Local Means Local: The Importance of Local Search in Hospital and Physician Marketing

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

local means local

We’re Just Off the I-5

One of the grand frustrations about the “world wide web” is that your medical marketing website might be found online by someone who is two hundred miles away and not by a prospective new patient who lives in your neighborhood.

The first individual is not a prospect because of the distance. They’ll search again for a provider or healthcare facility that is closer. The nearby resident didn’t find you online at all…so the opportunity scoreboard is 0 for two.

All of this illustrates the importance of local search for hospitals and healthcare providers. It’s a vital part of a good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program that more precisely attracts people in your immediate service area. Not to oversimplify the challenges of SEO, but getting local search results involves using website keywords that are local to the provider and the prospective patients.

People tend to identify with their immediate neighborhood, suburb or community. This may require well-crafted language throughout a website, a single page, or sometimes several localized pages. Incorporating keyword references to a city section, township or district is important to being found via local search. A medical or dental practice in Des Moines for example, actually draws primarily from the Westwood community section.

Here’s a first-hand illustration. The Healthcare Success website, blog and our other online pages routinely draw traffic from across the nation…even from around the world. We work with clients around the nation, and have been doing so for many years.

But, from time to time, we meet healthcare practitioners who didn’t realize we are based in their own backyard. So we created a page as one step in telling our own local story to a local audience. The site visitor knows they’ve got a nationally respected medical advertising agency close to home…here in Southern California. It works.

A quick word of caution here… Search Engine Optimization can be mind-numbingly complicated. You may want to discuss things with us first. There’s more info about SEO here.

Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.



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