Connect with us
Cloak And Track Your Affiliate Links With Our User-Friendly Link Cloaking Tool, Try It Free

SEO

18 Online Review Statistics Every Marketer Should Know

Published

on

18 Online Review Statistics Every Marketer Should Know

Online reviews are an unavoidable part of doing business in today’s digital age.

Every marketer worth their salt knows that online reputation is everything.

Whether you own or manage a small mom-and-pop restaurant, a computer software company, or a chain of coffee shops, your customers are likely to look for you online.

That means one of the first things they’ll do is look for online reviews about your business.

Of course, positive reviews help you to create a trusted brand, which people are more likely to purchase from. However, how you respond to negative reviews also says much about your business.

Why Online Reviews Are So Powerful

Yelp, Google Business Profile, TripAdvisor, and similar are a boon for consumers, giving them a platform to learn about businesses before patronizing them.

For business owners? Not so much.

It seems that no matter how hard you try, you’re bound to get that one bad review that could potentially overshadow all your glowing reviews.

Online reviews, however, are an unavoidable part of doing business online.

For millennials, reviews are empowering, helping them make an informed and thought-out purchase decision (useful when deciding if a restaurant’s $15 avocado toast is worth it).

If you still aren’t completely on board, here are online review statistics that may change your mind.

1. Positive & Negative Reviews Influence Consumers

According to a 2021 report by PowerReviews, over 99.9% of customers read reviews when they shop online.

Furthermore, 96% of customers look for negative reviews specifically. This figure was 85% back in 2018.

When people look for bad reviews, they’re interested in knowing some of the company’s weaknesses. Where could they improve? If the downfalls are minor, it makes the researcher feel assured.

A near-perfect rating is often viewed as less credible and leads to consumer skepticism if reviews are too positive.

2. Consumers Trust Reviews Like Recommendations From Loved Ones

BrightLocal’s local consumer survey shows that 49% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family members.

Screenshot from BrightLocal, January 2023

When you consider just how much we trust the people we love, it’s compelling to think that every 1 in 2 people trust online reviews as much.

However, the research reveals that some occasions cause consumers to suspect a review’s validity. So, you do need to be mindful of this.

Situations that can raise suspicion that a review may be fake include:

  • The review is overboard in its praise (45%)
  • The review is one of many reviews with similar content (40%)
  • The reviewer uses a common pseudonym or is anonymous (38%)
  • The review is overboard in negativity (36%)
  • The review is one of only a few positive amongst many negative reviews (32%)
  • The review contains hardly any text and is just a star rating (31%)

3. The More Reviews, The Better Reputation

The More Reviews, the BetterScreenshot from BrightLocal, January 2023

BrightLocal’s research also found that 60% of consumers feel that the number of reviews a business has is critical when reviewing and deciding whether to use its services.

Although this has dropped since 2020, it’s still a high figure, especially compared to 2019, 2018, and 2017.

4. Most Consumers Don’t Trust Advertising

While online reviews are seeing a rise in consumer trust, the same can’t be said for traditional advertising.

According to Performance Marketing World, 84% of millennials don’t trust conventional advertising.

If anything, this finding is a sign of the times. People are tired of ads being pushed on their faces, especially ads that belie the truth of the quality of the products and services they get from brands.

5. Shoppers Research Product Reviews On Their Phones – Outside Of Your Store

OuterBox recently revealed that every 8 in 10 shoppers use their smartphones to look up product reviews while they are in-store.

Before buying an item, shoppers will quickly search to see what other people have had to say about the product in question.

Some will compare prices, determining whether they can find the item elsewhere cheaper.

This statistic shows how the online and offline worlds are becoming increasingly integrated. If you don’t have a good online review presence, it can have a negative impact on the number of sales you make in-store.

