Generative AI-Led Search in 2024: How Healthcare Organizations Should Refine Their Strategies for Improved Search Visibility

generative AI led healthcare

We are a lead generation company with specialized expertise in organic search and paid search for healthcare and B2B verticals.

We are seeing some significant changes in search results, especially for healthcare, led by generative AI, propelling search engines, such as Google & Bing, to improve their search results in order to be more meaningful and personalized for their users. 

In this article, we focus on competitive search strategies for healthcare organizations in the age of generative AI.

What are some of these search trends and how will they affect your ability to attract patients?

Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) – Google (and Bing) are working to bring generative AI capabilities into their search engines. Generative AI is poised to change the way search engines work and is the biggest search technology breakthrough in 25 years! 

Google says: “With new breakthroughs in generative AI, we’re again reimagining what a search engine can do. With this powerful new technology, we can unlock entirely new types of questions you never thought Search could answer, and transform the way information is organized, to help you sort through and make sense of what’s out there.”

Google is not the only search engine experimenting with gen AI in search models. The new Bing, powered by ChatGPT, is already in business.

What does Gen AI-led Search mean for you as a healthcare business?

Earlier, if you typed in ‘how do I find a doctor who truly cares in Santa Clara, CA’ Google would provide you with the ten best sites and would expect you to sift through the websites to find the best doctor for you.

Gen AI-led search

With SGE, Google will save you the trouble of sifting through results. Instead, it will rely on real-time information and Large Language Model-led AI analysis to provide search results so “you’ll be able to understand a topic faster, uncover new viewpoints and insights, and get things done more easily.

Let’s see what an SGE will produce for the same search: ‘how do I find a doctor who truly cares in Santa Clara, CA.’

SGE

As you can see, Google’s SGE has done an analysis of content and produced a compilation of results to provide you with guidance on:

  1. Ways to find a doctor who truly cares in your location. There are websites that Google considers important and lists them. You want to appear here!
  2. A carousel of the top 3 websites that provide specific guidance on this topic, with the ability to click right on the carousel to see more websites. Another real estate on SGE that you would want to target.
  3. Google SGE also offers ‘Perspectives’ which allows user-generated content (UGC) from forums and discussions, including social media,  to appear on SGE results. This, interestingly, is also a growing feature Google search currently. We expect perspectives to gain more importance in the coming months. 
  4. Finally, with SGE, you can have a follow-up conversation with generative AI by typing in a follow-up question.

How do you go about appearing in Google’s SGE? 

If you truly consider the impact of Google’s SGE, it is a paradigm shift in search. With generative AI capabilities, powered by Med-Palm 2, Google’s large language model trained to provide high-quality answers to medical questions, Google search for healthcare will be positioned to provide many healthcare-related informational questions on Google search itself, without the need to directly visit your website.

However, this does not mean that you cannot attract high-quality transactional search-led traffic to your website. Here are steps you can take to position your website high on generative AI-led search engines in the near future:

  1. A good foundational SEO strategy – First of all, you need to ensure that you appear high on organic search results currently. In that sense, a good current SEO base is your defensive strategy. This means authoritative content  and the E.A.T. strategy should still be your foundational strategy!

Let’s talk about your offensive strategy next.

    2. Clear content that is easy to read – SGE favors readability. Look at your readability score and summarize your page info into simple sentence structures followed by a clear call to action. This means presenting your information in a clear and easy-to-understand language.

    3. Well-researched, current, and well-sourced content – Additionally, since healthcare websites fall in the ‘ Your Life, Your Money’ (YLYM) category, it becomes acutely important to put forward well-researched and well-sourced content on your website. This is because search engines are particularly demanding of the trustworthiness of your content if you provide advice regarding money or health. The more current, well-sourced, and trustworthy the content (as in quoted by a reliable healthcare site), the more likely it is to appear on SGE results.

    4. Featured Snippets – A related offensive strategy, that is relevant not only for SGE but also current organic search results, is the creation of deep content and developing high authority backlinks to appear as a featured snippet on search.

This begs the question – What are featured snippets? 

Featured snippets are valuable answers to search queries that are displayed at the top of search results. Featured snippets aim to provide quick and direct answers to questions being asked. SGE, in that sense, is an extended featured snippet with a summary of the most important information taken from a variety of sources, as opposed to a single source, as in the current featured snippet.

So, how do you go about being featured in the current Featured Snippet or the extended SGE of tomorrow?

 Create deep content. What do I mean by deep content? In short, I mean content that meets professional compliance requirements and is medically vetted, so readers get valuable, up-to-date, and factually correct  information. It also means creating dynamic and real-time content as far as possible. This is because Google favors “fresh and recent information sources.”

  • Further steps include getting valuable links from reliable sources in the healthcare industry. To this end, a few things we do for our clients is to have a digital PR strategy for them by getting their content published in high authority industry sites, joining sites like HARO and Qwoted to get them published in reputed journalistic pieces, and building backlinks from local organizations, such as the Chambers of Commerce, professional associations, and local media. 
  • Focus on adding structured data that enables Google to easily parse markup data on your site & brand authority. For healthcare sites, make sure you include frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to healthcare services, article bylines & author schema markups.  

  5. Digital Reputation – As early versions of SGE become available for personal use, our experience shows that your digital reputation will be paramount in getting links within SGE. 

While most healthcare practices think this means getting high ratings and laudatory reviews on Google Business Profile, Healthgrades, Yelp etc. digital reputation is a bigger goal than just getting good reviews. 

Digital reputation can be built by combining good reviews with authorship. Ensure your practitioners are authoring articles, appearing on podcasts, and being quoted by reputable local and industry sites.

