Keywords Matter – Exploring the Importance of Keyword Usage In Your Healthcare Digital Marketing

We have always been taught that words matter. They allow us to communicate with each other, tell stories, and express our feelings and emotions. When it comes to digital marketing, the words we use are just as important, but not for the reasons you might assume.

Yes, the words placed on landing pages, websites, banner ads, and ad text need to convey a very clear message to the reader, but they also need to contain other words that are just as important. Each and every page needs to contain a specific set of phrases or words known as keywords, and they truly are important.

We will take a look at several examples of how keywords matter in regards to your healthcare digital marketing.

Heavily Influences Quality Score 

Search engine ad platforms, such as Google and Bing, assign a quality score to your ads, which determines how relevant your ad is to the search query (what is typed in the search bar). This score may not seem important on the surface, but it is a key component for optimizing ad performance. Quality score impacts where your ad is placed (at the top of search results or on the right rail) and what you pay per click on that ad. It is not uncommon for advertisers located in the first position to pay half the cost for a click then an advertiser in the second, third, or lower ad placement. 

Building your destination pages (the first page your ad traffic sees when clicking on an ad, banner, etc…) with detailed, relevant keywords will increase your Quality Score. Of course, it is important to make sure you incorporate the keywords in a way that is natural and not in an overly stuffed or awkward way.

Keywords are Vital to Campaign Build Outs and Expansions

Not all keywords are created equal. Some keywords will attract people to your website, but that is about all they do. They will not convert a casual viewer into a booked patient, which is the ultimate goal of most of your healthcare marketing campaigns. After all, revenue can only be increased with patients that book appointments.

It is important to identify keywords that have a significant impact not only on your page views, but also on booked appointments. These are keyword phrases that, when searched, tend to have individuals who will book an appointment or contact your practice/hospital at a much higher frequency. These types of keywords are the ones you will want to incorporate into your PPC campaigns, website/landing page copy and healthcare content strategy. Your keywords can usually be segmented into four different buckets: symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, and resources. For a more detailed look at the different phases, check out this blog post on Understanding the Patient Digital Search Process.

Long Tail Keywords vs. Short Keywords

Keywords can ultimately be separated into two categories: long tail keywords and short keywords. Long tail keywords are typically a set of phrases. Short keywords are one or two words.

For example, the phrase ‘how to correct cataracts with surgery’ would be considered a long tail keyword. The phrase cataract surgery or eye surgery, on the other hand, would be considered a short keyword.

There has been an ongoing debate regarding which keywords to use. In the past, the focus was always on short keyword phrases and long tail keywords were often disregarded. While the decision is ultimately up to you and your unique healthcare marketing campaign (good campaigns utilize both), recently there has been a shift in the ideology that short keyword phrases are better. The conversion rate associated with those that search using long tail keywords tends to be higher than those that are searching using the short keywords. What does this mean? Long tail keywords generally produce a much higher quality web visitor that is more likely to engage with your brand or pick up the phone to make an appointment.   

Considering how important keywords are to the success of your healthcare’s digital marketing campaigns, it is important that you do your research and carefully pick which keywords to use when developing your healthcare marketing strategy.

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