clients
As you can see, local SEO is an incredibly powerful asset for speech therapists who own a private practice. From Google My Business page optimization to creating and optimizing content for local searches, using a variety of local SEO techniques and strategies will help to increase your visibility in the search engine rankings. With more visibility, you will be able to draw in more patients and turn your business into a thriving success.
However, it is important to remember that (local) SEO does take time as well as effort to produce meaningful returns on your investment. If you ever feel overwhelmed or need assistance along the way, why not contact one of our experienced SEO specialists? We are here to help provide knowledge and understanding so you can transform potential leads into booked appointments! We invite you to apply now for a call with one of our SEO specialists today and discuss how we can create an SEO campaign tailored just for your practice.
SEO Services at Simplified SEO Consulting
- Done for You (Outsource to our expert team!)
- Affordable DIY Online SEO courses
- Small Group Mastermind SEO Training
- 1:1 Intensive Training
- SEO Training cruise in July 2023
Not sure what’s right for your practice? Read more about our SEO services for speech therapists, read our Ultimate Guide to SEO for Speech Therapists in private practice or apply for a free consultation call with one of our SEO specialists!
About the Author
Jessica Tappana is an experienced private practice owner, having run her own psychotherapy practice for over six years with a team of 12 counselors. For the past five years, Jessica has been helping private practice owners, initially focusing on mental health therapists, and now expanded to a variety of healthcare professionals. Her passion for helping healthcare professionals serve their ideal clients led her to found Simplified SEO Consulting and bring on several other amazing SEO professionals. The Simplified team has helped many private practice owners achieve greater visibility online and attract more clients to their businesses. They value a team approach to SEO and love celebrating the success of the prac