The Coffey Blog

What are good healthcare keywords?

Posted on: Monday, April 3, 2017

Jean Dion, Marketing Communications Manager

Whether you're sitting down to write a service line page, blog post, press release or informational article, keywords will play a key role in making sure that content ranks well in search.

But what makes a keyword genuinely good for your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts—instead of simply serviceable?

5 attributes of successful healthcare keywords

Good keywords for healthcare are specific to your community, with a proven track record of high-volume, local search traffic. These terms also tie very closely to the healthcare services—tests, therapies, treatments or providers—that your organization offers your community. And finally, that keyword matches the intent of your content.

Let's break these five attributes down. An exceptional keyword for your hospital or health plan is:

1. Specific to your community. Healthcare keywords often come with stiff competition. For example, a keyword like "mammograms" will be very difficult to rank for nationally. You can boost your chances of local success by tying your keyword to a term that describes your city, county or state: "Mammograms in Walla Walla," for example.

2. Popular with people using search engines in your area. Search volume can vary dramatically from one region to another, so it's vital to perform local keyword research to find the words that resonate with your community.

3. Specific to a healthcare service you offer. Research from Google suggests that people seek out hospitals, doctors and other practitioners when they've done generic health searches, formed an opinion about the health issue they have and are ready to get some form of treatment. A keyword strategy that emphasizes solutions could help your service line pages shine for these consumers.

4. Applicable to your planned page. Think hard before deploying any keyword. Does it really mean what you think it means? Run your own searches on Google and look closely at the results. Are you seeing pages that are similar to the page you have planned? If not, you may have chosen a keyword that—to a search engine—means something very different. For example, searches for "rehabilitation" may return results related to substance abuse treatment, not physical therapy.

5. Implemented with care. Once you've found the right keyword, remember to use it in the right way. That means no stuffing. Use the keyword naturally as you write, and then read your copy aloud when you're done. If you start to feel a sense of repetition or awkwardness, you might need to cut back on your keyword phrase.

Get expert help with healthcare SEO

SEO can be a do-it-yourself task. But hiring a team of experts can often provide better results and free you up to do other work. If you're looking for help, Coffey has a team of SEO experts who would be happy to do keyword research, interview your stakeholders, and write or edit copy for your healthcare website. To find out more, drop us an email.

Related reading

All the right reasons to feature health information on your website
3 reasons you don't need meta keywords for good hospital SEO
How to write great service line content for your hospital website