For the last three years, while on the “speaking circuit,” I’ve been preaching the importance of giving your business or medical practice a location-based name. It’s good for your business and it’s good for your customers/patients. And if you’re a plastic surgeon, it’s easier for new prospective patients to find you on Google!
How a Location-based Website Name Benefits You on Google
Matt Cutts, the former head guru of Google search explains here why a location-based name is beneficial when it comes to Google. He uses the example of Pinkberry but let’s use a plastic surgeon’s office as an example for the purposes of this post. When I took over the eponymous practice of a previous plastic surgeon in San Francisco, I didn’t change the practice’s name from his name to my name. Why? Because no one knows who Jonathan Kaplan is and therefore, they wouldn’t naturally search ‘Jonathan Kaplan’ on Google. I took Matt’s recommendation and picked a location-based name (Pacific Heights Plastic Surgery).
Consider you’re a patient looking for a plastic surgeon. Google wants to give you the information you’re looking for. Therefore, the ubiquitous search engine is going to provide you with results that are closest to you geographically because a search engine’s purpose is to give you the information that mostly resembles what you want. If someone is in a ZIP code that is near or within the Pacific Heights neighborhood and they are looking for a plastic surgeon, chances are my location-based website – www.pacificheightsplasticsurgery.com – is going to come up strong in the free, organic results on Google. That consumer will get the same result if they enter a very natural search phrase like ‘plastic surgeon in pacific heights.’
As though testing the results on Google wasn’t enough, I was reminded the other day how important this is. I had returned from speaking at a meeting about marketing on a budget where I discussed the importance of location-based names to my audience. When I arrived back in town, I had patients to see that afternoon. My first patient was a new patient. I asked her how she find me and she said, “I live nearby [Pacific Heights] and when I searched Google, you came up first!” Ironically, she just happened to work at Google in Mountainview, just south of San Francisco.
What are the chances I would get a patient from Google that demonstrated the exact strategy I had just lectured on hours before! Go google and go location-based URL’s!