What Hasn’t Changed

As generative AI-led search becomes prevalent, foundational search strategies remain the same. 

  1. E.A.T. Still reigns Supreme – Use content to build brand authority and authorship. Gen AI is even more likely to look at expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to decide which content links to include in its SGE search results.
  1. Local SEO Remains Important – Most healthcare organizations have a local focus. They tend to serve individuals in a certain locality. Building a strong local SEO strategy that includes building high authority local citations, will continue to be important for your business.
  1. Good technical SEO Still Matters – Using a crisp site structure that follows a clean and intuitive navigation structure. Use structured data to mark up the content of your website. For healthcare organizations, we strongly recommend healthcare service FAQs, medical organizations, and authorship markups. Maintain easy readability scores and summarize the information on your pages at the top in clear and concise language, followed by a call to action.

In conclusion, make sure you work with a forward-thinking marketing team that stays ahead of their domain curve, so you don’t have to. 

Here are two examples of strong digital reputation management for our clients that have led them to appear prominently in Google’s SGE:

google reputation management

reputation management

In that sense, some things never change. Search engine optimization (SEO) has never been about tricking Google through paid links or keeping up with algorithm changes. It is about improving user experience (UX) and providing value to your users – if users and influencers find your website relevant and useful they will keep coming back and Google will notice! And that’s the reason we don’t lose page rankings to algorithm changes.

Learn more about our healthcare patient generation services and our other digital solutions for healthcare organizations.

Local SEO Vs National SEO

local seo vs national seo

In a competitive digital world, businesses now need to focus on their online presence more than ever before. A digital presence builds trust and relationships with your customers and allows you to be found easily online.

There are many strategies and tactics that you need to consider when building and promoting your business online.

To reach more people online, the Search Engine Optimization process plays a major role. SEO boosts your content online, making your website rank higher in search engines, and increasing qualified traffic to the website. Within SEO, there are two categories: National SEO and Local SEO. The two seem similar, there are different reasons for undertaking them and different strategies to help promote your organization on search engines.

Local SEO Vs National SEO

When it comes to marketing a business online, several different strategies and tactics can be used. However, one of the most important is search engine optimization (SEO)—and, within that, national SEO and local SEO. Local SEO is a strategy that helps to get more visibility for local search-specific keywords. National SEO is aimed at companies with a nationwide reach. It’s the strategy that focuses on promoting your business to rank for broad, highly searched keywords. 

What is the Difference Between Local SEO and National SEO?

There are some distinct differences between the Loacl SEO and Nationa SEO strategies.

Key Differentiation 1: Target Audience

Businesses that engage in National SEO generally target a broader audience. National SEO is best suited for businesses with a national or global target audience. If your target audience is national or international, then ensure that you optimize all the pages on your site with the right titles, meta descriptions, headings, and content that’s suited to the needs of your audience.

Local SEO businesses’ websites are designed to attract customers in a specific area. Optimizing your website for local searches is an important step to increasing location. Make sure that all your locations are listed correctly on your website so that customers can find your business easily.

Key Differentiation 2: Keywords & Targeted Search Real Estate

National SEO campaigns target various keywords and phrases that relate to the product and services without any geography. Important Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP) features include organic listings, People Also Ask (PAA) boxes, and featured snippets. 

In order to get featured on search engines, optimize the website content with broad keywords and long tail keywords. If ‘running tights’ is a broad keyword, ‘best breathable running tights’ would be a long-tail keyword. 

Broad keywords are highly competitive and may be harder to gain visibility for. Try to target long-tail keywords that use a different strategy. These phrases are longer and more specific than broad keywords and therefore may allow you to gain visibility for highly relevant keywords faster. 

Second, use semantic keywords (words or phrases that are related to each other conceptually) properly to get visibility for organic listings, PAA boxes, and featured snippets. For example, if we were to speak about “digital marketing,” a semantically related keyword might be “SERP” or “SEO.”

A PAA box includes similar questions that people have asked on the topic that the user is seeking more information on and appears like this on search engines:

people also askYou might find more PAA questions about your brand or related to your industry. Make sure to answer all of those questions on your FAQs page on your website. In order to rank in a PAA box, your content must include the most relevant answer for your target query.

A featured snippet, on the other hand, is a reversal of typical search results where the descriptive snippet appears first, followed by the website link:

featured snippetThe content that appears inside of a Featured Snippet is automatically pulled from web pages in Google’s index. Optimize the content on your webpage so Google chooses to use your content in the Featured Snippet. The key to scaling this up is to add lots of definitions, ordered lists, tables, and other formats that Google loves to put into Featured Snippets on your page.

Local SEO Campaigns, on the other hand, are best suited to target location-specific similar keywords and terms that individuals are likely to be searching in their local areas. 

Important SERP features that businesses can get visibility on include the local map pack, Google My Business cards (that show photos and other information about your business), and organic listings. To start, you need to conduct some research on local search engines and understand what types of queries people are using in your geographic area. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs Keywords Explorer to get an idea of what keywords people are searching for in your area. Once you have a list of all relevant target keywords, you can start optimizing your website for them. 

A local map pack is a great real estate to appear in on search engines for local businesses as that’s what appears right under paid search results.

local packIf you’re looking to appear on positions 1-3 of Local Pack listings, work on optimizing your Google My Business listing as that provides more than 25% of ranking success in Google Local Pack. Pay attention to your Google My Business listing by verifying it first and optimizing it. 

Key Differentiation 3: Content

In National SEO, top-of-the-funnel content should be emphasized. 

