Local Drives New Traffic; Identifies “Dark Traffic”

It’s not news that Google’s has shifted to mobile-centric search results, and that location is the context which service-based search results are presented. In this environment, all businesses with local brick & mortar presence need to be sure they’re allowing customers the option to visit their location or buy online.

But in service-related industries like healthcare, it’s crucial to align web strategies behind physical locations because physical locations are the key vehicle for serving patients.

The brand’s existing location listings were triggering over 5MM impressions a month

In this example, we teamed with the folks and technology at RIO SEO to help a regional healthcare client realign its web presence to support physical locations, allowing them to bolster visibility of hospitals, physicians and medical centers, while identifying local SEO & map traffic as a key source of inquiries prior to location visits.

The Challenge of the NEW Local Search World

Accurately portraying location information for over 1000 locations to the search engines requires the development of a local listings strategy more robust than simply correctly maintaining the content on your website and with the engines themselves. In order to be trusted by both search engines and consumers, local listings require consistency and uniformity of locations on both managed and 3rd properties that search engines and consumers use as trusted sources. (Eg: Yelp, Factual and Google My Business)

To build the right approach to distribute correct data, you must start with a central data source that’s the one go-to repository for correct location data in the company

For our healthcare company, like many large enterprises with long-established physical locations across multiple regions, much of the location information that proliferated over time did so organically with no assumptions on accuracy or quality. This was largely due to the lack of a central data source for all 1000+ physical locations as well as undefined internal ownership of locations syndication.

Gaining Control & Identifying Traffic Sources

Initially, for our client, as we dove in to create a campaign to enhance existing search visibility, we soon understood that the brand’s existing location listings were triggering over 5MM impressions a month and hundreds of thousands of phone calls, directions requests, appointments and site landings. The need to claim, manage, and proliferate accurate point-of-care location information was more than an opportunity, it was a key priority for the business. This helped to validate the importance of local as a large source for existing traffic and appointments, as well as an opportunity to manage brand awareness and capture new patients.

Blood, Sweat and SEO

The first step was creating a database that consolidated all location listings, pages, addresses, locations, hours, etc, etc. Keep in mind that this was no small feat for 1000s of locations. There’s no replacement for gaining accurate information than an old-fashioned call & research campaign. Reaching out to each location to confirm information so that once it’s pushed out, we can confirm accuracy. Not only confirming current information, but providing a channel to make future updates and provide clarity around where to enter, holiday hours, etc, etc.

Finally armed with an accurate and expansive location set, we worked with the healthcare brand and Rio SEO to deploy this updated information across the web and ensure local reporting was tracking to help the brand clearly understand the opportunity and scale of traffic and appointments.

In the initial submission, using the centralized data that Wheelhouse researched & consolidated, Rio SEO created, claimed and updated more than 1,000 brand listings in Google, and more than 1,100 in Bing.

The brand also gained meaningful improvements in accuracy and local visibility through active listings distribution, management and monitoring. Map Pack Insights provided a view into critical engagement metrics in Google search results including patients’ request for driving directions, click-through to the site, phone calls and overall impressions.

Results: What Does It All Mean

Since partnering with Wheelhouse & RIO, the brand has a new perspective on the importance of 3rd party location and review directory accuracy as those are so often where mobile users engage first through app or browser, and those users may complete their task before they ever touch an owned property. With claimed and managed listings across all its markets, this healthcare brand for the first time can gather data on and prioritize the exposure of local listings.

The results helped draw attention to the true value of local optimization for a regional healthcare brand. In partnership with Rio SEO’s tools and Wheelhouse Digital Marketing Group SEO support, we:

  • Improved the accuracy of 1k Google listings from ~60% to >95% in 90 days and ensured that the hundreds of thousands of off-site conversions already taking place were properly attributed as successful conversions.
  • Confirmed >20% of all Organic Web traffic was already originating from Google Maps and Map Pack results and was heretofore unknown (not provided).
  • Realized the impact of >10% of users who viewed a Google Local Listing took a conversion action (click, call, directions)
  • >80% of Local Listing conversions (calls and directions) do not depend on or send traffic to the business website and have been previously un-attributed.

With the ability to gather and aggregate local listing data with RIO and as new optimization and enhancement strategies continue to evolve with Wheelhouse DMG, the brand continues to add double-digit incremental growth into an already large system, on top of accurate and trusted listings!

Want to learn more about our case study and the brand? Download the full version of the case study here: ______ . And be sure to visit our healthcare page to learn more about the work we’re doing with leading healthcare brands.

A few of our healthcare clients:

Our Healthcare Marketing Services:

Domain Strategy

We’ll help you unravel legacy infrastructure, consolidate authority and decompartmentalize your online presence so that all ships rise with the tide.

Our work will help build the business case to justify a significant shift in domain strategy.

Enterprise Analytics

Are your videos contributing to new patients? How do you know? Our Enterprise Analytics team can help you understand which engagement activities and touch points contribute to new patients, online or off.

Find out how Enterprise Analytics helped one of the largest healthcare systems in the US transform their business.

Local Search

In a mobile-first world, every user’s results are unique to them and pivots around their location and history. With the latest shifts in local search, more and more interactions with your patients and prospects are happening without you knowing. Not only are these interactions knowable, but they can also be attributed to patient acquisition in a way that provides visibility of local search to your marketers.

Read more about how in our article about closing the Local SEO data gap.

If you don’t have an SEO strategy for locations, you don’t have an SEO strategy.

How do you execute a local strategy across thousands of locations? Reviews, photos, updated content and technical code on the website (i.e.: Schema) all play a role in improving local visibility. But how do you tackle that when you’re talking 100s or 1000s of locations?

For one healthcare client with over 1100 locations, we employed our automation tools and reporting platform to manage their complex network of locations.

Learn more about the impact of our work on Local Search for one of the largest healthcare systems in the US.

Paid Search

Within paid search, you want to make sure you are in front of your customers with the right message in the right place at the right time. When you are thinking about driving customers to one of your hundreds, if not thousands of facilities; differentiating mobile vs desktop messaging can be very important. On mobile devices make sure you have enabled functions such as click to call & location extensions that make it as easy as possible for your customer to locate you. Ensuring that you are evaluating each searches value based on proximity to one of your locations can give big wins in terms of driving to the right cost per lead for each search.

WebMD is not your competition. Today, people are looking for a point of care and your keyword and bidding strategies should reflect that.

Digital Strategy

How do you pull it all together? Wheelhouse DMG specializes in digital strategy and healthcare. Each aspect of our digital marketing approach is unified by a focus on patient needs.

Using our deep understanding of search, we can help craft a strategy for your system that will increase visibility and improve user experience. Read about one such strategy in our post about how locations drive organic growth.

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