When optimizing your healthcare website for search, you know monitoring performance is important. But with so many SEO metrics and best practices out there, how do you know what to watch, and how often do you check things out?
Some of that will depend on your marketing budget, the size of your business, and the recommendations of your healthcare marketing team.
There are 10 key performance indicators (KPIs) it’s a good idea to watch, since they offer a window into how well your content is doing with search, and, by extension, with potential customers, clients, or patients.
1. SpyFu: Check Your Ranking for the Top 50 Results
Are your website pages coming up within the first 50 results on Google and other search engines?
SpyFu is a comprehensive SEO keyword research tool that gives you data you can use across a host of online marketing metrics. To get a bird’s-eye view, we recommend checking your ranking within the Top 50 results.
Knowing how you’re ranking for your product and service keywords, and for services in your area, means you know if your landing pages are being seen by prospective clients and customers. While getting your healthcare brand on the first page of Google is ideal, knowing where you are within the Top 50 can give you a sense of how much traction you have. Of course, checking this data regularly can be a way of tracking SEO progress so you know what’s working — and what isn’t.
2. SpyFu: Check Sum of Rank Change
Among the many tools on SpyFu, our clients love the Sum of Rank change metric. If you’re in the top spot (out of 50), you get a score of 50 points, the second spot gives you a 49 point score, and so on, all the way down to 1 point for the 50th spot on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
These values are added together to get the Sum of Rank, so you can see how that is changing for your healthcare website over time.
Overall, how are your rankings? Are you moving up the SERPs, getting bumped down, or holding steady in a highly-visible spot? Knowing this can let you know where to focus your SEO resources going forward.
3. SEMRush: See Your Keyword Ranking By Difficulty in Top 100 Results
SEMRush is another great tool for deep-diving into keyword research when developing or improving your healthcare website. We like to use to see how our clients’ sites rank because:
- It gives you a broader view, allowing you to look at the top 100 results – the first 10 pages of SERPs.
- You can see how you’re ranking for keywords in 3 tiers of difficulty: low, medium, and high.
The difficulty of a keyword refers to how difficult it would be for you to outrank the top competitors for that term. Ranking for high keyword difficulty is a good aspiration when it comes to SEO strategy. But ranking for lower-difficulty keywords is still valuable for your marketing campaigns. And it may be more realistic, depending on your ad spend, link-building, and other factors.
Get a clear understanding of your starting point in terms of keyword ranking. Then set goals (both practical and “stretch”) for your keyword strategy based on that.
4. Google Search Console: Check Your Impressions Data
While impressions don’t tell you everything about how healthcare websites are performing, they’re still a valuable digital marketing KPI. They give you a sense of:
- How often your web pages and content are getting in front of people
- Which pages are most often viewed
- Which pages have the fewest views
You can check your impressions data on Google Search Console. The more familiar you are with this data, the more readily you’ll be able to tell if your campaigns are “landing”: are people looking at the pages that are targeted in your digital advertising campaigns, or are they coming to them with keyword searches? All of this data is good data, and it will only help you tighten your approach.
5. Watch Your Organic Search Visits
Paid search data is a great way to measure ROI and allocate SEO/ad spending for your healthcare company, but organic search data should never be neglected. You need to know how often people are coming to your site as a direct result of them typing in a keyword, hitting “Search”, and clicking on your page.
Numerous analytics dashboards have this metric, and it is an asset to your keyword research and content marketing strategy. If you notice people are finding you with certain words, phrases, or questions, you can make sure you’ve got content on deck that addresses those concepts and gets their questions.
6. Check Number of Visits from Your Target Geographic Market
If you’re a healthcare business with local roots whose services are concentrated in your area, people near you need to be able to find you online. One SEO KPI you can use to measure this is to know how many of site visits and page visits are coming from your target geographic market. Do you need more local keywords? Is something unclear about the services you provide your community? Pinpointing the location of site visits can give you valuable insights like those.
7. Review Your Top Landing Pages
What are your top-ranking landing pages? Where are the majority of people “landing” on your healthcare website as a result of paid search or organic results? Having these front of mind can show you things like:
- Which product pages are getting the most traction
- How often people have been looking to contact you or request a services quote
If you’ve been planning website changes, you’ll want to be sure your changes in-step with strong performance marketing. When it comes to SEO, there’s no need to “fix” what’s working well for your users.
8. Notice Your Top Keywords
Marketing for the healthcare industry has a lot of moving parts. Checking your analytics for top keywords used to find you is a key step that often gets overlooked in the rush to get content approved and campaigns up and running. You know your business and your products better than anyone. But your ideal customers might be using totally different words to search for what you have to offer.
Are there any surprises in your keyword report? Is there anything you need to add, or something that’s getting lost in translation? Following top keywords and keyword variations can help you get to the bottom of things and determine your next steps.
9. Check Your Appearance in Google My Business
Google My Business is one of your most important marketing assets as you strive to make your mark in the healthcare industry. Do you know how your listing appears, and for what searches? Check regularly to see how your listing is performing, especially if you rely on locals to keep the doors open. Check out things like:
- Where are your “Click to Call”s coming from?
- How far is your reach? Where are people located who click for a map/directions?
- What search terms are bringing up your listing?
10. Monitor Your Number of Inbound Links
Inbound links send people to your healthcare website from other sites. The more inbound links you have, the better your rankings tend to be, especially if those links are to high-ranking sites. Google and other search engines rank based on inbound links because because they’re seen as a measure of authority and credibility. If others are willing to vouch for you who are respected in their field or industry, you must know a thing or two.
Healthcare SEO Tip: How Often to Check Your KPIs
It’s tempting to watch your SEO data like a hawk, and it’s good to be vigilant. But it takes some time to test out an SEO campaign. We recommend monthly checks across these metrics and any others you find relevant to your goals. But don’t just stop at monthly reviews: we recommend examining a trend line.
- Is your marketing campaign performance better than it was a year ago?
- Where do you need support?
If you’re doing marketing in-house, Google Search Console, SpyFu and SEMRush are great tools to have in your toolkit.
If you’re a HealthcareSEM client, there’s no need to buy access to these platforms or run your own reports. We offer comprehensive SEO reporting and recommendations to help you rank higher and go farther than your competitors.