  • Your content should be of unique and high quality and should be able to solve user problems. For instance, awareness stage keywords, such as ‘WordPress vs Drupal,’ where the user is trying to figure out a problem, is a great keyword strategy to adopt when creating a content strategy for a National SEO. 
  • Consider submitting your content on niche or industry-specific lists for higher quality and relevant links.
  • National SEO strategies rely mostly on high-quality content creation, including blog posts, white papers, and product, industry, and location pages. An important consideration here is whether to leave your white paper ungated to allow search engines to index the content or gate it for valuable lead information.
  • Ensure your website has a proper structure so you can easily access your important pages with as few clicks as possible. This allows people to navigate to your page easily and also signals to search engine bots that the page is valuable when it is not deep inside a complex navigational hierarchy.
  • Remember to create attractive and useful content that can engage maximum users as Google refers to user engagement and signals as determinants of web page relevancy. 
  • The main content marketing goal should be Traffic × Conversions = Sales.

Location-based content is emphasized in Local SEO. You should create content that is targeted toward local customers. 

  • These could be blog posts about events or attractions in the area or reviews of local businesses and services. 
  • Additionally, make sure that all of your content is optimized for local SEO by including location-specific keywords throughout.
  • Ensure that the Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) usage is consistent across owned, paid, and earned channels. This is referred to as NAP Consistency.
  • Ensure that you optimize location-specific pages.
  • Build backlinks from niche or location-specific citations.

In general, you should let content fuel your SEO strategy

Key Differentiation 4: Backlinks

Both Local and National SEO campaigns can benefit from having effective high-quality backlinks, which could be built using content marketing, niche blog postings, link building, and guest blogging. 

  • While building backlinks for National SEO, invest time in building trustworthy links from genuine websites in your niche. Moz Pro SEO, SEMRush, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Tag Manager, and WordPress CMS are a few important platforms that help in improving National SEO. These platforms help analyze traffic, backlinks analysis, competitor analysis, and visibility of websites in the search results.
  • An important aspect of local SEO is claiming and managing profiles on directories like Google My Business, Yext, and Yelp. These profiles help customers discover your business online and provide an opportunity for you to manage the information about your business that appears in search results. Make sure all the information listed is accurate and up-to-date, as this will help improve your ranking in search results.

Citations

  • Creating local citations won’t help national SEO campaigns at all. Instead, focus on creating and optimizing informative and valuable content, which helps in boosting the domain authority of the website. 
  • Maintaining NAP consistency throughout the citations is very important in Local SEO Campaigns. Any inconsistency can lead to dropping the keyword positions in the local search results. Include a map with directions or contact information on each page of your website so potential customers can find their way to your location easily.

Competition

  • National SEO has a lot of competition, and it is expensive to build top search visibility. If your website has informative and valuable content, it can attract high-quality inbound links that will boost the domain authority of the website and drive search engine ranking positions. To gain traction in search engines create high authority content (focuses on building your brand’s credentials in an industry), ebooks, how-to content (videos, blogs, infographics), and standout opinion pieces(platforms like Medium and Huffington Post have made it easy for thought leaders to share their ideas), original research pieces (whitepapers, case studies, interviews), and more. 
  • Generally speaking, local SEO has less competition compared to businesses looking for national search visibility, but the approach to building local search visibility relies on building local citations, getting content published in local, industry-specific directories, maintaining NAP consistency, and creating content that is useful, relevant, and local. You can improve your website’s visibility and reach new potential customers organically by creating a city-specific landing page, FAQ pages, hosting local events, and more.

Key Differentiation 5: Reasons to Choose National vs Local 

Reasons to Choose National SEO

  • Target Market: National SEO is an excellent technique for enhancing your brand recognition across locations and positioning yourself in the crowded marketplace.
  • Established Expertise: If you have a national SEO campaign in place, establish your brand expertise by developing thought leadership articles.
  • National Level Brands: If you have become big enough on a national level, national SEO can help you penetrate even the international market.

Reasons to Choose Local SEO

  • Local Area Focus: If your company is relatively new in the business and targets local clientele, it’s better to target local customers.
  • Local Competition: If you are only competing against local businesses that offer the same products and services as you do, then go for local SEO.
  • Nature of Business: Local SEO can definitely improve your chances of attracting people who might need your business in your area.

Conclusion

Having a solid SEO foundation should be a priority for your business. Every business is unique and requires a unique approach to marketing its campaign online.

The key ranking factors for local SEO are quality local backlinks, google my business optimization with high-quality images, frequency of listings, business updates listings, and review quality and quantity.

While a high-quality result for National SEO primarily depends on the authority, expertise, and reliability of the content.

With the right SEO strategies, you can increase your website’s visibility and rankings, as well as boost your keyword’s searchability and annual revenue. The best SEO company in Chicago can help in developing and implementing SEO campaigns for your business. 

How to Increase Traffic to Your Website in 2023 Using A Results-Driven SEO Strategy

seo strategy

Are you looking for an SEO strategy that will help boost your rankings and visibility in 2023? If so, then this blog post is for you.

SEO is one of the key pillars of all marketing strategies. 2023 brings with it a rapidly evolving SEO landscape. If you want to reach out to potential customers, you must be in sync with users’ search behaviors and continually develop your SEO strategy and efforts.  

Here are the biggest 2023 SEO trends that you need to know as it’ll help you change the way you strategize and develop an action plan this year. 

  1. Embrace Chaos

Expect lots of chaos and dynamism as SEO undergoes a major overhaul this year. We’ve been seeing traces of this trend last year with Google rolling out even more updates than it ever did. 

