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Local Organic Search for Physical Therapy Practice Growth

local organic search

Are you looking to get more patients to find your physical therapy practice online and visit your clinic? If the answer is yes, then local organic search would likely be the marketing channel to focus on.

There are two parts to local organic search listings. Local pack listings appear on top and are displayed on a map. Localized organic listings appear immediately below.

Local Organic Search Gets Results

Organic search is usually the best place to begin when looking to grow your practice through digital channels.

  • It is targeted
  • Organic traffic is driven by users with search intent who are seeking help for their health concerns and expecting to see search results that satisfy their needs.

  • It is sustainable
  • Organic traffic is durable and long lasting and will continue to bring high quality visitors if content is constantly updated to keep up with search ranking factors.

  • It is cost effective
  • Organic traffic is practically free if we ignore the time spent in preparing content and monitoring search results and assuming no additional costs are incurred like an external agency being hired.

  • It builds visibility and brand
  • Organic search results build visibility and brand for your clinic as your therapy practice shows up repeatedly for search queries that are requested on Google and other search engines.

Organic traffic constitutes 53% of all traffic and nearly 46% of all Google searches (over 90% of all searches are on Google) are local searches. So, it makes sense to focus on local organic traffic especially for physical therapy clinics whose patients are likely to prefer local providers.

Local Organic Search Factors to Consider

Next would be to strengthen local organic traffic by increasing search rankings. The factors to improve local results could be summarized as:

  1. On-page optimization
  2. On-page optimization is all about publishing relevant, high-quality content. Optimization tasks can be broken down in terms of optimizing headlines, HTML tags (title tags, meta tags, and header tags), and images. Establishing a website with a high level of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness would be key.

  3. Links
  4. Link building is the process of getting inbound links from other websites and in case of local SEO would be focused on getting links from organizations in the local region. Sources of incoming links could include local business directories, industry specific directories, local newspapers and communities, and local bloggers and influencers.

  5. Google Business Profile
  6. One of the best Local SEO strategies to rank higher on Google would be to claim and optimize the Google Business Profile. Any online user or Google itself can make changes to the profile so checking it regularly would be crucial to ensure there are no surprises. Using the same name, address, and phone number (NAP) on the website and Google Business Profile listings and including the website link in the GBP listing would establish critical consistency.

  7. Reviews
  8. Per Moz, reviews drive as much as 15% of local pack rank https://moz.com/local-search-ranking-factors. There are three aspects to stay on top of. Review quantity or the total number of reviews posted to GBP; review diversity or spreading reviews across multiple, high-authority review platforms (Google would be on top!), and review velocity or the number of new reviews received within a time interval.

  9. Behavioral
  10. User behaviors and interactions with the website and search engines include clicking on search listings and calling the practice directly from a search result. These user actions would give a fillip to local SEO rankings. Measurable signals including click-through-rates, clicks-to-call, and clickthroughs to the website would influence local rankings.

  11. Citations
  12. A citation could be an online directory that features the clinics name, address, and phone number (NAP) along with the website. Local business directories, websites and apps, and social platforms are all sources of citations. By enabling prospective patients to discover local therapy clinics, citations enhance local search engine rankings. Sites like Yelp and Yellow Pages would be good sources of citations.

  13. Personalization
  14. Any user of Google Search or Bing Search shares revealing information about their language, location, device, and web history to the search engine. The search algorithm in turn uses this information to deliver personalized search results. Personalizing website content using many of these same signals would position the site higher in local search while making sure to stay clear of duplicate content and other snafus. This would include personalizing language, offering localized content, and adding dynamic content to the website.

The relative importance of these ranking factors changes over time with changes in Googles local search algorithm. Google Business Profile has reportedly increased in importance over the last five to six years for the local pack. On-page optimization and links are believed to be the most significant factors for localized organic rankings.

Local organic search offers a relatively quick and cost-effective way to grow the practice through content that surfaces for search queries from patients who are seeking therapy options. Focusing on organic local provides a surefire path to early success in digital marketing even if other channels like ads and social media are largely ignored.