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Online marketing has brought new opportunities to all types of industries, enabling them to reach out to a wider customer base. There is significant improvement observed in the use of digital media in 2017 by common people as well as by various industries and the desire for digital transactions, online purchasing etc is expected to increase in 2018. Just as other industry sectors, healthcare must also rise to the occasion by implementing the necessary changes and utilizing effective digital marketing for healthcare.

SEO is a constantly changing and growing industry and with so much going on in health IT today, it can be difficult to determine which trends will influence potential healthcare consumers. It is important however, to understand the top notch SEO trends to improve your search results in 2018.

  1. Stop keyword stuffing and use informative and simple headings: Headings that are user-friendly and containing relevant keywords will perform well. However, keyword stuffing will not be encouraged. This shows that Google is becoming smarter and smarter with each passing year i.e. it reads webpages and can understand over optimization pretty well. Update your headings (H1,H2 etc) and make it more user-friendly rather than stuffing keywords.
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  3. Keep URLs short and to the point: The longer the URL, the lower will be the website ranking on the first page. This may be because of certain influences based on user experience and algorithms. This shows that Google wants to get to the point, therefore short and on-topic URLS with three or four words are important. Avoid fillers and retain pure content that will enable your visitors to clearly understand the page.
  4. Images should convey a story: The use of effective and optimized alternative text plays a crucial role in ranking for specific keywords. Adding relevant alternative text to your website is more appealing to the users and this is useful especially for ecommerce websites. Therefore ensure that you add descriptive Alt Text to your website.
  5. More data in the search results means more traffic: It is expected that more data in search results will boost the traffic. However, the ranking may not be high. Studies show that implementation of schema leads to increased click-through rates, which shows increased traffic. So the objective is to add effective markups such as images, reviews, and prices.
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  7. Website engagement is important: User engagement will be a major tactic in 2018. While design is an important factor for website engagement, in 2018 it is essential that your copy is interesting, easy to read and effective enough to keep the user on the page. Once better content is introduced, your website will experience users spending more time on the page and less bounce rates that will in turn increase your ranking. Investing in experienced and skilled copywriters to re-write your website content could help increase conversions and rankings.
  8. Descriptive page titles: Over optimization and keyword stuffing will not be effective any more. Page titles should be user-friendly with a single mention of your keyword.
  9. Security is crucial: HTTPS is an important element in Google’s algorithm and the search engine giant has announced that it would offer a benefit to sites that are secure. Implement HTTPS and ensure that your SEO team makes the necessary adjustments and redirects to your website so that duplicate content penalties can be avoided. Invest in an SSL certificate and implement an HTTPS version of your website for better ranking.
  10. Link only to high quality sources: Linking to high quality sources is a very important element. If you are always linking only to high-ranking authoritative sites, Google understands that you are a site that supports quality, which in turn builds your credibility. You need to perform an outbound link search on your website to make sure that you are only linking to sites with a high domain authority and low spam score.
  11. Domain authority still counts: Domain Authority is still the most important factor when it comes to link building. So spend time developing relationships with owners of high authority websites as a link from such sites is really worthwhile.
  12. Social signals will grow in importance: People are so much active on social media that social signals will continue to be an important SEO element in 2018. Make sure that you are active on at least 3 social media platforms and focus on building a strong audience who actively shares your content.
  13. Anchor text is important: In 2018, anchor text will function more as an indication of topic rather than a factor to rank for exact terms. Do not over-optimize your anchor text because it could lead to small penalties against your site. Study the anchor texts you have used recently, and de-optimize them where needed.
  14. Less page loading time: Site speed is an essential factor in Google’s algorithm. As more individuals use mobiles now, Google gives a heavier weighting for quick-loading web pages. No visitor waits more than 30 seconds for a page to load. Therefore implementing caching, compression and optimizing image delivery by means of a CDN and compressed images will help increase page loading speed and rankings.
  15. Niche relevant links are most important: Niche relevant links will be most important in 2018. You SEO tactic must be to build a custom link plan for 2018 on the basis of domain relevance, not domain authority alone.

With continuous Google algorithm changes, the year 2018 is expected to bring some significant changes in healthcare SEO. Therefore it is important for medical businesses to have a strong SEO team in place to look out for the changes, and upgrade the websites to improve search results, ensure better ranking and conversions, and stand ahead of competitors.

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