It’s so discouraging, isn’t it? To start a website for your healthcare business but instead of ranking on search engines and benefit from the magical search engine powers being touted by marketers here and there, you couldn’t even rank for your own brand name.
Well, maybe you do rank for your brand name, but you don’t rank for anything other than that. Trust me, I know that feeling. You’d want to give up all hopes of the internet ever helping your business, but since you’re here, reading about SEO for healthcare firms, I’d bet you’re looking for a way out.
What is SEO
SEO — Search Engine Optimization — is the process by which you spice and season your webpages to attract search bots to crawl and index your them. By spice and season, I don’t mean using idioms, cliches, and fancy phrases. I mean keywords and a lot more other things like page load speed, meta tags, XML sitemaps etc.
Search engine optimization encompasses everything you do on your website to make sure you’re showing up on search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckgo when people search for products or services like yours. When people perform these searches, and you show up on the first page, especially among the top 5, you have a high chance of closing a sale. That’s because someone actively searching on Google concerning a particular product or service is most likely looking to purchase.
What are Keywords in SEO?
When people use search engines to either get information about or locate a product on the internet, they often use terms and phrases that are closely related to their problems to find the appropriate solution. These terms and phrases are what is known as SEO keywords.
For example, if you landed on this page from a google result, you probably typed something like “how to make my health blog show on google”, “SEO for healthcare company”, “SEO for healthcare brands”, “healthcare search engine optimisation” into the search bar. That’s because you own a healthcare business which you’ve created a website for, and you want that website to rank on google.
There are 3 types of keywords you’ll deal with in optimizing your healthcare business’ website for search engines. They are short tail keywords, medium tail keywords, and long-tail keywords.
Short Tail Keywords
Short-tail keywords, or seed keywords, are general terms or phrases of one or two words. When used on google or bing, these keywords bring a wide range of results — many of which will be of no help to the user.
For the most part, these keywords describe or represent an entire industry. Words and phrases like SEO, health, SEO copywriter, personal trainer, or essential oils are examples of short-tail keywords. Such keywords attract an immense number of hits per day. The volume is high, but so is the competition.
If you’re thinking of optimizing your healthcare business website for search engines, don’t waste your time on short-tail keywords because they can’t get you anything.
Medium Tail Keywords
Medium tail keywords are better than short-tail keywords because they’re better targeted at a group or sub-category under a larger one which is often the short tail keyword.
A medium-tail keyword, for example, may narrow things down by location, gender, or an adjective, and they’re often between 3 to 4 words long. It’s easier to rank for medium-tail keywords than for short-tail keywords.
Words and phrases like Diabetes health centre, freelance SEO copywriter, freelance personal trainer, best essential oil, etc. all qualify as medium-tail keywords. While it’s a bit easier to rank for medium-tail keywords, some level of expertise and a great deal of perseverance is required. This leads us to the 3rd type of keywords.
Long-tail keywords are what they’re named after — long. These keywords average 5 words or more and are extremely targeted. Long-tail keywords are often used by people who are actively looking for a solution to whatever problem they have.
Say you wanted to hire a copywriter for your healthcare company, but you don’t want just anybody who comes along. You want someone who knows the in and out of the industry. Someone conversant with the trends and knows what’s working in the industry.
At the same time, you’re not out to fully employ an in-house writer for your business because, well, you only have a small project to handle or whatever. You just want someone who’d work and go his way. Your search terms, though you may not use this on your first search, will go along the lines of hire a freelance healthcare SEO copywriter. That’s a 6-word long-tail keyword, and it would get you what you want.
Sometimes, a keyword doesn’t have to be this long before it narrows down your search. E.g. SEO for the healthcare industry is an example of a keyword phrase that qualifies as a medium-tail keyword but look, it’s narrowed down only to health-related businesses.
For the most part, you can guess a seed keyword. Well, it’s less of a guess and more like you already know it. I mean, you can’t own a hospital, spa, gym, or weight loss company and not know that you’re in the health industry. With the help of your seed keyword, you can then further into keyword research.
As soon as you have the right keywords in your hands, move to the next step — On-page optimization.
Finding this boring or complex? You don’t have to do the optimization by yourself because that’s why I exist. Check out my SEO copywriting services page to learn more.
On-page SEO for Healthcare Firms
On-page SEO is one of the essential things you’ll do in optimising your website for search engines. It is on-page SEO that’ll help attract search-engine web crawlers to your website when a searcher fills the form on Google’s homepage and hits enter.
