When it comes to medical marketing, just like in all other industries, figuring out how to improve your organic search ranking is extremely important. Making sure that your website and content are optimized to rank well will go a long way in helping you get the traffic and leads you’re looking for.
You don’t have to just take our word for it, though: organic search drives 51% of both B2B and B2C website visitors, as opposed to the 10-15% driven by paid search and social media, according to a study from BrightEdge.
This same study showed that organic search also provides the highest source of revenue for all industries except media and entertainment. However, even for these industries, organic search lost only by a small margin.
What is Organic Search Ranking?
In addition to organic search generating more than 51% of all website traffic and more than 40% of revenue, on average, almost half of consumers don’t feel comfortable speaking to a salesperson until they’ve seen between 3-5 pieces of content.
This is all why focusing on improving your organic search ranking is so important. If you’re not familiar, organic search ranking has to do with the results that appear on search engine results pages after a search is made. However, unlike the paid results you see marked as “Ad”, organic search results don’t need to be paid for in order to have their placement among search results.
Because these results aren’t paid for, it can take a long time to improve your website’s ranking, but keep in mind that the leads and revenue it’ll generate will be worth it. Improving your organic search ranking will also create a better user experience by providing your audience with answers to their questions.
Now that we’ve discussed what organic search ranking is and why it’s an important part of your medical marketing strategy, we’ll discuss some tips that will help you improve your organic search ranking.
Make the Most of Your Keywords
Keywords are an important part of improving your organic search ranking and keeping track of the following tips will help you make sure you’re content is optimized. Using a CRM like HubSpot will help you ensure that your content is optimized by providing you with SEO optimization tools that will tell you exactly what you’re doing well and what could use some more work.
Understand Search Intent
Focusing on the right keywords is one of the most important parts of improving your organic search ranking. In order to make sure you’re focusing on the best keywords, you need to understand users’ search intent.
Understanding the intent of your audience when they search will help you create better content and in turn, Google’s algorithm for determining search engine results page (SERP) rankings will reward you for creating high quality content.
Analyzing a keyword’s SERP is a great way to ensure that your content’s keywords are providing value for your audience. Doing this will allow you to understand what problems users are trying to solve when they search using certain keywords.
When doing this, there are a few things that you should look for, such as the type of content that ranks when you make a query using that keyword, how much of the first page results are taken up by ads, how your page’s search result looks, and the search features.
Focus on Long Tail Keywords
Once you understand users’ search intent, you can focus your content on keywords that are part of the questions your audience is asking. Choosing 1 or 2 long tail keywords for each piece of content will give you the best results.
Long tail keywords are suggested because they are often question-based and keep your content focused on answering your audience’s questions. This will play a part in creating a better user experience for anyone that visits your website and Google’s algorithm will reward you for this. Adding “how to” to your keyword will provide much more impact than the keyword itself. An example of this, if you’re focused on medical marketing, would be using the keyword “how to prevent back pain” instead of simply “back pain”.
Someone searching for the answer to “how to prevent back pain” will be more likely to read your entire blog article and will probably even visit other pages on your website to get more information.
Make Sure Your Keywords are in the Right Places
The title tag, headers, body, URL, and meta description are the most important places your keyword should be included.
Optimize your blog titles so that your keyword can be placed at the front in order to avoid being cut off in search engine results.
When placing your keyword in the body or headers of your blogs, do so as naturally possible, and avoid using it too much. It is possible for your keyword to be used too often in your blog and this could lead to your page being penalized for keyword stuffing, which is considered spammy. If you’ve chosen the right keyword for the question you’re trying to answer, you’ll be able to use your keyword naturally while providing a good reading experience.
The URL is one of the first things search engines will look to in order to figure out what the topic of your content is, which is why it’s crucial that your keyword is included there.
The meta description of your content is where both search engines and users will look to get information about your content. Placing your keyword here will make the topic of your content clear to both Google and your audience. Search engines may not always include the meta description you’ve written into SERPs, but it’s still important to optimize meta descriptions.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a great tool to use to make sure you’re using the right keywords. You can use it’s Search Analytics Report to check which keywords people are using to find your content.
