Google Algorithm Update 2021- How to Optimize Healthcare Content

9 MIN. READ

For companies in the healthcare industry that use a content marketing strategy, it’s essential to consider the Google algorithm update 2021. Google is at it again and optimizing ranking based on a new set of criteria.

What criteria might you ask? It’s all based on how the user interacts with your content and their overall experience. Healthcare companies should be well aware of optimizing content marketing for a better page experience for patients.

Learn more about preparing your organization for the Google algorithm update 2021 and ways to optimize your healthcare content for the best results.

Main components of the Google algorithm update 2021

When it comes to optimizing healthcare content for your website, the primary metric to consider for Google’s update is page experience.

Page experience will significantly impact rankings, which includes determining how easily a user can interact with your page. Google will take into account five key metrics:

  • Core Web Vitals (loading, interactivity, and visual stability).
  • Mobile-friendliness.
  • Safebrowsing.
  • HTTPS.
  • Intrusive guidelines.

These metrics can affect everything from bounce rate to page security. In an industry that relies so much on trustworthiness and expertise, healthcare organizations must have strategies that address these components.

How healthcare industries can prepare themselves for the Google algorithm update

You should consider each and every user who visits your webpage and the experience that you’re giving them. Thus, you need to consider your content, the components of your content, and the content’s metrics to create a great experience.

Ensure that you have a blogging strategy in place that highlights quality. After all, that will always be a priority for optimizing content for the healthcare industry. You want to show your patients the services you offer so that they want to learn more. Selling aside, quality educational content that covers everything from technological advances to common disease symptoms also encourages patient engagement and trust.

As you strengthen your content to prepare for the Google algorithm update 2021, you’ll get a head start on the competition as well. While others are scrambling to make adjustments after the rollout, you will be ahead of the game, reaching more potential patients and focusing on providing quality care.

Consider the overall page experience and metrics

There are several different metrics to consider when creating content for each page of your website. To ensure you’re optimizing your page experience as much as possible, make sure you’re using these tools and strategies for your content marketing plan.

1. Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals are the series of metrics focusing on site speed. When loading your home page and various pillar pages, observe how quickly you can access the information.

If it takes quite some time to load a page, it’s time to consider an alternate strategy. Luckily, you can use Google tools to determine your progress when it comes to measuring these metrics. Some tools you can use are:

  • Search Console report for Core Web Vitals.
  • PageSpeed Insights.
  • Google Lighthouse.

Think about your target audience. When patients search online, they are always looking for answers – possible treatment options, explanations for symptoms, information on insurance, facility contact information, and more. They want solutions, so if their first encounter with your home page is a delay, it will set the tone for their overall experience.

2. Mobile-friendliness

Another crucial factor about page experience is mobile-friendliness. With over 52% of global online traffic coming from mobile devices, you can rest assured that patients are viewing your website on their mobile. Especially in this age of medicine, ensuring mobility without sacrificing quality is critical in offering patients what they need.

You’ll want to optimize each page for a mobile experience and make sure the content is formatted correctly for different mobile devices. A select few individuals don’t use an iPhone, so make sure they can view everything just as well. In addition to the typical considerations like speed and responsiveness, optimize for:

  • Skimmability/readability (think larger font sizes, white space, etc.).
  • Ease of use (make journeys and common traffic areas easily visible and clickable).
  • Brand consistency (don’t forget to include brand colors and style for a seamless experience).

3. Safe browsing

With so much corruption in the digital world, it makes sense that Google would consider any website intending to spam or mislead your users. Simply put, if your patients don’t feel safe accessing your website, they won’t use it. Thus, you need to make sure it’s a safe place for them to browse. Use outside hyperlinks, make sure portal pages are secure and address your communication protocol with HTTPS.

In the healthcare arena, protecting patient data is extremely important. You should never risk having sensitive physical/mental information on your patients getting out. Practices that lose patient info can suffer high fines or other legal consequences.

4. HTTPS

Does your website start with HTTPS://? If not, it doesn’t have a Secure Sockets Layers (SSL) certificate that scrambles sensitive information so hackers cannot intercept it.

