SEO for Walk In Clinics and Avoiding Local SEO Scams
Recently I did some work for a successful walk-in-clinic and urgent care facility in Birmingham AL. Their practice was already successful because they have a great staff, and the physician is just an amazing guy that truly cares about his patients. His attitude is always really pleasant so it’s easy to see why he gets a lot of referrals especially from the Latino community (they all speak fluent Spanish and English)
His online presence was a completely different story however, and one you can learn from if you’re searching for SEO Services for a walk-in clinic. (or any business website for that matter)
Like many clients we work with, this client was completely taken advantage of by his SEO firm. SEO Agencies prey on the fact that clients don’t know what they are actually doing for them, and to be honest, understanding Search Engine Optimization can be a very daunting task.
The physician in this clinic is obviously intelligent, and I would argue that a good Search Engine Optimization expert has a similar complex skill-set that takes years to develop. Sadly, there are many marketing firms out there that understand a “little bit” about Search Engine Marketing principles and feel they are qualified to charge substantially for their services. My goal today is to teach you some things to look for on your site, and hold your web developer to task if they are taking advantage of your lack of knowledge regarding SEO. (You’re not supposed to)
Catching this SEO Firm with Their Hands in the Cookie Jar
This incident was one of the worst cases of client negligence I have ever seen from a Web Development company.
For starters, they took a 7 year old domain he already owned and converted it to a.Net domain that they registered using their company information.
Why is this bad for SEO and why did they do it?
Domain age creates trust in Google’s eyes because basically it’s telling them you’ve been around awhile and will probably continue to do so. Along with proper seo fundamentals, The age of a domain is one of the leading factors for local rankings on Google.
So why did they switch domains to the. Net? In changing the domain name, they now control the client! (It’s harder to move away from them…trust me)
Taking a 7 year old domain and basically dumping it for a brand new one is highly unethical in my opinion. He basically is starting over on his walkin clinics online presence. Not good…
Furthermore, they built a custom theme that only they knew how to manipulate so that another firm couldn’t come in behind them to make simple changes. They didn’t even create a page in the dashboard (they built it in the editor) so WordPress doesn’t recognize it as a page to crawl in the site map. (Make SURE you have a Google site map in place. Ask your developer about this)
Again, very poor seo fundamentals.
By switching the old domain to a new one it also created multiple broken links which they used 301 redirects to somewhat fix to the old links.
However, I would never recommend breaking a site as redirects can severely damage your sites search engine optimization potential if done improperly. https://moz.com/learn/seo/
301 redirects aren’t necessarily terrible for seo, but in this case, it was completely avoidable. In Google’s eyes it can potentially say there are issues with the site. Not good…
Classic Example of an SEO Scam at $1500 Per Month
Did they do this on purpose? My dealings with them in trying to make the transfer to his account tells me yes. They asked me for an authorization code? (the registrar has to initiate) they locked the domain during the transfer (it has to be unlocked) they delayed their response on the transfer past the 3-5 day window (I had to start the process over) they limited the data transfer of the site content (I couldn’t get the entire site files at once)
In other words, this transfer and migration of data was a nightmare.
This had to be done before we could even start on Seo for his walk-in-clinic facility.
Once we finally got into the site dashboard we uploaded a beautiful premium theme for medical facilities from themefuse, a very reputable WordPress theme developer.
We built a new front page that could be indexed and linked to other pages easily, as well as make it easy for any other developer to work on.
Check For Plenty of Text on Your Website Pages from Untrained SEO Scammers
You MUST have text on your page, or a lot of it within your images as alt text if you expect to rank well in the search engines. I wrote an article about On Page SEO Tips Here to Explain how to Optimize Your Site for the Search Engines. Unfortunately, almost all of the pages and posts had very little SEO for walkin clinics or urgent care. There weren’t any images on any of the posts (this is SEO 101 for keywords, readability and alt text) so we’re in the process of fixing that now.
