Successful Healthcare SEO Strategy: 3 Essential Pieces

Successful Healthcare SEO Strategy: 3 Essential Pieces

By Carrie DagenhardOct 8 /2019

Is your healthcare SEO strategy failing to drive the traffic you expect?

Over the past decade, healthcare companies of all sizes have worked hard to adopt and implement more modernized inbound marketing strategies. Yet, despite their dedication to creating quality content and fostering authentic engagement across digital channels, many healthcare brands still struggle to increase organic traffic.

With all the time and energy you invest in your efforts, this can be demoralizing.

If you aren’t getting enough eyes on your content, you may be missing a few key ingredients in your search engine optimization strategy, and making a handful of simple tweaks could help transform your results.

Here are three elements you should include in your healthcare SEO strategy to boost traffic and attract a bigger audience.

Healthcare SEO Strategy Secrets

Earn Authoritative Backlinks

Earning quality backlinks (the ethical way) can help increase your SEO value. When a credible site links to your website, this signals to search engines that your site is reliable and worthy of better ranking.

But how can you earn quality backlinks?

  • Create shareable content. The first step is to create content that’s useful, interesting and relevant to your audience. The second step is to make sure that content is worthy of a share. One of the best ways to ensure people engage with and re-share your content is to discuss a newsworthy or timely topic. For example, if you’re a medical device brand targeting surgeons, you might create an article or video discussing a controversial study about how surgeons’ hours affect success rates (and how solutions like yours can make surgeons more effective).
  • Get published in relevant publications. Strive to get your brand’s thought leaders and top executives featured in popular publications. For example, if your company is a medical staffing agency, your CEO could write an article about burnout and employee satisfaction in the healthcare industry. If they haven’t been published anywhere before, it’s best to start by pitching guest articles to small, niche publications. Once you begin building their reputation, you can work your way up to larger outlets.
  • Promote content on social media. When you promote content on social platforms (and followers share it), you’re helping create authentic backlinks and signaling to search engines that people are talking about your brand.

Create Content for Voice Search

Voice assistants are quickly becoming one of the preferred methods of finding information online. An estimated 111.8 million people in the U.S. (more than 33% of the total population) will use a voice assistant this year, according to predictions from eMarketer. Healthcare is the second most active industry for voice search, according to Hitwise data shared by Emagine.

If you want to grow and maintain traffic from search, you must account for voice search habits in your healthcare SEO strategy.

One of the best ways to boost your chances of being included among voice search results is to use keyword phrases that mirror voice queries. This means using conversational language and creating content that answers common questions. For example, if someone is looking for a new electronic medical records solution, they might ask, “What should I look for in an EMR solution?” “How does EMR software work?” or “What is the best EMR system?”

Creating a content hub or FAQ section chock-full of useful information centered around real questions prospects or patients ask is a great way to optimize your site for voice.

Check Your Technical SEO

Content creation and optimization are essential to increasing your search volume. But if your website backend isn’t set up for success, it can jeopardize your search engine results page (SERP) placement.

Here are five things to check when evaluating your website for SEO:

  • Page speed. Search engines are dedicated to ensuring their users’ experiences are as streamlined and efficient as possible. Sites that take a long time to load usually fall lower in search rankings. A good rule-of-thumb is to make sure each page on your site loads in two seconds or less.
  • Site responsiveness. You probably already know your site should be mobile-friendly, but did you know site responsiveness impacts search engine ranking, too? Like page speed, the way your website displays on mobile devices affects search engine users’ experiences. And now that Google’s mobile-first indexing is set to default, it’s essential your design renders correctly regardless of screen size.
  • Schema markup. When search engine users peruse SERPs, they often review snippets beneath page titles to determine which results are most relevant to their needs. These snippets are determined by something called the schema markup, which is editable. (You can learn more about schema markup here.) Although it’s hard to say how much this impacts search ranking (most search engines are notoriously tight-lipped about their ranking algorithms), including rich snippets can help boost click-through rates from organic results.
  • Encryption. Cybersecurity is top-of-mind for every industry today, but thanks to HIPAA and other regulatory and compliance concerns, the healthcare sector is especially sensitive. If you haven’t already, ensure your site is validated and earns an SSL certificate. (You can get a free certificate through nonprofit certificate authority Let’s Encrypt.) Not only will this help your search ranking, but seeing “HTTPS” in your website’s URL helps visitors feel safer sharing their data.
  • Image optimization. Aesthetically pleasing, high-quality imagery is essential to maintaining a professional appeal and earning site visitors’ trust. But if you don’t compress images, they may negatively affect mobile experiences or increase page load time.

Implementing Healthcare SEO Strategy Updates

Building and maintaining high volumes of organic traffic is an ongoing endeavor and requires constant tweaking and regular site analyses. SEO is always evolving based on user behaviors and technology trends, so it’s useful to stay abreast of both.

By improving your page authority and organization’s credibility through legitimate backlinks, optimizing content for voice search and ensuring your technical SEO efforts are sound, you can help boost your ranking and overcome your organic traffic slump.Download Owned, Earned & Paid Media Strategy for Healthcare Companies Free Guide

The Author

Carrie Dagenhard

Carrie is a seasoned content strategist who worked as a department editor and music journalist before making her foray into inbound marketing as a content analyst. Carrie works hard at crafting the perfect content strategy for clients and using her hard-hitting journalism skills to tell your brand’s unique story.