How healthcare brands can develop Helpful Content in 2023?
SEMrush recently published its annual content marketing report. The quality of the data used for this report is quite remarkable, with more than 500,000 articles analysed globally. I encourage anyone interested in content marketing to download and read the report.
In the first pages of the report, SEMrush insists on the importance of creating helpful content. This concept of useful content is crucial, especially in healthcare, for organic traffic growth.
In this article, I will explain why creating valuable or helpful content is crucial for healthcare brands and provide insights on creating such content in the health and wellness space.
Google’s helpful content algorithm update and its impact on health & wellness content marketing
In 2022, Google released two major Algorithm updates (one in August and another in December) that were meant to reward “helpful content”.
For years, Google has urged SEOs and content creators to focus on creating “great content” and to make users their priority when publishing content.
SEOs have worked hard to make their content look as great as possible, just to please Google, by optimising all sorts of aspects of their websites, without caring enough about users. And for years, it worked very well.
With content creation becoming easier and cheaper thanks to AI content tools, Google will have to maintain a high level of quality in its search results. We have all the reasons to believe that more helpful content updates will be released soon.
In health & wellness, it was already necessary to have comprehensive, detailed, and helpful content, especially for small brands. On Google, highly searched health queries and topics tend to be dominated by websites with high authority and credibility.
For example, if you search for “heart attack symptoms” on Google.com, the first result will come from CDC.gov, an official governmental source of information.
And if you search for maybe less sensitive queries but are still marked as YMYL queries (Your Money or Your Life), like “arthritis symptoms,” you will only get the websites with the highest level of authority, such as Mayoclinic.org, WebMd.com, Healthline.com.
In this case, Mayoclinic.org is even outranking Arthritis.org. Note: In other industries, websites with a high level of authority that specialise in one particular topic tend to outrank the more general websites. In health, authority beats expertise. Due to this configuration, at Vine Digital, we are used to spending time and effort researching topics that have yet to be covered by the big publishers, and for which we know the brands we work with will be able to provide helpful answers to Google Users. So we knew already that helpful content was key.
How Health & Wellness brands can develop helpful content with confidence?
First, for health brands more than others, keeping content within the topical range is essential. For Google to believe that your website contains helpful information, the last thing you want is to target topics that are outside the domain of the problems your brand is solving. Helpful content, according to Google, can be measured with the below points:
- Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site that would find valuable content if they came directly to you?
- Does your content demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge (for example, expertise from having used a product or service or visiting a place)?
- Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?
- After reading your content, will someone leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal?
- Will someone reading your content leave feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience?
While the above bullet points concern more blog or review-website creators (those who tend to play with Google’s guidelines), it is very clear that Google wishes websites to cover topics for which they have valuable information and experience to share and wishes websites to cover these topics as deeply as possible.
Start by developing content for topics around your brand
The very first topic any website should focus on is the actual website’s brand topic.
At Vine Digital, we often see health & wellness websites ignoring many of all the queries their audience is typing into Google.
See this query example, “how to remove pimples with Colgate toothpaste”. According to Ahrefs, it has a global search volume of 800 searches a month. Not an immense search volume, but it represents approximately 9,600 users a year searching for one particular brand they already use that is not landing on the actual brand’s website:
How many branded queries still need to be answered on Colgate’s websites?
Branded content should also be treated as any other type of content. The targeted questions should be comprehensively answered. The content answering these questions should be updated regularly and well-optimised for SEO purposes.
How come Vaseline.com is being outranked by Healthline.com, with a rich snippet, for the search query “Vaseline on tattoo”, even though Vaseline.com has an article titled, “how to care for a tattoo”?
The problem here is actually in the title (and in the article copy). The article “How to Care for a Tattoo”, published on Vicks.com, does not cover the actual search intent, “should I apply Vaseline on a new tattoo for good aftercare”.
All questions and all search intents related to a brand should be answered and covered on the searched brands’ website.
Vicks.com does it well in their Safety FAQ, and that’s why Google trusts the website enough to place it at the very top of the SERP for the query:
The biggest potential lies in branded queries for organic traffic growth, consumer engagement, and enhanced authoritativeness. This is particularly true for DTC brands.
Expand on your existing expertise
Unless you are dealing with a brand-new website, websites consistently rank for some keywords. And these keywords can all be extracted from the Google Search Console.
In most cases, when we download the keywords with the highest impressions and clicks from the Search Console of a website we work on, we can easily spot at least one pattern in the keywords a website is ranking for.
Using Ahrefs instead of Search Console, here are the keywords generating the highest number of organic visits to Vicks.com (keeping the same domain as an example):
From this short list of keywords, Vicks.com has the expertise and authority to rank very high for terms that belong to the topic of fever.
This tells us that it would be smart for Vicks.com to keep capitalising on its “fever” topical expertise and to find the best content strategy to serve better all the queries for which Vicks.com is nearly ranking on page one of the Google SERPs.
Don’t ignore search volume queries
When a website publishes content targeting topics that do not belong to its existing topical range, it usually takes a long time for Google to consider this piece of content worthy of indexing. And it takes even more time for it to rank anywhere.
See below a screenshot showing how Colgate.com does not rank on the first page of Google with their article titled: “Pimple Vs. Cold Sore: How To Spot The Difference”:
That is why even queries with a low search volume but high topical relevance are much more valuable than those with high but low topical relevance.
Sometimes, a website takes only a few minutes to rank at the top of Google for a highly relevant query. This means that a low search volume query with high relevance can start getting traffic very quickly, and even if it is only a few clicks a day, it is already much better than 0.
See below another screenshot showing Colgate.com’s rankings, but this time for an article targeting a much lower search volume query, “how to kill mouth bacteria”:
Why is Colgate ranking much higher for the keywords highlighted here than for the previous ones? There are more than 1,500 pages about oral care on Colgate.com, while there is only one about “Pimples”.
More importantly, covering all search queries related to a topic is the best sign you can send to Google to prove your willingness to produce helpful content. Such dedication in trying to help Google Users can only be rewarded by higher rankings!
We have a very precise approach to content production and strategy at Vine Digital. We know how healthcare brands can dominate the SERPs and grow their organic traffic.
Reach out to us if you wish to know how to grow the organic traffic of your health website.
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