Tips for optimizing online content, connecting with your audience

by Elaine Zeinner

Healthcare marketing communication fills a big void on the internet: Consumers turn to Google to check their symptoms, better understand their diagnoses or discover how they can live a healthier, happier life. A marketer’s biggest partner in reaching an audience is one that can be tough to understand: Google

Every few months, Google releases updates to it algorithms, which can impact how sites rank in search listings. One recent update, initially launched in August, is still creating ripples across the industry. The “Google Medic Update” (now known as “Query Intent Update”) seemed to hit websites in health, fitness and medical industries the hardest.

Marketers and search engine optimization (SEO) experts scrambled to understand the update and how to tweak sites to get back in Google’s good graces. Since Google doesn’t usually release the details of an update, that can be difficult to understand.

This murkiness and uncertainty can create frustration and stress among marketers – given the budget dollars and staff time allocated to develop website content. However, here at WriterGirl, we counsel our clients that by focusing on a few simple best practices, they will be prepared to handle any new algorithm.

1. Find a strong development partner

Content and development go hand and hand. Creating a new website or maintaining your current site, calls for a strong partnership between marketing and your web team. Together, brainstorm business goals and consumer needs to create a website that connects with your audience – and meets Google’s standards.

2. Intent over frequency

The days of keyword stuffing are over. It’s no longer enough to have a strong keyword placed strategically through your site: In the headlines, subheads and sprinkled in copy. Now, it’s all about putting yourself in your consumers’ shoes.

Ask yourself: Where are consumers coming from? How are they researching us? What types of queries do they plug into Google and – more importantly – our own site? Consumers are no longer typing in one or two keywords in search engines. They are asking questions to Alexa, Siri and Google Home; they are keying in on specific questions.

Position your copy, and keywords, to meet those needs. That may include phrases, questions and longer form content to make it easier for consumers to find you and your organization.

3. Demonstrate expertise

Topic authority can make a big impact on your search engine rankings. The more content you publish on a specific topic, the better your ranking will be. While most healthcare organizations naturally enjoy authority on relevant topics, you can take a few simple steps to boost your credibility.

A strong content strategy, including content pillars, messaging strategy, brand filters and content calendar, can strengthen an organization’s reputation as a reliable authority.

4. Focus on the details

Work closely with your development partner to make sure all the details of your site are completed correctly. That includes meta tags, alt image tags, links, domain security, website architecture, title tags, meta descriptions, page speed and much more.

There’s a lot that goes into planning, creating and sharing outstanding content with consumers. These four simple steps can help you focus on what’s most important – developing quality content that consumers want – to protect your organization’s rankings.