As an SEO professional focused on the healthcare industry, I regularly come across articles declaring that “SEO is Dead!” For the most part, these are reactionary pieces in response to some sort of shift in the search landscape, such as Google removing access to keyword-level data in analytics. To an extent, these articles are right. SEO is dead. However, it’s not that simple.
The SEO of 11 years ago, a year ago and even last week is dead. Not because the practice is going away, but because SEO has evolved. The idea of optimizing your presence to appear more readily for people looking for information is a concept that predates the internet. The phonebook, for example, used alphabetization as a basic algorithm.
As search has progressed to the internet, we’ve seen search engines change with every passing day. A variety of new elements have appeared in the search results — from web pages to social media, video, and apps — since different types of content can be used effectively to answer health related queries.
So, yes, “SEO is dead,” but in reality SEO is continually evolving and is as important as ever.
Staying Ahead of the Curve: SEO in the Health Information Journey
In order to be successful as a healthcare SEO professional, I need to understand how search behavior is going to fluctuate between devices, platforms, and the various stages of the healthcare journey, while deducing the intent of the searcher. Understanding audience psyche and motivation is just as important as understanding keywords, if not more so. To better understand a searcher’s intent it is helpful to these questions:
Being able to answer these questions is what the foundation of SEO is built upon today and how SEO professionals in the healthcare space, and across all sectors, approach organic strategy.
So the next time you read an article declaring the death of SEO, you should feel confident that SEO is alive and well and an integral part of a holistic digital strategy that connects people with information.