With HIPAA privacy laws and other regulations, it is vital to keep information safe and secure. Otherwise, you may face hefty fines, legal issues, and, perhaps worst of all, patient distrust. To effectively optimize your page experience for the Google algorithm update 2021, remember sites without an SSL get flagged.

5. Intrusive guidelines

When including pop-ups on your website, it’s important to note that gathering patient information has legal consequences. Healthcare businesses should be particularly cautious about this component when it comes to the page experience for patients.

So, think twice about collecting a user’s information. Make sure you have compliance, meet all regulations, and that your patient’s information is safe and secure.

Publish quality content that educates your audience

In today’s society, in a post-COVID-19 era, it’s important to keep quality at the forefront of your content marketing process. When creating your plan for your facility, you need:

  • A beneficial purpose.
  • E-A-T, or expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
  • Y-M-Y-L, or your money or your life.

Beneficial purpose

When creating your healthcare content, are you sure it is helping your users? Each page should have a clear purpose.

Your patients must be able to easily navigate and learn more about the idea behind the page, whether it be about the services you provide or the scope of your medical background.

E-A-T

To prepare for the Google algorithm update 2021, the content on each page should highlight:

  • Your expertise in the healthcare industry and your specific field of medicine.
  • Your voice and content as authoritative, positioning your company as a thought leader in your industry.
  • The trustworthiness of your content and honesty about what your company provides.

Y-M-Y-L

Your content should always influence readers in some way. In an industry like healthcare, where the patient’s health, happiness, and financial situation are all affected, your content should always strive to address one of those areas to provide the most value.

Y-M-Y-L stands for Your Money or Your Life, and when creating content, you should always address this issue. Ask yourself, “How is my content affecting my patient’s life?” If your answer to that question is that it’s impacting your patients’ lives directly, then your content is doing its job.

SEO strategies for the Google algorithm update 2021

You’re looking to get the most out of your marketing efforts for your healthcare facility. To do so, you need to optimize for SEO and update your strategy so you can rank higher on search engine result pages (SERPs).

For a solid strategy, you need to consider several different ways to optimize your content for your patients. A few key areas to focus on are:

  • Medical-based keyword research.
  • Meta titles, headings, and descriptions for keywords.
  • Google My Business pages.

Medical-based keyword research

When implementing your SEO strategy to prepare for the Google algorithm update 2021, start with keyword research based on your medical niche. For example, let’s say you’re in regenerative medicine. Your research tells you that users search for phrases like “regenerative foot and ankle treatments.”

Use that phrase in the title of an article, subheaders, and the body of the content so Google will recognize that article as a possible solution to that patient’s query.

Meta titles, headings, and descriptions for keywords

You can effectively drive traffic to your website when optimizing meta titles and descriptions. The meta description appears on SERPs, so include a few sentences about the article (and your keyword) to entice users to click on your page. As mentioned above, using the keyword in your headers will also help you rank, showing search engines that the actual content pertains to the topic (and you didn’t just game the meta information for higher rankings).

Create and optimize your Google My Business page

One of the easiest ways to strategize your content marketing plan for SEO is to utilize Google My Business. It’s a free tool to promote your company and website on Google Search and Maps.

You can connect with your customers, post updates, and read reviews about patient experience in your facility. It’s essential to optimize your Google My Business page to appear at the top rankings for the medical-based keywords you’ve researched.

In summary

When it comes to your healthcare facility’s content marketing plan, it’s important to optimize for the Google algorithm update 2021 if you want to prepare and keep an edge on the competition. In an industry that requires expertise, trust and quick answers, fixing up your page experience will increase your patient engagement levels, lead to stronger relationships and more leads.

Solution for optimizing content for healthcare companies

If you’re looking for a solution for optimizing your content marketing strategy, Tempesta Media has a managed services solution for your healthcare facility.

With Tempesta Media, you can optimize your content for Google while also leveraging social and influencer marketing to drive better results at less cost. When you implement a plan that considers the Google algorithm update 2021 and optimizing page experience and SEO, you’ll get the most out of your website and content marketing efforts.

As you prepare for the update, there are other areas to consider to set your content marketing program up for success. Read our latest e-book on 100 mistakes companies make in implementing their programs to learn other ways to improve yours.

