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Website designSEOHealthcare content2 min read Are keywords causing you to lose website visits?

You know that keywords play an important role in driving traffic to your healthcare organization’s website. But they can do the exact opposite when used incorrectly.

February 18, 2021The Coffey Team

Keywords are one of several factors Google uses to rank hospital websites, making it easier for consumers to find what they’re looking for. That makes them integral to your organization’s search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

But it’s not just about picking a word or phrase that seems popular, working it into every other sentence, and hitting “publish.” In fact, that is one of those outdated keyword strategies that’ll cost you web visits – and thwart your digital marketing efforts.

Here’s a look at some of the common keyword mistakes you might be making and why they fail – plus, what to do instead to make your keywords work for you.

Not doing targeted keyword research

Sure, there are general healthcare keywords that rack up huge search numbers each month. But unless you’re a major national organization, using generic terms likely won’t get you to the top of a search result.

The best keywords for your website are targeted to reach people in your community. You’ll have less competition – and more success – with localized keyword phrases specific to your area. Rather than using a generic term like “cardiologist,” try “Springfield cardiologist” or even “cardiologist near me.”

Good keywords also consider the specific words people in your area are using to search. While “cardiologist” might be widely searched for in some communities, “heart doctor” might be more popular in others. Researching offers insight into your market, so you can tailor your keywords accordingly.

Putting keywords before content

Keywords matter, but they’re not everything. These days overall user experience is much more important. And a big part of that is quality content.

Say you’re developing a service line page for your hospital’s colon cancer screening program. You’ll rank higher with meaningful content about your services and what makes them unique compared to a generic page about why colon cancer screening is important and when a person should be screened. Users can already find that kind of information on WebMD, right?

Stuffing your content with keywords

It can be tempting to sneak in keywords everywhere you possibly can. But more isn’t better. Google penalizes web pages that overuse keywords, resulting in lower rankings. Plus, keyword overload makes readers feel like they’re being spammed.

Aim to use your keyword phrases sparingly, where they’ll make the most impact. Placing your keyword in a headline, URL, alt text for an image, and in one or two spots throughout the content body is enough to tell Google what your page is about without going overboard.

Not revisiting your keyword strategy

Popular search terms can change with time or circumstance. Regularly looking at what’s dominating in your community can help your page maintain its ranking – or even make its way higher.

You don’t have to look any further than COVID-19 to see this in action. Many users might have simply been searching for “COVID-19 test near me” in the early days of the pandemic. But as testing options have expanded, they may be using more nuanced terms like “rapid COVID-19 test near me” or “PCR COVID-19 test near me.”

Help for healthcare keywords

Keywords are one of the links between your organization and the community. But using them incorrectly might very well make you harder to find. At Coffey, our SEO experts can see how your keyword strategy is faring and find ways to make it better. To learn more, schedule a meeting with one of our business development consultants.