9 Essential Health Content Creation Tips

Getting visitors to your health content website is the first step towards successful healthcare marketing

Two main ways to get traffic to your website is through social media and organic traffic from search engines. For more information on this, check out our article on the latest healthcare marketing trends

To attract users to your website, the content must be compelling enough to convert readers into customers.

This article is about creating the best healthcare content that generates traffic and satisfies your reader’s interests. 

Google sets the highest standards for health content

Since Google is a significant organic traffic funnel, your health content has to be Google-friendly. That means that it has to meet Google’s quality criteria to rank high. 

To satisfy the reader’s interest, the content must provide the information for which the reader is looking. Fortunately, Google considers the reader’s interest in its search algorithms. So by creating valuable content for your readers, you also increase your Google ranking. 

Google has a rating team that performs searches and evaluates websites that appear in searches. With this information, Google updates and improves its ranking algorithm. The team uses Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines to evaluate the quality and credibility of a website.

Google’s E-A-T criteria

In August 2018, Google made significant changes to its methodology for ranking algorithms that affected many health websites—the so-called “Medic Update.” Many websites that ranked poorly before the update suddenly ranked very high and vice versa. In this update, Google shifted its focus towards expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, known as E-A-T. That means that to rank high in Google, your website’s content must fulfill these three criteria.

When it comes to healthcare SEO and content, Google applies the highest quality standards because false information can dramatically affect the user’s health and well-being. That means that for a health website, it’s especially essential to fulfill the E-A-T criteria.

How does google define expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness? 

Expertise means that you are an expert in the field. You have a solid background on what you’re talking about, and you are communicating it clearly and convincingly to the reader.

Authoritativeness means that other experts perceive you as an expert. They demonstrate this by citing you as a source or by linking to your health content such as blog posts and articles. Links from relevant and authoritative websites are, therefore, a powerful sign of authority for Google. This is also true for content that is widely shared across social media.

Trustworthiness is an indication of your credibility. You have a well-established business and website. It takes hard work to gain that trust. You have to spend a considerable amount of time and effort, producing high-quality health content before Google considers your website trustworthy. 

Here are nine tips on how to generate great content that meets Google’s quality standards and your readers’ interests:

1. Include an author box

In contrast to other fields in the healthcare industry, Google applies the E-A-T criteria to the website and the author. Expert healthcare content writers should be writing your content. For this reason, you should always provide an author’s name, ideally with an author box, including a short bio and links to an online profile.

2. Have the content reviewed by another expert

Having another expert to confirm the accuracy of the content further increases credibility. Credit the person who reviewed the article by writing “Scientifically reviewed by [reviewer’s name]” at the top. Ideally, link to the reviewer’s online profile.

3. Include the date of publication and cite any updates

Since health information can change over time, it is crucial to keep your content up to date. Update content when new information becomes available and note the date at the top of the article.

4. Support your statements with medical references

To further increase the credibility of your content, you should support your statements with medical references. A reference could be an official health website (e. g., the US Department of Health & Human Services), a study in a medical journal, or a medical database (e. g. PubMed).

5. Write using professional language

There is a fine line between sounding like an expert and providing content that is easy to understand. Professional jargon increases your credibility. On the other hand, if you’re using complicated medical and technical terms that your audience doesn’t understand, your content is useless. Try to write in a neutral, professional tone but avoid unnecessary technical terms that are not layperson-friendly.  

6. Be comprehensive but keep it simple

In line with an appropriate tone, the content should be comprehensive but leave no unanswered questions for the reader. At the same time, it should be easy to understand. Infographics can help to convey complex medical content in a way that is easy to grasp. Having high-quality, in-depth content about a specific topic also helps you to get backlinks from authoritative websites. 

7. Be specific with your information

When talking about health-related facts and data, being specific with your information makes the statement more convincing. Instead of writing, “Many Americans are vitamin D deficient,” you should write “A study from the Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania has shown that 42% of US adults are vitamin D deficient” and provide a link to the publication.

8. Narrow the focus of the website

Being an expert in a particular field is important and more manageable than being an expert on a wide range of topics. Unless you have a huge website (like WebMD or Healthline), you should focus on one particular subject. For instance, if you have a website about weight loss, focus on a weight loss strategy to give the best advice (e.g., intermittent fasting) and cover this topic in-depth, instead of providing superficial information about various weight-loss strategies. 

9. Try not to contradict the status quo

Wrong information puts the reader’s health at risk. Your content should not contradict generally accepted medical practices. This makes it challenging to rank for health-related content that takes a controversial standpoint. For example, if most established, well-respected sources claim that eating a lot of saturated fat causes heart disease, Google will likely penalize you for saying the opposite. If you have to contradict the status quo, do so professionally, discuss pro and counterarguments in a neutral tone, citing respected experts to support your statements.

The bottom line

Because Google sets the highest quality standards for health content, it is especially important to invest effort and care into creating your content. Every article should be written and reviewed by an expert, kept up-to-date, and provide relevant, easy-to-understand information for your readers that is not easily found elsewhere.

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