Pharma SEO: Tips + Best Practices for Pharmaceutical Companies
Learn the top SEO tips and best practices your pharmaceutical business can start using today to generate more online awareness.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a relevant area for all businesses, including pharmaceutical companies who are looking to generate traffic to their sites, build brand awareness, and engage with their target audience.
Every day, science professionals are turning to the internet in search of information, and these individuals often work for larger organizations, which can present unique opportunities for pharmaceutical companies.
As we explore pharma SEO, we’ll discuss the many benefits available and what you can hope to gain from exploring less traditional methods in favor of attracting a higher number of organic visitors.
What is Pharma SEO and Why it Matters
The purpose of pharma SEO is to achieve organic growth by using several core principles that haven’t changed much despite the rapid alterations to advertising platforms and industries on a global scale.
Those core principles break down into some simple concepts that many of us have heard before:
- Know your target market and their unique characteristics
- Take ownership of your content and consistently strive to improve it
- Build a website and related tools that you’d want to interact with yourself
- Be precise, yet concise at every opportunity
For pharma SEO, you’ll want to focus on a two-part approach that attempts to:
- Answer questions posed by both new and existing members of your audience
- Inform your audience by providing accurate, relevant, and timely information
These two purposes will make up the largest number of search queries that provide opportunities that bring you closer to reaching your SEO goals.
It’s worth noting that even if you have a well-designed SEO strategy, there’s no way to get around the fact that SEO takes time. It takes time to gather data that paints a good picture of the results, and it takes time to attract visitors and generate traffic.
The pharmaceutical industry is known for its competitive nature, but we’ll go over some general SEO efforts and technical SEO actions that you can take to create a more attractive online presence.
Your Pharma SEO Checklist
Creating a well-performing SEO campaign means incorporating several factors and a willingness to re-evaluate and make changes as needed. Read on for our checklist of items and our SEO tips as your work on a new strategic plan or revamp an existing one.
Capture The Coveted Featured Snippet
At the top of a Google search results page, you’ll often see a snippet that the search engine believes best fits the query submitted. The ultimate aim for your SEO should be:
- To get pieces of your website, or your company’s content, to feature in this snippet area
- Make sure it’s content that you want to be seen and used to attract more visitors
- Diversify the content, so more than just text appears
Having your content listed in this snippet means that:
- Your SEO strategy or plan is likely well constructed
- The pages of your site are well indexed
- The content lends itself well to a more summarized format
Having your content displayed in this space does bring quite a bit of visibility, but in order to make this most of this placement, you’ll want to include rich content with visuals that entice the reader to click through and arrive at your site. Infographics, videos, pictures, and other visual content is a good start but should also be relevant to the page where it appears.
To put things in perspective, 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine such as Google, and 53.3% of website traffic originates from an organic search. If you want your web pages to start showing up at the top of the page, you’ll need to use your keywords wisely, frame your content well, and make sure the information is useful for your target audience.
Be Mobile Friendly
Many professionals access the internet using their phones, which is especially true for science professionals who are on the move with little time spent in a stationary office.
If this describes any part of your target audience, you should make sure that your website is mobile friendly with quality content that will appear in an easy to read format on any mobile device.
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a massive chunk of potential traffic no matter what keywords you use or the online presence you’ve cultivated.
To make your site more friendly for viewing on mobile devices, you might want to consider using accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) that show the content in a stripped-down form to speed up the time it takes the page to load.
Google offers a free mobile-friendly test that can provide valuable feedback about your site, including mobile-usability errors and a screenshot of what the page looks like on a mobile device.
This tool also provides feedback on a mobile user’s challenges on a smaller device, such as font size or Flash use, which most mobile devices won’t support.
Create High-Quality Content
High-quality content that is useful to your target market is essential, which is especially true in pharma SEO, where company sites are often the primary source for specific information.
Pharmaceutical companies should also ensure that their SEO strategy includes:
- Updating content regularly to ensure that backlinks work correctly
- Review the quality level of content to ensure it remains consistently high, accurate, and relevant
- Audit pages to ensure they adhere to the overall content marketing strategy currently in place
How often these reviews occur will vary based on many factors, but on average, at least once a year should suffice.
Use Fresh Visuals
To keep your webpages showing up on search results, you’ll need to update visual content regularly. Staying at the top of the results page often means creating fresh content like:
- Video content
- Video Interviews
- Original pictures and images
- Other unique and informational content
To ensure these visuals get appropriately indexed, you might want to consider including images and other content in your sitemap, which many CMS providers do as a default. You’ll also want to make sure the images or other visuals are original whenever possible and use descriptive alt text.
Lastly, you’ll want to check that each image is the best size and features an appropriate title or file name. If you have your videos posted on youtube, you can also take further advantage of backlinks to increase traffic to your site.
Implement Video on Several Pages of Your Site
It’s no longer enough to have a single video on your website and expect traffic to come rolling in. The best SEO strategy places relevant videos on multiple pages to ensure better visibility on sites like Google and other social media sites.
Videos can also be a form of content marketing, and since videos have the potential to go viral, it’s a worthy addition to any digital marketing campaign. To find potential video topics, you can perform some keyword research and create your own or place relevant videos on various pages to drive traffic.
Even short videos can expand your online presence, foster link building, and allow you to transition to various social media sites with minimal effort successfully.
Get Ready for Voice Search
An increasing number of individuals use voice searches such as Alexa or voice recognition on their mobile devices, so make sure that your website’s content uses natural-sounding language in a conversational tone.
It’s best to include things like long-tail keywords and other questions in the content you create, and you’ll need to know different keywords to include to make the most out of the content and frame it well.
If the information gets inappropriately framed or doesn’t use the best keywords available, you’ll find that this particular page won’t generate as much traffic. In this situation, it’s worth exploring whether the content matches up with real search queries and high ranking keywords.
Work On Building Authority and Expertise in Your Field
When you create and add custom content to your site, you’re not only supporting your SEO strategy by adding content; you’re also increasing your established authority as a reliable source of information in your field.
In addition, your expertise gets further established as your content is referenced again and again by other sites in the form of backlinks and visits to specific landing pages.
Pharma companies must also build trust with their target market, and the best way for pharmaceutical brands to achieve this is by providing consistently relevant content and increasing brand awareness in the pharmaceutical industry.
Check Your Status
There’s no SEO campaign that doesn’t require some form of monitoring and adjustment as performance data rolls in, and any SEO service will tell you there are a number of metrics to consider.
As you review this data, keep the user experience in mind and ask yourself if each page’s content is something you’d find useful.
You may also need to conduct a fresh round of keyword research every so often to ensure that fresh content gets consistently added, and your digital marketing and content marketing strategies remain fresh and relevant.
As you craft your pharma SEO plan, keep in mind that there are several factors to consider besides upping your ranking on a Google results page.
Creating original content, researching keywords, using proper tagging, and looking critically at performance metrics can help you further refine your plan over time.
Unfortunately, there’s no quick way to develop an SEO strategy as you need to wait for data to refine it. Still, it’s possible to expedite organic growth by providing a variety of well-placed and high-quality content.