Social Media Content Ideas That Perform Best for Healthcare

Trust is crucial in healthcare. Without it, you’ll have trouble connecting with your audience and gaining new patients. These proven social media content ideas can help your healthcare organization build trust with your patients.

Social media platforms are a great way to reach an audience. Facebook — the most-used social media site — has more than 2.7 billion monthly active users. About two-thirds of those users log on to the site daily. Other platforms like Instagram and Twitter are close behind. Healthcare marketers and providers need to understand how to use them to:

  • Promote positive health behaviors.
  • Establish your organization as a trusted source.
  • Engage patients in their care.
  • Highlight your successes.

These social media content ideas perform best online and can help you build your audience.

Preventive care news

In Dr. Raina M. Merchant’s recent study, “Evaluating the Potential Role of Social Media in Preventive Health Care,” she looks at the way information is created and shared on social media among every age and demographic group. However, social media is also a place where misinformation spreads quickly. You can combat this by publishing good information from sources like the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

This is especially important when preventive care recommendations change. For example, the USPSTF recently recommended adults age 50 to 80 who currently smoke or have smoked within the past 15 years to get an annual lung cancer screening using a CT scan. Publish this information on social media and make it easy to share online. This helps patients sort through confusing (and sometimes incorrect) information.

Educational content

People go online to find information about symptoms, diseases, and treatment options. A study published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE found that about 20% of online searches were health-related.

That presents many opportunities for healthcare organizations, but it also has some pitfalls for patients. Remember, not all information online is accurate, and sometimes it’s hard to sort through what’s good and bad.

You can make this easier for patients by sharing educational content on social media. Create this content from scratch, or republish information from reputable sources. The best are government sites, educational sites, and non-profit scientific or medical research societies.

Raise awareness for events and new treatments

The internet is a great place to promote what’s happening in your organization. Some social media content ideas for events and information to post include:

  • New and innovative treatments.
  • New service lines, new specialty areas of treatment, and new physicians.
  • Events to promote health, such as health fairs and screenings.
  • Fundraising events.
  • Job fairs to hire new staff.
  • Classes to help patients live healthy lives, manage disease, or understand treatment options.

Staff highlights and accomplishments

When your staff is dedicated to your mission, they make patients feel comfortable about coming in for care. Highlight the great things your staff does by creating social media spotlights of them.

These can be as simple as a “get to know you” post with a picture of a friendly face from your clinic. You can also use video to your advantage here, letting the staff member introduce themselves and talk about why they love the work they do. It doesn’t require advanced video editing skills, just a smartphone and a room with good lighting.

User-generated content

One of the biggest misconceptions about social media content is that you have to create everything you post. Many successful organizations encourage users to create content they can post online. For example, CaringBridge is a non-profit that helps people create websites to update family and friends about their healthcare journey. They frequently ask followers to share information and ideas on their Facebook page about various topics related to healthcare and overcoming illness.

However, there is one important caveat to sharing consumer content in the healthcare industry.

Patient privacy laws (HIPAA) protect patients from having medical information shared without permission. Sharing protected health information without the patient’s written consent can get you in legal trouble and cost you a lot in fines. Anyone can comment or share information on your social media sites on their own without you worrying about HIPAA violations, but if you plan to share something about a patient, make sure you have their written permission to do so.

The bottom line

You should be using social media as a tool to share healthcare information. These social media content ideas are a great place to start. When used well, it can build trust with your audience and bring in new patients. Find out how Tempesta Media can help you outline a strategy to improve your social media presence and create effective content to post online.

While you’re at it, take a look at our e-book on 100 mistakes companies make when implementing their content marketing programs to discover a few strategies for social media and content marketing success.

5 Content Marketing Secrets for the Healthcare Industry

Content marketing for the healthcare industry calls for strategies that help you connect in meaningful ways and create value for your audience. Here are five secrets for a content marketing program that drives results in this field.

Great healthcare extends beyond in-person interactions. Healthcare organizations can implement content marketing strategies to drive revenues, provide a better patient experience and even improve patient outcomes. These five secrets can transform an existing content marketing program to achieve better results.

