In healthcare blog posting, as in most Internet content writing, keywords are your friends. Never underestimate the value of a good keyword! You can use keywords in your healthcare practice’s SEO strategy to drive readership and keep your patients interested in your business.
Keywords are the buzzwords of your industry -- the words your patients use in searches most often, that will lead them directly to your finely tuned healthcare services and website. Let’s get started with your definitive guide to keyword research.
Understanding Keyword Research
Before we jump in, let’s define keyword research. Keyword research is finding the words that people plug most often into search engines that lead them to your industry, or even better, to your website.
Keyword research can help you define exactly what your patients are looking for, how they’re looking for it, and where they’re looking for it. In other words, keyword research can help drive patients and buyers to your healthcare website. Here’s how:
Step One: Research
Research is the most important step of this process, and it must start first. During your research, you’ll find the most popular topics that you want your website’s keywords to rank for. Think about these topics as buckets into which you can plug more specific keywords.
Just like a bucket filled with different types of apples (think granny smith, honeycrisp, and golden delicious), these keyword buckets will eventually be filled with more topics that appeal to more and more buyer personas, helping your website content to satisfy, interest, and educate as many people as possible.
A good number to focus on here is 5-10 buckets. These buckets will probably remain the same for a good while, and will be the most important and frequent topics you blog about.
Step Two: Fill Your Buckets
Here’s the most labor-intensive part of the process -- think of it as brainstorming, or scavenger hunting -- what do your patients search most? What do they need? What are their pain points, and how can your healthcare practice solve them?
To clarify: your keyword buckets should be filled with keyword phrases that patients type into search engines when they’re looking for healthcare. These keyword phrases will help your website content rank well for patient searches. Think in terms of how you type in your own search queries.
If it pops into your brain, write it down. Just completely empty your brain of all possible topics in these search categories until you have at least 25 in each bucket. They may not be the final phrases, or the best, but at least you know you’ve done a good job brainstorming and researching.
You can also use analytics software like Google Analytics to find out which words lead your patients to your website. Worry about narrowing the lists down using trending keywords and phrases later. Just fill up those buckets!
Step Three: Make Sure You Have Mixed Head Terms and Long-tail Keywords in Each Bucket
Head terms are keyword phrases that are short and generic -- think 1-3 words. Long-tail keywords contain more than three words. Having both in each one of your keyword buckets increases the chances that patients will land on your website eventually. Head terms are searched more often, and therefore much more competitive, so keeping a balance of both types increases your website traffic in the long run.
Once you’ve taken these three steps, you can cut down your keyword lists and phrases using a keyword-planning tool, like Google AdWords Keyword planner. Since more and more keywords are becoming encrypted on Google, you will need all the help you can get.
Take advantage of all your resources, and happy hunting for the best keywords for your healthcare practice!