Have you noticed webpages for your healthcare system’s location profiles ranking higher than system-wide service-line pages in Google search results?
If you’re in Springville and looking online for urgent care, Google wants to show you urgent care locations in Springville. The search engine will look for content optimized for that particular location – and may prioritize it over content that describes urgent care services across a health system.
That means webpages describing your healthcare system’s locations are more important than ever. Certainly, web content about your healthcare system as a whole is still vital. But maintaining and optimizing content for your system’s location profiles is key to competing in search and meeting user needs. One of the last things you want is for potential patients to land on a location page and quickly leave because they found little valuable information, no conversion opportunity, and no links to additional relevant content. Or, worse yet, for potential patients to never make it to your website because their Google search didn’t turn up any pages about the location they want.
Before you expand or create content for specific locations, you need to strategize. Start by prioritizing certain locations or types of locations for content development. Then, think about the following:
Find out what the stakeholders for each location on your list want to accomplish for their facility or medical practice. Who are their audiences? What should they do and learn after visiting a certain location’s webpages? How will stakeholders judge whether online marketing efforts succeed?
As with almost any marketing project, it’s essential to get stakeholders’ feedback and give them a voice. But to get the most benefit from locations content, you must balance individual stakeholders’ priorities with those of your overall health system and your website users.
User behavior analysis can help you discover how website visitors engage with your locations content – how they arrive, where they go next, what other pages they visit during a session, etc. You’ll likely find that user behavior varies by location type. Expect to see different results for an urgent care facility vs. a wellness center vs. a hospital, for example, because of different user needs and goals.
Learn about your users’ behavior with Google Analytics or other tools. If doing so starts to feel complicated or time consuming, don’t be afraid to call a professional for help collecting, analyzing, and interpreting the results.
You already know your business competitors, but have you considered certain locations’ SEO competition as well? A particular medical practice or provider might not compete much for your location’s patients or consumers, but it could rank before your facility’s webpages in Google search results. Consider where organic search engine optimization or paid digital advertising could boost your standing.
Your health system’s locations also might compete with each other for online visitors. This happens most often when your health system has multiple similar facilities – like primary care practices – in a single metro area. To address this internal competition, find out what’s different and beneficial about each particular location. Ask stakeholders about the advantages of their facility’s:
- Unique provider team (if applicable)
- Awards, recognitions, or certifications
- Approach to care
- Physical location
You also can use keyword research to ease internal competition by directing the copy of a particular location’s pages to a narrow geographic area. For example, when planning the content for a couple of urgent care facilities, you might find that Google users in one city search most often for getting stitches, and people in a neighboring city search most often for removing stitches. Even though your urgent care locations in both cities insert and remove stitches, you might write about the service in a slightly different way to appeal to a particular audience. Doing so also helps prevents you from having the exact same content on both pages, and it can boost their SEO.
Other Relevant Online Content
Locations strategy involves more than just locations. You also have to consider what content related to your facilities already appears elsewhere on the website. If a certain webpage applies to multiple clinics or hospitals, try to link to it instead of repeating that content in your location pages. That way, you’ll spare yourself content maintenance headaches.
This is especially important when it comes to service-line content. Location webpages need to describe the services offered at that facility, but those pages should also link to sections of content describing relevant service lines from a system-wide perspective. Those links help users learn about all the relevant services your health system offers – including services at locations they might not have known about.
Again, don’t hesitate to give your efforts a boost with help from someone who has experience in locations content strategy.
SEO for Healthcare Locations
Once you make a plan for locations content, you’re ready to write informative, valuable, user-focused pages that Google values. Start with these SEO tips:
- Optimize HTML page titles using a formula such as: Location Name | Key Services | City.
- Include basic details for local search, including the address and brief wayfinding description, phone number, hours, and embedded Google Map.
- Use schema markup. Adding this code to your site helps search engines understand what your page is about and makes pages eligible to appear in features such as Knowledge Graph cards and rich snippets.
- Earn outside links. Where possible, try to get your locations’ listings on directory sites or Google My Business to link to the relevant location landing page, rather than your home page.
Want to know more? Sign up for our free October webinar, Local SEO Strategy for Healthcare Organizations.