Solid keyword research is the backbone of any successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. What is a keyword as it relates to search engines? Google processes around 7 million health related searches per day, matching user search queries to the most useful online resources. This is why choosing the right keywords is so important when trying to reach your target audience of patients. This article will define, “what is an SEO keyword?” plus the other discussions surrounding keyword searches.
SEO Keyword Meaning: Understanding Its Role in Search Engine Optimization
What is an SEO keyword? When the goal is to get more traffic to your website–traffic from the specific audience your healthcare business is targeting–finding the right SEO keywords are the keys to success. SEO keywords are those specific terms or phrases your target audience frequently enters into Google’s search bar.
Targeting keywords for SEO in Google seeks those search queries with the strongest search intent. This way your website content is more likely to get in front of the readers it was intended for. For example, it can be assumed that high commercial intent keywords are searched by people who are more likely to act, such as booking an appointment or purchasing a service. Identifying the best keyword SEO opportunities involves research and a keen understanding of your target audience.
SEO Keyword Selection and Research: Crafting Effective Search Engine Optimization Keywords
Tools designed for keyword research are instrumental in uncovering potential high-volume and long-tail keywords that might offer lower competition and higher conversion opportunities. High-volume keywords represent the most frequently searched terms, while long-tailed keywords are more specific and less competitive.
For instance, the term “best allergy medicine” is a high-volume keyword, while “natural cures for allergies” is a long-tail keyword. Using related search terms such as these can help healthcare professionals identify niche terms that are still relevant to their industry.
What are the Best SEO Keyword Opportunities? Key Considerations
When choosing SEO search terms, efforts are best directed at those keywords that people search for repeatedly. For the most potent website keywords for SEO, you’re looking for that sweet spot of high search volume and low competition.
- Search volume: SEO tools import data to show you how many average searches a given keyword phrase is getting every month. Keywords with high search volume are more valuable, in general.
- Competition: When multiple websites are vying for the same keywords, this can sometimes be an impossible feat. SEO tools provide keyword difficulty scoring to let you know in advance that ranking for a certain keyword will be an uphill battle. Instead, you can try variations of a keyword that are less competitive.
For example, the keyword “medical center” may have high search volume, but it also has stiff competition. In contrast, the keyword “urgent care medical center in Los Angeles” may have a relatively low search volume, but it also has much lower competition.
Another vital factor for effective keyword selection is commercial intent, which refers to the likelihood of a searcher to convert.
What is an SEO Keyword? Tools for SEO Research & Competitor Analysis
While you can reasonably anticipate what kind of search terms your potential patients will be using in their online searches, it’s better for digital strategy to utilize keyword research tools. Because so much time and resources go into SEO, it’s necessary to determine which keywords are the best opportunities. Tools that help marketers carefully select SEO keywords are:
- Google Keyword Planner: Provides data on keyword search volume, competition, and trends.
- Google Suggest: As a supplement to Google Keyword Planner, Google Suggest or autocomplete is a search engine function that automatically generates search suggestions based on “seed” keywords. This can help marketers generate keywords in users’ natural phrasing to make keyword choice more precise.
- Google Search Console: Google Search Console provides insights into the search queries that lead traffic to your healthcare website, which pages have the most clicks, and your SERP’s performance.
- Moz’s Keyword Explorer: Another SEO tool that provides users a wide range of keyword suggestions related to their seed keywords or topics.
- BuzzSumo: Leverages real-time web data to provide insights into the latest content trends, the latest industry topics, and even identify influencers driving the conversation forward. .
- AnswerThePublic.com: Visualizes questions and prepositions associated with a keyword, such as “What is the best allergy medicine?” or “How to find the best gastroenterologist in your area?” This helps generate more “long-tail” keyword opportunities.
The above tools range from free to paid, and simple to complex. While some tools are ideal for general brainstorming, others provide data insights that let you know which keywords are better opportunities (high search volume and low competition).
SEO professionals also use more comprehensive tools such as Semrush or Ahrefs to perform more complex analyses. Advanced tools can also analyze high-performing content from competitors, giving insights about keyword density to help you either decrease or increase the inclusion keywords.
SEO Keyword Varieties and Their Use: From Long-Tail Keywords to Keyword Variations
Short-tail keywords are shorter, broader, and more general terms, often with one or two words that have high search volume but intense competition. They are challenging to rank for, particularly for newly created websites or niche markets.
Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are longer and more specific phrases that target a more precise audience or product. For example, instead of “doctor,” a long-tail keyword could be “pediatrician in New York City.” This type of keyword is more conversational and attracts more qualified traffic. This category is particularly useful for new websites targeting niche markets as they are easier to rank for and attract visitors more likely to convert.
What are SEO Keyword Variations?
Beyond long-tail keywords, keyword variations offer an opportunity to broaden the website’s appeal to a more diverse audience while retaining the central focus of the content. Keyword variations can be synonyms, related terms, or different word forms.
- Synonyms are words that mean the same as the main keyword—for example, using “kids” instead of “children.”
- Related terms are phrases that expand on these concepts using longer, more specific phrases can help users find specific and useful information., such as “healthy diet for children.”
