By now you should have a grasp on what keywords are when discussing SEO, especially after reading our recent blog. If you have done your research, you might be asking if questions or statements (typically just a series of keywords) are better for ranking purposes. The bad news is that like anything with SEO, the answer isn’t a simple one. The good news, though, is that you really can’t go wrong either way if you’re optimizing correctly. Here’s what we mean by that.
Always Write for Humans
As always, we have to put a quick rule out there for you to begin with, and that rule is to ALWAYS write for humans and not for bots. Years ago, SEO was different, and the ultimate goal was to have the crawlers pick up your site because you had 30 of the same keyword on a page. Fortunately, driven by a society that prides itself on smart devices, Google has also become smart enough to know who’s trying to cheat the system and now focuses on normal writing rather than spammed out content. As you do more keyword research, just keep this as your absolute number one rule and you’ll be doing just fine.
Variations of Search
To get the answer to the question in this blog, you have to first understand the variations of search. The easiest way to do so is to think about how you search for different things, whether that be a restaurant, a salon, or a children’s toy, there are always different methods of finding what you need. In healthcare it’s a bit different (although not insanely different), so here’s how we break it down.
Keyword(s) + Locality
The most common style of straightforward searching will always be keyword plus the locality. For example, if you’re searching for a urologist in Charlotte, you’d likely search “urologist in Charlotte, NC” or some sort of variation around that. This continues to apply as you think about procedures and services, but it may begin to become longer. For example, if you’re searching for urinary incontinence treatment you might search “urinary incontinence treatment in Charlotte, NC” or something similar.
As these types of searches are really the foundation of SEO, they are important to optimize for on your website. However, continue to do so naturally. If you find yourself writing “we are the best urologist in Charlotte, NC for urological treatments,” you may be thinking too hard. Just form natural sentences and include locality where you can and Google will index you quickly!
Question (and Answer)
The hot new way of searching (although it’s been around forever) is question and answer. By now, most of you have some sort of smart phone or home device that you talk to quite often. Think Siri or Alexa here. When you’re talking to them and trying to search for something, you probably phrase it as a question, right? Although this isn’t as helpful for people looking for general searches like urologists in a specific area, it is helpful when determining what symptoms mean, or who’s the best. For example, “why is my head hurting when it’s cold out?” or “who is the best neurologist in Charlotte, NC?”, are questions you might find yourself asking that can bring about a number of different results.
Because these searches are a bit more robust, they require a little more work from an SEO perspective. Developing strong FAQ pages, adding headers with questions, writing strong blogs that are question based, or adding things like FAQ schema can help you get in front of the right audience and stay above your competitors on search results.
While the keyword plus locality method is known as the most common by SEOs, the “thought process” search might be the most common in reality. What we mean here is when someone just searches what is on their mind with little to no structure. These could be people on the go, or those that just don’t necessarily know how SEO works in general. For example, let’s say you were looking for the best place to get Botox near you, but didn’t really know how to phrase it. Perhaps you typed “best place to help get rid of wrinkles on face” to find the results. The good thing is that you probably got a lot of answers, but how on earth did you get those answers?
Google knows to read your site for keywords and bases the results on impressions. For example, that wrinkle search will possibly pull results related to skin rejuvenation, facials, or cosmetics, along with the Botox you were looking for. However, if you have a page or two on your site that speaks to various ways to rid your skin of wrinkles, you might become a top result, regardless of how that person may search.
Keep It Interesting
The important thing to note here is that you need to switch up how you optimize your site! Don’t go with just one method, but rather focus on trying to capture all different types of searchers. Not only will you benefit by getting a wide range of results, but you’ll also end up having a strong site full of stellar content. A strong user interface helps the patient conversion funnel, meaning you get more people in your door!
For more information about our programs, or to learn more about keywords and phrases for SEO, contact Practis today!