6. Reviews Shared On Twitter Increase Social Commerce

Yotpo has revealed that reviews on social media platforms increase social commerce, especially on Twitter. You can see this displayed in the chart below:

Reviews Shared on Twitter Increase Social Commerce by More Than 6%Screenshot from Yotpo.com, January 2023

When we think of social media, we associate it with building brand awareness. However, it’s also effective for driving sales.

Shopify recently published a survey that revealed the average conversion rate for the social media websites represented in the graph above:

  • The average conversion rate for LinkedIn is 0.47%
  • The average conversion rate for Twitter is 0.77%
  • The average conversion rate for Facebook is 1.85%

Yotpo Data found that when reviews are shared on social platforms, the conversion rate is 5.3 times higher for LinkedIn, 8.4 times higher for Twitter, and 40 times higher for Facebook.

All these statistics show us that reviews are an incredibly powerful form of social proof that results in higher conversion levels across LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Furthermore, a lot of the eCommerce world is underestimating Twitter’s force.

7. Reviews Are Just As Important Among Jobseekers

If you thought consumers were the only ones concerned about reviews, think again.

Research published by Glassdoor indicates that 86% of employees and job seekers research reviews on a business and ratings to determine whether they should apply for a job.

Google Reviews on GlassdoorScreenshot from Glassdoor.com, January 2023

As competition for talent in certain industries gets tougher, companies will have no choice but to be more conscious about their employer brand if they wish to attract top talent.

8. 3.3 Stars Is The Minimum Rating Customers Accept

When deciding whether to engage with a business, it has been indicated that 3.3 stars out of 5 are the lowest rating customers are likely to consider.

If you have a lower rating than this, your business may be overlooked and lose valuable consumers to the competition.

It probably does not come as a shock to discover that only 13% of consumers will contemplate using a company with a rating of 2 stars or less.

9. Sustainability Is A Recurring Theme In Travel Reviews

The Expedia.com Travel Recovery Trend Report revealed that the environment and sustainability are two chief themes for online guest reviews.

Some of the terms most typically found in reviews include the following:

  • Renewable energy
  • LED light bulbs
  • Electric car charging
  • Single-use plastics
  • Recycling

Expedia believes that millennial and Gen-Z travelers are more likely to consider environmentally friendly travel options.

10. 18 – 34 Year Olds Trust Online Reviews as Much as Personal Recommendations

Research shows that 91% of 18 to 34-year-olds trust reviews online just as much as personal recommendations.

Let’s think about this for a second: we’re now trusting online comments just as much as we trust feedback from the people we know and love.

This shows how much high regard millennials and Gen Z give to online reviews.

11. Tiny Subject Line Changes Can Get More Reviews

When soliciting reviews, most businesses send an email post-purchase.

Yotpo studied the subject lines of 3.5 million of these post-purchase review request emails to discover what works and what doesn’t when asking customers for reviews.

While this is much more than a single statistic, here is a synopsis of the top subject line tweaks to get more reviews:

  • An emotional appeal doesn’t greatly impact the review response rates.
  • Include your store name to increase reviews.
  • Incentives inspire more reviews in every industry.
  • Ask a question in the subject line.
  • Exclamation points boost reviews for food and tobacco businesses!
  • Avoid using a totally uppercase word in your subject lines.

12. Reputation Management Software Pays For Itself

Podium released a very interesting report on online reviews, stating that 94% of local companies who utilize a reputation management tool make up for the cost with the ROI.

How your company appears online massively dictates what shows up in terms of your bottom line.

Because of this, companies are investing more in their reputations than ever before.

One way they do this is by investing in reputation management software. This gives them the ability to have clarity regarding how their business is reviewed online.

13. Customers Believe A Product Should Have 100+ Reviews

Power Reviews recently posted interesting statistics about the number of reviews shoppers want.

In a perfect world, 43% of consumers have indicated that they want to see more than 100 reviews for an item.

Take a look at the table below to see consumer expectations regarding review volume:

43% of Customers Believe a Product Should Have 100+ ReviewsScreenshot from PowerReviews.com, January 2023

Consumers indicate that a notably high volume of reviews can have a big, positive impact on their purchase likelihood.

