One of the first things to learn about search engine optimization (SEO) is that keywords are a core component of online search visibility. Google scans countless healthcare websites every day indexing keywords so it knows what to deliver in search results. In this article, you will learn the three-step strategic process for SEO keyword optimization: choosing the right keywords, ensuring content aligns with patient search intent, and following on-page SEO best practices to boost search engine rankings.
Optimizing for the Right Keyword: Foundation of SEO Success
Optimizing pages for the right keywords sits at the core of SEO strategy. To know which keywords to target begins with knowing how to conduct keyword research effectively. From there, you place your primary target keywords strategically in content elements such as the H1 tag, meta title, URL, and of course, throughout the body. Advanced strategies call for supplementary keywords that provide more context for Google to better understand which audience your website is relevant to.
Analyzing User Search Intent
Understanding what users are searching for is the first step in content alignment. When a user types a query into a search engine, there is always a specific goal behind it. They could be looking for information, planning to book an appointment soon, or some other consumer-oriented activity. When creating SEO content doesn’t align with this intent, it’s unlikely that your page will rank high in search results. So, understanding user search intent is a core basic for keyword search optimization.
Assessing Value to Your Website, and Considering Your Expertise
Do the keywords you have chosen add value to your SEO? Assessing keyword relevance weighs how well the keyword matches with your brand, offerings, and the solutions your website provides. Selecting keywords–especially “long-tail” opportunities–that speak to your specific area of expertise can enhance your content’s authenticity and authority, enhancing your credibility as you deliver more value to your audience.
Crafting Effective Content: Aligning with Keywords
The importance of crafting original, relevant content cannot be overstated. A keyword strategy not reinforced by quality content creation is like trying to fly a plane with no engine, as efforts will never get your SEO off the ground. All components of your SEO content–from headings to paragraphs–must support the user search intent. Whether it’s a page detailing healthcare services or a monthly blog informing patients about vital medical topics, content that supports SEO keyword optimization must provide information that engages and serves the reader.
Optimize Your Engagement and Readability
Creating engaging and readable content is key to retaining visitor interest and improving user experience. By adopting reader-friendly techniques such as conversational tone, short paragraphs, and storytelling techniques, you can keep site visitors “on page” longer. Also, organizing your content with clear headings, subheadings, and a logical flow enhances both user comprehension and SEO. Both SEO keyword optimization efforts help communicate to Google’s algorithms that your content is delivering real value to consumers.
Provide Unique Expertise and Value
How to optimize content for SEO includes techniques that help it stand out in search results. Elevate your search engine optimization content by opting for a unique angle or approach. By infusing blog content with fresh insights, compelling data, or offering a fresh perspective on topics frequently covered, you can earn more engagement from readers.
Google also values content that has been updated because this demonstrates a commitment to quality and recency. Conducting regular content refreshes that include updating blogs with well-researched information can only strengthen your keyword strategy.
Adhering to On-Page SEO Best Practices
After well-researched keyword selection and quality content creation, there is one more pillar for SEO keyword optimization: on-page SEO. On-page includes additional enhancements that optimize website content in preparation for crawling by Google’s algorithm-based assessments. On-page SEO can also improve the reader experience simultaneously. Below are five basic steps for on-page SEO.
Step 1: The Big 3 – H1, Meta Title, and URL
The content’s meta title and H1 tags should clearly reflect the main focus around your chosen keyword. It also helps to include the focus keyword in the URL slug. This helps search engines understand the main topic of the page, improving the chances of matching user search queries, and ultimately improving rankings for that page.
Step 2: Balancing Keyword Usage
Your main keyword should be sprinkled throughout your search engine optimized content but try to avoid what is known as “keyword stuffing.” Google prefers keyword optimization that integrates naturally into the content and is not repeated only to “trick” the algorithm into thinking the content is more relevant than the rest. If keyword inclusion seems awkward, or without appropriate context to justify its placement, it should be deleted or moved to another part of the page that makes more sense.
Step 3: Enhancing Subheadings
One of the first things you will notice when reading blogs is how every section is preceded by a heading that “announces” the respective section. Not only does this make consumption of the content easier for readers, but it also helps Google’s crawlers better understand the content with a highly organized “hierarchy” structure.
Headings are also a prime placement for keyword optimization. By placing variations of your main keyword, and secondary keywords in the subheadings, you strengthen the SEO power of your contents, blog articles especially.
Step 4: Optimizing Images and Links
Some content is enhanced with images and “hyperlinks.” Best practices for these content features include text that helps Google understand the relevance. The idea is to give Google a complete understanding of the content to maximize its relevance to search engine users.
To know what images, contain, Google relies on alt text which is a description. In similar fashion, Google can glean what a link relates to based on the “anchor text” contained in hyperlink. Image and link optimization can promote better user engagement and add valuable context to search engines.
Step 5: Targeting Featured Snippets and Rich Results
Targeting featured snippets and rich results is an advanced SEO technique that can help your website get more clicks. When you use Google search, you will notice variations in formatting where some features are allotted more space than others. Learn more about how featured snippets work here.
When your content is configured for rich snippets, it stands to be more noticeable and garners more attention. Given the competitive environment of search engine results pages (SERPs) such visibility enhancements can only help you when trying to increase your click-through rate.
Summary: Strategic SEO Keyword Optimization
How do you optimize content for SEO? The formula for SEO keyword optimization consists of three main components: select the right keywords based on sold research, align content with search intent, and apply on-page SEO content development techniques such as:
- Incorporating the main target keyword into the H1, meta title, and URL of the content. It also helps to organize pages with a “nesting” heading “hierarchy” that divides the text into independent chunks. As with your H1, you can include your target keywords, plus supporting keywords.
- Keeping keyword inclusion natural, being careful to not “stuff” keywords. It helps to vary phrasing of your target optimization keywords so that the text is more reader friendly.
- Help Google understand your links and images through descriptive text. For images, you would use “alt text” and for hyperlinks you would use “anchor text.”
- Advanced on page enhancements help your page achieve a more pronounced appearance search engine results page (SERP), helping you attract attention away from competing websites.
By reinforcing your keyword strategy through content enhancements, your healthcare website can expand its footprint in SERPs and increase core key performance indicators (KPIs) such as traffic and click-through rate.
Enhance Your SEO Keyword Optimization with iHealthSpot’s Time-Tested Content Strategy
If putting a keyword strategy together and then implementing it effectively feels like juggling act, that’s because it basically is. Our team of experienced healthcare SEO experts know how to optimize keywords for SEO best aligned with search intent, how to craft content according to strategy best practices, and how to perform advanced “on page” enhancements. Contact us today to learn more.