If you think Google doesn’t know where you are searching from, try it out: search for the term ‘pizza’ at http://www.google.com/. Go ahead, I’ll wait here.
Did you notice the results Google provided? Now try the search term ‘hospital’. You may have seen two or three organic listings before the local results, but those local results are generally at or near the top of search results these days.
Google has been shifting the way it displays search results to information-hungry Web surfers in recent months. What most of us consider organic results (results that are generated and calculated by Google’s search bots and algorithms) are being pushed just a little further down the page by – you guessed it – sponsored results and local results.
This change in search results display has great possibilities for your Web site and your hospital, and now is the time to get on board. Google’s Local Business Center allows organizations to post relevant local information about their services and locations to be included with the search results. Of course, you must be in the local area to see these local listings. Alexian Brothers uses the Local Business Center extensively to promote service lines.
Setting up your Local Business Center listings is easy. Chances are you already have a listing in Google, but you’ll probably want to correct or add to the existing information. Just search Google maps for your facility’s locations and ‘claim’ your listings. A Geonetric content strategist can also help you with this set up and provide a strategy for improving visibility with your listings.
Here are a few tips for improving your Local Business Center listing:
- Complete all of the fields, if possible. Provide as much information as possible to potential viewers/visitors.
- Incorporate a few keywords into your listing.
- Make use of videos and photos to help promote your facility and services.
- Encourage patients to write a positive review; pages with the most “mentions” tend to show up the highest in the search results.
Remember: Google’s local results are just that – local. If you or your potential visitors aren’t in your area, they probably won’t see the local listings. They’ll get the organic listings. All the more reason to keep pushing hard for good, solid search engine optimization techniques. Just think of the Local Business Center listings as another tool in your ever-changing box of Web content goodies.