When doing the local SEO for your PT clinic, it’s not enough to get listed in Google Places, Yahoo and Bing directories. You have to also make sure that you are listed under the most relevant category for your business. Categories are used by internet yellow pages, directories and search engine spiders to understand how they should classify your PT clinic. This is important because people usually don’t search local businesses by their names, and most of the keywords they use are, in fact, business categories.
When you register on a local listing site, you get prompted to choose between two and ten relevant business categories, and ideally, you want to make sure that you will be listed under as many relevant categories as possible.
A survey conducted by Moz, one of the leaders in SEO ranking factors, has revealed that choosing wrong categories is the most influential, negative ranking factor for businesses trying to improve their local SEO.
Choosing your business category might seem like a no brainer, but you will be surprised at how many PT clinic owners neglect it. Just like you look for the best citation sources for your physiotherapy clinic, you need to pay close attention to picking relevant business categories.
In general, search engines will consider your PT clinic primarily relevant to the set of keywords that are closely related to your chosen category. This means that if you choose your categories wrongly, or don’t choose a category at all, you will severely damage your visibility online, or get shown to people who aren’t looking for a PT clinic at all.
When listing your business on a local search site, there are a few things to be aware of:
Some directories assign your business to a broad or wrong category by default, so you will need to make sure you set everything right
There are directories that do not offer business categorizations options, so you might want to stay away from those
When choosing a category for your PT clinic, make sure you choose as many relevant categories as you can.
When choosing your categories, make use of the products and services you offer to clients apart from physiotherapy. For example, if your clinic offers massage services, it will be a good idea to list your clinic under a category relevant to massage.
Improper categorization can also happen when directory listings get tweaked or collapsed. For example, if your PT clinic is located at an address previously owned by a restaurant, it might happen that your clinic gets listed under categories that are relevant to restaurants. If your clinic is located in a bigger building, which hosts a number of other businesses as well, your clinic might share the same category as another office in the same building, which is totally unrelated to physiotherapy. Fixing issues like these will help improve local SEO and also get rid of useless, low quality, non-converting website traffic.
Here are a few tips on how to optimize your categories:
Keyword research – conduct a keyword research to determine what kind of keywords patients use when looking for your PT clinic. Gather as many keywords as you can and pile them together in a file. Then pick those ones that are most relevant to your business and to the categories available in different directories and get listed under those.
Don’t use only broad category names – While using broad category lists will drive the most amount of traffic to your website, the traffic will be of mediocre quality. On the other hand, specific categories that are narrowly related to your business will drive less traffic, but those users will convert at a significantly higher rate. Finally, there is no drawback in getting listed in more than one category – the more, the better.
Use custom category options – some directories like Google Places will allow you to pick categories for your physiotherapy clinic, and also offer you an option to create a custom category for your business. Use the results of your keyword research and create a few custom categories for your PT clinic. Make sure not to use your brand or city name as a category as it’s against the rules.
Putting in the time to improve your business categories can significantly improve the visibility of your PT clinic online and drive more qualified traffic to your website. If you didn’t pay attention to categories before, make sure to go through all the directories where your clinic is listed and make the appropriate changes.
Doing local SEO correctly is essential for PT clinics. Most of the website traffic they acquire comes from organic search, and small businesses benefit the most from local SEO. This is why at PatientSites.com we put a lot of effort into helping PT clinics with their search marketing. See whether we can help you as well.