Google will continue to roll and finish fresh updates as the year progresses. It’s wise to stay on top of these search updates. It might seem chaotic at the outset, but it’s what will precisely bring the much-needed order to the SEO landscape. 

At Webtage, we’d like to add the caveat that while it is our job to stay on top of search algorithm updates and Google’s guidance, great SEO is about improving user experience – if users find your website relevant and useful they will keep coming back and Google will notice! And that’s the reason we don’t lose page rankings to algorithm changes.

  1. Get Acquainted With ChatGPT

​​Talking of Google, ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer), the new AI-powered chatbot, has revolutionized search engine optimization. 

The potential of ChatGPT is huge with its easy, human-like conversational interface with users that answers all their queries. It’s no surprise that Google has recently announced its product Bard to compete with ChatGPT.

If you’re an SEO professional who’s not using ChatGPT, we highly recommend using it for your business’ benefit. From keyword research, writing meta descriptions, and using it as a search assistant, to a generic brainstorming tool.  

At Webtage, we use ChatGPT to consolidate research on topics, create meta tags for search engine visibility, and boost our copy creation process for blogs, ads, and the web. However, we strongly advise against using ChatGPT to create content without bringing in your first-hand experience, deep expertise, pointers, evaluation & refinement to make the output useful.

But you can use it to aid you for insights and even outline your content marketing strategy with a bird’s eye view of tactics for content related to your niche. However, if your competition is also using ChatGPT for their content strategy, then they would follow the same thing and create similar content like you. 

Google search engine’s stance on AI-generated content continues to evolve with time. Initially, Google was against any kind of AI-generated content. Now Google’s stance has been that it will penalize any “spammy automatically-generated content.”

Curious if the content you generate can trigger a spam (read “fake content”) alert? Check it here: https://openai-openai-detector.hf.space/

  1. Create Content For People, Not Robots And Spiders

Google released its first “helpful content update” in 2022, urging marketers to create web content that prioritizes people and offers users with a meaningful experience. Google prefers content created for people by people and it views AI-generated spammy content a violation of the company’s guidelines. It states you can use AI for insights and optimization, not long-form content such as articles. 

In 2023, Google is going to favor unique, fresh, relevant, purposeful, and user-centric content. The search engine algorithms are highly sophisticated, quickly spotting content that doesn’t satisfy the readers and has been spun by automated tools. Don’t go that route as there are high chances of getting penalized. 

Google also made an addition to its popular EAT (Expertise, Authority, Trust) acronym in December 2022. The updated acronym reads EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust). This makes sense in a digital world where there’s an influx of AI-generated content. Showcasing the experience of the author or creator builds trust and credibility that it’s written by humans for humans. So, create content that projects your expertise in your subject area. Display an author bio with their detailed experience, a separate author page with a list of all their articles or content, and social profiles. But it’s not just the experience of the author or creator that counts, but also topics of their content should be related to their experience.

With Google’s new guidelines showing a clear preference for long-form resourceful content, fix pages and posts with thin content. For example, product pages can have more details such as dropdown menus, FAQs, and testimonials apart from descriptions.

Focus on quality and not quantity with content creation in 2023. 

  1. Focus on Technical SEO  

In 2023, companies that focus on the improvement of the technical aspects of their websites will grow significantly. Google is incentivizing sites with better user experiences. Better user experience (UX) means higher ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs). 

There are other key SEO metrics that mean more than ranking and that’s organic traffic via Google Analytics and lead conversions (Leads / Revenue). Unless ranking is affecting a company’s bottom line, it’s not the most important SEO metric to report to your clients. So, organic traffic and lead conversions are standard go-to SEO metrics to focus on. Other factors to measure your SEO performance include indexability, search visibility, time spent on the site, and the bounce rate. 

However, which SEO metrics to measure depends on your marketing goals. Have a bigger picture when analyzing SEO metrics and track a few related ones only. For example, a long time spent on the site might look impressive at the outset, but if it’s not leading to conversions, you’re probably attracting the wrong audience.

Keep an eye on and stay on top of Google’s Page Experience Update, Core Web Vitals, and Link Best Practices to fix technical SEO issues regularly within a certain time threshold. These include monitoring the page loading speed, browser response time, and content stability during loading for a seamless user experience. 

Like content, you’ll see many SEO automation tools and platforms that you can use to perform routine tasks and track technical SEO metrics. 

  1. The Rise Of Visual Or Multisearch

With the increased popularity of TikTok and Instagram, people are steering towards visual content. 

Multisearch was announced in April 2022 to help people view images and text at the same time when they search for something online. Multisearch, powered by Google Lens, allows people to use their phones to search images and text, and get the most relevant results. We can expect more advancements in Google’s AI development and Multitask Unified Model (MUM), a modern technology for answering complex questions that don’t have direct answers. It will provide users with a rich, interactive, and engaging experience as graphic cards of imagery and auto-complete features are directly tied into every search result.

You’ll need to balance the content, i.e. text with images and videos. Also, focus on the mobile optimization of these visual elements as it will become the norm in 2023.

  1. Shoot More Videos

There’s an increased amount of attention to video results when searching for something online. 

2023 will be the year of videos and if you haven’t included it in your SEO strategy, we urge you to do so this year.

The best part is that you don’t need fancy equipment to shoot your videos. Videos taken from your mobile also perform as well as professionally shot videos. The focus is more on the content of the video than the production quality. 

Conclusion

We’ve shared our SEO predictions and insights for 2023. To apply this SEO knowledge to yield results, you’ll need a dedicated SEO expert team, either in-house or by hiring an agency. 

