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.
In this day and age of detailed analytics and tracking it can be easy to get lost in the numbers. For brands that have multiple locations or sell multiple products it can be especially hard to sift through the massive amount of local and organic search data available. But what exactly are the top metrics to keep an eye on for your local SEO campaign?
Bill Connard of Local Search Solutions recently wrote an excellent piece on defining the KPI’s of Local SEO and measuring them for maximum ROI. Here below his take on the 6 key performance indicators (KPI’s) of Local SEO and the best ways to measure them as well as my experience with them.
1. Check search rankings on Search Engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo)
You might not be surprised to hear that “The Big 3” search engines make up an estimated 94.2 percent of all search traffic. On its own though, Google takes only about 65 percent. Tracking your rankings by running searches across all three search engines will give you an accurate view of overall performance. This can be time consuming but there are ways to scale it down. Try monitoring your rankings across “The Big 3” on a single platform like What’s my SERP. Make sure to run searches in all the cities where your business has locations.
2. Local Search Ranking on Third Party Sites
Measuring and tracking your organic search performance is important, but you will need to take an extra step and include where you are ranking in third-party results and maps. Look and see where you are ranking for certain keywords on third party sites like Yelp, Citysearch, Superpages and Facebook. The bottom line? Check the search engines for other places where your brand might rank.
3. Brand Citation Consistency
Having your business or brand listed incorrectly in search engines and data aggregators can lead to a negative user experience. See how your citation accuracy compares with local rankings over time by comparing local business data for matching and consistency. Consistent citation tracking and monitoring enables brand marketers to quickly spot unclean data and correct it. To monitor citations quickly and efficiently, there are a couple of great tools such as the Bright Local Citation Tracker and MozLocal.
4. Analyzing Link Activity
Analyze your link activity to see how visitors respond to your hyperlinks. Are they from driving directories, coupons, click-to-call options or somewhere else? Track only the click activity that matters with consistent naming. These include driving directions, coupon downloads or click-to-call.
5. Reviews per Location
Online reviews for local businesses have never been more important than they are today. They instill trust and confidence and make consumers more likely to visit your business. The amount of reviews your business or brand has on sites like Google+, Yelp and Yahoo can greatly influence a customer’s view on the popularity of your business and also how your brand ranks over time. Check your reviews and rankings over time to see if there is a correlation between more reviews and better rankings.
6. Average Review Rankings
To piggyback off the last KPI, a high number of reviews are great but you are also looking for a high overall review rating on each third party site. Looking at the average review your brand or business gets and seeing how it impacts your local search ranking is a truly paramount source of information. You can use it to not only analyze and develop rankings but to also improve service throughout the entire organization.
Aside from local rankings, the impression users get about your brand hinges on your reviews and overall online reputation. If you have a negative reputation, web users are going to be less likely to seek you out for your services.
Keeping track of these 6 KPI’s is vital for a dynamic Local SEO campaign. What’s your take on the most important KPI’s for local SEO?