Write for your audience

Content marketing for the healthcare industry needs to adapt to the unique audience each organization targets. It’s crucial to conduct market research to learn more about your local audience.
On average, 74% of patients have a positive view of medical doctors. Using surveys to measure trust at a local level is a great place to start with market research.
Quality demographic data can inform healthcare organizations about different patient groups and their needs, expectations and health risks to help develop content that is more relevant.

Create content for the patient’s entire lifecycle

Content marketing for the healthcare industry should focus on delivering valuable content throughout the entire patient lifecycle. Too often, healthcare organizations focus on specific pivot moments when a patient decides to seek care.
Focusing on the complete lifecycle can unlock more value through repeat visits and can deliver a better experience for the patient. It also allows for more personalization with content tailored to a patient’s unique history with your organization.

Remember that branding matters

brandingMergers and acquisitions activity is on the rise in the healthcare field, with 19 mergers in Q3 2020 alone. It’s easy for patients to get confused and lack awareness of what your brand stands for.
Your content marketing program should inform patients about any M&A deals or name changes and prioritize branding through content that communicates the value proposition of your brand.

Address content blind spots

A common issue with content marketing for the healthcare industry is that content often sounds too broad and encyclopedic. If your blog looks like a collection of articles from Mayo Clinic or WebMD, it’s time to address content blind spots with the following techniques:

  • Find a tone and voice that sets you apart.
  • Update evergreen content with recent research and statistics.
  • Make a topic more engaging by adding a Q&A section with one of your medical experts.
  • Create more relatable content by integrating testimonies from patients.
  • Keep an eye on search trends to address new questions and concerns.
  • Make content more appealing with images and videos.

Amplify your content

You can increase awareness and organic traffic by amplifying your content through the right channels.
Social media is a key method for amplifying your content and connecting with your audience. Emails are another channel to explore for delivering content throughout a patient’s lifecycle, and text messages can be a great way to share more customized information. If your organization has an online patient portal, use it for personalized content recommendations too.

Final thoughts

Good patient-provider relationships are the hallmark of a successful healthcare organization. Developing those relationships goes beyond the interactions patients have in person, extending throughout the entirety of their lifecycle.
Content marketing is the tool that enables you to reach your patients, no matter where they are. By taking advantage of these five secrets, your content marketing for the healthcare industry can drive better results and deliver more value for your audience.
But these aren’t the only factors to be aware of. Download Tempesta Media’s e-book on 100 mistakes businesses make when implementing their program to set yours on the path to success.
Need help getting traction? Our managed service is built around your strategic and financial objectives. We blend the right balance of content, social media, and influencer marketing programs together to achieve performance-driven results. For a free evaluation of your current program and objectives, please contact us to learn more.

Why localized content is important for health care blogs

With around 77 percent of people using search engines to look for health information on the Internet, you might assume that simply providing insightful information on your official health care provider blog, complete with keyword integration in the titles and body of the content, will attract traffic naturally.
To some extent, this is true. Hypochondriac or not, people do their research where it is most convenient and accessible. Location of the provider or blog/website, however, is likely limiting your reach and exposure to that city only.
In other words, readers in other cities will not convert to your patients after reading your content. The good news is that there is a workaround for this problem: localized content.

What is localized content and why does it matter?

Localized content is content specific to an audience in specific geographic locations. It is something that has gained tremendous importance in search engine optimization (SEO), with marketers scrambling to tailor their blog content for local searches.
When you perform a Google or Bing search, the results you see are highly influenced by your location as determined by your IP address. So, if you live in or are visiting Los Angeles and ran a search for “24-hour pizza delivery,” you would get a list of pizza places within Los Angeles.
The same principles apply to the health care industry. With many health care providers having offices in different states and cities, it is important that they make it easy for their patients to find them, regardless of geographic location.
So, the question is: How do you localize your health care blog/website and its content?

