New numbers are out that illustrate the ways that patients are using the Internet to find medical information.
Topping the report were the 49 percent of patients that looked online to learn about “a specific disease or medical problem.”
Nearly every hospital has a Website, so the desire to harness this massive segment of the online community is an obvious goal for every healthcare marketer and Webmaster—one that is best achieved via SEO and PPC.
What’s not so obvious is how to do this.
After all, only an elite number of Websites are going to get the best ranking for “symptoms of [common condition]” or “how to treat [common condition]”. You can take your chances in PPC, but you better bring your pocketbook, as keyword bids for these types of phrases are likely to be highly competitive and modified on a daily (if not hourly) basis by professional, dedicated PPC campaign managers.
Think Outside of the Box Condition
If you can’t top the search engine results pages (SERPs) with the easy or obvious keywords, consider using keywords that are less competitive. This is where excellent keyword research analysis is needed.
For example, instead of optimizing for phrases like “how to treat [insert common condition]” for which hundreds are competing, perhaps target your SEO and PPC campaigns for the treatments used to treat that condition. Those could include names of procedures or even specialized equipment that your hospitals owns and uses. For example, instead of (or in addition to) writing SEO and PPC content for “how to treat a broken arm,” develop content that relates to keywords about casts.
Also, try to develop as many related content pages as you can. Using the broken arm and cast example, perhaps develop a page about X-rays or broken arm prevention. Not only do you increase the chance of being found on a SERP, but you can improve your rankings because SEs are known to reward more robust and frequently expanded Websites, especially if pages are linked with relative anchor text.
Remember, the goal of your hospital’s site is primarily to drive conversions (e.g., request more information, schedule an appointment, sign-up for a newsletter), not to function as a free online medical library. Although you should always strive to provide useful and current information, your greater goal should be to be discoverable.
With this strategy, once you can get a visitor into your site, then you can hopefully direct them to pages that would normally have a more competitive keyword.
Derek Rudnak | Communications Specialist | AVID DesignLeave a Comment