Local SEO can be challenging enough for medical practices in major cities across the United States and competitive local landscapes. However, adding multiple locations to the mix can make the overall local SEO program even more complex.
In any form of SEO, organization is essential. That is, an intelligently-organized web presence that combines the right ingredients is vital for a healthy and thriving multi-local SEO campaign.
When it to comes to multi-location SEO for medical practices, efforts must be organized based on some of the following cornerstones in order to succeed.
Developing a Website Content Strategy
The structure and navigation of a site’s content influences not just usability but also SEO. With the sitemap serving as the navigational blueprints behind a site, each URL (web page) serves a purpose in establishing both keyword and geographic relevancy.
How pages are named, structured, and linked together contributes to how well they support the site’s rankings for specific keywords in each geographic market. And there are various ways to achieve this.
A classic content strategy for multi-location medical practices is to create dedicated pages for each individual address or location. In this “Areas We Serve” section of the site, each page clearly communicates the underlying geographic association of the practice. As a result, the site will have greater potential to rank in each market.
Lastly, the content strategy of a site should not overlook each service provided. Also best achieved via dedicated URLs, describing each service with well-optimized pages is the essence of SEO best practice.
Leveraging Schema Markup
Incorporating Schema markup into an on-page SEO/content strategy will take a practice’s ranking potential to entirely new level. In basic terms, Schema uses special HTML tags to define pieces of content on a page (i.e. name of business/product, address, phone number, image, quantity of products available, description, etc.)
Creating Google My Business Profiles for Each Location
Just as important as the content on a site is establishing dedicated Google My Business profiles for each location. Because Google often displays the local 3-pack (with map) for geo-related searches, each Google My Business page will be an equally vital asset to the optimized pages on your site.
Take the time to build and verify Google My Business pages for each location. In addition to ensuring each practice’s Google My Business page is fully populated and verified, make sure each page is properly linked to and from the site (preferably with each corresponding location page.)
Building Citations & Generating Links
Now comes the more long-term and ongoing efforts of building authority in you medical practice: building links and citations. Both “links” (or backlinks) and “citations” are variables for which Google uses to determine the credibility and popularity of a business and its website.
Links pointing to your practice’s site from other related health, medical, or locally-relevant sites are like votes of popularity that define your site’s domain authority, or potential to rank in Google search. Common sources of links include: directories, blogs, affiliation networks, and membership sites. The stronger and more reputable the site supplying the link (i.e. a membership listing on PlasticSurgery.org,) the more domain authority (or local SEO value) the link can offer.
Citations serve a similar purpose but are ranking factors centric to Google’s local listings. Citations are mentions of a business’ name, address, and phone number. Also common on directories and affiliation sites, Google looks at the volume and the accuracy of a business’ citations to determine its local relevancy and credibility. So not only do you want proliferate your medical practice across as many quality directories and sites as possible, but you also want to ensure all of your listings are accurate and consistently the same. Even the slightest inconsistency (like not mentioning the suite of your office’s address) can hinder your medical practice’s SEO efforts.
Earning & Soliciting Positive Reviews
Another very important variable that impacts both SEO and the underlying conversion potential of your business are reviews. In fact, having a high volume of 5-star reviews on your practice’s Google My Business pages can make the different between a user clicking your listing or your competitor’s, even if you rank at the bottom of the local 3-pack listings.
Beyond Google My Business, reviews can offer a layer of authority to your listings on Yelp.com, HealthGrades.com, and other social media platforms and web directories. For many medical practice keywords, Yelp pages themselves can rank highly in the Google search results. As a result, earning good reviews on various web properties associated with your practice can profoundly influence your web marketing efforts and your practice’s online reputation as a whole.
Soliciting positive reviews requires a creative approach of encouraging happy clients to visit these web properties and leave a review. That encouragement may come as an incentive or ethical bargain. But think of it this way: if your practice earned three positive reviews on Yelp, Google My Business, and HealthGrades.com from 10 different clients, then your practice can realize a significant boost for SEO as well as overall click-throughs and lead value associated with your practices’ listings.
Need help with local SEO or your overall healthcare digital marketing strategy? Give our team a call today at (404) 334-7993 for a free consultation.