Use local SEO hacks

Google points out routinely that it wants content on websites and pages to be relevant to their users. This is where keywords come in, as they help define quality content.
Relevant keywords are especially important in the metadata of your pages. This includes:

  • Meta titles
  • Meta descriptions
  • Keywords

Metadata flags search engines directly, showing them a brief description of what a certain page has to offer.
The key here is to use keywords that help local consumers find information about their health care needs online.
For example, this is what the metadata for a Denver clinic’s website would look like:
Title: Denver Dermatologists | Skin Clinic in Denver, CO
Meta Description: Denver Dermatologists is a leading provider of skin treatments in the Denver area. Call our offices today to schedule a consult with Dr. John Doe.
Keywords: Denver Dermatologists, Denver Skin Clinic
Notice how the content in the metadata revolves around a specific location: Denver. This ensures the website, as well as its blog and individual pages, will be found by potential patients in Denver.
Another example would be a nationwide provider called the “United Dermatological Center.” One of its clinics is located in Denver. In this case, all you would need to do is create a separate page for the Denver clinic to reach out to the city’s local audience.

Sponsor local events

One of the best ways to localize your health care company’s marketing campaign is to sponsor or participate in events within your community.
Let us go back to United Dermatological Center. Perhaps the company could sponsor a local 5K run in Minnesota, where they have one clinic. The company could then announce this sponsorship on their blog, the local press, and other blogs, all of which will create local awareness.
After the event, the company’s blog and website can offer a recap of the activity and point out once again that there is a United Dermatological Center clinic in the city.

Factor in language

In addition, it is important to consider the language(s) spoken by your patients. If you have a clinic in Miami, for example, your target audience may be more inclined to read a blog written in Spanish than English, which means you might want to consider translating content to make it more localized. In fact, studies show that 75% of consumers prefer to buy products in their native language.

Recap

There are three basic ways to leverage localized content on your website or blog:

  • Use local SEO strategies
  • Establish a local presence through events
  • Provide content in other predominant languages besides English

If you need help implementing strategies, let us handle it for you. At Tempesta Media, all of our writers are located within the United States. We ensure the delivery of high-quality, localized content, no matter where you are on the map.

The Right Keywords are Key to Your Content Marketing Healthcare Success

If you are in health care, one of the most effective ways to attract an audience to your website is to optimize keywords. This involves using words in your content marketing healthcare that match what people look for.
The problem, however, is that not all writers know the right terms to drive traffic. Health care businesses often choose to create content through an in-house team of writers. These writers may have a working knowledge of the subject matter. However, they do not understand which keywords will boost search engine optimization.
Here is a brief dive into the importance of selecting the right keywords to drive your health care marketing.

Better keywords create better quality traffic

The more keywords you use that match topics and subjects your customers type into their queries, the higher your site will rank in those search results.
In marketing, this specificity is known as “relevance“. And it is essential in implementing a successful SEO campaign.
But the challenge with knowing the right keywords is that the rules change. For example, Google’s latest algorithms now assign more value to long-tail keywords than they once did.
These keyword phrases of four or more words are specific and tailored to users’ distinct needs. Searchers who use long-tail keywords are highly desirable. These searchers  are more likely to purchase a product or service related to their query.
Here is an example of a long-tail keyword for a dentist’s office: “What material is used to make dental implants?”
This is a very specific query that indicates a desire to get implants. If you market a dentist’s office, long-tail keywords such as “dental implant material” or “material used in dental implants” would help rank the website higher in the results for this specific query.

Targeting your audience helps keyword selection

Another challenge to relying on an in-house writing team for health care marketing is ensuring they know the best words to use to attract the most visitors to your site.
But before you create a master list of effective keywords, you have to properly target your audience. Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all concept.
For example, dentists are not all the same. Some dentists specialize in no-pain procedures in which they put a patient to sleep. A dentist who runs this type of business will have a master list of keywords different than a dentist who specializes in implants, because the targeted audience is different.
So once you properly understand the audience you must target, you can create a list of keywords. You can create this list by using resources like Keyword Planner from Google AdWords, SEMrush, or Moz.
Google AdWords is a useful tool, because it is free and the process is straightforward. It lets you optimize your website pages by typing the products and services you offer. Then, you can generate a list of popular searches based on those keywords.

Incorporating keywords into metadata attracts more visitors

Although Google’s latest algorithms have lessened their value, meta keywords are still an important part of an overall SEO strategy for a content marketing healthcare.
Meta keywords show up in the HTML code of your web page. Search engines index these keywords to help identify the topic of that page.
The difference between meta keywords and standard keywords is that meta keywords do not appear on your website page. But they are still important to your page ranking, so you should use them effectively.
There are some important things you should remember when creating meta health care keywords. First, make them as relevant as your standard health care keywords. Second, limit them to about 10 keywords per page.
Some tools that can be helpful in creating meta keywords are The Free Keyword Tool and The Free Keyword Grouper.

