Master SEO keywords for your healthcare organization in 3 easy steps

Choose your words

You might think you have to be an SEO keywords expert to figure out how to get prospective patients to find your website. Not true. All it takes is a few simple steps to make sure you’re on the right track. Let’s dive in.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) sounds like a mouthful, so let’s break it down. Search engines like Google and Bing track every single website on the internet. When you search for something online, a bunch of websites pop up — with those most relevant to your search appearing at the top of the list. The websites that are showing up first are following SEO best practices, such as optimizing keywords.

Ultimately, strong SEO boils down to good content. If you have good content, you’re more likely to show up higher during a search.

Every website contains keywords. Your SEO keywords are what people type into the search engine when they’re looking for something. For example, if you’re an orthopedic surgeon, your website needs to include in the content, titles and links multiple uses of the keywords “orthopedic surgeon.”

But “orthopedic surgeon” doesn’t need to be your only keyword. In fact, you’ll need more. Lots and lots more. You need to figure out what people are searching for and make sure your content has plenty of those keywords sprinkled throughout your site.

Do SEO keyword research

SEO Keywords Cupcakes
Photo: clevercupcakes via VisualHunt / CC BY

First, find out what words people are searching for. Think about all the things that could be part of your healthcare organization — prescriptions, vaccinations, medicine, etc. What do people need and want to know? There’s plenty of online tools that can help you find keywords around those concepts. Here are just a few:

“Don’t think of keyword research or SEO as something that you’re doing for search engines,” writes Jeremy Dietz of Coffey Communications on the company’s blog. “Think of it as another opportunity to better understand your consumers and what types of problems they’re trying to solve when they come to your website.”

Also, pay attention to the news cycle and trends when figuring out your keywords. What are people searching for right now?

Different ways to use Google AdWords

Again, there are lots of keyword tools to explore, but Google AdWords is free, so let’s start there. Search Engine Journal shows us three different ways we can search for keywords on Google AdWords.

1. Inputting the website/page to be optimized.

Because you’re looking for specific keywords, use the “match types” option in the right sidebar. When you’re ready to identify keywords, put in the page you’re trying to optimize. Put this in the “website” field and hit the “search” button for keywords. Then, select the “keywords ideas” tab to categorize them.

2. Selecting the category.

Input the category of the products you’re offering, instead of the URL. If you’re offering “marketing,” you would hit the “Advertising & Marketing” category in the “category” field and hit “search.”

3. Inputting a list of seed keywords.

This is the most common way to use Google AdWords. Simply type the names of products or services into the “word or phrase” field. Then, you’ll get a list of popular related searches.

The best-kept secret

SEO Keywords SecretChristopher S. Penn, VP of Marketing Technology at SHIFT Communications, discusses other options for SEO keywords beginners. If you built your website using WordPress, including a product like GoDaddy Managed WordPress, try the Yoast SEO plugin.

“Yoast tells you things like, ‘Hey, this is the keyword phrase to your page,’ and ‘here’s how you’re using the general factors on site that we think make a lot of sense for this page.’ Use that tool with your keyword to plan out your website.”

Chris suggests using social media to look at the words people use to describe the same thing — like a competitor’s product. “By monitoring social media and the words other people use to talk to you and to your competitors, you can expand that keyword list with traces that real people use.”

Continue your SEO education

When you search for “how to find keywords for SEO” or similar queries, Google ranks the articles it likes best. Take a cue from articles you find as well as this post. Use the processes that best match your tools and resources. Lastly, find and put to use the best SEO keywords for each piece of healthcare-related content you post, and you’ll be attracting readers to your site (and patients to your practice) in no time.

Image by: janetgalore via Visualhunt / CC BY

Jessica Levco
Jessica Levco is a freelance healthcare writer, editor and marketer. She has nearly a decade of experience with brand journalism, blogging and managing social media accounts for various organizations. When she's not writing, she's playing tennis. Check out her blog.