tips for basic website maintenance

Website Content and SEO Checkups

Your healthcare website doesn’t care about our earth-bound problems. It’s still getting traffic, and “Page Not Found” errors are pushing up their ugly heads. Content is aging. And Google isn’t taking a break from deciding which sites will garner traffic, and which will not. So, let’s start with some sleuthing, and your to-do list will flow out of that.

To start with, pick ten essential pages in your site that represent keywords that you want on page one of Google’s search results (SERPs). The homepage should be one of them, along with flagship product pages, or services for a hospital. Then check to see where they rank on Google. Start with your brand name plus a descriptor, like St. Elizabeth oncology.

For medical devices, you check the brand name of the device, say Cardiagrapher®, the name of the category, virtual mapping cardiology, and the keyword or keyword phrase, “portable cardiac monitor.” Hospitals need to check relevant locations against Google. Use the names of cities (New York), communities (Bronx), and parts of a township or neighborhood (East Bronx). If a clinic, hospital, practice, or in some instances, the medical manufacturer doesn’t rank on a specific locale, it doesn’t exist for most of the world.

Know your hospital’s SEO’s Bar Call

Just like “Gimme a Bud” is synonymous with Budweiser beer made by Anheuser Busch, there’s usually a shorthand way of referring to medical devices and hospitals. Above, for example, we used St. Elizabeth as an example of a search, locals all call it St. E’s, and civilians will use the word cancer instead of oncology. Bottom line: make sure you optimize for the bar call.  Learn more about optimizing for brand names. For more on the importance of optimizing for brand 

Give your content a thorough checkup

Google evaluates your content in several ways. They include its freshness, relevance, readability, depth, backlinks, internal links, and even grammar. Consider that Google’s job is to give the top rankings to the most relevant site for any given search. There’s a geeky part of this called technical SEO, which you can find out about here.

In this project, you’ll review the basics of your most important pages and blogs. Start with the date first published. That type of information doesn’t age well in medical technology and healthcare. Examine the following:

  1. Check all links on the page. More on that below.
  2. Compare this page to your competitor’s information. Is yours the best? If not, make it so.
  3. Does it need updating, revision, rewrite, or does it fall into the pail?
  4. Scrutinize any post or page that's two years or older, check the accuracy, and buff it up a bit. Even if search engines aren’t tired of it, your visitors are.
  5. Are there supporting pages or posts that link back to this page? That's a sign that the content is important to the site.
  6. Are your pages focused on a single theme, or do they ramble? Does your first paragraph give a quick summary of what we can learn on the page? Does the headline contain a keyword, and does it tell the reader what to expect from the article? All of these are good reasons for a revision.
  7. Grammar – are you the resident grammarian in your company? If not paste, copy into an AI-powered style guide and proofreader, like Grammarly.

404 Errors – The bane of a Website’s existence

A 404 Error occurs when you have a link on a webpage that doesn’t connect to anything. The message a 404 sends to the world and search engines is that the site isn’t maintained, and the user might have had an unsatisfying experience clicking on a link. It might be a navigation item, like About, or links deep in the page that shuttles you to an internal or external resource. Sometimes the cause is a coding slip up, the page changed its name or moved to a new location, or something you linked to no longer exists.

Prescription: use a tool, like the aptly named Dead Link Checker, to scan your site for irksome links. Note, some websites and SEO platforms have a 404-checker built-in. Finding errant links is easy. Fixing them requires some familiarity with URLs and the redirect function in your site’s control panel. Know when to ask for help!

Maintain your website and content, and you'll be far ahead of the game when things turn brighter. Do you have any questions, or need some free advice? Please use our contact page to reach us.