Out of those surveyed, 64% indicated that they would be more likely to purchase an item if it had over 1,000 reviews than if it only had 100 reviews.

Furthermore, 54% are more likely to purchase an item if it has 10,000+ reviews compared to 1,000 reviews. So, more is always better when it comes to quantity.

14. Few Travelers Post Unsolicited Online Hotel Reviews

BrightLocal has also uncovered that 78% of travelers never post unsolicited online hotel reviews. This means you cannot simply rely on customers to post hotel reviews of their own free will. They need to be encouraged to do so.

Customers say that the main ways they have been asked to leave a review are as follows:

  • Via email (41%)
  • During the sale/in-person (35%)
  • When receiving an invoice or receipt (35%)
  • SMS text (27%)

You need to be mindful of how you approach customers when asking to leave a review. The last thing you want to do is come across as pushy. At the same time, you want to make customers feel compelled to post a comment.

Offering an incentive, such as a special discount or entry into a competition, is a good approach.

15. Consumers Are Becoming Increasingly Suspicious Of Facebook Reviews

While online consumers rely on reviews to make purchasing decisions, they’re also suspicious of fake reviews. In fact, 93% of Facebook account holders are suspicious of fake reviews on this social media platform.

Consumers Are Becoming Increasingly Suspicious Of Facebook ReviewsScreenshot from Brightlocal, January 2023

As you can see from the table, only 7% of users don’t feel at all suspicious about Facebook reviews.

Users also have low trust in Google, Yelp, and Amazon reviews.

16. Most Consumers Use Rating Filters

Did you know that 7 in 10 consumers utilize rating filters when looking for companies?

Out of all the different rating options, the most popular is to narrow down a search based on the rating it is, for example, to only show hotels with ratings of four stars or above.

This helps customers only view products, locations, and services that fall within their standards. No one wants to waste their time on things that don’t fit!

17. Customers Expect You To Respond To Negative Reviews Within 7 Days

When customers post negative reviews about a business, they expect a response. Not only this, but they don’t want to wait around for it.

Review Trackers have stated that 53% of customers expect companies to respond to negative feedback within one week.

One in three consumers has a shorter timeframe than this; three days or less.

Therefore, you really need to ensure you’re keeping up with the reviews you receive and responding appropriately.

18. Your Response To A Review Can Change How Customers View Your Business

Podium’s 2021 State of Reviews publication revealed that 56% of consumers had changed their perspective on a business based on how they responded to a review.

We know that it can make you feel sick to your stomach when you receive a bad review from a customer. However, this statistic shows that there is the potential to turn this into a positive.

If you respond empathetically and try to understand the customer, they will feel like you really care about them and the service they receive. You can turn an unsatisfied customer into a loyal one.

And, even if the consumer who has complained does not reply, the fact you’ve tried to rectify their grievance will show your business in a positive light when others read the review.

The Bottom Line On The Impact of Online Reviews

These statistics reveal one unavoidable truth: online reviews are important and are here to stay.

Simply put, online reviews are directly linked to consumer trust and creating social proof.

Rather than fear them, you should look at them as a way to get a direct line to your customers.

If you are yet to begin your efforts to manage your online reputation, now’s as good a time as any to get started by doing the following:

  • Educate your customers on the importance of leaving reviews, but make sure to communicate that these reviews will help you improve your business, which can only be a good thing for them.
  • Take charge of your brand on all review platforms. Respond to feedback and make sure complaints are managed in a timely and orderly fashion.
  • Claim your Google Business Profile to ensure that any information about your business on Google is accurate and updated.
  • Ask and encourage your customers to leave a review of your product or service.

More resources:

Featured Image: ParinPix/Shutterstock



Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

SEO

Google’s Indifference To Site Publishers Explained

Published

on

By

Google inadvertently reveals reasons that explain their seeming indifference to publishers hurt by algorithm updates

A publisher named Brandon Saltalamacchia interviewed Google’s SearchLiaison in which he offered hope that quality sites hit by Google’s algorithms may soon see their traffic levels bounce back. But that interview and a recent Google podcast reveal deeper issues that may explain why Google seems indifferent to publishers with every update.