- Word forms can also better keyword opportunities. For example, if the main keyword is “pediatrician,” adding plurals such as “pediatricians” or different verb tenses such as “pediatric care” can help diversify the content and naturally include those searching for variations of the main keyword.
These strategies show search engines that the website provides useful and high-quality content to its target audience.
Implementing Keywords for Website SEO: Create Content with Good SEO Keywords
Finding the best keywords for your SEO strategy is foundational, but increasing visibility is not built on keywords alone. To unlock the power of keywords, they must be planted strategically within all your website content.
Adding Keywords to Your Domain Name
Integrating keywords into your URL (main website address) can also add SEO power to your website. For instance, if you have a dental clinic, your service page should have a URL that reads, “www.mydentalclinic.com/services/dental-implants”. This URL provides a clear indication of what the page is about, and it’s more likely to rank higher on search result pages. Additional tips for optimizing content include the following.
Incorporating Keywords in Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Including targeted keywords in title tags and meta descriptions can improve visibility and search engine rankings. Title tags and meta descriptions are important because these appear in the “preview” of your website content in search engine results. Best practices involve keeping title tags under 60 characters, with the primary keyword placed near the beginning, and crafting meta descriptions that are no more than 160 characters and include the target keyword.
Using Page Titles and Subheadings for Structuring Content
Aside from making content more reader-friendly and “skimmable,” page titles and subheadings are also a prime location to integrate keywords–both main and secondary. While including your keywords in the body text of your website content is essential, a heading structure that also integrates keywords will reinforce the search terms you are targeting.
Including Keywords Within Body Content and Image Alt Attributes
Your body content should contain your targeted keywords while still being natural and reader friendly. Avoid keyword stuffing or which places keywords in awkward places that don’t make sense or negatively impact readability
Pages that include images are another opportunity for keyword placement. Google relies on alt text to know what the image contains. You can add certain keywords to the alt text to support your strategy. But as with body text, the keyword placement must fit naturally and not be confusing to search crawlers.
Creating a Content-to-Keyword Map
A content-to-keyword map is like a plan that matches different pieces of content with specific keywords. It helps organize your content strategy, making sure you cover all the important keywords and find ways to use them better. To make this map, group your website content by main topics and choose the best keywords for each group. This map gives you a plan to create content strategically, which can make your website more visible and bring in more visitors.
Utilizing Competitor Analysis and Tools for Effective SEO Keyword Strategy
One of the best ways to find the right keywords for your healthcare website is to analyze your competitors’ keyword strategies. By checking out the keywords your top competitors are using, you can see what words are popular with the people you want to reach in your specific area of healthcare. Tools like Semrush can help you find out which keywords are used the most. Then, you can use this information to produce a better SEO keyword plan for your website.
Balancing SEO and Keyword Quality: Ensuring Content and Keywords Work Together
Your content strategy unlocks the power of your SEO keywords. When every piece of content–blogs especially–is high-quality, engaging, and valuable, this keeps readers on page, signaling to Google that your content perfectly aligns with user search intent. Likewise, you can boost your SEO signals with Google by regularly updating and refreshing your website with new content to demonstrate a commitment to content excellence. Crafting a monthly content calendar supports your SEO keyword strategy by keeping your content on track.
Content strategy also calls for continuous quality assessments and performance tracking. Regularly reviewing this data helps in adapting and refining the SEO strategy to current trends and performance metrics, ensuring the website remains visible and competitive. Pay attention to metrics such as click-through rate, bounce rate, and conversion rate, and adjust your content accordingly.
Summary: What is an SEO Keyword?
When learning the ropes of digital marketing, people often ask, “what is an SEO keyword?” Simply put, an SEO keyword is a search term that is frequently entered into Google by your target audience. While it’s simple to explain what a keyword is, the process of selecting a keyword is not as straightforward. It takes a lot of effort to rank for target keywords, so you want to put your efforts to those that have the most promise.
The best keyword opportunities are those highly relevant to your audience, have a high search volume, and do not have a high competition score. For an SEO keyword strategy to be successful, it must be built on more than just a “hunch” of what your target audience is searching for. By checking in with a reliable SEO tool, you can find better variations of your “seed” keywords, check the data for search volume, and see if the keyword has a decent chance of earning rank for (difficulty).
Once you have chosen your best keywords, content strategy will activate their full potential. Of course, keywords can be integrated into blogs, but they can also be included in a variety of content elements including title tags, meta descriptions, and alt text for images.
To reinforce your keyword strategy even further, content should be helpful and engaging enough to keep site visitors on the site longer. This signals to Google that your content is a perfect resource for the search intent behind the query. Refreshing older content also signals to Google that your website is committed to providing top-tier content for users. Refreshing content includes checking old references for outdated information, links to content that no longer exists, and updating any part of the page to be more relevant to the audience’s needs.
Enhancing SEO Keywords and SEO to Gain a Competitive Advantage
If your website is not getting the traffic it needs, revamping it with a solid keyword strategy could be the game changer you’ve been wishing for. At iHealthSpot, we have extensive experience in collaborating with medical practices across different specialties, enabling our consultants to excel in crafting content and devising digital marketing strategies that boost revenue. Get in touch with us today to discover how we can help you increase patient appointments and maximize your bottom line through SEO.