At Webtage, the best SEO Company in Chicago IL, we excel in delivering one of the most comprehensive, realistic, and proven SEO strategies plans with an excellent and consistent track record of implementing the SEO requirements to help our clients achieve their desired results.

Top 5 Questions to Ask Your SEO Agency

Deciding to hire an SEO agency is easy. The tricky part is to skim the chaff and find the best SEO agency that helps achieve your business goals and outcomes. 

The global search engine optimization service providers’ industry is expected to grow from $63.19 billion in 2022 to $134.26 billion in 2026. It’s not surprising to see anyone with a computer become an entrepreneur today and start an agency offering their SEO services. But unfortunately, many don’t have the expertise to grow your business. 

This article is to save you the heartache and money from choosing the wrong SEO agency. We list some basic but crucial questions that will help you see through the bells and whistles that agencies offer to bait you. 

What is SEO And Why Is It Important For Your Business? 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical digital marketing pillar for getting traffic organically from search engines. 

However, it is difficult to get your company showing up at the top of the search engine’s front page listings. It takes time, effort, and patience to achieve the desired SEO results. 

Most companies make the mistake of underestimating the importance of having a solid SEO strategy and action plan. 

Some of the main SEO benefits include: 

  • Improves your site ranking on search engine results 
  • Generates organic web traffic without having to pay for each lead 
  • Improves brand awareness, loyalty and advocacy. 

It helps make things easier for Google to find, index, analyze and rank your site. Not investing time in SEO activities can slow down your marketing efforts and hence, lead generation and revenue. 

SEO is a broad umbrella that includes:

  • SEO Audit
  • Link building
  • Keyword Research and Strategy
  • SEO-optimized content marketing
  • Local SEO
  • Voice SEO
  • Technical SEO
  • eCommerce SEO

No one SEO professional can handle the above tasks. Any reputed agency should have a credible SEO team of experts in the respective domains. 

If you have diverse SEO needs and scope of work, then you must consider an agency instead of hiring a freelancer or several freelancers. Hiring an agency will give you a holistic, streamlined, and effective SEO campaign instead of outsourcing the work to several freelancers and ending up with a disjointed campaign. At the worst, hiring several freelancers can hurt your marketing efforts and business.

What You Should Consider Before Hiring An SEO Agency 

You should tread with caution before hiring any SEO agency. Just as an agency has the power to spike your business’ marketing efforts and revenues, it could also ruin your business’ reputation and hurt the bottom-line. 

There are so many unfortunate stories of businesses crashing even before they take off, because of the wrong choice of an agency which scammed them. 

While there will be many agencies that will promise the moon to you at a fraction of the cost, there could be a catch to it. Like adopting black-hat techniques or strategies that go against the platform’s guidelines, or getting tons of irrelevant traffic with badly researched keyword strategies. 

[mk_padding_divider size=”100″][highlight_box style=”fade2″ height=”200″ textsize=”20″ iconsize=”18″ icon=”fas fa-search-location” text=”At Webtage, our primary SEO focus has been on producing high-value content or content that’s original, well-researched, and resourceful for our clients’ target audience. This approach not only builds our clientele’s social repute but also boosts their brand identity with thought-leadership content and creates very valuable backlinks that help with their ongoing SEO efforts.” clr=”#000000″ bgclr=”#66cccc” hoverbg=”#aac3c0″][mk_padding_divider size=”100″][mk_padding_divider size=”100″]

Before you place your trust and hire any SEO agency, I want you to pause and reflect upon the following questions.  

  1. Do You Know Your Goals and Outcomes?

No SEO agency can help you determine your goals and determined outcomes, however good it is. 

There are many SEO agencies with distinct core strengths and specializations. If there is a mismatch in your goals and expectations and their expertise, then it’s a sheer waste of time, money, and effort. 

If your goal is for your website to rank on the search engines’ 1st page for specific keywords relevant to your business that your target audience searches for, then you’ll need an agency whose core strengths include SEO-optimized content marketing. Your strategy will be to attract your audience and educate them with compelling content and pull them into your sales funnels. 

Maybe your goal is to improve the domain authority of your site as you’re losing out ranking for your target keywords despite excellent content because your competitors have higher domain authority sites. You’ll need to find an agency whose core strengths include link building. 

Maybe you’ve noticed that your organic traffic has dropped despite publishing more content. This could mean several problems including a bad robots.txt file or bloated site with duplicate content or something more serious. In that case, you’ll need an agency whose core strengths include technical SEO. 

Maybe you’re a local business that caters only to local customers and needs leads/inquiries from certain locations. In that case, you’ll need an agency whose core strengths include local SEO. 

Knowing your goals and outcomes will help you shortlist the relevant agencies tailored to your needs. Agencies will also prefer to work with clients who are looking specifically for their expertise as they know they can serve them better. 

Based on your goals, desired results, and budget, you can choose an agency that has a specialist focus where it’s focused only on one or few aspects of SEO like technical SEO or a generalist focus where they offer a bouquet of SEO services. 

  1. Does The Agency Have A Defined SEO Process? 

A credible agency will have a unique and holistic SEO process that’s based on its vast experience with diverse clients. They have the experience of going through the ‘trial-and-error’ process in SEO to map out their process on what works to deliver the results every time. 

