Healthcare and the Web: Overview

It is vital that patients find caregivers and health information relevant to their healthcare needs. These kinds of searches are specific to body areas, ailments, symptoms, and geographical location. A healthcare professional looking to increase their number of patients must be findable within search results since we know that about 60% of US Adults look first for healthcare information online.

This transition to online search as the first place for healthcare means that the field of “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO has become highly talked about within healthcare circles. However, as search engines get smarter about what content is really desired by a searcher, the ability to “game the system” or influence search results through technical know-how has diminished. In fact, overly “optimized” sites are now regularly punished by Google. You may have heard about “Panda” and “Penguin” updates that are working to knock down sites that are focusing only on keyword optimization, paying for inbound links, or spamming its visitors.

In many ways, SEO is dead and content is the new king of findability. There are no magic bullets and the most effective sites in the world make investments into the quality and quantity of their content combined with inbound marketing approach.

Screen Shot 2013-08-29 at 4.54.37 PM

SEO BASICS: What influences page ranking?

  • Relevant, original content

  • Author authority

  • Authority of other links that point to the page

  • Engagement with the page (social, comments, shares)

  • On-page SEO elements (keywords within title, image tags, and headers)


What are the most important qualities of a highly ranked page?

  1. Relevant Content: Don’t harp on magical keyword placement. Instead, you want to write to make sure you cover every nick and cranny of a story/topic.

  2. Images: Every article needs to have one (at least) primary image. It’s that image snippet that appears alongside the article in the search results. when you upload an image, make sure to add “Alt Text”

  3. A Different Take on Things: Take a different spin on things, write for real, be willing to say something in a unique way. Again, Google is surfacing content that is original and adds depth to a search.


I’m a physician. What can I do?

  • Commit to writing content related to your area of expertise at least once a month. And if you really want to see results, write more frequently! Traffic can increase an average 55% with weekly blogging. Write for an actual person. Keep your audience in mind as you write, and provide them helpful information or thoughts.

  • Create a Google+ profile and add your bio. Every time you add your Google+ Author Link into blogs that you write, that page will be seen as more authoritative and will be searchable alongside any other articles you have written.

  • Include your Google+ Author Link in any pieces you submit to outside publishers. They should include this code in any content they publish online.

  • Claim your Google Places listing for your practice – Add your hours, your staff names, and your areas of specialty. This puts you on the map results in local searches.

  • Claim your LinkedIn profile and post any new content you write there. Upload any presentations you’ve given in the past. Post links to research or other publications.

  • Read authoritative information about inbound marketing.



History of SEO and Its Future [PRESENTATION]


Google’s Latest Update: In-Depth Articles

According to research,10% of people’s daily search needs are for more in-depth content. Google wants to reward pages with this kind of content.


How to Dominate Local Search

  • Approximately 3 billion search queries contain local terms every month. (Source:comScore)

  • 70% of online searchers will use local search to find offline businesses. (Source:Kelsey Group)

  • 30% of Google searches are for local information. (Source: HubSpot via Google)

Featured photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.Net