The ins and outs of local keyword research for hospital SEO.
This article was written by Pia Mangini, Digital Content Manager, Coffey Communications.
Keywords are a vital part of your healthcare SEO tool kit. The terms you use in your digital marketing plan help you understand your healthcare consumers, track changes in your market and boost your visibility.
In 2021, local keywords may be more important than ever. Throughout the pandemic, consumers have relied on local services, products and resources without straying too far from home.
But not all keywords for healthcare are created equal. In fact, there's an entire subset of terms that can help you do your job even more effectively.
We're talking about local keywords.
Why healthcare regional marketing starts with keywords
As we've said before, keywords matter, and it pays to seek out the right terms for your topic. But different people may use different words to search for the same health topic. Language preferences can change from region to region and community to community. If you seek out words based on national trends, you may miss the winners in your own backyard.
By focusing your keyword research on terms that people in your community use—not the phrases people nationwide might prefer—you could increase the chances of a visibility boost.
In addition to finding the right term to describe your services, local keyword research can help you determine what phrases people in your community use when they're trying to find services that are close to them. Do they use words that relate to:
- Your part of the state?
- Your city?
- Your neighborhood?
- Your county?
When you know what geographic term has the most resonance with people in your community, you'll be able to sprinkle that keyword throughout your content. That can boost your visibility—as well as increase the perception that you're a true neighbor who speaks the lingo.
Finding local keywords
The ideal local keywords comprise two things: the right descriptive term and some kind of place name.
Search for your city name and the word "communities" to brainstorm the names of communities in your area that you might want to target. For example, when people in your community search for a cardiologist, do they search for “San Francisco cardiologist” or “Bay area cardiologist”? It’s important to understand local language behavior.
Additionally, think hard about what content will be on the page you're about to create. Brainstorm local terms someone might type into a search box to find out information about that topic. Dive deep into your analytics and Google Search Console data to determine what local terms people have used to find you in the past.
Test your assumptions
With a robust list of specific terms and place names, you're ready to pull down specific metrics and make informed decisions. In the past, that step was a snap to complete, as you'd simply upload your list into Google AdWords and analyze the detailed data generated by your region. Now, AdWords provides ranges, not specifics, which makes decisions harder on a local level. Google Trends can help somewhat, but it isn't specifically designed for finding keywords. At Coffey, we use paid search tools like KW Finder and Moz to help fill in the gaps left by the free tools Google offers.
There's more to healthcare SEO than keywords
Finding the right keywords—including local keywords—is a vital part of your SEO strategy. If you’re struggling and don’t know where to start, Coffey can help you start with an audit. To get a better understanding of what’s included in our audits, email or call us at 888.805.9101.