Google Search Relations

Google has a team whose job is to communicate how site owners can do well on Google. So it’s not that Googlers themselves are indifferent to site publishers and creatives. Google provides a lot of feedback to publishers, especially through Google Search Console. The area in which Google is indifferent to publishers is directly in search at its most fundamental level.

Google’s algorithms are built on the premise that it has to provide a good user experience and is internally evaluated to that standard. This creates the situation where from Google’s perspective the algorithm is working the way it should. But from the perspective of website publishers Google’s ranking algorithms are failing. Putting a finger on why that’s happening is what this article is about.

Publishers Are Not Even An Afterthought To Google

The interview by Brandon Saltalamacchia comes against the background of many websites having lost traffic due to Google’s recent algorithm updates. From Google’s point of view their algorithms are working fine for users. But the steady feedback from website publishers is no, it’s not working. Google’s response for the past month is that they’re investigating how to improve.

What all of this reveals is that there is a real disconnect between how Google measures how their algorithms are working and how website publishers experience it in the real world. It may surprise most people to learn that that this disconnect begins with Google’s mission statement to make information “universally accessible and useful”  and ends with the rollout of an algorithm that is tested for metrics that take into account how users experience it but is 100% blind to how publishers experience it.

Some of the complaints about Google’s algorithms:

  • Ranking algorithms for reviews, travel and other topics are favoring big brands over smaller publishers.
  • Google’s decision to firehose traffic at Reddit contributes to the dismantling of the website publishing ecosystem.
  • AI Overviews summarizes web pages and deprives websites of search traffic.

The stated goal for Google’s algorithm decisions is to increase user satisfaction but the problem with that approach is that website publishers are left out of that equation.  Consider this: Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines says nothing about checking if big brands are dominating the search results. Zero.

Website publishers aren’t even an afterthought for Google. Publishers are not not considered at any stage of the creation, testing and rollout of ranking algorithms.

Google Historically Doesn’t Focus On Publishers

A remark by Gary Illyes in a recent Search Off The Record indicated that in Gary’s opinion Google is all about the user experience because if search is good for the user then that’ll trickle down to the publishers and will be good for them too.

In the context of Gary explaining whether Google will announce that something is broken in search, Gary emphasized that search relations is focused on the search users and not the publishers who may be suffering from whatever is broken.

John Mueller asked:

“So, is the focus more on what users would see or what site owners would see? Because, as a Search Relations team, we would focus more on site owners. But it sounds like you’re saying, for these issues, we would look at what users would experience.”

Gary Illyes answered:

“So it’s Search Relations, not Site Owners Relations, from Search perspective.”

Google’s Indifference To Publishers

Google’s focus on satisfying search users can in practice turn into indifference toward publishers.  If you read all the Google patents and research papers related to information retrieval (search technology) the one thing that becomes apparent is that the measure of success is always about the users. The impact to site publishers are consistently ignored. That’s why Google Search is perceived as indifferent to site publishers, because publishers have never been a part of the search satisfaction equation.

This is something that publishers and Google may not have wrapped their minds around just yet.

Later on, in the Search Off The Record  podcast, the Googlers specifically discuss how an update is deemed to be working well regardless if a (relatively) small amount of publishers are complaining that Google Search is broken, because what matters is if Google perceives that they are doing the right thing from Google’s perspective.

John said:

“…Sometimes we get feedback after big ranking updates, like core updates, where people are like, “Oh, everything is broken.”

At the 12:06 minute mark of the podcast Gary made light of that kind of feedback:

“Do we? We get feedback like that?”

Mueller responded:

“Well, yeah.”

