Why Ranking #1 Needn’t Be the Ultimate SEO Goal for Medical Businesses

by | Published on Jun 21, 2018 | Medical SEO

Is a number one ranking in Google as significant as it used to be? Healthcare SEO has been focused on achieving that coveted number one position or at least ranking in the first search engine results page, but now the #1 rank seems to have lost some of its relevance.
In the highly competitive medical field, each healthcare entity is on the lookout for strategies that will help them stand out among other competitors. On a basic level, SEO is a fight for visibility in Google and other leading search engines and to strive in the competition medical businesses use various techniques to rank higher, seek the attention of the users and thereby increase leads and conversions. Achieving #1 SERP has remained the ultimate aim of any business because the first position on a search results page is expected to receive good traffic. A study by Chitika Insights shows that the top listing in Google’s organic search results receives 32.5 percent traffic while the second and third positions receives 17.6 percent and 11.4 percent respectively. All websites that are ranked below the third position receive rather insignificant traffic. If you are ranked at 2 or 3 positions, then it is worthwhile to try and get to the first position but now it is not worth being obsessed about search ranking as the sole metric of success.

Ranking Is Not That Significant Now

  • Rank 1 has reduced relevance: Now Zero is the new number one. The Zero listing is a promoted organic search result, and it appears above the traditional Number 1 position on the search results page. This listing is Google’s “Featured Snippets” and it contains an extracted answer, a display title, and a URL. Or you may see Google’s Knowledge Box of targeted search results that give direct answers to a search query or topics closely related to that query.

  • User behavior or visitor value is significant: Though traffic and ranking are important metrics, any SEO effort is directly related to website visitor behavior. Often, incoming users may end up bouncing before they take any meaningful actions. Then, what is the use of ranking number 1 or in another top position on the SERPs? For a visitor to engage positively with your website, many non-SEO strategies are also relevant such as conversion optimization, successful branding, high-quality user-focused web design and so on. Therefore, there should be a balance between the quantity and value of your incoming visitors.
  • CTR can affect rank value: Click through Rates (CTR) and search rank are related i.e. the higher you rank the more likely you are to receive clicks, the more clicks you receive, the more relevant you will appear and the higher you will rank. But it is not assured that a first listing on Google will ensure you a high click-through-rate. Though your chosen query may receive huge traffic, your competitor ranked just below you may have a more attractive offer and receive a disproportionate number of clicks. So, proper optimization of your website and metadata is important if you want to appeal to your targeted visitors.
  • Keyword targeting has become more challenging: The first priority in any SEO campaign is keyword targeting. Typically, with a good selection of relevant keywords with high traffic and low competition you could achieve a number one position on Google. Though keywords are important now, Google’s semantic search has made the relationship between keywords and key phrases rather ambiguous. It has become difficult to especially target one important phrase because Google attaches more importance to relevance rather than exactness and matches user queries accordingly.
  • Rich content is what matters: Semantic search has increased the importance of rich and comprehensive content. If for e.g. you have long-form, exhaustive content on “Smartlipo laser liposuction,” it could get lots of links. These links would increase your site’s authority and this in turn will make it easier for you to rank for almost any related keyword. Moreover, if you maintain a conversational tone and phrasing, it is very likely that your page is optimized for many keywords that you were not intentionally targeting apart from those you were intentionally targeting.

The way Google returns results for search queries has changed. However, old SEO strategies are still relevant. Depending on your healthcare business there will be valuable keywords and phrases that are worth targeting. Choose an approach that takes into account all possible strategies and prioritizes the most relevant or appropriate ones for your brand. A healthcare digital marketing company can provide the required SEO support and implement the right strategies that can convince Google that you are an authority in your field. This can get you to the #0 position on Google’s search engine results page, which is the coveted position now.

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