At Webtage, one of the top Chicago Digital Marketing Companies, our process follows the below 9 unique steps:

  1. Business Understanding & Website Audit

2. Competitor Analysis, including:

  • Backlink research
  • Content research
  • Keyword Focus

3. Keyword Research & Analysis

  • Conversion-ready keyword research
  • Monthly Search Volume
  • Competition Index
  • YoY changes

4. Tag Development & Optimization

  • Title Optimization
  • Description Optimization
  • Heading Optimization
  • Image Optimization
  • Content Optimization
  • Navigation Optimization

5. Technical SEO Analysis

  • Add Sitemaps(XML & HTML)
  • Add Robots.txt file
  • Internal Linking to create topic clusters
  • Structured Data set up correctly
  • HTML & CSS Error Resolution

6.Blog / Article Content Creation

  • High-quality, industry-standard content creation for backlinks and PR

7.Link Building/Promotional Strategies

  • Domain & Page Authority strategies
  • Percentage of Links Building Across Different Platforms Types, including:
    • Guest article publication
    • Local Listing /Business Listing Creation
    • Directory Submissions
    • Classifieds
    • Asset (presentation & video submissions)
    • Q&A activities
  • Spam Score policy

8.Tracking & Reporting

9. Google My Business profile Optimization

A good agency will not simply fix your SEO issues, but have a solid strategy and plan for growing your organic traffic in the long-term. They will have regular goals to achieve over a period to grow your SEO traffic and site every year.  

An agency with a clear and proven SEO process with deep expertise across the various pillars of SEO will grow your business sustainably. 

  1. Does The Agency Have A Knowledgeable And Experienced SEO Team?

There is a lot that happens in SEO and it takes specialized skills and in-depth expertise to be successful in this field. 

Check the credentials of the SEO team of the agency. Most reputed agencies list their team members on their website with their expertise. 

Ideally, the team should have experienced members with their unique strengths. They should have deep industry expertise after working with diverse clients. 

They should not only be able to manage amidst Google’s ever-changing algorithms but also stay ahead of the curve by spotting the future trends and patterns. 

An agency’s SEO team should also be able to give suggestions and recommendations for improvement, such as starting and growing on social channels, launching an optimized content marketing plan, starting a blog, improving the content on your website or the site speed. 

Instead of viewing your SEO partner as being sales-driven, it would do you well to listen to the recommendations and opt for the suggested SEO services that should grow your business. 

It should worry you if the team has no suggestions for improvements as it can tell poorly of their expertise, and it could also be a red flag of dubious SEO tactics to grow your business. 

  1. Does The SEO Agency Produce High-Value Content? 

A common mistake most SEO agencies make is to focus primarily on more mundane SEO-focused tasks, such as building backlinks. They neglect content, which is the major currency of SEO.

Search engines are getting so advanced and sophisticated that a lot of SEO tasks that were necessary a few years back are redundant today. Review the content on the agency’s website, and ask them for the content they’ve created for their client’s websites, social platforms, and other content assets. You should be able to gauge the worth of an SEO agency by the content they create. 

At Webtage, our primary SEO focus has been on producing high-value content or content that’s original, well-researched, and resourceful for our clients’ target audience. This approach not only builds our clientele’s social repute but also boosts their brand identity with thought-leadership content and creates very valuable backlinks that help with their ongoing SEO efforts.

We are cognizant of the audience’s preferences and platform’s best practices to produce both long-form (above 1200 words) and short-form content (below 800-1200 words). Long-form content works best for in-depth blogs, how-to-guides, case studies, and white papers. Short-form content works well on all social platforms, snackable blogs, news articles, infographics, sales copies.

We have led several successful SEO and PR campaigns publishing high-quality content on high DA third-party sites and building the brand reputation of our clients. 

  1. What Is Their Social Proof And Reputation? 

A good agency will be proud to display their client portfolio and testimonials as social proof. They will also showcase their industry-specific thought leadership in the form of in-depth blogs, research papers, and social posts, which reveal how they are the top of the latest SEO trends. Have they published their findings in a report from their exclusive company research and surveys? 

A reputed agency will be happy to share their list of clients, case studies, work samples, testimonials, and references. You can also check their online reviews, and especially the negative ones, to see if there are any red flags that you need to watch out for. Do they have the skills and experience to handle outreach, partnerships, and content promotion with journalists and publications? 

Their website should also be a good indication of how they perform in the SEO domain. If they are doing their SEO well, they can undoubtedly do the same for your business. However, some agencies focus their complete attention on serving their clients, and so you can ask them specifically for their recent client work or a case study.  

  1. What Is Their Company Culture Like? 

While this might seem like an odd question to ask, it is crucial before you sign the final deal. 

If you think about it, an agency is an extension of your business. What are your core business values and company culture? Check if you share a similar culture and values. This will make a fruitful, long-term relationship possible with them. 

You would not want to work with agencies with a toxic culture and environment. Are they realistic and transparent in their communication process? Or do they set unrealistic expectations such as promising you #1 rankings in a record-breaking time? Are they too focused on vanity metrics instead of showing you monthly organic progress on deliverables and reasoning behind their strategy and results? 

If they hide their SEO techniques under the pretext of confidentiality, you may have to think twice about proceeding ahead with them as the chances of a scam are high. 

Why Consider Webtage For Your Business? 

At Webtage, a Digital Marketing Agency in Naperville IL, we excel in delivering one of the most comprehensive, realistic, and proven SEO strategy plans with an excellent and consistent track record of implementing the SEO requirements to help our clients achieve their desired results. 

Are you a Healthcare Provider That’s Offering Telehealth Services? This is What You Need to do Right Now!

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in place orders in many areas of the country, many healthcare providers, including hospitals, doctors, and mental healthcare providers, are now providing virtual care. Google has recently rolled out tow new features in Google Search and Maps to allow users to conveniently find telehealth options, “whether it’s to a doctor’s office down the street, the hospital across town, or a national telehealth platform.” You can also clearly communicate your COVID-19 information with your intended audience.