The pages were optimized very little in regards to walkin clinics, urgent care,family physician. Etc and scored poorly on Yoast, a pretty decentSEO plugin for WordPress.
It was also hosted in Singapore which creates multiple “hops” to the server and loaded in 15-20 seconds. (It was painful to work on) Site loading times matter now more than ever, so you need to choose a good hosting company with SSD servers, and a good caching plugin to optimize speeds on your site. (it matters. Big time!)
Godaddy, while popular, is not a hosting company we recommend. At all. Consider a cloud based CDN hosting environment for a secure (less potential for being hacked) blazing fast site.
We went with baby steps here and chose Inmotion Hosting with WP Rocket Premium caching plugin. It now loads in 2-3 seconds with many more images added and considerably more text. (Your page NEEDS text in order to be crawled for keywords)
Finally, the footer of the page should have the address of the company (it did), a link or banner to Google plus and I recommend having a few keywords to the Google plus page in the footer section. (it didn’t have the see items)
Sadly this client had been paying a decent mortgage payment to this SEO firm to write a few (unoptimized) blog posts a month for him.
Zero social media posts since 2013. No Facebook cover page. Very few local directory listings (maybe 20 of the top 50 which we do immediately for every client), and while they did create 15-20 links with anchor text, I hope you understand this is a textbook example of the overcharging that goes on in the SEO services industry.
Clients simply don’t know what to expect, or how to check an SEO firms work.
One way to check your visibility is to get a free scan here to see what local listings you’re visible on.
The Importance of Consistent Data on Business Directory Listings for Local SEO- What’s Your Score?
Pay close attention to whether or not they are accurate and consistent all throughout the data ecosystem. If not, this is hurting you much more than you might think. You need to be listed on all of these, at am absolute minimum, if you expect your business to rank.
We submit to 59 of the top business directory listings immediately, and work on link acceleration over time. We also work on bad data suppression, which can kill your chances of ranking well for a walkin clinic.
Link acceleration and duplicate suppression is complex, and while you can do it on your own, you need the proper tools to do so.
You also need to know your citation authority score, and improve it, if you want to rank in the top three spots in Google maps. (the stars section with reviews)
Please, make sure your SEO firm can give you your current citation value score. If they can’t or don’t understand the question, you need to hire a new SEO agency or Website developer.
Also visit open site Explorer on Moz.com. You can see whether or not you have good links back to your site with keywords embedded in them. (These are signals to Google on what to rank you for). It’s OK if you have some links without them if the page is properly optimized, but not OK if I you’ve been paying over $1000 a month for SEO Services. Link building is still the foundation for ranking websites, though anchor text and high ranking citations are not child’s play. It has to be done correctly or you will suffer per Google algorithms. The days of spammy links are long gone. (Be very careful here)
These SEO Best Practices items are critical for your success online, and can actually be done quite affordably.
In closing, this kind of practice mentioned in this article is all too common in an industry that is very hard to understand. Clients trust that their chosen Web developer understands search engine optimization, and has the necessary tools to help them achieve their desired result. (Top Rankings for Your walkin clinic)
Sadly, most do not. Even sadder in this case, they don’t care about the success of their client.
Walk In Clinic SEO Case Study Results – Did His Rankings Improve Online?
This scenario was extremely difficult to fix, and took a lot of patience and skill to get resolved. This is obviously a task needed outside the $99 SEO Package we offer, but this walk-in-clinic is on their way to success moving forward. Check out their stats in just two months of working with them below! Wow! Up 400% and we finally got this mess straightened out!
Conclusion for This Walk In Clinic SEO Case Study
As you can see, we fixed a lot of problems this walk in clinic, and dramatically improved their rankings online. They own their domain now, their site is properly optimized, social media posts and ads are in motion, they’re on an American hosting server that is much faster, and all the ingredients are in place for them to dominate their market for walkin clinics, urgent care, std testing, DNA paternity and other key Phrases they need to attract new customers.
Fill out the form on our Contact Page to request a quote for SEO Services For your walk-in clinic or any type business today. We look forward to speaking with you!