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Search engine optimization (SEO) does not work the same for every industry. For example, whereas many companies selling items such as cosmetics or running shoes can utilize the typical approach with SEO, Medical SEO is entirely different.
Medical SEO is vital because various search engines use different techniques to rank medical sites. Unfortunately, this imposes severe limitations on what can and cannot be said, with serious consequences for certain kinds of errors. Nevertheless, there are several things to consider when you are trying to develop a website to rank highly for Medical SEO.
Winning Medical SEO Strategy
The best place to start when it comes to Medical SEO is undoubtedly your keywords, the search terms people are using to try and find a medical professional. When performing the necessary keyword research, you will want to identify the words that are most often used to locate medical professionals. In addition, you may be able to learn a lot by identifying the keywords on a competitor's website.
The next item of importance is the amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (otherwise known as E-A-T), which Google classified as very important in its 2021 Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. E-A-T is important because this is the factor that Google uses to determine whether a website is considered the best match for a user's intent and can deliver the information sought in a given search.
Regarding E-A-T, "E" stands for medical expertise on a subject matter. For example, a website page about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) must have helpful information about the subject matter.
"A" stands for medical authority on the subject matter and refers to the qualified, authoritative content and possibly the author of the website page. "T" stands for trustworthy source or organization and refers to how trusted a website can be.
Understand that there are severe criminal penalties for medical SEO violations, so know the Anti-kickback Statute and Physician Self-Referral Laws (Stark Laws) limitations.
The federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) (42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b) is a criminal statute prohibiting the exchange (or offer to exchange), of anything of value, in an effort to induce (or reward) the referral of business reimbursable by federal health care programs. While the Physician Self-Referral Law or Stark law (42 U.S. Code § 1395nn) prohibits physicians from referring patients to receive "designated health services" payable by Medicare or Medicaid from entities with which the physician or an immediate family member has a financial relationship, with certain limited exceptions.
When designing your website, you also need to be sure that it is easy to navigate. Medical SEO will consider how difficult a page is for a person to use.
Poorly designed websites will have higher bounce rates and thus rank poorly. Conversely, when a website is easier to navigate, users are more likely to spend more time searching for related topics and help SEO rankings.
Another topic Google emphasized was "Your Money or Your Life" (YMYL) pages. Therefore, it specifically included topics such as health and safety that included advice or information about medical issues, drugs, hospitals, emergency preparedness, and how dangerous activity is.
Medical SEO pages are considered YMYL pages. Google stated that it has very high page quality rating standards for YMYL pages. As a result, low-quality YMYL pages could negatively impact a person's happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.
Know that building a medical SEO website is only a part of the picture. You will also want to have supporting outlets such as blogs or social media channels to bolster website visits.
This concept is otherwise known as content marketing. There can be various avenues for companies to explore to improve medical SEO. Think about short-form videos, podcasts, and infographics. Case studies and white papers can also be precious for medical SEO purposes.
Try to keep your Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or web address short and sweet. A simple URL is easier to remember and more accessible for a person to share.
Another critical aspect of medical SEO can be images featuring a medical provider's office, staff, and equipment. These pictures can go a long way in helping develop website visitors' trust, who can look at the images and immediately know that there are real people and places behind the provided information. In addition, the photos will help foster a real sense of trust that leads to an actual in-person visit.
Finally, ensure you have a Google My Business page. As a result, this is a crucial aspect of local SEO concerns because websites with Google My Business pages may list above the organic search results. Therefore, you automatically get a boost in your search rankings.
Additional medical SEO considerations may include title tags, SEO metadata such as description tags, website speed, mobile responsiveness, and keyword meta tags. Also, alt tags (also known as alt attributes and alt descriptions), H1s and H2s, anchor text links, boldface and italics in text formatting, footer menus, sitemaps, and how often content is updated.
Contact Digital Authority Partners for Medical SEO Help
Digital Authority Partners (DAP) is an integrated digital agency headquartered in Chicago, Illinois that works with both business-to-business (B2B) and direct-to-consumer or business-to-consumer (B2C) companies to build, measure and market innovative products and capture new market share. We also have offices in Las Vegas, Nevada, and San Diego, California.
In addition to SEO, DAP also helps companies with such concerns as pay-per-click management, digital consulting, digital marketing, analytics, development, digital design, demand generation, and lead generation. We are a Google Certified Partner and Mixpanel Certified Partner that was a winner of the Timmy Awards from Tech in Motion and named among the Best of CES. Additionally, DAP received recognition at an annual trade show organized by the Consumer Technology Association and a Time Top 100 Invention of the Year.
Our Chicago office is located at 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212. You can email us at [email protected] or call either 312-820-9893 or (888) 846-5382. Also feel free to use the contact form on our website.