Tired of settling for pages 4, 5, or higher in Google’s search rankings?

Too many medical practices don’t vie for top-shelf rankings because they’re intimidated by competition and don’t have the time. Let’s face it — small practice owners can’t match the budgets and metrics of Conglomerates and big companies. No matter which field you’re in, you probably have at least one insurmountable competitor that simply exists on a different playing field.

But here’s the thing…

According to DMR Stats, every month, Google registers more than 100 billion search queries and over 50% of those searches come from smartphones with people likely looking for local goods and services.

Many of these folks aren’t looking for big health facilities; they’re looking for whatever is closest. And according to Google’s own research, half of all people who search, want the appointment within the same day or the same week.

Local SEO is one of the hottest trends in marketing because it evens the playing field between large and small businesses. It’s also just one of many examples of how your business could benefit from a good SEO strategy.

Here are the top excuses and why you should ignore them.

Reason #1: “I’m too late”

The first reason for not taking the plunge into SEO is simple – small business owners are reluctant to spend money against competitors who’ve been in the SEO game for years. They can’t imagine how they could ever overcome their competitors and capture worthwhile search rankings. Why even bother?

But local SEO is the great equalizer. If you change your investment strategy and focus locally, it can lead to great success!

Invest in strengthening your position in hyper-local searches by fleshing out your website, registering with online review sites and getting active on social media. Generate content that is relevant to your city, your practice, your specialty.  Establish a social media presence and engage local residents directly.

It’s never too late to capitalize on local SEO searches; it doesn’t really matter who you’re up against.

Reason #2: “SEO professionals cost too much.”

SEO professionals don’t work on the cheap.  Investing in SEO services can be overwhelming for  because they’re not guaranteed but it’s really about investing in yourself and your services to get tangible results.

That said, SEO professionals don’t improve search rankings by magic.If you choose the right company (I may be a little biased on who is the best), they’ll apply sound strategies that will help you see results.

SEO companies will build out your website and make sure it performs optimally for your target audience. They’ll create high-quality content for your various online channels. They’ll make sure you’re registered in all the local search directories, and they’ll research all the ways you might attract new customers online. And, as a result, you’re likely to see a rise in your Google search rankings.

If you absolutely can’t afford to hire an SEO professional, then there’s plenty you can do on your own to capitalize on local search traffic. Or you can hire someone for some short-term work. It’s better to do something to improve your SEO strategy than nothing at all.

Reason #3: “I won’t be able to keep up with all the changes.”

It’s definitely true that keeping up with the latest SEO trends requires a lot of work. However, the SEO game doesn’t really change as much as it evolves – in fact, some of the core building blocks of a good SEO strategy haven’t changed in years.

There’s an old adage among SEO marketers that “content is king.”

A good website that’s packed with relevant, valuable content – which could take the form of products, images, videos, blog posts and more – is absolutely essential for earning the best-possible page rankings. So is having a sensible site map structure with pages that have unique and logical themes.

You must also make efforts to engage others online and encourage people to link to your site. And, of course, making sure your site functions properly in all kinds of Web browsers – which now also includes mobile browsers – is extremely important.

An ongoing commitment to improving your SEO strategy doesn’t mean chasing your tail to an endless flurry of user data. Think more along the lines of gradual shifts over longer periods of time.

Reason #4: “I don’t even know where to begin.”

You want to strengthen your website’s SEO, but you don’t even know where to start. This is common. There’s no magic bullet that will beat out your competitors, and most SEO campaigns take time to deliver their desired results.

Focus on your website. Make sure it works on desktop and mobile devices and with all kinds of Web browsers. Then, work on your content. Each page of your website should be uniquely themed with both focused and long-tailed keywords.

Next, register your website with Google My Business and all the major online review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List. Make a company Facebook page and, at the very least, update it weekly by sharing relevant news, trends, and special offers. Publish a blog on your website that you share on social media.

From there, you can broaden your efforts for even greater results, or you can hand the reins over to an SEO professional. Either way, enhancing the quality of your business website is the best place to start.

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