Health brands must produce more relevant and targeted long-form content to feature on the first page of Google search results, according to a new study published by Searchmetrics.
Health Ranking Factors: Data Insights for Performing on Google analysed more than 6,000 health-related search terms to determine trends and best practices for creative. Preliminary research by Searchmetrics found that 77% of consumers now use search engines to find the health content they need online.
In order to meet the needs of digitally enabled consumers, health publishers, online shops and other notable players in the health industry must tailor their content campaigns for SERPs. The content that featured prominently on the first page of Google generally used engaging prose, informative imagery, headers and bullet points, while also being well structured.
“The challenge for anyone in this sector is breaking through the clutter,” Searchmetrics Director of Marketing EMEA Daniel Furch said. “Finding a way to increase visibility in searches is one of the most important things you can do.”
Online health is an extensive subject covering a vast range of content types, from nutritional advice to medical white papers. Searchmetrics recommends using a long-form editorial format, as the top results used 685 more words than average and leveraged the right keywords to improve content relevance.
There was also a warning about using visual aids too liberally, as the pages that did well in SERPs featured just one large image. This suggests readers prefer relevant and useful text with only a selected image rather than galleries of photos.