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Optimizing Your Content for Search Engines & People

How to put your best foot forward for search engine visibility.

Your health care organization has big news. Maybe a renowned physician just joined your medical group. Or you’re building an addition to your heart hospital. Or your medical center is expanding its pregnancy and birth services.

How do you help make sure your target audience can find out about it through search engines? You know there’s more to it than posting a press release on your website.

Equally important, how do you write the story in a way that’s meaningful and engaging for the people who want and need your information?

Achieving both those goals might seem like a tall order. But you don’t have to choose between optimizing content for search engines or people. You can – and should – craft natural-sounding copy that speaks to users AND pleases Google.

Doing this successfully takes a bit of planning and research before you start writing. Your key task: understand how what your organization is offering lines up with what patients are looking for when they’re online. What questions are they asking about a specific type of medical care? In what geographic areas do people most often search Google for the type of specialist who joined your medical group? What specific terms do people use to describe the health care information they’re seeking?

Keyword research can provide answers. With the information you gather from tools like SEMrush, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, or KWFinder, you get a better idea of:

  • What to address in your content
  • Service locations to target your message to
  • Specific words to use in strategic places to make sure your audience understands your topic

Maybe you’ll discover – as Geonetric teams have – that users in one city search much more often for a particular treatment than users in a similar-sized city not far away. Or maybe users who search for your topic also often look for a related term you hadn’t thought to add information about to your webpage.

You can improve your site’s SEO by using the information you find from keyword research to create content that’s as clear, relevant, and valuable as possible to your target audience.

What you don’t want to do is focus exclusively on search-engine rankings to the detriment of user experience. If you cram in too many keywords, use awkwardly phrased search terms, or create uninformative pages just for the sake of adding keywords, your content may end up turning users off (and ultimately hurting SEO). As a health care organization, you communicate in a way that conveys professionalism and inspires trust – not in a way that reads like overeager marketing.

As Google has advised, “base your optimization decisions first and foremost on what’s best for the visitors of your site. … Search engine optimization is about putting your site’s best foot forward when it comes to visibility in search engines, but your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines.”

Optimizing Your Content for Search Engines & People

Celine Klosterman