So how do you, as a provider, access these features? Let’s talk about Google Maps first (if you are not familiar with the significance of Google Maps for your healthcare business or have not claimed your Google My Business listing , learn why it’s critical that you do so now and while you’re at it, also learn foolproof tips on optimizing your GMB listing):

      • Google My Business now offers URLs dedicated to COVID-19 and telehealth services. Make sure you add the URL links to your Google My Business Page listing. After your edits have been reviewed and approved, it’ll appear in Google Maps listing and your detailed Google Maps listing as well. Here’s how you can add the URLs: Sign in to your GMB listing by visiting business.google.com. Next click on ‘Info’ on the left-hand side panel. If you are a healthcare organization, you will see two additional URL options for COVID-19 info link and virtual care link. Add the links as applicable and click Save.
      • List Telemedicine Services on your Business Profile on Google. Google adds that “you can choose what to offer from suggested types of services. If the type of service isn’t listed, you can add your own custom services, like “telemedicine,” “telehealth,” “video visits,” or “house calls.” Once the services edit has saved, patients will be able to see the services you have listed, including online visits or telemedicine.
      • Finally, in the Attributes section, add video visits to the offerings, if you do provide video visits. This will also help display your telemedicine option to your patients when they search for your services in Google.

I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention that Google is also helping healthcare providers with technology infrastructure and support via “HIPAA-compliant G Suite products (including using Google Meet for telehealth or virtual visits), deploying virtual agents to field questions related to COVID-19, and helping with capacity-planning and demand forecasting of key medical supplies to better manage their supply chains.”

If you need help planning your transition to virtual care, contact us at Webtage where we have facilitated the transition to online visits for healthcare providers, developed the capacity to communicate high quality and credible information in the midst of the health crisis, and marketed online visits to continue solid revenue generation for our client. 

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Why Google My Business Optimization Should Be #1 on Your Local Marketing Agenda AND Foolproof Optimization Tips

Why is local marketing big business? According to Moz, there are “approximately seven billion unique local searches per month on Google in the United States.” More than 50% of mobile searches have a local intent. If you are a local business and haven’t invested in local digital marketing, you should be thinking about it now.

So how do you market your business for local visibility? In this article, we will focus on strategies to optimize your Google Business Listing to increase your chance of appearing on positions 1-3 of local pack listings (also known as Google Map listings) . These listings appear below paid Ads, but above organic listings. As an example, we searched for “digital marketing near me” on Google and as you can see, at the top of the page are the paid ad listings, followed by Google Map listings. Organic listings appear even further below. So unless you’re running a paid ad campaign, local pack listings are your best bet for Google page 1 visibility.

 

 

Main Idea: If you’re looking to appear on positions 1-3 of Local Pack listings, work on optimizing your Google My Business listing as that provides more than 25% of ranking success in Google Local Pack! 

So how do you go about optimizing your Google My Business Listing?

  1. Claim Your Listing and Get it Verified – While you can still post content on your GMB listing even if you’ve haven’t claimed it, claiming your listing will provide you with a lot more control, including responding to client reviews, create posts, or reach out to GMB customer service to resolve issues. So make sure you’ve claimed your listing. If you listing does not exist, create one at by going to google.com/business and select “Start now” in the top right-hand corner. Once you’ve claimed your listing, make sure you verify it by clicking on the “Verify” tab in your GMB dashboard. next, you will be asked to verify your mailing address.  An postcard will then be sent to the mailing address you entered. Follow the steps on the postcard to get your listing verified.
  2. Craft the Business Title Well – Add Business Name. Remember that by adding your product or service keyword improves your chances of ranking for those keywords. Notice that all three local pack listings for “digital marketing near me” (and that includes Webtage as well!) include “digital marketing” in their business name. While this is not a guarantee for a top position, it is certainly a big plus.
  3. Make sure your profile is as close to 100% set up as possible – This includes vital information such as hours, website URLs, services or products, highlights where you can add sttributes such as, “veteran-led” or “women-led,” descriptions, photos and phone numbers.
  4. Choose Your Category Well – Do not dilute the impact by choosing too many categories. Try to limit to 1-3 categories.
  5. Gather Testimonials from Your Customers – GMB makes it very easy to collect reviews if you don’t have enough reviews. Simply share the ‘Review Form’ link from your GMB dashboard with your clients. Also, ensure you respond to reviews posted to your GMB listing. Do not ignore negative reviews. Best ways to respond to a negative review is to acknowledge the negative sentiment and provide solutions to your customer.
  6. Post often – GMB Posts show up in search results in the Knowledge Panel and Google Map search results. You can post about events to promote events at your location. You may also post promotional offers, highlight products, or post announcements.
  7. Communicate With Your Audience –  Answer any questions posed by the general audience. To answer a question posed, navigate to your listing via Google Search and see all questions listed under Q&A section. Navigate to the question you want to answer and hit “answer.” Once you’re done, click “post.” Answering questions posed will help you build customer’s trust and improve search visibility.

 

Here’s a simple to use infographic on ways to optimize your Google My Listing:

Healthcare Digital Marketing: What E.A.T. Means for Your Search Visibility and Why Good Content is Your Best Friend!

In 2018 Google unveiled its “medic update” which had strong implications for businesses in the YMYL (short for ‘Your Money or Your Life’ or in other words websites that provide any information that affects people’s health, wellness, or money). Since more than 40% of websites affected due to this update were health related sites, this came to be known as the “medic update.” There have been further Core Quality Updates in 2019 that continue to have deep implications for search visibility of healthcare organizations.

