After updating their algorithm, Google doesn’t announce how its search rankings operate and their adjustments. However, in May 2020, they announced that they would be having a Page Experience Update which was unusual. Thus, many took this as big news with considerable impact.
While there are still unknown parts like how healthcare sites can be affected and the exact launch of the update, SEOs and marketers have been preparing for this significant change.
Many in the industry have taken up stealth and more research work to develop more competitive ways and save their rankings from dipping. It is due to the recent EAT update and how the current machine learning algorithm affects YMYL websites. On top of that, healthcare websites have to ensure that the user experience on every device is well-optimised and should have quick loading times.
Here are things you need to know to create, structure, and publish content for your healthcare website that conforms to the requirements of the Google Page Experience, E-A-T, and YMYL updates.
Before diving into the complex concepts, here are some foundational concepts that you should know.
- E-A-T: This stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It is a means of filtering low-quality content from trustworthy and useable content.
- YMYL: Your Money Your Life
What is Page Experience Update?
The Page Experience Update by Google is the search engine’s way of focusing on the readers’ user experience. It involves a new signal that incorporates the current metrics used with three more metrics which Google refers to as Core Web Vitals.
As it is essential to you to provide your patients with a quality health experience, Google aims to provide the same quality delivered to search engine users when they are searching for information on their search engine.
The new signal that Google will use will measure the experience of interacting with web pages from the users’ point of view.
According to Google, optimising these factors will help make a more delightful experience for its users across all web browsers and will assist websites is evolving towards what users expect on their mobile devices. As a result, Google believes that this update will significantly contribute to the success of businesses on the web and help users become more engaged when they make transactions with more minor problems.
In other words, when you are compliant with the factors Google has set, it will have a favourable result for your website concerning its search rankings.
Factors under the new Page Experience Update
Previously, Google had the following factors:
- Safe browsing
- No intrusive interstitials
With the new Page Experience Update, there are three additional factors:
- Loading performance
- Visual stability
How Page Experience will affect YMYL and healthcare sites
Websites under the health, fitness, medical, and eCommerce niches primarily focus on producing content directed towards answering questions people search for. For example, Google has a Medic Update tool that sorts out too general, shallow, outdated, and incorrect questions. It can also evaluate the article’s author’s already established trust factor and the domain where the content is published. It is where the new page experience algorithm will build on.
It is essential to identify and catalogue exceptional and trusted E-A-T content. Search engines want to ensure that they only give users reliable, accurate, and relevant content that offers a top-notch page experience.
The pandemic has brought the need to deliver fast yet accurate information that every person should get during this crisis. Patients need the correct answers, and they need them in the least amount of time possible.
More thorough assessments have come with the expansion of health and eCommerce business websites. If you own a website under this niche, it is being scored and catalogued using YMYL terms.
So, if you want to generate more search traffic and website authority, you must stay updated with the Medic Algorithm impact and any similar algorithm updates. This is due to the considerable effort of promoting patient safety and protection from misinformation.
GoogleBots are now better at using the E-A-T of medical content, from the Dr. prefixes to medical source links, medical and health care datasets, even images and charts. GoogleBot catalogues these trust signals, matching various search inquiries typed in the search engine to align the content to the corresponding search intent.
Recovering from Google Medic
One innovation that Google has developed is Google Medic. It made such a significant impact on the niche, it would be best to follow specific steps to recover and regain your rankings and traffic when a site is affected. Unfortunately, the effects of Google Medic can still be felt by many affected websites. Until now, we are still struggling with how to bounce back.
Here are some essential steps to help you recover from the Google Medic update.
Generate high-quality content
A large amount of traffic will come to your site when you post high-quality content within the medical niche. It can help you open more doors than generating new customers and building relationships with potential clients.
When the articles you post cover a wide range of in-demand topics and can give users a great experience, you get the chance to form connections with other websites, which can become future partnerships that will help your business grow.
Quality content means that the information you post contains enough information to be a comprehensive source in itself. For your content to be considered a topic authority, it must be lengthy as it generates more traffic.
Don’t leave more questions in your readers’ minds when they see your page. They shouldn’t go somewhere else to find data or information that they did not get from your website. It is why you should publish many articles to show that you have the depth of expertise on different related subtopics. Showing that you are a reliable source of information in your niche is sufficient proof of authority and builds trust with your readers.
