How to optimize your healthcare content to rank higher

How to optimize your healthcare content to rank higher

If you are in the healthcare field, you already know your website plays a major role in the success of your operations. Your website is where customers can book appointments, pay bills, get directions to offices, leave reviews, learn about procedures and caregivers, and more.

But while your website is doing a lot of hard work, it has another purpose – it helps your practice stand out in a crowded market, gives patients or potential patients insight into how modern and well-run you are, and can be your biggest lead generation and outreach tool. That is, it can do all that if your site is optimized so your content ranks higher in search engine rankings such as Google.

How to optimize your healthcare content to rank higher

Why ranking high on search engines is important.

Ranking high on Google is important for several reasons, and these factors together go a long way toward contributing to the overall success and visibility of your website and your operations. Gaining a high ranking on Google is crucial for many reasons:

  • Increased visibility: Most internet users rely on search engines to find information, products, and services. A high ranking on Google means that your website is what comes up when users search for relevant keywords. Increased visibility means more patients.
  • Credibility and trust: Websites that appear at the top of search results are often perceived as more trustworthy and credible by users. Google’s ranking algorithm prioritizes authoritative and relevant content, meaning that a high ranking implies that your website is a reliable source of information.
  • More organic traffic: Ranking high on Google leads to increased organic (non-paid) traffic to your website. Users are more likely to click on a top result, meaning that the higher your website appears, the more traffic it’s likely to get.
  • Competitive advantage: Ranking high on Google gives you a competitive advantage by making sure your website stands out.
  • Higher conversion rates: Websites that rank high on Google usually have higher conversion rates. Users who find your website through organic search are more likely to be interested in your content or services, leading to increased engagement and conversions. This is particularly important for businesses looking to convert website visitors into customers.
  • Cost-effectiveness: High organic search engine ranking is the most cost-effective way to attract traffic to your website over the long term. As opposed to weekly or even daily ad buys, you can optimize your healthcare website once a year, then focus on other tasks.
  • Better user experience: Google’s ranking algorithm looks at many factors related to user experience, including fast loading times, mobile optimization, and high-quality content. This means that optimizing your website for search engines often leads to improvement in overall user experience.

How to optimize your healthcare website to rank higher

Optimizing your healthcare website to rank higher in search engines is a multi-faceted effort. Successfully tackling any one task will help, but an integrated approach will yield much larger successes. Here are key tips so you can optimize your healthcare website to rank higher in search engines.

How to optimize your healthcare content to rank higher
  • Keyword research: The first step is to perform keyword research. Specialized tools can help you understand what keywords your website is currently ranking for, what your competitors’ websites are ranking for, and what keywords you should be focusing on. While you may be serving cancer patients in Detroit, that doesn’t necessarily mean your website is making that clear to search engines. Further, even if you do optimize your site for keywords such as “cancer” and “Detroit,” you may find competition for those keywords is high. Good research will help you discover high-volume and low-competition keywords. Focus on long-tail keywords that are specific to your healthcare niche, as they tend to attract more targeted traffic.
  • Create high-quality, relevant content: The best content is content that users consume, and search engines know what users like and don’t based on bounce rates, or how quickly someone leaves a page. You should focus on developing informative, engaging, and well-researched content, including web pages, landing pages, blogs, and FAQs, that address common questions and concerns within your healthcare niche. Ensure that your content is easy to understand for a diverse audience by balancing medical accuracy with accessibility.
  • Optimize content structure: Your website visitors will appreciate a well-designed website that has a clear and logical structure, one where they can find what they need quickly. Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to break down information into easily digestible sections. This not only enhances the user experience but also helps search engines understand the hierarchy and relevance of your content.
  • Mobile optimization: You probably already know that most internet users access content on mobile devices, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your website looks good on a phone or tablet. Google considers mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, so ensure that your website is responsive and provides a seamless experience across various devices.
  • Page load speed: Slow-loading websites frustrate visitors and make search engines raise their digital eyebrows. You can fix this by compressing images, utilizing browser caching, and minimizing unnecessary code to improve page load speed. Check your work with tools like Google PageSpeed Insights can help identify areas for improvement.

Local SEO for healthcare

If you are a healthcare provider with physical locations, local SEO is key. The best way to achieve this is to claim and optimize your Google My Business listing:

  • Ensuring accurate contact information
  • Update your business hours
  • Double-check your location details
  • Encourage satisfied patients to leave positive reviews, as they contribute to local search rankings

Social Media Integration

Social media is becoming a complex matter for healthcare businesses. It’s no longer enough to simply post to social media. Now, social media and your website should play well together in an integrated marketing and communications plan. Did you know that social media signals are becoming increasingly important in search engine algorithms? You should work to integrate social media sharing buttons on your healthcare content to encourage users to share and engage with your articles. This can contribute to increased visibility and traffic.

How to optimize your healthcare content to rank higher

Behind-the-scenes: Technical website upgrades to improve your search engine ranking

Once those public-facing tasks are completed, it’s time to go under the hood and optimize the internal workings of your website to improve your healthcare website search engine ranking.

  • Secure your website with HTTPS: Security is a crucial aspect of SEO. Switch to HTTPS to ensure a secure connection between your website and users. Google gives preference to secure websites, and it can positively impact your search engine rankings.
  • Optimize images and multimedia: Are you using descriptive file names and alt text for images to make them more understandable to search engines? You should! Also, make sure to compress images without compromising quality to reduce page load times, and consider incorporating multimedia elements like videos and infographics to enhance the overall user experience.
  • Utilize schema markup: Schema markup gives additional information to search engines about the content on your website. Hire a pro to implement schema markup for healthcare content to enhance the visibility of rich snippets in search results, provide users with more context, and increase click-through rates.

How fresh is your website content?

Search engines love fresh meat, meaning you should consistently provide fresh and updated content. Regularly revisit and update your healthcare FAQs page to make sure it has the latest information, advancements, and industry trends.

How is your blog looking? Blogs are among the best ways to infuse your website with fresh, relevant content and to act quickly to address market trends or new medical findings. A blog a week can quickly help your website compete against the competition. This not only benefits your SEO efforts but also establishes your website as a reliable source of current healthcare information.

Know when to ask for help

Sure, many of these tweaks can be done in-house, but optimizing your website for search needs might be best done by a team that is up-to-date with the latest in search engine optimization. A dedicated healthcare marketing agency like Practice Builders can help you build a comprehensive and integrated website optimization plan that helps grow revenue and attract patients.