The medical practice dynamic is always in flux, and small practices sometimes end up merging with larger groups. Instead of having one or two locations, these groups may end up with 5 or more locations in different cities or sometimes, even different states.
That type of expansion can certainly be great for business, but it can make local SEO difficult. It’s not impossible to have a multi-location practice rank in search results for every location, but it’s going to take more work than it would for a practice with just a couple of locations.
There are two different approaches you can take to improve your local SEO if you have a multi-location practice. You can put all of the information on one site, or have a separate site for each individual location. We’ll explain how to accomplish both.
It is possible to rank for multiple locations with one website, but you can’t just call it quits with a single location page. You’ll need to work at making sure that you have sufficient information for each practice location. To accomplish this, each location should have its own unique URL on your website. Furthermore, each location page should have its own unique content that is specific to that location.
That means that you can’t just copy over the same content to each location page and just swap out the mentions of the location. There may be some overlap in content, like the hours and services, but overall the content should be different. Try adding written directions, explaining how to get to the location from the major highways nearby.
Another way to have your practice rank for multiple locations is to have a separate website for each location. In this case, each office would usually manage their own website. However, you still need to make sure that branding stays consistent throughout all of the practice websites.
One way to do this is to have pre-made website templates created for the group that keep consistent branding elements like colors, logos, fonts, etc. Then, each office can select the template they want to use. It can be difficult to maintain branding when each office is managing its own website, and the templates are an easy way to keep some sort of consistency. You may also want to write up a set of content guidelines for some consistency in how things are stated on each website.
Try to keep the website URLs as consistent as possible too. For example, a practice named Orthopedic Associates might have website URLs like “orthoassociatesmiami.com” and “orthoassociatestampa.com.” Just try to keep the URLs as short as possible. No one want to type in a URL that’s 40+ characters long.
Although this method will not require multiple location pages, each website should still have unique content about the location. Include photos of the office, and content explaining the services in that office. You’ll probably also want to have separate phone numbers for each office to avoid confusion in listings. If you can, it would also be helpful to list the doctors that practice at each location, if certain doctors only practice at particular locations. You can list out the doctors that practice at a particular location, and link to their bio pages. This will help with SEO, and will also be helpful to patients who may be seeking out a particular doctor.
What to Do Next
Once you’ve decided on the website strategy for your multi-location practice, you’ll need to take a few more steps to improve your ranking for each location. Whether you are going with a single site or multiple sites, these steps are fairly similar.
1. Create Google listings for each location.
Make sure that each listing is set up consistently and keeps up with Google’s current listing guidelines. Make sure business categories stay consistent throughout all listings and that your business name matches your practice name. According to Google’s guidelines, the listings for all of your locations should have the same name. If listings already exist for some of the locations, try to claim what you can to prevent any messy duplications that could interfere with verification. Once you have the listings set up, you’ll need to link to your website. However, the link that you use will vary depending on whether you have a single site or multiple sites.
If each location has its own website, you can simply link to the homepage of each location on its corresponding listing. Each location website should have its own unique URL and content in this case.
If your practice is going with one website and multiple location pages, you should link to the individual location page that corresponds to the location of the listing, rather than linking to your homepage in every listing. This will help Google understand that there are several locations for your practice, not just one.
2. Make sure listings stay up to date.
Locations move, and information changes. Sometimes Google will change information on its own if it doesn’t think the information is correct. It’s important to keep your listing information consistent with what is on your website. You’ll want to make sure that someone is regularly checking in on your listings to make sure that everything is displaying like it is supposed to. Remember, a lot of patients are likely to use Google to find your location. You need to make sure you are providing them with the most up-to-date information.
3. Consistent citations on all local listing and review sites.
Google listings are only the first step. There are several other local listing and review sites that commonly show up in search results. To really boost your ranking for each location, you need to be listed on these sites, too. Across all of these sites, make sure you keep all of the information consistent with your Google listings. Services like Moz Local, Localeze, or Yext can help you get some of that information out quickly.
4. Encourage patient reviews.
The more online reviews your practice has, the more likely you are to have a higher ranking in search results. Let your patients know you are listed, and encourage them to leave reviews. Keep up with your reviews on all of the popular review sites, and make sure to respond to reviews, particularly negative ones. If other patients see that you do your best to resolve complaints, you can turn that negative into a positive by demonstrating that you care about your patients.
Whether your practice decides to go with a single website or multiple websites, the overall key is consistency, unique information about each location, local listings, and patient reviews. Once you have all of those pieces in place, your ranking should start to improve for all of your practice locations.