You’ve heard of SEO right? Of course you have. But are you really paying enough attention to it as part of your healthtech content marketing strategy? I think a lot of readers would say “probably not.” But as a marketer in an industry that is experiencing huge growth, SEO is table stakes. It’s becoming harder and harder to compete in your space. Healthcare technology is shifting constantly, new companies emerge almost weekly, existing companies are getting new funding to grow even more quickly, and everyone is vying for the limited space on page one of Google.
Here’s the good part, SEO is a game that anyone can get into, whether your budget is massive or a challenge. Sure things are always easier when money isn’t an issue, but with some smart strategy, planning, and content creation, SEO can be a path to visibility in the healthtech space regardless of how big or established your company is. But if you ignore SEO in your healthtech marketing, it can also be the thing that makes you essentially non-existent to your potential customers.
So what do you need to do to get and stay visible and compete for those healthtech-related spots on page one in Google? We’ll tell you. In this post you’ll lean:
- Why healthtech marketers like you need to care about SEO
- What are the most important parts of an SEO strategy to consider
- What are the benefits of a solid approach to SEO for healthcare technology companies
Why healthcare technology marketers can’t ignore SEO
Like so many B2B sales cycles, a healthcare organization considering a new or expanded healthtech initiative is going to take a long time researching before they ever reach out to your company. In fact, B2B buyers are 57-70 percent through buying research before ever contacting sales. And Gartner says that by 2025, 80 percent of interactions in B2B sales will be digital.
Where do all these healthcare stakeholders start their searches? Search engines. So if you’re not paying attention to search, when your prospects start researching, you’re not going to come up on page one of Google (or any other search engine). And guess how many people click beyond page one? Only 25 percent. So the likelihood that anyone is going to find you if you’re not putting meaningful effort into your SEO is pretty slim.
In fact, according to a recent healthcare tech trade marketing survey from HIMSS, most healthcare technology companies plan to achieve market success through content marketing (96%) and SEO (57%). Why? Because they know it works.
I’m not saying it’s an easy win, though. More players are entering the market all the time, the big guys getting bigger and always expanding their marketing activities. All of this means you have to get into the game, but it’s really hard to compete in the SEO arena if you’re only doing it as an afterthought. Those terms that you’re assuming people are using to find you? They’re highly competitive and they probably have some other company’s name attached to them right now.
What are the benefits of an SEO-driven approach
A solid SEO approach and strategy can even the playing field. SEO allows smaller, scrappy start-up companies to compete – because SEO takes smarts and time, and can be really successful with strategies that use long-tail phrases, optimization, and a hub and spoke or topic cluster approach. With these types of approaches, you are growing your authority on a topic or term and when one of your pieces does well, it’s the tide that lifts all your topic boats.
For instance, Google looks at that collection of content you created on a topic like virtual patient observation, telestroke, or telehealth visits, and registers that as a high level of expertise. Your expertise is rewarded by an increase in rankings. That increase means more traffic comes to your site. This type of concerted effort can also:
- Bring not only more, but the right organic traffic to your site. People who are searching for terms/phrases that signal that they are researching your specific product or service, and have an intent to purchase. And that ultimately means more closed business.
- Continue to increase your authority on the topics you care about and your awareness with your prospects — kind of like the way interest is compounded by your bank. Continually creating new content that is optimized for search around target terms means growing authority on the topics you care about. You do the work once, you repromote multiple times, and visitors continue to find that content over time. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
- Your efforts can be quickly fueled by paid social media efforts that target the same keywords.
What are the most important things to consider about your SEO approach?
Like everything else in content marketing, your efforts where SEO is concerned are going to be much more fruitful with a strategy and plan behind them. You’ll need to continue to evolve that strategy, because once you start to work on this, you’ll see that you’ll start to rank for keywords you didn’t consider, and you’ll have to wrap them (as appropriate) into your approach. You should also…
- Consider key industry terms and what’s possible to rank for given your resources and your company. Do you want to rank for healthcare technology? Of course you do. If your healthtech company is a year old and has no brand awareness yet, that’s probably not a realistic goal though. But you COULD rank for longtail works specific to your product or service related to healthcare technology. For instance, best healthcare technology solution for small organizations, or healthcare technology solutions for small practices.
- Be realistic about the resources you have at your fingertips to address SEO. Who will ultimately research and decide on target terms? Who will optimize content? Do you have a system for regular reporting? This might be a spot where an outsourced contractor or agency can really give you a boost.
- Create remarkable, regular, optimized content. It’s critical. That means both updated/new website pages and regular publishing of relevant, new content.
- Remember that things change all the time in the SEO game. Knee-jerk reactions to ranking changes (like daily and weekly) don’t help you. Google changes its algorithms all the time. You don’t have to be an expert, but you also can’t ignore what they do so pay attention.
SEO, like content marketing, is a long game. The tortoise approach is more effective here than being the hare. But done right, even if you’re just getting started or are new to the industry, it can have big results for little cash outlay.