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Does SEO Matter in Healthcare? Key Takeaways from MozCon 2024

by Natalie Nygren

Jun 12, 2024

Posted in Industry

Formada's Natalie Nygren discusses her experience at MozCon 2024.

MozCon 2024: AI and Engagement and Brand, Oh My!

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending MozCon 2024! It was my first-ever MozCon, an annual conference where SEO and content marketing leaders come together to share learnings, experiences, and actionable tips from the industry. It’s like the TED Talks of marketing, so, for marketers, it’s kind of a big deal.

Creating content and executing marketing strategies that appeal to both humans and search engines is at the heart of what we do here at Formada, and the conference really emphasized for me that everything is connected in SEO land, perhaps now more than ever. 

But, dear reader, if you’ve landed on this blog, you probably have one burning question… Does SEO matter in healthcare?

Yes! Any health, medical, or wellness business that wants to drive revenue and visibility sustainably should have some kind of content or SEO strategy executed by its own internal team or a healthcare marketing agency (like our team at Formada!) 

So, what can health and medical businesses take away from MozCon 2024? Here are my not-so-hot takes. 

1. MozCon 2024 Takeaways: AI is here and here to stay: Are you ready for its impact? 

With the recent launch of Google’s Search Generative Experience and a continued focus on artificial intelligence in the marketing industry, it’s no surprise that AI appeared in almost every presentation at MozCon this year. In fact, I’m sure we all got a little tired of hearing about it by the end of day #2! 

Everyone had different opinions about how AI impacts SEO and content marketing, but the common theme surrounding AI was attempting to answer the question, “Is AI the end of search as we know it?” 

The consensus? Probably not. However, as marketers, we need to learn how to work with AI instead of against it if we want to successfully drive organic traffic and leads. AI isn’t going anywhere.

For healthcare organizations, this means:

  • Using AI to make content writing more efficient, but not completely taking it off your plate: Google will continue to penalize mass-written content with no real unique contribution to the topic, so using AI to pump out a lot of content at once is not the way forward. Instead, use AI to generate ideas your customers might enjoy and leverage talented humans to create that content. 
  • Focusing on experiences that only humans can (and will ever be able to) express through writing: AI may know a lot of information about healthcare in general, but it’s never seen a patient in an exam room or talked to your customer about solving a core challenge in the business. Make sure your content is uniquely human by placing real-life experiences at the heart.
  • Adjust the focus of your content to prioritize emotion, relevance, and intent: A solid keyword strategy is great, but it’s not the silver bullet to creating content that ranks and engages humans. It’s time to adjust the focus of your content to speak to the emotions your readers may be feeling and more clearly address their intent for landing on your content in the first place. 

2. MozCon 2024 Takeaways: Engagement matters: What’s your “A human gave a s**t” metric? 

I’ll admit it. Marketers tend to get lost in vanity metrics. We brag when click-through rates improve or when page views go up. And there is absolutely still a place for these metrics, but in the era of the Helpful Content System, what really matters is engagement. Search engines and AI aren’t purchasing your products and services. Humans are. So, shouldn’t we focus on content that resonates with real humans? 

Now, this isn’t a new concept. Formada has been preaching the “content written by humans, for humans” mantra in earnest for a while now. 

However, what was a new concept for me coming out of MozCon was how we measure the success of that human-focused content. One session coined a phrase that stuck with me: “What’s your ‘a human gave a s**t’ metric?” 

In other (perhaps more family-friendly) words, how do you know that a living, breathing human being had a positive interaction with your content and brand? 

For health and wellness organizations, your “a human gave a s**t” metric may differ from other similar businesses, depending on your overall content strategy and the channels you prioritize in your marketing. Some examples include:

  • If you write a lot of blog content, try measuring the number of pages users visit after landing on a blog post or whose first session was organic but came back directly later 
  • If you love posting on social media, try measuring comments, shares, or engaged sessions on your website that came from social media
  • If you leverage email marketing, try measuring your click rate or engaged sessions on your website that came from email 

3. MozCon 2024 Takeaways: All roads lead to brand: Is yours as strong as possible?

It’s no secret that the more well-known your brand, the more likely you appear high in search engines. We see this in healthcare especially. If you search for something like “hearing aids” in Google, the top organic search results come from organizations like the Mayo Clinic, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, and the FDA — organizations with real authority in the healthcare industry.

But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost when it comes to healthcare SEO for smaller businesses and organizations in the industry. Your brand is equally important for engaging prospective patients or customers as it is for showing up high on search engine results pages (SERPs). 

In our experience, many healthcare organizations — especially those without a dedicated marketing team — lack a clear understanding of their brand or target audience, making it difficult to tell the brand story authentically. 

Chima Mmeje, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Moz, spoke at MozCon on how to craft a brand that builds trust, and it was probably my favorite session from the whole conference. She outlined six steps that are essential to crafting an influential personal brand, but I think they apply to businesses, as well:

  1. Define your goals: What do you want your brand to accomplish?
  2. Find your voice: What traits or features define your brand?
  3. Identify key topics: What do you want to be known for?
  4. Find your people: Who do you want to reach?
  5. Identify your vehicles: What tactics will you use to accomplish your goals (social media, blogs, etc.)? 
  6. Create content that cements your authority: What does your audience need, and how can you deliver it in a totally unique, personalized way? 

The SEO world is unpredictable, but there is still action to be taken now

So, what’s the TL;DR here? If you take away anything from this post, let it be this: 

  • Healthcare companies need SEO & content strategies that set their business apart from AI
  • Adapt to, instead of struggling against, changes in search engines
  • And put your customers at the center of everything 

And if you don’t have an internal marketing team to execute those strategies? Work with an external agency that understands healthcare and its unique needs in order to achieve the best possible results. 

Ready to see how thoughtful content optimized for humans and search engines can help your business generate more organic traffic and leads? Formada can help! 

From content audits to content strategy and copywriting, our team is uniquely positioned to help healthcare, medical, and wellness businesses grow through content. 

Contact us today for a free consultation! We’re excited to help you achieve your goals. 

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