Optimize (And Re-Optimize) Your Content
Conducting a site audit will help you get a better understanding of what you may need to work on when creating content and something it may shed some light on is similar content on multiple pages.
If this is the case for your website, consolidate website pages using redirects and canonical tags. Having multiple pages with similar content could cause your organic search ranking to be lower than you’d like it to be, so redirecting lower performing pages to higher performing pages will go a long way.
In addition to this, you may find that a large portion of your website’s traffic comes from content that was published in the past. Updating and republishing this content with newer and better information and SEO optimization will take advantage of their existing value and previous engagement, increasing their traffic.
This is why it’s essential to make sure that the content you’re writing is evergreen. This means that the content remains relevant over a long period of time. With evergreen content, you’ll get traffic long after the date it’s originally published because people will continue to derive value from it.
If you come across old content that is no longer relevant and can’t be salvaged with updating, it’s best to just remove it from your website.
Optimize Your Images
When you think of content, your focus is probably on the text, but images are just as important. Of course, any images you use should be relevant to your content, so avoid including images just for the sake of having them on the page.
Your organic search ranking won’t improve just by including images, though. Any images in your content need to have alt text, which describes your image in a way that’s helpful to readers. When your keyword is used in your alt text, search engines will read it and it will provide context. Using alt text also provides a better user experience, which we know search engines take into consideration when ranking pages.
If you’re wondering how alt text creates a better experience, if an image can’t be found or displayed for some reason, alt text will display and describe what the image should be. Alt text also improves page accessibility by allowing screen readers to provide image descriptions for anyone with a visual impairment.
HubSpot can also help you optimize your images through the use of the SEO Panel, which will let you know if they’ve been fully optimized or still need work.
The size of the images you use on your website is also important. If images are too large, they’ll slow down your pages’ loading time, which will result in a lower organic search ranking. Compressing your images will avoid this, so don’t forget to compress the images you use!
Use Pillar Content and Topic Clusters in Your Content Strategy
Using topic clusters will provide better organization for your website, allowing users to find information more easily and linking URLS together to improve your organic search ranking.
To use this model, choose broad topics that you want to rank well for, then create content based on more specific long tail keywords that fall under the umbrella of that topic. This will help tell search engines that you’re an authority on those broad topics.
Your pillar content, or pillar page, should provide a broad overview of whatever topic you want to become an authority on, such as “back pain”. This page will then use hyperlinks to link to content that dives deeper into subtopics of back pain, telling search engines that your pillar page is an authority.
Internal content links also tell search engines that your content is both valid relevant. If one blog touches on a topic that’s discussed more in depth in a different blog post, you should link to that blog post that provides more information. HubSpot will provide a lot of help with internal links by alerting you if your content needs more internal links and even providing suggestions on what you can link to.
Of course, inbound links from other websites are also important, so you need to have a link building strategy prepared. This could include networking with other websites with more domain or page authority than your website and making sure your content is high quality and relevant, so that others will want to link to it.
Develop Page Authority
Developing page authority will go a long way in improving your organic search ranking as well. Getting featured on a search engine such as Google in a Google snippet will help provide this authority, so you should aim to be featured.
This can be accomplished by implementing all the tips we’ve previously discussed, which will allow you to write high quality content that answers user questions. In addition to answering questions, making sure your keywords have semantic similarity to user searches will also improve your likelihood of being featured in a snippet.
You can also use coding to format and organize your blog in a way that will tell search engines that you’ve answered the question.
Being consistent in posting blogs and using social media will also help you develop authority and improve your organic search ranking. Being active will help cultivate your reputation as an industry expert, which will build authority, so do your best to consistently publish content.
RESULTS ARE VITAL
If your business is in the medical industry and needs help improving your organic search ranking, Vital Digital is here to help!
We provide digital marketing services including, but not limited to content marketing, search engine optimization, and website development. We also provide HubSpot, SharpSpring, and Zapier consulting to ensure that your business is running as efficiently as possible. Request a free quote and let us know how we can help.