Content produced by health care organizations a such as emails, website pages, and patient resources a provides essential medical information and resources to both physicians and patients. But content does more than simply educate. It builds trust. It cultivates a relationship. In order to ensure the content you’ve generated reaches the right audience, there are specific ways your brand must communicate the value to search engines.
Quick Overview of SEO
To anyone who is skeptical or simply unaware of the effectiveness of SEO a it can be summarized as a series of steps that help search engines understand your site’s content. Images, for example, are invisible to the asearch botsa that crawl websites, so it is necessary to provide additional insight regarding the subject and context of your content. In addition to supplementing pages, it’s also important to remedy usability flaws a such as 404 errors, which result from faulty linking. Finally, SEO involves strategic understanding of your patientsa needs so you can generate content that meets those needs. This process, keyword research, can illuminate which service lines take priority. The ultimate goal in SEO is to achieve rankings that are more favorable than competitors in a search engine’s search results page (SERP). Higher rankings generally result in more visitors to the site, and while a higher traffic volume isn’t the end-all indication of digital victory, it certainly is a good start!
Incorporating SEO into SharePoint
It is very common among health care brands to use SharePoint as a content management tool, but not every hospital is using the system to its full potential. The capabilities of SharePoint can improve internal systems of health care organizations. In addition to acting as a website platform, SharePoint also manages the following content:
- Digital library of resources
- Directory of physicians, patients, staff
- Storage hub for operations forms
- Project management solutions
Microsoft’s SharePoint is now equipped with SEO functions explicitly designed to improve the position of your site in organic search results a which is perfect for increasing the number of eyes that reach your health care content. When the content of your marketing message is easily accessed and understood, it will attract your targeted consumers. Fill in Metadata A while back, we put together a resource that shows how the WordPress plugin aAll-in-One SEOa can simplify the process of adding critical metadata. Similarly, SharePoint facilitates the process of adding this data so you donat have to worry about supplementing the html from the frontend. To add and edit meta tags (title, meta description), visit Page tab and click “Edit Properties” then “Edit SEO Properties.” Here you can fill out the fields to better convey the context to search engines a and even specify whether the page should be indexed. According to Microsoftas instructions, you also have the opportunity to add meta keywords; however, we donat recommend this. Googleas algorithm now disregards this information. Use Keywords Strategically While keyword phrases were traditionally plugged into existing content, they now serve as guides for content topics. Hopefully you already have a list of keywords to reference a there is a wide range of uses for those terms. The first is general content creation; by understanding what visitors are searching, you can craft blog posts, website pages, and downloadable resources. Over time, you can track which pieces of content have received the most engagement and therefore present opportunity for deeper dives into the subject. It’s important to note that SharePoint allows for easy URL customization. We have an entire post dedicated to keeping URL structure SEO-friendly, but in short: incorporate a relevant keyword into the URL, but do so sparingly. Update Sitemap and Robots.txt As explained in Chapter three of our updated SEO Guide, a sitemap is a file that lists the pages on your site you want search bots to crawl and index. Sitemaps act as a directory of the different pages so nothing gets overlooked when a search engine is assessing your website. SharePoint updates the sitemap for you over time so it is inclusive of all pages. You can then submit the sitemap through various search enginesa webmaster tools so it can recrawl new or updated pages.
Robots.txt is a file that tells search bots what they shouldn’t crawl. For example, if patients can log in and set up a profile, the individual profiles should not appear in search engine results pages. To ensure they are not able to rank for search queries, they can be added to the robots.txt file. SharePoint generates this file as well.
When used correctly, SharePoint can transform the way a hospital communicates internally and externally. As health care brands experience stricter penalties for providing redundant care, it is critical to identify flaws in the flow of communication a and that includes the website.