Then Mueller completed his thought:

“I feel bad for them. I kind of understand that. I think those are the kind of situations where we would look at the examples and be like, “Oh, I see some sites are unhappy with this, but overall we’re doing the right thing from our perspective.”

And Gary responded:

“Right.”

And John asks:

“And then we wouldn’t see it as an issue, right?”

Gary affirmed that Google wouldn’t see it as an issue if a legit publisher loses traffic when overall the algorithm is working as they feel it should.

“Yeah.”

It is precisely that shrugging indifference that a website publisher, Brandon Saltalamacchia, is concerned about and discussed with SearchLiaison in a recent blog post.

Lots of Questions

SearchLiaison asked many questions about how Google could better support content creators, which is notable because Google has a long history of focusing on their user experience but seemingly not also considering what the impact on businesses with an online presence.

That’s a good sign from SearchLiaison but not entirely a surprise because unlike most Googlers, SearchLiaison (aka Danny Sullivan) has decades of experience as a publisher so he knows what it’s like on our side of the search box.

It will be interesting if SearchLiaison’s concern for publishers makes it back to Google in a more profound way so that there’s a better understanding that the Search Ecosystem is greater than Google’s users and encompasses website publishers, too. Algorithm updates should be about more than how they impact users, the updates should also be about how they impact publishers.

Hope For Sites That Lost Traffic

Perhaps the most important news from the interview is that SearchLiaison expressed that there may be changes coming over the next few months that will benefit the publishers who have lost rankings over the past few months of updates.

Brandon wrote:

“One main take away from my conversation with Danny is that he did say to hang on, to keep doing what we are doing and that he’s hopeful that those of us building great websites will see some signs of recovery over the coming months.”

Yet despite those promises from Danny, Brandon didn’t come away with hope.

Brandon wrote:

“I got the sense things won’t change fast, nor anytime soon. “

Read the entire interview:

A Brief Meeting With Google After The Apocalypse

Listen to the Search Off The Record Podcast

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Roman Samborskyi

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

20 Confirmed Facts About YouTube’s Algorithm

Published

on

By

20 Confirmed Facts About YouTube's Algorithm

Instead of counting the number of clicks or views a video gets, YouTube’s algorithms focus on ensuring viewers are happy with what they watch.

This article examines how YouTube’s algorithms work to help users find videos they like and keep them watching for longer.

We’ll explain how YouTube selects videos for different parts of its site, such as the home page and the “up next” suggestions.

We’ll also discuss what makes some videos appear more than others and how YouTube matches videos to each person’s interests.

By breaking this down, we hope to help marketers and YouTubers understand how to work better with YouTube’s system.

A summary of all facts is listed at the end.

Prioritizing Viewer Satisfaction

Early on, YouTube ranked videos based on watch time data, assuming longer view durations correlated with audience satisfaction.

However, they realized that total watch time alone was an incomplete measure, as viewers could still be left unsatisfied.

So, beginning in the early 2010s, YouTube prioritized viewer satisfaction metrics for ranking content across the site.

The algorithms consider signals like:

  • Survey responses directly asking viewers about their satisfaction with recommended videos.
  • Clicks on the “like,” “dislike,” or “not interested” buttons which indicate satisfaction.
  • Overall audience retention metrics like the percentage of videos viewed.
  • User behavior metrics, including what users have watched before (watch history) and what they watch after a video (watch next).

The recommendation algorithms continuously learn from user behavior patterns and explicit satisfaction inputs to identify the best videos to recommend.

How Videos Rank On The Homepage

The YouTube homepage curates and ranks a selection of videos a viewer will most likely watch.

The ranking factors include:

Performance Data

This covers metrics like click-through rates from impressions and average view duration. When shown on its homepages, YouTube uses these traditional viewer behavioral signals to gauge how compelling a video is for other viewers.

Personalized Relevance

Besides performance data, YouTube relies heavily on personalized relevance to customize the homepage feed for each viewer’s unique interests. This personalization is based on insights from their viewing history, subscriptions, and engagement patterns with specific topics or creators.

