Maximizing SEO for Healthcare Marketing: Tips to Improve Website Ranking and Optimize Healthcare Keywords

September 12, 2023

In the past couple of decades, the American healthcare system has shifted more of its focus on customer choice and self-conducted research on their options. This practice is aided at least in part by the swift expansion of the internet—people can read about healthcare providers and products before they make a purchase.

For marketers, this means we need to shift our focus to enabling patients to make informed choices—and if you’re skipping healthcare SEO (search engine optimization), you’re missing a massive opportunity. 

If people are researching their healthcare options before choosing a provider or product, we need to ensure our products and services appear in the SERPs (search engine results pages). We want them to find your solutions, your providers—because if you’re not in front of their faces, how can they choose you?

If you’re just beginning your healthcare SEO journey, we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ll dive into some practical tips and essential SEO techniques you can use to improve your website ranking and optimization of relevant healthcare keywords. 

1. Conduct keyword research

Before optimizing your website, you must identify keywords that your target audience uses to search for healthcare services online. Keyword research can help you identify the high-traffic and relevant keywords most often used in search engines to attract the right audience. 

You’ll want to look for keywords that speak to your products or services. For example, if you sell medical supplies, you’d want to target keywords that speak to medical supplies (i.e. medical supplies, cheap medical supplies, etc.).

Tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner or Semrush can help you find relevant keywords. While researching keywords, this is also an excellent time to see what your competitors rank for. 

Knowing what your competitors are writing about—and successfully ranking for—can help you brainstorm new ideas and find ways to write better content than they are (Moz has an excellent Whiteboard Friday about this). We don’t recommend copying everything your competitors are doing, but knowing what they’re up to is important.

Once you have identified the keywords you want to target, ensure you effectively integrate them into the website's content, page titles, and meta descriptions.

2. Generate high-quality content

Once you’ve conducted keyword research, the next step is creating relevant, valuable, and engaging content. They say that content is king for a reason—it’s crucial to effectively improve website rankings. 

When we talk about website rankings, we’re talking about where results fall on the SERPs—Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. While each platform will have its own algorithm that searches for results, Google is the industry standard. The point of each algorithm is to find the most relevant information for the user.

An important thing to remember when writing content is that it needs to demonstrate experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness—or E-E-A-T. This is a guideline from Google itself, so it’s definitely worth following.

HubSpot will also allow you to create content (or topic) clusters, which helps you keep your content organized and connected. These internal links also have been shown to improve rankings.

Healthcare businesses that provide content as part of the main service or as additional resources will increase their chances of attracting visitors to their websites. From blog posts to social media to YouTube videos, healthcare organizations must develop various types of content, making them more visible to search engines and social media platforms.

3. Optimize metadata

Metadata includes the page title, description, and content that appears underneath the hyperlink on SERPs, which provides users with brief information about the individual webpage. Therefore, metadata should be optimized to include relevant keywords, improving the website's chances of appearing in the top results. 

A powerful title tag that includes the keyword, a brief, inviting description, and the integration of structured data (the application of elements such as reviews or ratings) can provide search engines with detailed information that helps you connect with your audience.

If you already have content on your website and aren’t starting from scratch, optimizing metadata could be a quick win for you. Remember that SEO takes time to gain traction, so the earlier you optimize your metadata, the better.

4. Prioritize mobile-friendliness 

With mobile devices accounting for more than half of internet searches, websites must be mobile-friendly for optimal viewing. This means focusing on the mobile site's design, layout, and usability to improve search rankings. The mobile site should load quickly and have seamless navigation, a responsive page layout, and optimized media that gives an overall positive user experience. You need to expect that your audience will find you on their smartphones, so you need to make sure your site and pages are mobile-friendly. 

While mobile-friendliness isn’t currently considered a “ranking factor” with Google, the user experience plays a significant role. In fact, mobile-first indexing is a standard practice at Google now.

5. Enhance website speed

Website speed refers to the loading time of a website and is a critical factor in healthcare SEO and the overall user experience. Slow websites reduce traffic, engagement, and ultimately impact conversion rates, thus negatively affecting your SEO performance. Optimizing the website by removing unused functionalities and compressing images can improve loading times and, consequently, search engine ranking.

Tools like Semrush and Google Lighthouse can help you identify which parts of your website are slowing down your load speed.

In need of a digital diagnosis? Raka Health is open for consult. Schedule a  time to chat!

6. (Gently) encourage Google Business profile reviews

Because online reviews are becoming increasingly important in healthcare SEO, many businesses are working hard to gain positive reviews. Research shows that clicks go up 25% when a business’ Google rating goes from a three-star rating to a five-star rating. 

Google reviews factor into SEO simply by putting feedback from previous reviews in front of potential customers. This is particularly poignant for local businesses. If someone is searching for providers, they’ll be looking for someone nearby, and the way Google displays businesses in the area now is called a 3-pack

The 3-pack lists three businesses that match the query closest to the user’s location. The user can also click on a link to display more options, increasing the list to 20—providing an easy reference for people to view customer reviews and decide from there.

The tricky part is that Google is strict with Business Page profiles that appear to be trading gifts and incentives for reviews.

What you can do is gently encourage people who have had positive experiences with your business to leave a review on your Google Business Profile. You can even keep a QR code on your front desk or reception area that points to your Google Business Profile.

Make sure to not pressure anyone or offer free items or swag in exchange for a good review.

Implementing effective SEO strategies can drastically improve healthcare businesses' online visibility, traffic, and customer base. You can maximize your website's potential by following the tips outlined above.

Need help maximizing healthcare SEO?

Raka Health is here to help.

Contact Us Today