Keyword research for medical device websites

Updated: Oct 29

Getting to the top of search engines is incredibly important for increasing your website's traffic and helping to achieve your business goals. That's where keywords come in. When done effectively, utilising keywords on your website can help you rank more highly on Google and other search engines so that more people see you. With 53% of website traffic coming from organic search, you stand to gain a lot from improving your rankings.

Keyword research

What is keyword research?

Keywords are often credited as the most crucial part of Search engine optimisation (you can visit our article 'How to make medical device websites rank' to find out more about SEO). They signal to search engines what a web page or blog post is about. Keyword research is the process of finding the keywords which are most appropriate for helping your website gain more traffic.

Why is keyword research important?

Compiling a list of the right keywords is vital because it can increase your chances of ranking highly on search engines and drive more traffic towards your website. For example, if you target keywords that you know are popular and frequently searched for, you will likely gain more traffic to your site.

Searching on search engines

The importance of knowing your audience

Keyword research is all about predicting what your potential customers will be searching for. Therefore, it is essential that you know your customers well. You need to be able to anticipate their needs by knowing their issues and challenges. Once you know what they will be searching for, you can create content that will appeal to them.

target audience

You've probably already undertaken market research to get to know your customers, but if not, now is a great time to do so. Arrange interviews with key opinion leaders and find out what their pain points are. Once you know what your customers need from you, you are much more able to cater to their needs – in this case, by creating content that answers a question or solves a problem for them.

How to create a keyword list

You may be wondering, 'where do I start?', but don't worry, we're here to tell you everything you need to know. Here's how we recommend doing your keyword research to ensure you have the keywords that are ideally suited to your website and will help you bring more traffic to your site.

1. Create a topic list

Nobody knows your business better than you. You know exactly what topics are relevant to what you do, and therefore you are the best person to create a list of what you think your customers might be searching for. At this stage, you are trying to put yourselves in the shoes of your customer, anticipating their needs. For example, if your customers are HCPs, you may anticipate searching for issues related to their speciality so you should include this in your initial topics list. It would be good to start with around ten topics that you can delve into in more detail. Some of these topics may not prove to be that fruitful down the line, but it is a good idea to start with lots of choices.

2. Compile different words related to your topic list

Once you have a list of topics you think would be relevant to your audience, you can fill out the topics with related words, this is known as your seed words list. At this point, try and think of as many words as you can to give you more choice when it comes to compiling your final list of keywords.

3. Use search engines to help you think of keywords

Search engine research is sometimes overlooked when it comes to keywords research – a lot of focus goes into the data behind keywords, but actually, search engines are your most reliable source of what is out there. Type your topics into Google and see what is returned. The 'People also ask' section can provide you with lots of potential ideas and the section at the bottom of the results page, which shows you different variations of the keyword. You can add all of these ideas to your list to check how well they perform.

Search engine optimisation

4. Check the data

Now that you've gathered an extensive list of keywords that you think may be suitable for your website, it's time to check the data. Several websites can help you to examine the data on keywords, but we like to use SEMrush.

Checking the data behind keywords can tell you how many monthly searches your chosen keywords are receiving, how competitive they are, the current content that is ranking for them and a lot of other helpful information. Start typing in the list that you have compiled and see what comes up. SEMrush has a handy Keyword Magic Tool, which shows you the data for other keywords related to your chosen keyword. From here, you can judge the data for yourself and compile your list of keywords.

How to choose the right keywords

When you start seeing the data for how much traffic keywords get from your list, you might be tempted to start adding all the keywords with lots of traffic to your list, but actually, that isn't always the best idea. When it comes to choosing your final keyword, there are some things that you need to consider in order to find the keywords that will work best for your business.

How well are you currently performing?

When undertaking keyword research, it would be helpful to understand how your website is currently performing. For instance, if you're already performing well for a particular keyword, you may want to focus your efforts around this keyword initially. You are likely to see success more quickly by doing this, rather than going after completely new keywords. Search engine optimisation takes time; it is not a quick fix.

website keyword performance

If you're already aware of how your website is performing on search engines, SEMrush can also help to give you an idea of this. Google Search Console is also highly recommended for this; you can check query data to see what people have been typing into Google to find your website.

