Creating the perfect content marketing strategy for healthcare can be boiled down to just four steps.
Identify Revenue Driving Keywords
Some keywords are much more likely to produce a conversion than other keywords based on the intent.
For example, someone searching a location-based keyword (such as “inpatient rehab in LA”) already knows about inpatient rehab and just wants to find a center near them. These people don’t need to be convinced they need your services, so bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) keywords should be a top priority.
On the other hand, if someone is searching “how can family help an addict,” it’s clear that they are just doing some research and have not yet concluded that they need inpatient rehab.
Ideally, you can get them on an email list and remain top of mind for when they are ready to convert, but your resources are better spent targeting Bottom of Funnel (BOFU) keywords first and then moving up the funnel to broader keywords that target top of funnel visitors.
Bottom vs Top of the Funnel Keywords
Your BOFU keyword list will probably include pages for all of your services (for example, inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab, and detox) as well as location pages for your head term (for example, “addiction center in LA”).
An excellent trick to determine whether or not a keyword is BOFU is to ask if the keyword indicates that the patient is solution aware. For example, if the keyword is “inpatient rehab how long,” the searcher is clearly solution aware, as they know what inpatient rehab is.
In fact, any keywords that have your service as part of the keyword is probably mid or bottom of the funnel.
Once you’ve exhausted those keywords, you can move up the funnel to broader keywords.
Understand What People Want to Know
Now that you have a list of appropriate keywords, understanding what people want to know when they search that keyword is a key element to outranking the other search results.
After all, Google’s goal is to please the searcher so that they come back again. Therefore, they select the page that they believe best answers the searcher’s question. In healthcare content marketing, it is key to answer the searchers questions quickly but precisely.
So how can you uncover what the reader wants to know?
Start by looking at the common FAQs you receive over the phone, through email, and even chat.
If you notice a few questions that almost all potential patients ask, be sure to include them in your page.
In addition to listening to your customers (or better yet, interviewing them!), look at the common topics discussed on the top five results on Google. Be sure to include those topics, but provide your own original copy.
Keyphrases as Headers
For example, at the time of this writing, this page is in the top five results for “inpatient rehab.” As I skim through it, the headers are:
- How Much Does Inpatient Addiction Treatment Cost?
- What Is Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment?
- How Does Detox Work?
- What Happens in Inpatient Drug and Alcohol Rehab?
- How Do I Know If I Need Inpatient Rehab for Substance Abuse?
- How Long Is Inpatient Alcohol Rehab?
Therefore, if I was also writing a post on “inpatient rehab,” I’d be sure to include all of these topics, but add my own original advice and data.
Finally, be sure your content is presented in a way that makes it easy to scan (large font, plenty of spaces, and images where appropriate). If it is difficult to read, it might lead to a high bounce rate.
For example, this is a excellent user experience as it is easy to read and skim:
Once you’ve published a piece of content, the next step is to build the page’s authority. You can do this by building links.
Links essentially tell Google that you are a trusted and popular resource that they can feel comfortable sending visitors to.
For example, many scams have excellent healthcare content and marketing strategies, so to ensure they are only sending visitors to safe websites, Google looks at other websites linking to you.
If Google sees that other reputable healthcare websites link to you (such as Harvard Medical School, or Alcoholics Anonymous), they will be much willing to rank your website.
The last element of an excellent content marketing strategy is consistency. Content marketing is similar to building a brand in that it doesn’t happen overnight. So creating a publishing calendar and sticking to it is essential.
If you have the resources available, try to publish once per week.
Now that you have the tools to create a content strategy, let’s look at some real examples of excellent healthcare content marketing.
OhioARC is an addiction recovery center that Stodzy has worked with to build its online presence.
To give you an idea of how successful the strategy is, here’s an overview of their traffic:
However, more important than the traffic is that this content strategy was the main driver of OhioARC’s leads.
When Stodzy first started with OhioARC, there was no content. So the first task was to create pages for BOFU (service related) keywords.
Therefore, the first pieces of content were the services pages:
For example, the page “substance abuse rehabilitation” ranks in the top three positions for all of these high-value terms:
When you look at how this piece of content is structured, it is a hub of a hub and spoke model piece:
As you can see, it has some content on the page itself…
…though the meat of the content is in the spoke pieces.
Therefore, how you structure your content also has a major impact on its performance. So structure your pages targeting broader and more difficult keywords as the hub of your hub and spoke pieces.
After exhausting all of the main BOFU keywords, the strategy shifted to focusing on pain point-related keywords like “forcing someone to go to rehab.”
In addition, these pages have plenty of links. For example, the team spent time connecting with universities and other major healthcare brands, and it ultimately helped OhioARC earn links like this:
In addition, there is also an addiction statistics page that has earned about 139 links to date:
Continuum Recovery Center of Colorado
Another problem that most people face is that they have a new domain with little authority. If that’s the case, targeting head keywords with high difficulty (for example, drug rehab in California) will likely be futile (at least in the beginning).
