The YMYL Effect: How Your Healthcare Content Strategy Can Make or Break Your SEO Success

24th Apr, 2023
Author image
Sofiann McKerrell
Product Innovation Director

In the healthcare industry, having a solid understanding of SEO is crucial for success. One key concept that healthcare marketers often overlook is “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL). 

YMYL plays a significant role in determining the effectiveness of your content strategy and, ultimately, your SEO success.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of YMYL, the challenges healthcare marketers face, and how to create a winning content strategy that aligns with YMYL principles.

Table of Contents

Understanding YMYL and Its Impact on Healthcare SEO

YMYL content refers to content that can directly impact a person’s health, finances, safety, or happiness.

Google holds YMYL content to a higher standard, as inaccurate or misleading information in these areas can have severe consequences. 

This means that Google evaluates content more rigorously in the healthcare industry, prioritising authoritative and trustworthy sources. 

A typical example of a YMYL search query in health is “heart attack symptoms”. If you search for this on, the top results will always be composed of either official sources of information such as the CDC or highly authoritative health information websites such as,, or Mayoclinic. 

Very recently, Google started to push highly authoritative websites that also specialise in the topic the search query belongs to. That’s why we see ranking at the top of the Google SERP in the screenshot below.

We obtain the same type of search results when we search for “cancer symptoms” with ranking at the top:

As a healthcare marketer, you must understand the level of YMYL you operate in, identify the topics you can address in your content strategy and the ones you should avoid,  and determine the search queries you should target. 

If you don’t take action, your content production efforts could produce mediocre results.

Creating a Successful Healthcare Content Strategy for YMYL Websites

1 – Identifying Your YMYL Range Through Keyword Research

To understand if your website is considered a YMYL website, analyse the search results for relevant queries in your industry. 

Suppose official governmental or high-authority websites (with Domain Ratings above 75) dominate the top results. In that case, you’re operating in a YMYL environment. You can use Ahrefs Toolbar to know what’s a website Domain Rating. 

To discover keywords that fit your YMYL range, concentrate on search queries where websites with comparable or lower Domain Ratings to your own have achieved high rankings.

2 – Evaluating Your Website’s Trust and Authority

Trust is vital to the E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) framework, especially in healthcare and other YMYL industries.

Assess your website’s current level of trust and authority by analysing the level of competition there is for the sensitive keywords you are already ranking very high for. 

If you rank number one for a highly sensitive and competitive informational search query, your level of trust and authority is quite high. 

You can also assume that if you have a naturally high DR (Domain Rating), you may also have a high level of authority.

3 – Targeting the Right Keywords and Topics

Keyword research is essential in developing a content strategy for YMYL websites and investing time and effort in this phase is crucial for success.  You must target the appropriate keywords and topics based on your YMYL range assessment and your website’s trust and authority.

To succeed in healthcare SEO, identify a list of search queries your website can target, considering the level of competition and YMYL sensitivity. This is where your YMYL assessment will prove beneficial in making informed decisions.

Additionally, concentrate on search queries that belong to topics your website is already getting traffic from, which indicates Google’s recognition of your site as an expert in those areas. By targeting such topics, you leverage the topical expertise your website has already acquired.

If your website still needs to establish topical expertise, start building it by focusing on semantically related search terms instead of targeting various unrelated keywords. This approach will help you gradually develop expertise and recognition in your chosen niche.

In summary, target keywords within your E-A-T range (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) to create a robust content strategy that will bring quick results.

4 – Adopting a Comprehensive Approach to Content

With a solid understanding of your YMYL range, website trust and authority, and the right keywords and topics to target, the final step is to adopt a comprehensive and ambitious approach to content creation. 

Keep in mind that your content strategy should be a long-term plan, as it may take several years to become an unquestionable authority in your topic niche.

To achieve a highly successful YMYL content strategy, aim to become the best online source of information for your core topics. 

There needs to be more than just publishing a few articles targeting specific search terms.; Focus on covering your core topics as thoroughly as possible and answering as many related questions as possible. Strive to be the most helpful online resource for your target audience.

Don’t limit your website to only covering the most searched keywords. This approach will be insufficient.


Creating a successful healthcare content strategy for YMYL websites requires a thorough understanding of your YMYL range, your website’s trust and authority, and targeting the right keywords and topics. 

By adopting a comprehensive and ambitious approach to content creation, you can position your website as a leading source of information for your core topics and target audience.

Remember, trust is paramount in healthcare SEO, and maintaining the highest quality of your published content is essential. 

Ensuring that your content is accurate, reliable, and valuable helps build trust with your audience and search engines like Google. 

Be cautious about publishing misleading or incorrect information, as breaking the trust placed on your website by Google could lead to a significant loss of rankings, traffic, and all your efforts to build your online presence.

If you’d like to discuss your YMYL content strategy with our experts, reach out to us. We’re here to help you achieve your healthcare brand’s online success.

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