Going Beyond Project-Based SEO

3 minute read

SEO retainer creates long-term impact by taking a holistic approach.


Owensboro Health wanted to take a research-based approach to understanding and improving their search engine performance.


Geonetric analyzed factors affecting search engine performance, conducted competitor research, and prioritized projects that aligned with Owensboro Health’s goals.


The research and projects produced impressive results, including a 58% increase of unique organic pageviews on provider profiles and a 1,400% increase in organic entrances for a recently acquired hospital.

“With the launch of our redesigned website, the time was right to take the next step in advancing our digital efforts. The SEO project helped me understand the importance of on-page content organization and the backend metadata. It is a challenge to keep up-to-date on each change that Google and other search platforms are continuously making. I appreciated the extra pair of eyes the SEO partnership afforded me on those changes. The competitor information we received was an insightful resource.”

Former Marketing Specialist
Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a regional health system serving 14 counties throughout western Kentucky and southwest Indiana. With multiple competitors in the region, SEO is important for attracting new patients online.

But Owensboro Health’s team wasn’t just looking for a quick fix. They wanted long-term success. They understood that effective SEO depends on a number of factors — from the technical foundation of their CMS to their competitors’ service line strategy — and the only way an agency can gain a holistic understanding of those factors is through a long-term partnership.

Combining research with projects

Owensboro Health engaged in an SEO retainer that combined research with project work. Our team conducted research that identified opportunities to improve. Research included keyword reports, crawl reports, and analyses of competitors’ SEO and PPC performance.

The teams met regularly to discuss completed work, review results, and prioritize upcoming projects. The type of work varied, ranging from establishing redirects and adding metadata to reorganizing site sections and reshaping content.

In this case study, we’ll highlight two projects from the retainer.

1. Increasing traffic to provider profiles

Owensboro Health wanted to attract more people to their provider profiles. Based on our research, we decided to rewrite HTML page titles and meta descriptions as an initial SEO tactic for helping them achieve this goal. We optimized the HTML page titles to increase search engine rankings and focused the meta descriptions on convincing users to click through to the profiles.

Before the project, the HTML page titles listed the provider’s name and “Owensboro Health.” Our team added specialties and locations. We also properly formatted provider names and credentials to the way search engines prefer. The added information attracts visitors who are researching specialties and captures traffic from local searches.

The meta descriptions convey benefits from the patient’s perspective, and a clear call to action drives users to visit the profile. We also incorporated keywords to improve rankings.

In the five months after the project, organic unique pageviews increased 58% compared to the same period the previous year. Comparing the five months after the project to the previous five-month period, results showed:

  • 20% increase in mobile clicks from Google to provider profiles
  • 10% increase in overall provider profile impressions on Google
  • 7% increase in average mobile CTR to provider profiles
  • 16% increase in overall clicks from Google to provider profiles

2. Increasing traffic to Muhlenberg Community Hospital

Owensboro Health acquired Muhlenberg Community Hospital (MCH) the year before the SEO retainer. MCH had a small site, so initially, all site content was migrated to one page of Owensboro Health’s site and organized into accordion tabs.

The page attracted only a small number of visitors, most likely because Google’s algorithms give less weight to content hidden in tabs and accordions. Our team decided to build out the section for MCH, taking the content out of the accordions and organizing it across 17 new pages.

The hub page includes general hospital information. Subpages address major service lines. In addition to placing the content, our team optimized it for keywords. This included reshaping page headers, body content, meta descriptions, and HTML page titles.

Although this project was completed just before the November and December holidays (which usually cause a dip in traffic on healthcare websites), the section attracted more unique visitors than the months before. Organic entrances to the section increased 1,400% in November–January as compared to September–November.

Metrics also show more engagement with the section. Average time on page increased by 35%, and the bounce rate decreased 20%.

Building success over time

As Owensboro Health continues to strengthen their regional presence, SEO is important for reaching health consumers online. The retainer allowed them to prioritize and tackle a wide variety of projects, attracting more potential patients to their website.

Going Beyond Project-Based SEO