Companies in most industries can do very well with their digital marketing efforts by sticking to the fundamentals of SEO. Organizations in the healthcare field are on a different plane. Their digital marketing efforts still need to account for the same SEO fundamentals, but those fundamentals must be implemented in ways that are sometimes unique to the sector.
Webtek Digital Marketing is a Salt Lake City, UT digital marketing firm with a special emphasis on the healthcare sector. They say that healthcare SEO has some unique challenges that are not a concern in other industries. Here are the top five:
- 1. Sales Aren’t Always Direct
In nearly every industry, marketing is designed to sell. Not so in healthcare. There are entire websites consisting of thousands of pages with the sole purpose of provide medical information. The owners of those sites know full well that visitors are not looking to buy something. Rather, they are looking to understand their symptoms. They are looking to understand how to help someone suffering from a certain medical condition.
Selling is still part of the equation, but it is indirect. There are times when it needs to be incredibly subtle so as not to drive visitors away. Therefore, SEO must be implemented in a different way.
- 2. Goals Aren’t Always Clear
SEO is capable of doing a lot of things. It can drive traffic, improve search rankings, generate backlinks, and more. Digital marketers go to great lengths to determine goals whenever they launch a new SEO campaign. But in the healthcare environment, those goals are not always clear. It can take a lot of time and effort to flesh them out.
- 3. The Content Problem
There is an unwritten rule in the SEO world that content is king. Digital marketers know that Google and its competitors put a heavy emphasis on content quality and relevance. Understanding that is important for any SEO campaign. But in healthcare, creating productive content is not as easy as it sounds.
Healthcare is highly complex. It needs to be presented in a way that guarantees consumers can understand it. So there is always that fine line between content that is too complicated and content made so simple as to make search engine algorithms rank it low for relevance.
- 4. Consumers Aren’t Easily Pegged
Hand-in-hand with the content problem is the reality that consumers are not always easy to peg. When a consumer wants to buy a pair of sneakers, they start the online shopping journey with a basic idea of what they want. But if they are looking for medical advice, they may not even know what they are looking for. And even if they find it, they might not recognize it. In short, it is more difficult to tailor content to healthcare consumers because they don’t always know what they want to know.
- 5. Budgets Are Tight
Healthcare is an industry that has historically run on very tight budgets. Every area of the healthcare business is affected, including digital marketing. But without a budget large enough to fund SEO for a year or more, getting good results is harder. The fact is that SEO campaigns rarely return immediate results. It can take 6-12 months just to start moving the needle. Getting the most from SEO requires a long-term investment that healthcare organizations are not always willing to make.
SEO absolutely does work for healthcare organizations. But it needs to be approached with a different mindset. If you try to apply SEO to healthcare the same way it is applied to other industries, your results might be less than what you expect.