How YouTube Ranks Suggested Video Recommendations

The suggested videos column is designed to keep viewers engaged by identifying other videos relevant to what they’re currently watching and aligned with their interests.

The ranking factors include:

Video Co-Viewing

YouTube analyzes viewing patterns to understand which videos are frequently watched together or sequentially by the same audience segments. This allows them to recommend related content the viewer will likely watch next.

Topic/Category Matching

The algorithm looks for videos covering topics or categories similar to the video being watched currently to provide tightly relevant suggestions.

Personal Watch History

A viewer’s viewing patterns and history are a strong signal for suggesting videos they’ll likely want to watch again.

Channel Subscriptions

Videos from channels that viewers frequently watch and engage with are prioritized as suggestions to keep them connected to favored creators.

External Ranking Variables

YouTube has acknowledged the following external variables can impact video performance:

  • The overall popularity and competition level for different topics and content categories.
  • Shifting viewer behavior patterns and interest trends in what content they consume.
  • Seasonal effects can influence what types of videos people watch during different times of the year.

Being a small or emerging creator can also be a positive factor, as YouTube tries to get them discovered through recommendations.

The company says it closely monitors success rates for new creators and is working on further advancements like:

  • Leveraging advanced AI language models to better understand content topics and viewer interests.
  • Optimizing the discovery experience with improved layouts and content pathways to reduce “choice paralysis.”

Strategies For Creators

With viewer satisfaction as the overarching goal, this is how creators can maximize the potential of having their videos recommended:

  • Focus on creating content that drives high viewer satisfaction through strong audience retention, positive survey responses, likes/engagement, and low abandon rates.
  • Develop consistent series or sequel videos to increase chances of being suggested for related/sequence views.
  • Utilize playlists, end screens, and linked video prompts to connect your content for extended viewing sessions.
  • Explore creating content in newer formats, such as Shorts, live streams, or podcasts, that may align with changing viewer interests.
  • Monitor performance overall, specifically from your existing subscriber base as a baseline.
  • Don’t get discouraged by initial metrics. YouTube allows videos to continuously find relevant audience segments over time.
  • Pay attention to seasonality trends, competition, and evolving viewer interests, which can all impact recommendations.

In Summary – 20 Key Facts About YouTube’s Algorithm

  1. YouTube has multiple algorithms for different sections (homepage, suggested videos, search, etc.).
  2. The recommendation system powers the homepage and suggested video sections.
  3. The system pulls in videos that are relevant for each viewer.
  4. Maximizing viewer satisfaction is the top priority for rankings.
  5. YouTube uses survey responses, likes, dislikes, and “not interested” clicks to measure satisfaction.
  6. High audience retention percentages signal positive satisfaction.
  7. Homepage rankings combine performance data and personalized relevance.
  8. Performance is based on click-through rates and average view duration.
  9. Personalized relevance factors include watch history, interests, and subscriptions.
  10. Suggested videos prioritize content that is co-viewed by the same audiences.
  11. Videos from subscribed channels are prioritized for suggestions.
  12. Consistent series and sequential videos increase suggestions for related viewing.
  13. Playlists, end screens, and linked videos can extend viewing sessions.
  14. Creating engaging, satisfying content is the core strategy for recommendations.
  15. External factors like competition, trends, and seasonality impact recommendations.
  16. YouTube aims to help new/smaller creators get discovered through recommendations.
  17. AI language models are improving content understanding and personalization.
  18. YouTube optimizes the discovery experience to reduce “choice paralysis.”
  19. Videos can find audiences over time, even if initial metrics are discouraging.
  20. The algorithm focuses on delivering long-term, satisfying experiences for viewer retention.

Insight From Industry Experts

While putting together this article, I reached out to industry experts to ask about their take on YouTube’s algorithms and what’s currently working for them.