Since you’re armed with your targeted keywords, you’ll need to use these keywords in your site title, meta description, URL slug and strategically inside your content. This will immensely increase your chances of being indexed on Google and other search engines.
Say you’re a personal trainer in Arizona, USA, one of the keywords you’ll want to optimize your webpage for is personal fitness trainer cost. You probably wouldn’t say something like this in real life, right? Well, you’d be surprised by how many grammatically incorrect statements you’ll come across during keyword research.
However, you won’t simply grab a keyword like this, slam it up on your webpages and call it SEO. No. To be subtle, I’d say that’s a really stressful way to waste your time.
Search engines are intelligent now more than ever. And they know phrases that make sense in context and those that don’t. Optimization for search engines has shifted from writing for robots to writing for humans because the robots now mimic human behaviour. So you’d want to use your keywords only on instances where they will naturally appear in your content. Even if it’s not an exact match.
An excellent way to optimize for a keyword like the one above is to create a pricing page. On this page, you might use sentences like these:
“If you’ve been wondering how much hiring a personal fitness trainer costs in Arizona, there’s no better page you could have opened other than this one. By the time you’re at the bottom of this page, you would have known:
- Types of personal trainers (yoga, weight loss or strength)
- Factors that affect a personal trainer’s charges (home or gym?)
- Exactly how much hiring a personal trainer will cost you in Arizona (price ranges).”
In reality, your keywords and content may not go along these lines. An article based on the illustration above will give price ranges for personal fitness trainers in Arizona, not your prices. To provide the information you’ve promised your reader, you must have done your research. Did I mention that you will most likely have more than one keywords to optimize for?
You’ll then proceed to incorporate these keywords into subheadings within your page and use them in image alternative texts. It should also appear somewhere close to the bottom of the page. Remember, your keywords should appear only in sensible contexts. You don’t need to chip in your keywords at every chance you’ve got. There’s room for pronouns and some fancy words too. Yeah.
Furthermore, you’ll want to create internal links (often to relevant pages) in your content. When search bots crawl a web page, they follow the links on that page, and they crawl those too. This is how you build page authority. Next, you’d want to make sure your off-page SEO isn’t lagging behind.
Off-page SEO for Healthcare Firms
Off-page SEO encompasses everything you do outside of your webpage to increase your chances of being ranked high on search engine result pages (SERP). They’re so named because they’re not done on your website. However, they’re very crucial to building domain authority, increasing traffic sources and high ranking.
Your off-page SEO activities include building backlinks, sharing articles on social media etc. Link building takes up the largest percentage of all your off-page SEO activities. The easiest and best way to get backlinks is by guest posting on authoritative blogs in your niche. This, however, may cost you some money.
Before all these, though, you must have your technical SEO in place.
Technical SEO for Healthcare Firms
You may not know this, but search-bots don’t just crawl your pages and rank them. Instead, they crawl multiple pages, compare them for content quality and user experience, then they rank the best ones higher. Technical SEO has to do with your website structure and rendition. It encompasses your site speed and page load, Hreflang, structured data, layout, etc.
Your site speed is often affected by the size of your pages. Carousels and sliders affect your page load. So also are images. You want your site to be as fast as possible, so do away with carousels and sliders. Except, of course, if they are absolutely necessary.
SEO is everything you do relating to your website in order to rank for the right keywords when potential customers use a search engine to find a product or service in your niche.
In your bid to rank on Google, you will need keywords. Keywords are words and phrases used by humans to locate information on the internet through a search engine.
3 types of keywords include short-tail (or seed) keywords, medium-tail keywords, and long-tail keywords. The best types of keywords to rank for are long-tail keywords. They’re also essential in running ad campaigns that convert.
You must focus on 3 types of SEO which include On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO. All SEO types are essential.
Below is an image from Semrush. It includes many of the things you must remember.
Too busy to handle all these by yourself? No problem. That’s precisely why I run Healthcare SEO services. I’m not a healthcare SEO agency, I’m a good guy who wants to help you drive the results you desire through search engines and content marketing. Want to learn more? Check out my health and wellness copywriting services page. Else, you can contact me here.
Joseph Olu is an SEO copywriter for SaaS and Health and Wellness brands. He is a contributor to top publications like ThriveGlobal and Hackernoon. He has also written for natural health brands like Phd-organics.