So what do these updates mean if you are a healthcare provider? Put simply, it means that Google does not want to recommend “uneducated advice, opinions, or potentially fraudulent websites.” Google wants to be certain that the sites that they recommend display a high level of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.

So how do you signal your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to Google?

Expertise

  1. Build expertise by creating frequent content that is informative, useful and engaging for your audience.
  2. Remove poor quality, dated content from your website that would signal half-baked, incorrect, or worse, harmful information to your audience.
  3. Keep in mind that it is not only important to build E.A.T. for your website, but also work on building E.A.T. for your content creators. How?

 

  • Ensure your content creators are experts in healthcare. Google has indicated that “medical advice needs to be written by people with high medical E-A-T to be considered high quality.”
  • You may be a wonderful and experienced doctor, but if you haven’t built your online profile then there is nothing in the digital world to back up your expertise. So strengthen your online expertise by writing guest articles for niche publications in your field and contribute to industry publications and forums.
  • Add by-lines expert to website content. This will signal that the author is an expert in the profession or niche and the information provided in that blog is trustworthy.
  • Link content creator’s profile to other online profiles, especially on authority sites.
  • Use structured data to markup the author’s profile that will allow for a connection to be made with other online profiles for the author.
  1. Cite credible research, statistics, and data in the content that you create.

 

Authority

  1. Build authority by developing valuable backlinks from relevant & authoritative sites.
  2. Gain backlinks from high authoritative sites naturally by guest blogging for niche high DA (domain authority) sites. Most health-related guest blogging sites have clear guidelines on the types of content they will consider for publication. Identify sites that are the best fit for your specialty.
  3. Create outbound links to high quality health sites & industry publications. Try to include links to research studies or academic journal. Outbound links to .edu or .gov or .org sites are especially useful.
  4. Quality over quantity! Take your time to build good quality links. Building links through automated citation submissions may not be enough anymore.
  5. A good social media strategy will help you market your content and get your content shared – another great way to build authority.

Trustworthiness

  1. Build trustworthiness by building positive reviews. Positive client reviews help in increasing the E.A.T. score, so encourage all the satisfied patients to write testimonials on Google My Business, social media, and review sites.
  2. Many healthcare provider websites allow for email subscriptions, online appointment scheduling, online portal sign-ins etc – all considered to be Protected Health Information (PHI) under HIPPA. This patient data is vulnerable to being stolen unless your site is secured with an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is not only necessary for you to be HIPPA compliant, it also signals trustworthiness of your website. Google takes privacy of user data very seriously and provides a boost to those websites that signal their intent to protect their user’s information. So make sure your website is secure with an SSL certificate!
  3. Have a clear way for your visitors to contact you with a clearly accessible Contact page.
  4. Include a Privacy Page to let your patients know how you gather, use, disclose, and manage their data.
  5. If you allow for online transactions through your website, ensure that clearly outline your refunds & returns policy.

 

E.A.T. is not the only update that has had an impact on Google search rankings of healthcare businesses. The 2019 B.E.R.T. is another update that has hit some healthcare sites hard and is about incorporating Natural Language Processing (NLP) into Google searches. And if pages on your website don’t provide information on topics that users are keying into search bars, then your website is likely to be overlooked.

 

Note the common theme in all the updates? Create content that is informative, useful, and engaging. Google has been saying this for a very long time. Create great content. That has not changed and will not change. See how we used content creation and a solid digital marketing strategy to help a healthcare practice gain top search visibility, increase online patient lead generation, and grow their long-term patient panel 60%.

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40 Questions to Ask Before You Start Healthcare Digital Marketing

A digital marketing campaign needs a strategic approach and careful planning. Advance preparation can help both clients and vendors develop a common understanding of marketing objectives & constraints.

This questionnaire will help you understand your vision for your organization’s growth goals and plan the overall effort required for a confusion- and conflict-free digital campaign. It will help your vendor understand your constraints and will also lower your risk for running into a time and cost overrun.

So whether you are considering improvements to your existing campaign or an extensive omnichannel marketing launch, use this questionnaire to start your digital strategy on the right footing.

    About the Author

    A believer in hype-free and performance driven digital strategies, Snigdha’s endeavor is to get your brand established and your business grow. She is passionate about research, design and analytics and works non-stop and meticulously to make sure that your brand stands out from the rest.

    Snigdha’s background is in research design, industry research, content creation, and qualitative and quantitative research (including web-based and phone survey methods and focus group discussions). She is a highly qualified professional in the areas of digital marketing strategy design, SEO, content creation, and social media marketing. Most recently she has grown a client’s online presence from zero to 25% online leads within 3-6 months; moved client website to the #1 & #2 spots on Google, Bing, and Yahoo for all major keywords; and generated online leads accounting for 25% – 30% of all leads for that client.

    Contact her at snigdha@webtage.com

    What Influences Your Website’s Search Visibility? An Infographic

    What Influences Your Website’s Search Visibility? An Infographic

    Starting April 21, Google will be expanding “mobile-friendliness” or optimal mobile experience as a search ranking factor.

    While it is important to stay on top of search algorithm changes, it is never a good idea to outsmart them! Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should not be about tricking Google with keyword stuffing or about building paid or “spammy” links or making it more complicated than it is.

    It is about making a great website that provides relevant and useful imformation to users, is trustworthy and provides excellent user experience (UX) – if users and influencers find your website relevant and useful they will keep coming back and search engines will notice!

    So how do you go about building a great website that meets the criteria of relevance, trust, and usefulness? Here’s an infographic to help you! Click to view full screen image.

     

    Search Ranking Influencers - An Infographic