March 2019 Core Update
Google previously announced the “Medic” Core Update back in August 2018 that had a huge impact on the wellness sector. While Google indicated that there wasn’t a specific target for the most recent March 2019 update, the SEO community speculates that it was focused on the health sector again. The best way to see if your medical practice may have been affected is to identify if there were any fluctuations in your rankings, which you can check using Google’s free Keyword Rank Checker or SEMrush.
How many changes are made to Google’s Algorithm per year and how can doctors keep up?
Google’s algorithm updates fairly regularly, 500-600 times per year and while most changes are minute, there are several significant updates. Google does not confirm every change, in fact, they provide little insight into the nature of even the most impactful updates. What we do know is that these changes are intended to improve our search results overall. Given that there is no quick fix if any at all for these core releases, Google reiterates the importance of building great content.
What content should I focus on?
#1 Optimize Your Site Content – Start with a Keyword Plan
It is key to ensure that your website is fully optimized with great SEO content that details your specialty and services, so that you can rank higher in search for the most relevant keywords for your practice. Whether you have a site already or not, we suggest developing a keyword plan, investigating search volumes in order to include the best quality words within your pages. There are many keyword tools you can use to do your research, but Doctor Your Web recommends the following: SEMrush, Moz and Brightedge. Brightedge has a great article that we’ve linked here which provides steps for how to create a keyword portfolio so you can get started.
#2 Create a Blog or a Youtube Channel
We highly suggest supplementing your strategy by writing a quality blog or creating a YouTube video channel with dialogue transcribed, so that it is indexed properly by Google. Becoming a thought leader in your field can separate you from doctors that are not putting in the extra effort. While medical publications and journals are great, we suggest that you focus on your audience: your patients. Write in a way that is easy for them to understand and if the article is technical in nature, make sure to provide additional clarification for non-medical readers. Also, given that Google is all about asking questions, try to focus on a question and answer format, which may help you rank for those types of searches, always keeping the patient in mind.
As a busy doctor we don’t expect you to follow every update, especially since Google is generally vague on the impact of each core ranking change; however, it it is important to remember that these changes happen all the time. Just as you are a specialist in your field, there are SEO experts with inside knowledge that can guide your digital marketing strategy, so that you can focus on what you do best: providing the best medical care possible. If you would like a free consultation on what you could improve Doctor Your Web would be happy to help.