Better Healthcare Marketing by Aligning SEO and CRO: Best Practices

Better Healthcare Marketing by Aligning SEO and CRO: Best Practices

You’ve probably heard a good deal about the importance of search engine optimization or SEO in your healthcare marketing. But what about conversion rate optimization or CRO?

While some experts will tell you that CRO and SEO can actually work against each other, this article is about aligning and finding synergy between the two in order to achieve the best results. You should know that the main difference between SEO and CRO is that healthcare SEO services must satisfy two entities, Google and users, while CRO must only satisfy users and the user experience. When you combine CRO and SEO, you get a more holistic understanding of your end-user.

One fundamental way to improve user engagement and conversions is to personalize the experience for them. To achieve this, many CROs serve up different headers, content sections, micro-actions (i.e., small animations, moving objects and changing colors), calls to action (CTA) and more depending on the users’ interactions. However, these and other personalization strategies can sometimes create friction with SEOs. The best way to avoid friction is to inform the CRO’s counterparts in the SEO department. They should be aware of what’s running and what’s coming to allow for spot adjustments that might help you avoid SEO penalties.

Better Healthcare Marketing by Aligning SEO and CRO: Best Practices

What is content swapping and CTA swapping?

Content swapping is the practice of dynamically swapping content sections depending on a specific variable. It may be small sections of content, such as geo language, or something much bigger like the entire focus of a page. Typically, content swapping is okay if:

  • Keywords are not affected
  • Page load speed isn’t affected
  • The main purpose of the page is unchanged

Simply rearranging content on a page can sometimes increase engagement and conversions. Your SEO might also recommend rearranging content to satisfy search intent. If you are rearranging your content, make sure you pay attention to your Google rankings to see how they are affected.

CTA swapping means changing your CTA text, color, position on the page and target locations. If any of these actions improve your conversion rate, you should definitely consider them.

Better Healthcare Marketing by Aligning SEO and CRO: Best Practices

Why you should consider split URL testing?

There are many CRO testing platforms that offer what’s known as split URL testing. With split URL testing, you send different traffic to different pages to determine the best personalization. The one drawback is that split URL testing requires two different versions of the same page. In terms of SEO for these pages, you might find that they are competing for the same keywords and rankings.

Why must you give mobile and desktop users the same experience?

Some practitioners believe that mobile and desktop users should have different experiences. Nothing is further from the truth. In fact, Google strongly recommends serving up the same user experience regardless of the device being used. If you have a “responsive” website, you will accomplish that because your content will automatically adjust to fit mobile, desktop and tablet devices. Having a responsive website ensures that all users will have the same experience with your content.

Just keep in mind that most of the country now accesses the Internet most frequently using mobile devices, and that’s why Google has migrated to “mobile-first” indexing.

Better Healthcare Marketing by Aligning SEO and CRO: Best Practices

How to align healthcare SEO and CRO for the best results?

SEO and CRO tend to align better when you have strong communication between CRO and SEO teams at your healthcare marketing agency, when both teams have common goals and when testing is always done with SEO uppermost in mind. One good example of how these teams can align is on-site speed testing. Page loading speed is an important ranking factor and both teams want the fastest loading pages.

Both CRO and SEO ultimately have the same goal. They both want to drive more prospects to your practice by catering to their needs and interests. Yet, they should be prepared to compromise on important issues such as headers and page content. For example, SEOs generally want more content to improve ranking. However, more content might work against the best practices for user experience (UX). Some users simply don’t want to read longer content. In this case, both CRO and SEO teams must compromise to achieve the best balance of content length and user experience.

Why should SEO and CRO healthcare teams combine their research?

While CRO and SEO teams have their own research approaches, those approaches all reveal a great deal of information about the end-user. Considering everything from keyword research to various types of user testing, sharing qualitative research, onsite activity and user behaviors will lead you to a much better understanding of your end-users. By sharing their research, they’ll discover mutual opportunities as well as mutual barriers to conversion.

Better Healthcare Marketing by Aligning SEO and CRO: Best Practices

Why do both SEO and CRO teams use roadmaps?

Roadmaps help both teams prioritize their activities based on potential business impact and the effort required to achieve it. Collaboration is the key to raising awareness and ensuring that there are no surprises (i.e., duplicate content or significant content modifications) before your website or blog goes live.

Keep in mind that the nicest-looking websites are often the worst performers and deliver the fewest conversions. According to Google, the best strategy for a great ranking is having a great website that engages visitors with informative, easy-to-read content and that meets their needs.

Why should everyone communicate and understand the end goal?

The bottom line is that delivering a good website experience along with strong SEO go together like cookies and milk. They both hinge on your team’s ability to fully understand the needs of your prospective patient. SEO and CRO healthcare marketers can bring unique insights that help the other side make more informed decisions about your healthcare marketing strategy and how it will deliver the new patient conversions you want.

Make sure that your healthcare marketing agency or healthcare SEO services provider aligns your SEO and CRO before your website goes live.