The largest hospital group east of the Mississippi with over 6,000 doctors on staff
We had been managing this client’s AdWords accounts for over two years and seeing spectacular results. Our most successful campaign was designed to drive AdWords traffic to individual doctor pages—these are pages that give detailed information about the individual doctor, encouraging people to sign up for an initial consultation. During this two year period, we had encouraged our client to improve their individual doctor pages to increase both conversions (initial consultation sign-ups) and organic SEO. The problem was the client’s individual doctor pages usually were in position 3 or 4 for the individual doctors’ own names and specialties. The top two positions were usually lead-generating websites that would try to sell leads to our client.
Our contacts in the marketing department were keen to make these improvements, but hesitant because of how difficult the project would be from an internal perspective. The website has many stakeholders, as well as a large IT department managing it. The IT department was dubious that changes on the webpage could improve the search results. They were concerned that “the juice would not be worth the squeeze.”
A second challenge was their Microsoft IIS web server. When the site was built, the URLs were not optimized for keywords. This meant that each of the individual doctor pages’ URLs did not contain their name or their specialty — only computer code. Changing the computer code to the keywords (a doctor’s name and specialty) on just the individual doctor pages was technologically difficult, and the IT team was not in favor of it.
We started by investigating in-depth the IIS server’s capabilities and looking for the best possible solution. Our technical SEO team found several possible solutions, but both we and the marketing team decided that the solution that would likely be the most easily accepted by the IT team and have the greatest impact was a simple solution that would allow us to optimize the 300 most important doctor pages by using the IIS redirect system. This system allowed us to optimize the 300 doctors URLs. Our research told us that over 300 redirects would begin to degrade the speed of the server.
This solution gave us the greatest impact with the fewest changes to the server. With the marketing team, we took the solution to the IT team. After many conversations and document exchanges with the IT team to prove the need for and effectiveness of the solution—and that we were capable of implementing the solution (they were not comfortable doing the changes to the server)—our technical SEO team was given the credentials to make the changes.
We successfully created the redirects and implemented them 50 at a time to make sure the server speed was not degraded. Within a week, the client’s individual doctor pages for the 300 most important doctors were in position 1 or 2 in the search results; they were suddenly listed above the lead-generating websites’ results for the first time. The doctors we were not able to optimize remained below the lead-generating sites.
The combination of AdWords ads at the top of the page and the top organic search results meant that not only did the AdWords CTR and ROI improve, but the organic traffic to the individual doctor sites increased significantly as well.