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Create a Winning Healthcare SEO Strategy in 6 Easy Steps


Depending on the marketing objectives, a healthcare organization needs to utilize search engine optimization (SEO) in their marketing strategy to not only grow their overall visibility, but also drive leads to their website. One of the core issues healthcare marketing teams that don’t specialize in digital marketing face is keeping up with the constant evolutionary nature of Google’s algorithms and how to adapt that into a strategy that can help your organization achieve its core objective. Many times, dealing with multiple locations and multiple audiences can be a challenge when it comes to healthcare SEO, but you can generate a winning overall strategy with a clear, concise focus that can drive a positive Return on Investment (ROI) for your organization. All you have to do is follow these six steps.

Step #1: Focus

When it comes to SEO, the more concentrated your focus is, the more impact your campaign will achieve in a shorter amount of time. You want to focus on defining your top five service offerings. The easiest way to narrow this down is to choose something with the most efficient cost per lead. This will allow you time to invest in your strategy and still turn around a positive ROI.

Example: You’re the Marketing Director of a community-based health system that wants to focus heavily on weight loss by promoting your gyms, sharing valuable content, and offering workshops. In the long-term, the weight loss initiative provides the most value, as you can get your audience to invest in wellness, which is an ongoing sales offering. This provides you with the highest ROI because the potential for sales with this audience is high and indefinite.


Step #2: Measure

Define your measurement strategy. In order to find out if your marketing efforts are generating an ROI, ensure that you have the proper measurement tools in place. Google Analytics, Google Adwords, call tracking, and additional analysis and statistic tools are available for you to track your efforts from beginning to end.


Example: In your measurement strategy, you’ll want to define a few items that will help you determine an ROI:

  • What is a lead? Is a lead someone who contacts you for any reason or is there a qualification they must meet?
  • What are you willing to spend per lead? In order to find out the answer to this question, you’ll need to work backward.
    • How much is a new customer worth?
    • What is your conversion rate? In other words, how many leads do you have to get to convert one?
    • What is your overall cost that you’re willing to invest?
  • Once you have all of that set up, ensure that you have goal and event tracking set up in Google Analytics and utilize Google’s URL builder to track specific campaign sources.
  • Use Call Rail or a similar call tracking software to track inbound calls from a variety of sources using dynamic number switch. Have someone listen to each call to determine if that is a quality lead.

Step #3: Maintain Messaging

Ensure that your business development or sales team coordinates with the operations team to identify any potential operational weaknesses for your new campaign, as well as a geographical target plan. This will ensure that once you have leads starting to funnel through your campaigns, you won’t  lose them through potential operational deficiencies.


Example: You’ll want your offline marketing campaigns to co-exist with your online campaigns so that there aren’t two separate targets with two separate brand messages and call to actions. A seamless campaign needs to be generated across all channels in order to find success in any channel. If you’re focusing on weight loss, ensure that your billboards, radio advertising, television advertising, print collateral, on-location collateral, and digital marketing content all convey the same message to the same target audience.

Step #4: Organize Your Funnel

Funnel all incoming leads into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System. Utilizing a CRM can make your job of tracking and determining your ROI and marketing cost efficiency easier. This will eliminate any potential operational deficiencies of leads falling through the cracks or not being followed up because they are easily disseminated to the responsible parties and tracked within a single, cloud-based system. Workflow automation is a necessity for ensuring that your measurement is as detailed as possible. An effective sales pipeline will not work without a CRM.

Example: Salesforce or Pega are two CRM systems that can help healthcare organizations maintain security and patient confidentiality, integrate with Electronic Health Records (EHRs), and deliver medical innovation with access to tools to engage patients, physicians, and partners in new ways.

Step #5: Plan

Create an editorial calendar for SEO, organized by quarter. SEO is largely driven by content marketing and user experience on your website. Ensure that your website is setup prior to this campaign for optimal user experience because tweaking the website mid-campaign can dilute your numbers. You’ll also want to ensure that your website is optimized with keywords in the content, meta tags, page titles, and URLs to ensure maximum efficiency. The editorial calendar can help plan for initiatives based on seasonality, consumer buying cycles, and industry trends. The key to any successful marketing campaign is planning, and without preparation, you cannot feel confident in your efforts.

Example: Healthcare News has a strong editorial calendar for their website content based on the Monthly Aware Focuses. You can take a note from them on how best to organize or approach your editorial calendar.

Step #6: Implement

The last step is to launch your campaign. The campaign should be monitored closely on a monthly basis to ensure that no changes or adjustments need to be made.


A meeting with the operations, marketing, and business development teams with the presenting of findings and analysis of the campaigns on a monthly basis can help make it more efficient. You can cut down focus on ineffective channels, and you can focus more on the channels that are generating the lowest cost per lead (CPL).

On Target has extensive experience in generating winning healthcare SEO strategies that are easily measurement and profitable. Many of the healthcare organizations that we work with look at us as a marketing partner that strives for continual growth and success. To learn more about our capabilities and what type of digital marketing growth we can offer your organization, contact us today.