Expertise you need for your content marketing healthcare

Health care businesses must remain aware of the keywords that drive user searches so content meets customer needs. Researching the proper keywords and incorporating them seamlessly into your content is a craft that Tempesta Media has mastered.
Our writers know the health care industry, the SEO keywords that will drive traffic, and how to integrate those keywords correctly into your content. Please contact us today to discuss your marketing needs.

The growing demand for health care content marketing

For health care providers, content marketing offers exceptional benefits beyond promoting the services they provide to the greater community. Content marketing gives existing and potential patients the information they seek to advance their personal health goals.
Unfortunately, many in the medical field are unsure how to provide medically relevant content that engages their customers while remaining compliant with professional ethics or regulations. Those that master the process, however, enjoy increased patient engagement and better customer satisfaction across their patient and client base.

Concerns specific to the medical industry

An astonishing 72 percent of internet users report searching for medical information online. Marketers seeking to attract their attention, however, must be careful not to violate America’s medical services industry rules, particularly the HIPAA statute which governs patient confidentiality.
The challenge is significant because content marketing often involves sharing customer data in the form of case studies, interviews, or success stories. However, this becomes more difficult in a health care content context. Whether inadvertently or intentionally, revealing patient identification in any way opens the medical practitioner to a risk of sanctions for violating HIPAA.

Careful content construction avoids rules violations …

Content developed for health care professionals avoids rules violations by adhering to three key principles:

  1. It never contains protected health information (PHI) – ever.
  2. The content uses real-life patient information only in aggregate or surrogate form. This provide significant health-related data while avoiding identification of individual patients.
  3. Lastly, it contemplates the compliance requirements of all players in the content creation and distribution strategy. This includes third party health services vendors.

Ergo, well-crafted health care content prioritizes the protection of patient privacy before pursuing the topic further.

… while offering consumers and patients valuable health-related information

After addressing the privacy concerns, health care content delivers an almost unlimited roster of value for both the provider and existing or potential patients.

Enhancing credibility through an online library

An online library consisting of current and archived blog posts, articles, white papers, and ebooks offers members and patients access to educational materials specific to their health concerns. These resources enhance a patient’s “user experience” with the practice and the practitioner. They provide accurate and easy-to-access information about a condition. When offered to the general public, the content library sets professionals apart from competitors by establishing them as reliable experts in their industry sector.
Additionally, a well-structured library allows the practitioner to easily follow through on promises made in the exam room. Most doctor’s visits are too short to permit a full discussion of patient concerns and professional responses. However, the online library usually contains the answers to patient queries. Physicians need only refer their patients to the correct documents to ensure they get the information they need.

Filling the online medical library

The variety of online marketing content formats offers research and learning options for different patients:

  • Blog posts are key components of every marketing strategy. Seventy-one percent of business bloggers report increased visibility within their industry because of the blog. Medically relevant blog content gives practitioners an additional portal through which to educate patients, beyond the standard face-to-face appointment. Blog posts are usually short, between 300 and 800 words, but provide quick snapshots of data to educate readers. Often, blog content invites the reader to look elsewhere on the website to discover more information on the subject matter. And blog posts can be used to alert viewers to advances or changes in medical practices.
  • Articles are usually longer and more comprehensive than blog posts. They provide deeper insights and even historical references which sharpen the relevance and the educational value of the medical topic.
  • White papers and ebooks are longer content pieces and often detail a broader scope of information. This information addresses the health concern from many angles.

Two significant factors are driving the need for improved content marketing in the medical field:

  1. Technology is raising consumer expectations for vendors in every service, including medical health services. Today’s patients expect their health care providers to offer 21st century support with 21stcentury tools.
  2. Current marketing practices aren’t working. Despite the value that content marketing offers the health care industry, only four percent of practitioners who report using it believe their content is effective.

There is a myriad of ways that content marketing can enhance a patient’s experience with a health care professional. Providers who employ both content and strategy are sure to see the value of their business rise alongside the satisfaction of their patients and customers.

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