Give Content a Natural Glow: Medical Marketing Makes the Switch to Natural Content
May 18th, 2015 by
Back in the early days of search engine optimization, there were a lot of shady practices that were less than ideal for site visitors. Keyword-stuffing, spammy tweets, backlink schemes, and useless content were often the norm, as these tactics helped websites climb the ranks of the search engine results page. With content more focused on algorithms than the audience, many websites scared off potential users. While some of these tactics have been left firmly in the past, many SEO strategies still optimize for Google bots instead of users. This is especially true when it comes to geo-modified keywords (think “plastic surgeon new orleans”), which continue to make many pages feel stuffy and awkward.
Of course, letting go of geo-modified keywords can seem like a hard pill to swallow—especially for those in highly competitive fields such as the plastic surgery industry, where medical practices are constantly battling for the top spots in a Google search. “Going natural” when it comes to content might seem like an overwhelming change at first, but the benefits to your patients and your practice make it a worthwhile strategy in the long run.
Content is King
So what do we have when we eliminate all the spam? Natural content. Google rewards sites that provide better user experiences, relevant information, and quality content—those with high click-through rates, low bounce rates, and long time-on-site—with better overall rankings.
What’s more, all of the updates to Google’s algorithm have made the search giant incredibly advanced, and you might be surprised by some of the astonishing leaps it can make. A search engine results page might pull up one or more high-ranking pages that never actually include the words a user originally entered as a query. For example, a search for “breast implants new orleans” might return pages that never actually use this exact term. Highly relevant pages on “breast augmentation” might rank higher in a Google search than irrelevant, keyword-stuffed pages. What does all this mean? Google’s smarter than you thought.
Interested in more content marketing strategies for your website? Find out how infographics can give your online strategy a facelift.
It’s All About the Audience
As its name suggests, SEO has always focused on search engine optimization—but the best way to earn trust from your patients is to focus on your patients. Forget trying to keep up with algorithm changes: Google’s updates are always centered around providing a better user experience, so why not focus on that as well?
Spammy, keyword-stuffed content isn’t doing your patients any favors. Visitors to your site can see through the awkward “fluff” content, and they’ll abandon it to find content that actually answers their questions and meets their needs. Sites with overly optimized content tend to see higher bounce rates and less time spent on the site overall.
Protection Against Algorithm Updates
Beyond the fact that you’re losing your human visitors by focusing your content on the needs of Google bots, you also hurt yourself with this approach. Overly optimized content is vulnerable to every new update to Google’s algorithm. Well-written natural content, on the other hand, won’t need any of the major edits that spammy content will regularly require. Content that is relevant to the needs of your patients will always be useful—and Google’s algorithm can see that without your help. If you need help determining whether your website content will pass the Google test, fill out the short form on our homepage to sign up for a free website analysis.
Search Intent Optimization
At the end of the day, your potential patients are looking for something, and it’s your job to figure out what. Maybe they need help to become informed about a procedure they’re considering, maybe they’re weighing the pros and cons of several medical options, or maybe they know what they need and are searching for a trustworthy practice in the area.
Whatever the case, you’ll need to do your research. Figure out what they consider useful and decide how you can use unique and creative content to solve their problems. Patients will be able to see the value in content that gives them the answers they need, and they’ll trust the information more if it doesn’t seem awkward or spammy. Go from there to build your relationship with them—rather than building a relationship with an algorithm.
If you’re ready to take the dive into offering patients more natural content, but you’re not sure where to start, let us know how we can help! Interested in the ins-and-outs of search engine optimization for the medical industry? Check out our tips on the art of “Googleplasty.”