When Keeping Your Site Secure, Don’t Forget About Citations

Practis Blog

Does your site have HTTPS yet? If not, you should certainly be transitioning it to keep your site at the top of rankings and in great standing with your users. If you have, make sure that you’re considering all of the other avenues by which someone may find your site, like your local citations, or directory listings. 

Why are Listings so Important?

First we’ll start with why your local citations are one of the most important things for your online marketing. If you’ve ever heard the term NAP, it’s just a reference to your name, address, and phone number. Sounds simple, right? For some practices it may be, but for those with multiple citations and locations it gets a little tricky. 

A practice with 20 providers has two locations, and each provider has 50 citations of his or her own. Plus, the location itself has about 100 citations for that location. So, (20 x 50) + (100 x 2) = 1,200. That’s 1,200 areas where your NAP needs to be correct, among other things. In addition to NAP, you have to remember your URL, reviews, category listings, and more. Long story short, your listings have to be cleaned up, or you’ll confuse your visitors–if they find you. 

Things to Keep in Mind with Listing Management

Managing all of your listings to have all of the correct information can be a daunting task. But, in order to maximize each citation’s effectiveness, keep the following rules in mind:

  • Make sure your practice name is the same on each listing. If your site has a suffix, like “PLLC” listed, then your name should include that on the listings as well.
  • Ensure your address is uniform on each listing. Be sure to include it exactly as it’s listed on the mail you receive. Remember to keep abbreviations the same as well (ex: suite vs ste.)
  • Use your main phone number for each location. Having different numbers could confuse potential patients trying to contact you.
  • For Doctor’s citation listings, ensure that your site URL is directed to that doctor’s about page. This will ensure that your site is receiving traffic from people looking for that particular doctor.

How Do I Keep My Citations Clean with HTTPS?

As you transition over to HTTPS, it may seem like an easy process where you just switch the domain and call it a day. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

Typically when a site upgrades to HTTPS, 301 redirects are created to forward people who click on HTTP links to the secure site. This is, of course, a best practice and we encourage it. But in regard to your Google My Business listing in particular, relying on 301 redirects may negatively impact your local pack rankings. Research suggests that traffic can decrease when the URL isn’t updated and only 301 redirects are used.

Sure, if you type in HTTP instead of HTTPS you will find your site, but you’re going through an extra, unnecessary step. By adjusting all of your current citations to ensure that you are, in fact, going directly to the HTTPS, you’re using no redirects and getting straight to the source–and that keeps everyone happy.

When in Doubt, Ask a Medical Marketing Expert

If you’ve changed over to HTTPS and are concerned about any of these issues, don’t try and diagnose every single citation by yourself. That could take weeks of your time attempting to claim and adjust all listings. Instead, use an expert that can help diagnose most of your citations at once. Programs that scour the internet for your listings are helpful because they can find things that you may not see, but are just as important to your online presence. 

For more information about transitioning your site to HTTPS, or to find out how to make sure your citations are properly taken care of, contact Practis today!