Use reliable sources and include content that is “doctor approved”
In creating content for your website, you should invest in content research and cite sources from legitimate medical websites so that anything you post is reliable and authoritative. Think about it as making a research paper that includes evidence from experts. If you cater to a specific location, you can also have both national and local experts in your city.
The algorithms used by search engines are getting better and smarter at identifying patterns that make up a trustworthy content piece.
A person already working in the healthcare or medical field and writing research still looks for the proper authority to review their work before publication. It is because they need to prove that their work contains meticulously peer-reviewed facts and fact-checked.
So, when you are writing your content, it would be best to add a disclaimer stating that a medical expert produced the article.
Use facts and reliable case studies
A YMYL content piece can easily gain a search engine’s trust by including factual content. For example, you can use sources from government websites or known medical institutions that regularly produce educational and scholarly journal entries.
A website called FactCheck alerts search engines of any factual and sourced content. The site will require you to provide information like the author’s name, the article’s title, and other relevant information to validate your markup. It will also require you to add an opinion and reason for referencing a specific article.
With the help of tools such as FactCheck, relationships between influencers, professors, and government agencies are developed through regulations or oversights.
Keep old content up-to-date to make it relevant and valuable
You should also look for any past content and update them from time to time. Constant updates instantly make a lot of content irrelevant. Don’t keep them stagnant by updating them with more recent data that is more relevant and can potentially help the page thrive with traffic.
News articles are best left untouched to preserve their journalistic integrity as they reflect what happened during that specific time frame. But, how-to posts, FAQs, and topic expansions need to be fed accordingly with updated information.
Updates can boost their potential to generate more readers. In addition, each piece can get better rankings using high-traffic keywords when using expanded content and semantic search. This can help you rank higher in SERPs.
Include media that supports your content
More people have been using image search on search engines. You can utilise this search by adding rich media to your website.
There are many people who prefer to learn through viewing videos or pictures rather than reading written content. Therefore, don’t limit yourself to publishing exclusively text-based content.
You can create images that relate to your topic and support the articles you already have. In addition, images can invoke emotions and interest in the patients who can identify with them. This will increase the chances of them contacting you for future appointments.
Get inspiration from established healthcare schema entities
Different search engines constantly develop and adjust their algorithms to improve the quality of their SERPs. Google’s Medic Update was the trigger to improve ranking signals for medical sites.
Use healthcare schema entities as inspiration in building your website and creating content. Research on their different features and take notes on their strategies so that you can use the data on your own healthcare website.
Regularly check analytics to keep tabs of traffic and know where to improve
Don’t forget to monitor your web traffic regularly and take notes on the developments brought by your content strategy. This is also helpful in knowing your next steps as you progress in SEO.
Landing pages also embody content that can optimise for organic search and paid search developments. In addition, they are fast and can provide your reader with all the elements needed to guide your clients through your website.
Landing pages should show reviews by your patients, essential information, and eye-catching calls-to-action to help clients in their decision making. You should know the reason behind the ups and downs of your numbers to formulate an improved strategy.
There are AI tools and platforms available to SEO professionals to help their business grow. Marketers use the data these platforms produce to inform them of changes in their rankings, where the SEO strategy is strong and the strategy’s weak points.
Analytics is the reflection of how customers respond to your SEO strategy. Therefore, you must utilise these numbers to build on your current marketing plan to adapt to the needs and preferences of more potential patients.
Avoid intrusive interstitials
The occasional pop-ups will be okay; however, intrusive interstitials are a big no-no. Intrusive interstitials are the pop-ups that cover your content for mobile users. Google accounts these pop-ups as harmful to user experience, which can negatively impact your rankings.
Some pop-ups you should avoid according to Google:
- Pop-ups covering the main content immediately after the user navigates from the search results or by looking through the webpage
- Having a standalone display of an interstitial that the user needs to dismiss first before they can access the main content
- Using layouts where the above-the-fold part of the page looks like a standalone interstitial and the main content is hidden underneath that fold
Here are some examples of acceptable pop-ups:
- Interstitials that are for compliance with a legal obligation like those for age verification or cookie usage
- Login dialogues where the content is not public
- Banners that take up a reasonable size of screen space and can be dismissed easily
Keeping tabs on any updates search engines might do is essential. While search engines do not announce the adjustments they will make, you must always be ready and observant of these updates. Your website depends heavily on your search engine rankings. Remember that the goal is to get a high ranking on the SERPs to generate more traffic to your website. You can only achieve a good SERP when constantly checking your analytics and developing a proper SEO strategy.