Social Media

Optimize Free Online Listings : No-Cost Revenue Booster


ByEvan Kestenbaum

Free online listings on sites such as Yelp.com, Insiderpages.com and Citysearch.com, make finding your practice easier for prospective patients–at no cost to you. Take advantage of these resources by creating on-target promotional content and photographs.

Claim Your Listing
Competition from corporate retailers, and other online sellers, means ECPs need topush themselves to the top ofsearch engine results. Free online listings are a way to achieve top search results at no cost to your practice. Many listing sites [see tips box below] buy or own a standard directory of business names that include business name and phone number–including names and numbers to many of your practices. Many sites will already have a “placeholder” listing for the office.After you claim the listing then you can add all of the additional information.There is usually a button that says “Are you the owner of this listing?” or “Claim this listing” that you can press. Claim as many listings as possible and add as much information as you can about your business to attract new patients and optimize the listing with keywords to put you at the top of search results.

Top Search Engines: Results for Free

Know the sites prospective patients use to find you, and optimize the free listings they offer.
yelp.com
insiderpages.com
citysearch.com
local.yahoo.com
merchantcircle.com
firmoo.com
wellness.com

There are hundreds of directories out there. I always search for “eye doctor,” then my zip code, then eyeglasses then my zip code, and see what additional directories come up with my competitors (or me). When I find one, I claim my free listing if it’s available.

*Write a short blurb about your business. Include what makes your business different from the competition. How long have you been in business?
* Add as many photographs or videos as you have.
* Offer savings, such as, “Mention this listing and receive $5 off your next eye exam.”
* Fill in your hours of operation.

Use Keywords to Optimize Listing
Maximize search engine optimization by using key words, such as your practice’s specialty or another service you provide,to make your listing come up first when someone uses the directory to search for a new eyecare provider. A link froma listing directoryto your web site willimprove yourorganic search results. So even if a patient never finds this listing, it could be helping push your practice’s web site, in addition to your directory listing,to the top of the search results.

Optimize with Keywords

* Include all of the doctors’ names in your listing.
* Include your city and the name of nearby cities.
* Use keywords such as eye doctor, eyeglasses, optometrist and optician frequently.
* Include keywords about your specialty such as vision therapy, dry eye, etc.

ROIGuaranteed
As a free investment there can only be a positive return. ECPs know more consumers are searching the Internet for their doctors. The doctors who take advantage of these listings the soonest–and who continually update and add to them over time–will have the advantage over those who start late.

Readmy blog: Stop Ruining Your Free Online Listings

Evan Kestenbaum received his MBA from State University at Binghamton in 2006. He is chief information officer at GPN, exclusive provider of The EDGE. To contact him: evan.gpn@gmail.com

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