The Coffey Blog

Healthcare SEO: 5 tips for writing content that ranks

Posted on: Monday, September 17, 2018

Molly Phillips, Digital Content Specialist

Search engine optimization (SEO) can feel like a daunting task. To be sure, there's a technical side to SEO that's essential to have in place on your website.

But the content you write for your website is at least equally important. If you feel like words—not code—are where your healthcare marketing skills lie, this is an area that you can master.

To help you get started, we pulled together the five steps healthcare marketers should take to improve their SEO writing. Keep reading to learn the simple changes you can make to help ensure the copy you write boosts your hospital website's search rankings.

5 SEO writing tips for your healthcare site

1. Start with keyword research.

Keywords are the words or phrases people search for in Google. Using these words in your copy can help you rank.

How do you know which keywords people are using to search for your services? The answer to that question is keyword research.

When done right, keyword research will tell you how people in your desired location search for your organization and your services. Getting this information is easier than you'd imagine. There are many keyword research tools out there. Two tools Coffey's team use are Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords) and KWFinder.

Once you've done your keyword research and have chosen which keyword(s) you want to target, you need to use them in a few different HTML fields. We'll walk through those later in the post.

2. Write to answer questions and solve problems.

Google's goal is to give searchers content that is the best possible answer to their query. That means that your healthcare web content should strive to solve problems and provide answers.

When you write, put yourself in the searcher's shoes. Think about the kinds of information they're looking for (your keyword research can help you out here) and make sure your content is useful.

A great free tool for getting ideas about questions people ask in search is Answer The Public.

3. Consider headline structure (H1, H2, H3).

Content that is organized into easy-to-scan sections that are broken up with big, bold headlines is both user-friendly and search-friendly. Google even gives extra weight to text in the titles and the header tags on the page. These headers are great places to use the keywords you identified in your research.

Using keywords in page headers has value beyond search ranking too. Because your page's headlines are probably the first text your site's visitors will see, it's important that those headers relate back to the searcher's initial query. This can help signal that people are in the right place to find answers to their questions.

4. Simplify your title tags and make your meta descriptions stand out.

Your page's title tag is the most prominent field a searcher sees on Google's search engine results page (SERP). It's the clickable text that appears above the URL in your SERP result. Title tags should feature your most important keyword and express your page's purpose with extreme accuracy—this way the searcher knows exactly what they're getting before they even click in.

The meta description is the text that appears below the URL in your SERP result. Meta descriptions are your chance to pitch your content to the searcher. Let them know what they're going to learn about on the page and why they should bother to click.

Having your keyword(s) in the meta description doesn't have a direct impact on your page's search ranking, but it's nice to include if you can because it gives your page more of a sense of cohesion.

You need to keep the length of your meta descriptions in mind as Google tends to truncate them. When we write meta descriptions, we aim for around 155 characters.

5. Include clear calls to action (CTAs).

In order to understand this tip, it's best to give an example of what Google doesn't want to see happen with your pages. They don't want to see people returning back to the search results after entering your site. Google sees this as a signal that your page didn't answer the searcher's query.

That could be true, but it could also be due to the fact that you didn't provide visitors to your page with a clear next step. That's why including solid CTAs on your pages matters.

A good CTA should be directive, highly visible and give your site's visitors a clear understanding of where they're going next. Buttons are a visually grabbing way to present your CTA, but don't forget the text.

Here are some good examples of strong CTAs:

  • Make an appointment.
  • Find a doctor.
  • Register for a class.
  • Take a health assessment or read related information.

Let Coffey help with your healthcare SEO

We hope you've learned that SEO writing isn't as complicated as you may have imagined it to be. But we do realize that it can be time-consuming without a dedicated team of writers.

At Coffey, we have an entire team of SEO writers who can help you do everything from keyword research to writing. Once your content is live on your site, we provide ongoing measurement to ensure that your website is hitting its SEO goals.

We'd love to tell you more. Contact marketing@coffeycomm.com.

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