Did you know that 7% of all Google searches are health-related? It equals 70,000 searches every minute.
You already can guess how competitive the medical SEO is and how much energy private clinics, practitioners, medical manufacturers pour to ensure free visibility.
So probably you are one of those healthcare businesses that looks for ways to beat the competition and initiate something competitors aren’t doing yet.
Since you are in this industry and care about your rankings, you should be aware of the Google Medic Update.
The Google Medic Update from August 1, 2018 was something that turned the rankings of healthcare industry websites upside down. And the update was called “Medic” right because it mainly affected the healthcare industry.
Google understood that medical topics are too sensitive and even small unprofessional advice can cost the searcher’s life and health. So the search engine defined new rules you have to follow while working on your medical SEO strategy.
All searches engines want is pleasing searchers. Because if searchers aren’t satisfied, there will be no searches, no ads and no revenue.
And today we will discuss SEO rules that are typical of the healthcare industry and will not be applicable for other niches. We will skip SEO tips and guidelines that exist for all businesses regardless of niches because you are probably already well-aware of them.
For example, we won’t recommend doing link building or making your website mobile-friendly as they are not specifically health industry-related. They are compulsory for any industry website striving to win high spots on Google search results.
So let’s discuss what changes the Google Medic Update brought and what steps you should take to improve your rankings. Whether you sell medical products or provide medical service, you will definitely benefit from our post!
1. Remember you fall under the YMYL category (and rules are stricter for healthcare SEO)
YMYL stands for Your Money Your Life and includes industries that have something to do with the searcher’s personal life, health, and finances.
Google pays special attention to websites under the YMYL category because poor advice can lead to critical consequences. And that was the main reason that the Medic Update went live in 2018.
Before publishing your next article or sharing a health tip, make sure it’s from a qualified doctor/researcher and won’t endanger the reader’s life.
2. Keep the narrowly specialized keywords for another occasion
If you are a master of medical terminology, of course, you should be proud of it. But don’t assume that your readers are aware of medical vocabulary too.
When opening your keyword tool to conduct your research, go for keywords that average people use daily.
For example, searches for “dermatological problems” (110) are far less than for “skin problems” (4,400). This is an example that people use simple language and might not be aware of professional phrases.
3. Publish only medically reviewed blog posts
Before attending a medical center or even scheduling an appointment, people look for information (you remember, 70.000 health-related searches per minute). And the numbers from LSA prove it obviously.
Blog is the number #1 factor that contributes to your medical SEO marketing and that’s where you publish your guides and tips. So how should your blog posts look like?
1. Your blog posts should be comprehensive and cover the topic from different standpoints. One single symptom may be a cause of different diseases and one single disease may arouse due to different reasons.
If you fail to provide accurate and in-depth information, search engines will start feeling suspicious about your content.
2. Your blog posts should be created or at least reviewed by specialists with medical background. Google also encourages you to have an author byline section in the end of your blog posts so people feel confident about what advice they receive.
The shortest way to gaining the searcher’s trust and love is combining simple, conversational language with professional advice that will help people and not arouse panic.
3. The last last thing to pay attention to is linking to websites with high-quality medical content. It’s not ethical to share wrong health-related info with patients and it’s equally unethical to redirect visitors to websites providing poor advice.
4. Build links through reputable health-related magazines and blogs
You are well aware that guest blogging is an old, good way of building high-quality backlinks. And that backlinks play an important role in defining your search rankings.
Simply type “health blogs that accept guest posts” on the search tab and Google will introduce hundreds of options to choose from.
Before deciding on which blog to contribute to, make sure their website is professional and previous posts are written or reviewed by medical specialists.
5. Create a service page for every medical practice you deal with
Private clinics may have multiple departments and each of them needs to have a separate service page on your website. Because you should target 1-2 keywords per page and it won’t look professional if you list all your services under one article. Well, it will not only look unprofessional but also hurt your chances of ranking effectively.
Here’s an example from Summerlin Hospital that provides services from cardiology to radiology and cancer treatment.
If you are a narrowly specialized medical center, for example, an eye center you still can’t do with a single service page.
Here’s an example from an eye center website that has separate service pages for different eye departments:
Remember to do active interlinking between your service pages and blog posts that relate to the same topic, Thus, you will help both the search engines and users in evaluating your content the right way.
Did you just launch your medical institution website or do you want to review your healthcare SEO strategy? Contact the Andava team, describe your goals and we will help you build the trust that medical websites need so much.