SEO for health and wellness brands in 2020

Lockdown, digital living, live streaming, AR, VR, brand building, data story telling, nano-influencers. All these buzzwords could leave even the seasoned marketer left a bit…meh.

In 2020, we are betting on getting the basics of SEO right, but also investing in the coming changes to prepare your site and brand for what is to come post-corona.

Here are a few things to keep front of mind for your health and wellness SEO moving forward

Less focus on queries and more focus on context appears inevitable.

Traditional SEO called for a match for the keyword the person is searching for. I search for ‘How to do a handstand,’ I get a blog post titled: ‘The best ways to learn to do handstand at home.’ Like for like, I am happy. Whilst this does have some relevance today, the context of your search has now changed. Where are you? Are you searching on a mobile device? How many times have you searched for this? What do you need this so-called ‘handstand’ for?

The better framework for your content and your SEO and to improve your content in general is to ask the following when you are creating it:

  • Where does our content fit into a user’s journey?
  • What would they have learned before consuming it, and what will they need to know next?

Note that this is much more vital than simply a shift from keywords to topics, which has been happening for a very long time already. Discovery without queries is much more fundamental and impacts our strategies in a much more profound way.

It’s less about keywords, topics or general search engine improvements to your page, but we have seen examples of sites ranking better, not only because of their relevance, but they were able demonstrate the customer journey better than their competitors.

With that in mind it’s time to consider SEO in a wider context. How is your brand and the experiences you provide online received? What is brand SEO? Should I be more general?

Quick answer no. You should be getting the basics right first.

These are:

On page optimisation: Keywords in URLs, H1 titles, Easy to digest copy and layout, keywords in the body text, uniquely valuable to the searcher, crawler/bot accessible, built to be shared, omni-device ready, authorship, meta-data, schema and rich snippets.

Off page optimisation: Backlinks, brand-mentions, Google My Business, social channels.

Take a look when you have read all of this my intro video on SEO in this new world.

Then when you have done all of that. I know not easy. It’s time to think of the below.

Incorporate SEO into our lead generation funnel

When you mention SEO, if your eyes glaze over, then watch the video, but if you have a bit of handle on it then it’s now time to start considering how you can fold in SEO into that customer journey as it already exists. Then ask how much can we influence that journey to push it in a different direction? How can we create content and resources that users will want to bookmark and add to collections?

If your focus for SEO is to please search engines then that is all you will do and you may not experience any real growth in traffic from your existing keywords you are optimising for or from new content.

Consider SEO, as an oil for the engine of your marketing. It helps to keep things running, but with the right oil it can improve the overall performance.

Andrew Balerdi

Yes SEO is generally at the top of the funnel. But if you use every marketing tool as an extension of your brand the consideration is on the experience of Search, of your chat bot, of your lead pages or your ads. The firs thing to do to prioritise this is to take a look at your top performing pages:

In your analytics, go to ‘Behaviour’ then ‘Site content’ then ‘Content Drilldown’. From a top-level perspective you’ll see, asides from your home page, which page people are looking at. Or find most valuable. This can give you a start on which pages are most important to all users.

Then to see how important each page is to people who search through google and find your site.

Go to the top of the page where is says ‘segments’. Click on ‘add a new segment’. Then you will have a fair few options. These are lenses to place over your data. Scroll to where it says ‘Search traffic’.

Click apply. Then you will see a comparison of all users vs people who have used search to get to your site.

Something like this:

Use more segments to compare the data and refine dates so it can makes sense.

Now look at your list of pages. They may well have changed. Which means either that Searchers are not finding what they are looking for in which case, write more bloody content. Or they have defined your content, and by extension your brand, in a way that they see it, not the way you see it.

The last piece of this puzzle would be to check out your search console. Go to Search Console and go to your ‘performance’ tab. Then check out the ‘Queries’ and ‘URL’ tabs under the graph.

Then cross reference this to your most popular pages. If these search terms match your pages, then you know your brand SEO is working. If not then again, time to review and see how you’d like to approach a more helpful content plan to match what searchers might be looking for.

This is how you can start to see your content and how you optimise it in the context of your brand. And this is how you can begin to think of your content as helping people rather than getting you more traffic.

BUT Andrew, I here you ask:

What type of content will always be exclusive to query-based search, and should we focus more or less on this type of content?

Well as always with these things it depends. If it’s content based on quick how-to’s then yes. Completely focus on queries. This is a transactional informational exchange that google is looking for and will reward sites bases on relevancy.

But if you are looking to go deeper on a subject and want to provide an experience that is unique to your brand and industry, then it’s best to focus on search topics for your top level pages, then answer questions within that topic area.

Special Content for online experiences.

Where you can stand out from competitors in 2020 with search and particularly for health and wellness brands, are special types of content and media that would be hard to replicate.

It’s thinking about the most useful thing and seeing if it can move from something transactional to something that is experiential.

And it’s time for you and your marketing teams to integrate and apply specialist skills to a wider context of:

  1. Content recommendation engines – Where you can aggregate content through the lens of your specialist knowledge. Let’s say you are a yoga-tech startup. How could you know or create better content than anyone else? Start to recommend apps or resources out there and use a filter to help out your potential customers. Find partners or a marketing person who could produce content like this in the context of your business.
  2. Social media algorithms – They change all the time and it’s very hard to keep up with search algorithms. But if the headlines are to be believed that organic traffic reach is down, you’ll need social content specialist who understand these changes and how your content can get the most bang for it’s buck!
  3. Ecommerce and cost saving tools – Now more than ever, people’s wallets will be thinner, so anything your brand can do to help people save money or buy a product or service that gives them better value for money, will definitely help. Not only this but the tedium of price comparison will be a trigger even for the heartiest of online shoppers. Help them out by having someone in your team that understands price in the health and wellness industry.
  4. Amazon’s search algorithms – Amazon is not going anywhere. If you have a product to sell. Especially if you are starting out in something like ‘athleisure’ you better bet your booty leggings, that your competitors will be on Amazon. Even if it’s a limited line and you use it as a traffic driver for the rest of your stock to your site, having someone on the team or an agency that get’s this will pay back ten fold.
  5. Smart devices, smart homes, and the internet of things – The connectivity and ubiquity of your devices will expand in the next 5 years. What you will be able to do with your Alexa and smart assistants across your devices to monitor, track and improve your health will seem like magic. And getting ahead of the game now, even if it’s producing an Alexa skill will undoubtedly set you apart, let alone fashion a niche and foothold in the market that a small percentage will be thinking of.
  6. Mobile apps – If you are in the fitness or nutrition game and don’t have an app, then ‘eep!’. This is a sure fire way to ring fence your content and make it special for your users. Search can’t get to it, social can’t get to it, and it’s a platform for you and your wonderful customers. The opportunities are endless once you have an audience who are bought in and using your knowledge as a tool on their phone. Have a team today who get’s mobile and apps.
  7. Augmented reality – Zombies Run! and Runner AR are just the start. The potential to apply AR and VR to health, fitness and wellness offerings is astounding. This is not something to be ahead in the market, but can genuinely help people in improving the their health. Medical, engineering, transport teams across the world are investing in Microsoft Hololens and similar tech to not only produce brilliant experiences, but are using the technology to move our understanding and application of health sciences to a new frontier. One that is full of possibilities and dare I say it…hope.

Hope you enjoyed this. If you did please share it.

Stay safe I love you.