Directory listings are an important part of the digital marketing strategy for any business. We’re not just talking about the big ones, like Google My Business, Yelp and others.
Finding industry-specific directories is an important secondary component of this outreach. Good backlinks make your website credible in the eyes of a search engine. That has ripple effects for your entire website—the “rising tide lifts all boats” phenomena.
Before we dive into the best directories for doctors, it’s important to understand that when you list your practice, you must be extremely precise. We’re talking 100 percent exactly the same in every listing. If you have M.D. in your practice name in one place, make sure it’s there everywhere—and never as “MD” without the punctuation. That’s just one example.
When search engines select the local 3-pack—those prestigious listing spots that come up when a prospect types in “primary care doctor near me”—they give credence to the ones that have accurate information across the board, with precision seen as a signal to accuracy. It isn’t necessarily logical and it can be very tedious when entering your information, but it’s the way it is.
So with that in mind, here are 3 doctor-specific directories to begin with.
An obvious presumption here is that you accept Medicare payments. If so, then what site could be more credible in the eyes of a search algorithm than the U.S. government itself? Older patients are also more likely to start their search in a place like this, not wanting to waste time with an office that won’t take their Medicare benefits.
WebMD is another domain with tremendous credibility in the eyes of a search engine. It’s known for their health recommendations that a lot of people end up using as a DIY manual for their own health treatment. This may well have driven you crazy in the past, as laymen put their WebMD search on a par with your medical degree. However, the website also has a directory listing and it’s free so take advantage of it.
One of the most widely used directories, Healthgrades allows your patients to go in and write reviews on your office. There may be doctors who shy away because of that—after all, who wants to deal with negative reviews? But the reviews are really an opportunity. Beyond the chance you (or someone on your staff) get to respond to criticism and win points with objective readers, search engines also reward websites that get a lot of good reviews.
Encourage your patients to go there and write their own reviews. Your chances of getting in the local 3-pack will improve.
There are a lot of other directory sites out there, including ones that offer paid services. But these 3 are a great place to start and will have—at the absolute minimum—a positive SEO benefit for your practice’s website.