How To Use Medical SEO and Avoid Frequent Marketing Mistakes
Getting solid search engine optimization (SEO) rankings for a medical website will involve avoiding ten specific kinds of mistakes. Remember that high rankings for a medical SEO website will be a process and not a one-time task.
It is essential to understand that a successful SEO strategy will mean that a medical SEO website ranks highly in organic search rankings. The web page listings that closely match a user's search query based on relevance are also called the "natural" search results.
Ranking highly in organic rankings means being incredibly cost-effective. Companies do not have to pay the high costs for paid search results, which may allow for prominent rankings. Still, they typically note that they are ads and thus do not always translate to clicks.
Watch this video to learn more about the Digital Authority Partners approach to Medical SEO!
Best Examples of Medical SEO
Medical SEO needs to appeal to several different kinds of audiences. A medical website must attract new potential patients and existing patients. Still, more importantly, they have to appeal to the search engines that will be ranking them.
Appealing to these different audiences can be a complex task but not impossible. Therefore, it is essential important to keep all three in mind when developing website content. Here are ten different mistakes a company can avoid.
1. Copying Content From Another Source
Plagiarism is incredibly frowned upon by most search engines, so you must ensure that your content is not entirely duplicative of another website. For example, when a vendor for medical equipment or pharmaceuticals provides a copy for a website. As a result, it serves to rewrite to ensure that the text is unique in your own words.
Always make sure to tag your content with "nofollow" tags properly. The "nofollow" attribute is an HTML tag that directs search engine bots' crawling and limits which bots crawling a website will follow hyperlinks on webpages and which ones will not. It would be best to use this attribute when you want to link to a page but do not want to imply any endorsement, including passing along ranking credit to another page.
2. Non-Focused Content On Related Keywords
You need to know which keywords you are trying to rank highly. Then, your page needs to incorporate the best possible keywords to support that search. For example, a medical SEO page dedicated to choledocholithiasis will have to speak about choledocholithiasis and use the term choledocholithiasis frequently in its text.
There can be a temptation by many in the medical field to try and combine different services into one page. Still, you have to be incredibly cautious with your approach because adding too many non-related terms will ultimately impact your ability to rank highly for the main keyword. In addition, simply adding more keyword mentions is not always the best answer if the page does not relate to that topic entirely.
3. Missing Website Tags
Website tags largely go unnoticed by most website visitors, but they are certainly not ignored by search engines. A medical SEO website is going to need to have all of the following tags:
- H1, H2, and H3 tags — Heading tags are HTML elements used to define the headings of a page and they differentiate the heading <h1> and sub-headings <h2> to <h6> from the rest of the content. The H1 is an HTML tag indicating the primary heading on a web page. It is typically the main headline, usually the first visible header. The H2 tag is the second-level heading that helps break up text and plays an important role in SEO rankings. Any subpoints below H2 tags are H3 tags, and the sequence can continue to H6 tags. However, it is generally rare for a website to need anything beyond H3.
- Image Tags — Image tags are instructions on displaying an image because images do not embed into a page. The code changes the attributes or the functionality of images when they load.
- Title Tags — A title tag is an HTML element that gives a web page a title, and the title displays as part of the search snippet in a search engine results page (SERP). The title tag appears as the clickable headline for a search result. It should be an accurate and concise description of the web page's content.
- Alt Text Tags — In addition to the images tab at the top, Google pulls in a substantial pack of clickable images at the beginning of the main results page, before displaying any organic text. A high percentage of Google's SERPs show images now, and images can thus be another source of organic traffic. Image alt text allows a website to appear higher in these rankings. You can find alt-text options when you attempt to edit images.
4. Poor Internal Linking
A medical SEO website will benefit from having multiple internal links on its pages. Still, you must be careful not to overdo it. When a webpage is overwhelmed with the number of internal links in its text, the search engines will punish the rankings accordingly.
Limit your internal links only to the locations where they make the most sense. Therefore, link to related areas of your website that you believe will be beneficial to your visitors.
5. Keyword Stuffing
When keyword stuffing was an easy way to manipulate search engine rankings, most search engines are now aware of the practice and punish websites accordingly. It would be best if you never overused keywords in an attempt to game the system because the approach never works nowadays.
Google itself has said that keyword stuffing refers to loading a webpage with keywords or numbers to manipulate a website's ranking in Google search results. Google says filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience and can harm a website's ranking.
Examples of keyword stuffing include:
- Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value
- Blocks of text that list cities and states that a webpage is trying to rank for
- Repeating the exact words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural
6. Using the Wrong Keywords and Phrases
Remember that you are trying to capitalize on the terms that people will be searching for when it comes to medical SEO. In other words, the technical terms used among doctors and other professionals may not be the same terms utilized by the general public.
For example, a webpage about lateral epicondylitis is more likely to succeed if it refers to the condition by its more common name, tennis elbow. There also needs to be a focus on specific long-tail keywords, precise, and help avoid the more competitive and broad keywords that are more difficult to rank.
7. Necessary Backlinks
An enormously important aspect of medical SEO will have high-quality links back to your website from other authoritative sources. As a result, highly trusted sources for backlinks and not the so-called "link farms" typically sell links. Still, they do nothing for SEO rankings.
High-quality backlinks may come from social media websites, media outlets, business directories, organizational directories, and any websites that end in .gov, .edu, or .org. An excellent place to start can be a Google My Business page, a Facebook business page, Yelp, and your local chamber of commerce.
8. Failure To Use Social Media
Many people nowadays are using all kinds of social media platforms, from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to scores of others. Therefore, any medical SEO website will want to ensure that they utilize social media to its full potential. It can often be the easiest way to share links that generate clicks and possibly lengthy website visits.
9. Failure To Optimize For Mobile
A mobile-friendly website is much more likely to rank highly on search engines. As a result, ensure your medical SEO website is fully optimized for mobile.
The logic here is pretty evident: most people now use their cell phones, tablets, or other devices to browse the web. So a website not optimized for mobile will be seen as not user-friendly and thus have a higher bounce rate.
10. Failure To Analyze Results
It is essential for any medical SEO website to have analytics to analyze its work and whether it has increased web traffic. Use analytics and keyword trackings services such as SE Ranking, SEO Monitor, Ahrefs, AccuRanker, Conductor, Google Search Console, Semrush, SERPWatcher by Mangools, ProRankTracker, and Brightedge.
Also, keep in mind that analytics and keyword tracking can take several months. So you will not be able to explore your effectiveness in a few hours fully.
Get Medical SEO Help From Digital Authority Partners
Digital Authority Partners (DAP) is your one-stop-shop for medical SEO assistance. Our broad range of digital services supports organizations of all sizes and stages.
We have a Chicago office located at 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212 as well as a Las Vegas location on 7251 West Lake Mead Boulevard, Suite 300, and a San Diego office at 8248 Mercury Court. 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.
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