This is the position The Continuum Recovery Center of Colorado was in when they first started working with Stodzy.
So with them, the strategy was to find longer tail keywords that still indicated purchase intent, though didn’t have the same level of difficulty.
For example, it currently ranks first for this very specific keyword:
While the main keyword only has a difficulty of 10, this page has a CPC value of almost $900 per month!
When you look at the page itself, the content isn’t very long. However, it addresses all of the relevant questions someone searching “inpatient drug rehab colorado Medicaid” needs to know.
- Using Colorado Medicaid for Addiction Treatment
- What Are Medicaid and Medicare?
- Qualifying for Medicaid in Colorado
- What Addiction Treatment Services Does Colorado Medicaid Cover?
- Applying for Colorado Medicaid
- If You Have Previously Been Turned Down For Coverage
Notice that this covers all of the questions that someone that wants to know about Medicaid could ask? It even tells you what to do if you were turned down in the past!
In addition, it pulls real data from the Medicaid website, such as current income limits:
While starting with low-difficulty keywords is the best way to get some initial traffic, it is still important to create pages for your core keywords so that you start ranking once the website has earned the authority to do so.
Finally, once the website had content for those core BOFU keywords, the next step was to publish consistently to the blog. For example, this blog post on quitting meth ranks for a host of relevant keywords:
Link building was also essential to the success of this strategy, and it earned links from websites like Startyourrecovery.org.
While link building is important for any content strategy, it is particularly important for newer websites without any existing authority.
Marina Plastic Surgery
Marina Plastic Surgery is another excellent example of a fantastic healthcare content marketing strategy.
They are well established and have a strong content foundation. Let’s dive into their strategy.
First, they rank at the top of the SERPs for their main location-based keywords like:
When you look at their site structure, they have very in-depth service pages for each of their procedures, and each service page is essentially a hub and spoke in itself:
As you can see, the hub page ranks for various facial plastic surgery keywords:
However, the spoke pages all rank first for the core keyword:
When you look at the content on each spoke page, it addresses all of the common FAQs such as:
- What is (the procedure)?
- Types of (procedure)
- Common FAQs
- Top Benefits
- Does insurance cover it?
Here’s an example of their rhinoplasty page.
While the answers are thorough and detailed, this isn’t a mega guide or master page. The reason it’s ranking so well is owed more to the website’s structure (and its authority, which comes from links).
In addition, they always add the local keyword (Los Angeles) to the URL and mention it on the page.
As a result, you can see that they are also quite successful at ranking these long term keywords:
In addition, they regularly publish on the blog and target longer tail keywords like:
New York Behavioral Health
New York Behavioral Health is also a well-established brand that ranks for plenty of BOFU keywords like:
Similar to Marina Plastic Surgery, they also have an excellent site structure that is likely responsible for their top rankings.
While therapists don’t offer as many services as plastic surgeons, this website still has individual pages for each service and provides in-depth information on each one.
For example, their Anger Management Therapy page offers both useful tips for anger management as well as various techniques that they use in therapy sessions:
They also have a unique section on how their location (NYC) triggers anger. This helps it rank for local terms and is still valuable for the reader:
They probably could have added more FAQs and other information to the page, though it’s an excellent structure and starting point.
Finally, they have a very active blog and rank for a number of top and middle of funnel keywords that could lead to conversions.
For example, “social media and self esteem” is something that a potential patient might search. In fact, if you wanted to rank for these keywords through a PPC campaign, it would cost hundreds of dollars each month.
While I would argue that the article itself could be more in-depth, the keyword research is excellent.
Stodzy is my healthcare marketing agency and is an excellent example of how a content strategy can generate healthcare leads.
About half of our leads come from referrals, though the other half are through content marketing and SEO.
For the Stodzy content marketing strategy, the first step was creating content for each of the services and industries we serve.
However, these pages weren’t just bare landing pages. Each page was roughly 3,000 words and covered enough in-depth examples and strategies that the reader could carry out the entire plan without any additional information.
Therefore, the sell was simply telling them that if they like the strategy but don’t have time to execute it, we can do it for them.
For example, our page on Digital Marketing For Dentists offers more than enough information to execute a strategy that will still work years from today.
Just look at the table of contents:
As a result, it’s worth nearly $2,000 per month (in PPC value) and ranks for all of these competitive keywords:
Now that we have finished writing pages for these BOFU keywords, the plan is to move towards more middle of funnel pieces (like this one you’re reading!).
Creating a healthcare content marketing strategy isn’t as daunting as it seems. Just walk through the steps:
- Identify BOFU (high converting) keywords
- Understand what people searching those keywords want to know
- Build authority to those keywords
- Publish consistently
Once you’ve done that, you can build out a blog and move up the funnel. If you notice your rankings start to drop for any keywords, just update the content.
If you’d rather the Stodzy team just does this for you, feel free to contact me here and we can discuss your current strategy and goals.