How VitalSite CMS Improves Search Engine Rankings for Your Providers

Image of a physician's stethoscope on a search box.
You’ve been hearing a lot about the new rules of search engine optimization. Google has taken away search ranking data, inbound organic click-through data, and is, in many cases, even removing more and more of the search engine results page (SERP) real estate dedicated to organic search results!

Through it all, Google has been clear – your route to good search engine placement is the development of original, uniquely valuable content.

Although very good advice, it’s not the entire story. A search ranking isn’t just a result of the content on a page.  It’s the result of a large number of different signals including inbound links from other sites, links on social media, and a host of technical indications of both quality and topical relevance.

The content on a page is at the top of that list of technical indicators, but other items play a role, for example:

  • Page speed
  • Proper use of headings (H1 tags)
  • Meaningful URLs
  • Use of schema.org tagging
  • XML sitemap
  • Use of canonical URLs for duplicate content

That’s why our engineering team has focused on updating and enhancing some aspects of the VitalSite™ platform that will help improve the SEO competitiveness of our client sites.  We’ve primarily focused on changes that can help improve the rankings of providers. Updates include:

  • SEO-friendly URLs – Replacing parameterized URLs, a typical and efficient approach for directories of content on websites, with human readable text URLs provides significant benefits in terms of SEO. Not to mention it’s just a nice feature for those searchers that type in a provider’s name directly.
  • Canonical support for providers – Working with highly dynamic content such as provider directories can be complex.  Some of our client sites have 50 or more possible URL combinations for any given provider based on specialty, location, and any number of other taxonomy facets. Vitalsite now allows for the selection and intelligent management of canonical references for these physicians in order to help send a clear and unambiguous signal to search engines regarding the preferred link.
  • XML sitemap overhaul – Sitemaps help search engines discover your website’s important content, play a role in SEO and can be helpful tools for content administrators and webmasters. We’ve made some updates in this release that will appeal to all. Sitemaps are now human readable and navigable. They are generated more quickly, and they include image properties for some pages in order to help search engines discover content beyond HTML pages.

Geonetric is excited to deliver regular product enhancements to our clients – from improvements in technical capabilities like these, to entire new features like Active Directory integration and a new, native integration with Krames StayWell’s health library content.

We work hard to ensure that the enhancements we make aren’t just about adding more bullets in a list of features. It’s about making our client’s Web properties perform better.

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This entry was posted in Admin Feed, Content Management (CMS), Search/SEO/PPC, VitalSite by Ben Dillon. Bookmark the permalink.
Ben Dillon

About Ben Dillon

Ben’s a big picture type of guy. He loves sharing new ideas in digital marketing, keeping a watchful eye on healthcare industry trends and seeing how it all intersects. A sought-after speaker, writer, blogger and current SHSMD board member, Ben’s an influential voice in healthcare marketing, helping organizations across the country embrace online strategies to engage health consumers. Combine his industry savvy with his background in software development and you can see why he’s also an important member of Geonetric’s software team, ensuring our content management system stays a step ahead of market needs. Ben holds a master’s degree in eBusiness and strategic management from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan. When he’s not traveling and evangelizing, Ben enjoys cooking with his family and playing the Big House with the University of Michigan Alumni marching band.

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