Boost website performance by focusing on the two most important healthcare SEO trends in 2018: Quality user experience and mobile optimization.
For healthcare brands, SEO is no longer about gimmicks, trick techniques, or an effort aimed at “gaming” the search engines – it’s about generating compelling content and producing an online experience that is genuinely useful for your audience.
The two most important SEO trends in 2018:
1. Improve your website user experience
Google’s most recent algorithm updates have placed an emphasis on usability and usefulness of website pages. Pages that load slowly, have poorly constructed content, and result in visitors leaving after a few seconds are viewed unfavorably by Google.
Here are some tips for meeting Google’s expectations:
- Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights utility to determine how quickly your pages are loading. If you find slow loading pages, consider trimming back on any large image file sizes to speed up page load time.
- Focus on creating high-quality content that truly benefits your audience. Google will notice useful content that attracts visitors and will boost your search rank as a result.
- Ensure that your website is well-designed and constructed with a logical navigation structure (information architecture.) A well-designed and well-organized website not only enhances usability for your target audience, these attributes work to keep a visitor on your site longer. Google measures a wide array of signals that indicate quality content. If a visitor clicks on your organization’s website on the search engine results page (SERP) and immediately clicks the browser’s back button, this information trickles back to Google and indicates that your site content may be irrelevant or low quality.
2. Make mobile a priority
According to Statista GmbH, mobile traffic in the 3rd quarter of 2017 represented 52.99% of all global Internet traffic. This was nearly a 10% increase in the same quarter just a year earlier. This trend hasn’t gone unnoticed by Google.
There is strong evidence that within the next year Google will launch a mobile-first search index. This separate index will treat your mobile rankings differently than your desktop rankings in Google. If your mobile site experience is an afterthought, your search rank on mobile devices may suffer in the near future.
Take these steps in 2018 to respond to SEO trends for healthcare brands:
- Improve the mobile / responsive version of your website by thoroughly testing your site on mobile devices. Identify and fix any issues with your website’s mobile browsing experience.
- Slow page load times on mobile devices will penalize your Google search rank. This criteria is so important to Google, they now fully back AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) which is a framework initiative that promotes fast-loading mobile websites through intensive mobile site optimizations. Explore using AMP as a solution to keep your mobile website fully optimized.
How to respond to SEO trends
Changes in how search engines rank websites can be daunting for healthcare brands that need to ensure their online content is highly ranked and accessible to their target audiences. With a little foresight, you can keep your website compliant with Google’s expectations for best practices.
When in doubt, focus on producing the best possible content and ensure that this content is presented in a well-designed website that uses a logical and intuitive interface that is optimized across both mobile and desktop platforms.
About the author
Stephen May is President of Crescent Leaf Technologies, an Internet marketing firm located near Boulder, Colorado. He has over 22 years of experience with search engine optimization consultation, online reputation management, usability assessment, and website traffic analysis. He has managed projects for more than 150 clients.