Use both high-volume and low-volume keywords

Volume refers to how often a keyword is typed into search engines, usually determined by the average number of searches per month. You may be tempted to chase after high volume keywords that are popular amongst your audience, and whilst it is a good idea to strive towards ranking for these keywords, you will find that high volume also means increased competition. Because these keywords have so much traffic, other companies will also be going after them, making it harder for you to rank.

It is good to have a mixture of high-volume keywords as well as low-volume keywords.

Although low-volume keywords may not return as much traffic, they'll be much easier to rank for and will boost your traffic more quickly, although not by as much, Ranking for low-volume keywords will also help you rank for more high-volume keywords as your website gains authority. Think of high-volume keywords as your long-term goals and low-volume keywords as your short-term goals.

Ensure keywords are entirely relevant

Once again, you may want to target words that have a high search rate, but they may not be the best words to help your overall business goals. You need to ensure that all of your keywords are something that your customers would be searching for. If your keywords aren't relevant, you might be bringing in a lot of traffic, but they won’t be potential customers meaning you will not see many conversions and, therefore, won't be making any progress on achieving your business goals. As an example of this, if a company that sold surgical staples found that the keyword ‘circular staplers’ received more traffic than ‘surgical staplers’, they may decide to focus on ranking for ‘circular staplers’.

This is a good method, only if they sell circular staplers, otherwise, people may come across their website whilst looking for them and be disappointed not to find them, resulting in them clicking away. Although doing this might get the company more traffic if visitors are not then converting, what is the point?

Vary the length of keywords

The term 'keywords' doesn't refer to only words; it also encompasses phrases, generally up to five words, known as long-tail keywords. These differing types of keywords reveal different searcher intent, influencing the type of content you create. For instance, a HCP searching for anastomosis is likely to be looking for general information so that you could create overview content on that topic.

On the other hand, a searcher typing in a long-tail keyword such as 'tools for better anastomosis' clearly has a much more specific intent as they are looking for a medical device rather than for general information.

long tail keywords

Compiling a list containing both long tail and short tail keywords will help you target customers at different stages of their journey, from when they are just looking for more information to when they are open to investing in a medical device. You can tailor your content to match the intent, making your content more likely to rank.

How and where to use keywords

Once you have compiled your list of keywords, it is time to start implementing them on your website. Unfortunately, it is not quite as easy as trying to insert the keyword into your content as much as possible. Keywords should be strategically placed in order to avoid what is known as “keyword stuffing”.

Avoid keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is when a keyword is used too much within text that it becomes hard to read. Search engines will penalise websites for this because it doesn't create a good experience for users. Instead, you should naturally drop keywords into the text so that the flow isn't disturbed. Keywords only need to make up around 1-2% of all of your copy.

Vary the keyword

One way to avoid keyword stuffing is to use variations and synonyms of the keyword. You could use other related keywords as well. This will not only help you to avoid keyword stuffing, but it will also help you to signal to search engines what your content is about.

Use it whenever you can

You don't have to use keywords within just your main text; you can also incorporate them into other places. You should try and use them in the following places:

  • URLS

  • Alt-text (ensuring it is still descriptive of the image, as alt-text is what is read out to describe an image to the visually impaired)

  • Meta descriptions (meta descriptions are the short descriptions that appear underneath results on search engines)

  • In the names of any files that you upload to the website

  • Page titles (titles that are phrased as a question perform particularly well on search engines!)

  • Anchor text for links

Use keywords to unlock SEO!

As you can see, there is more to keywords than just adding a few words into the copy of your website that you think your customers might be searching for.

SEO keywords

There is theory and strategising involved to get the most out of your keywords. This article should help you get started on an SEO strategy, but feel free to get in touch with us if you would like the help of an agency to maximise your website's performance. You can also check out our article on website conversion, to learn how to convert all that traffic into paying customers!

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