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Big City SEO - Does Your Practice Stand a Chance?.

Posted by Nancy Rausman - 24 September, 2015


How to conduct Search Engine Optimization when your practice is located in a big city.

 Image by kancp26 courtesy of

(image bykancp26 courtesy of

Big city optometric practices need to think small when it comes to local search optimization. It may seem counterintuitive but most of your potential patients aren’t searching for you in the big city but rather focusing their search a little closer to home - within their neighborhood. The SEO implications for this are enormous.

Most big cities are divided up into a number of smaller neighborhood areas and local residents relate to these neighborhoods when they go about their daily lives.  For example in Brooklyn, very few people would search for  “optometrist in Brooklyn” because it could produce results of practices that are located an hour away from their current location. Instead, they will be searching for businesses in their neighborhoods or surrounding areas such as Williamsburg, Park Slope, Midwood or Highland Park.  

Now you might be asking yourself, “What's wrong with ranking #1 for the whole city of Brooklyn?  For SURE I'll rank highly locally as well ... and who cares if some people 1.5 hours away from me find me, it doesn't hurt me at all.  I'm SURE I'll get more patients out of it.”  The short answer is that if you were to try to compete against all of those practices in Brooklyn to get that coveted first spot, you would have to spend lots of MONEY! Every month, it would cost many thousands of dollars or TONS of hours on SEO and efforts to get LOTS of reviews, to achieve the top ranking.   

The bottom line is, work from the 'inside out'.  Start by optimizing areas close to you, then move further out in increments.  Google will 'let you know' when you can go no further as your optimization won't get you anywhere. The most effective use of your SEO resources is to choose the SMALLEST possible area where you get MOST of your patients, not where you WANT to get patients ...

Once you have identified the areas that are located within a reasonable distance from your practice and make sense demographically, you want to optimize for those locations through keyword inclusion and local SEO techniques. If you are located in a big city where there is a lot of competition, you may also want to look into a local PPC (pay-per-click) campaign to really get ahead in your local search.  

A great example of how localized SEO works is Martino Eyecare in San Antonio, Texas. In a search localized for practices in San Antonio their website ranks in the 50s and even 100s in the search results. However, in search results for local neighborhood areas in the vicinity of the practice, the numbers are remarkably different:

  • kirby tx eye doctor -#1
  • windcrest eye care -#1
  • windcrest eye doctors- #8
  • windcrest eyecare -#2

In addition to taking these top spots, they have many other keywords ranking in the 10-20 range and moving upward.

When it comes to local search optimization strategy, you have to think like your local search engine users. In addition to neighborhood names, are there any local references to shopping areas, landmarks, or other popular markers that people would use to search for local businesses? Even if you aren’t the only practice in town, you can be the most easily found if you think local.

Need some help honing in on your local search engine strategy? Our SEO experts are here to help. Contact Daniel at or phone (412) 532-6542.

Topics: Search Engine Optimization

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