Greg Jarboe, the president and co-founder of SEO-PR and author of YouTube and Video Marketing, says:

“The goals of YouTube’s search and discovery system are twofold: to help viewers find the videos they want to watch, and to maximize long-term viewer engagement and satisfaction. So, to optimize your videos for discovery, you should write optimized titles, tags, and descriptions. This has been true since July 2011, when the YouTube Creator Playbook became available to the public for the first time.

However, YouTube changed its algorithm in October 2012 – replacing ‘view count’ with ‘watch time.’ That’s why you need to go beyond optimizing your video’s metadata. You also need to keep viewers watching with a variety of techniques. For starters, you need to create a compelling opening to your videos and then use effective editing techniques to maintain and build interest through the video.

There are other ranking factors, of course, but these are the two most important ones. I’ve used these video SEO best practices to help the Travel Magazine channel increase from just 1,510 to 8.7 million views. And these video SEO techniques help the SonoSite channel grow from 99,529 views to 22.7 million views.

The biggest recent trend is the advent of YouTube Shorts, which is discoverable on the YouTube homepage (in the new Shorts shelf), as well as across other parts of the app. For more details, read “Can YouTube Shorts Be Monetized? Spoiler Alert: Some Already Are!

Brie E. Anderson, an SEO and digital marketing consultant, says:

“In my experience, there are a few things that are really critical when it comes to optimizing for YouTube, most of which won’t be much of a surprise. The first is obviously the keyword you choose to target. It’s really hard to beat out really large and high authority channels, much like it is on Google. That being said, using tools like TubeBuddy can help you get a sense of the keywords you can compete for.

Another big thing is focusing on the SERP for YouTube Search. Your thumbnail has to be attention-grabbing – this is honestly what we test the most and one of the most impactful tests we run. More times than not, you’re looking at a large face, and max four words. But the amount of contrast happening in the thumbnail and how well it explains the topic of the video is the main concern.

Also, adding the ‘chapters’ timestamps can be really helpful. YouTube actually shows these in the SERP, as mentioned in this article.

Lastly, providing your own .srt file with captions can really help YouTube understand what your video is about.

Aside from actual on-video optimizations, I usually encourage people to write blog posts and embed their videos or, at the very least, link to them. This just helps with indexing and building some authority. It also increases the chance that the video will help YOUR SITE rank (as opposed to YouTube).”

Sources: YouTube’s Creator Insider Channel (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), How YouTube Works

More resources: 


Featured Image: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

SEO

7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

Published

on

7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

Healthcare SEO is the secret to helping your organization reach more patients and clients.

SEO can help you rank for useful keywords, connect with patients in your local area, and share helpful information and advice with thousands of people.

To write this guide to medical SEO, we interviewed five experienced healthcare SEOs and content creators. We asked them to share their best advice for helping healthcare businesses grow through effective, ethical SEO:

The core principles of SEO are the same for every type of company. You need to create high-quality content, earn backlinks, and make sure your site is free of technical problems.

But healthcare SEO has some unique challenges:

  • Popular keywords are dominated by huge international brands.
  • Many healthcare companies only serve a particular local area.
  • Google expects medical content to be reviewed by healthcare experts.
  • There can be strict rules and regulations governing how medical information is shared.
  • Healthcare companies often need to market simultaneously to patients, businesses, and clinicians.

In this article, we’ll show you how to solve these problems: from building .gov backlinks to medically reviewing your content.

Content creation is a core part of healthcare marketing, but most medical topics are what Google calls YMYL topics—Your Money or Your Life.

For any topic that “could significantly impact the health, financial stability, or safety of people”, Google tries to prioritize content that demonstrates obvious expertise, experience, authority, and trust (also known as EEAT).

In practice, that means that most top-ranking medical content is reviewed by medical experts. Here are some of the top results from the SERP (search engine results page) for osteoarthritis treatments.

Healthline lists the author bios and medical reviewers for each article:

7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

Cleveland Clinic includes a “medically reviewed” badge, and links to a list of editorial standards:

1721037365 874 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037365 874 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

WebMD highlights each post’s medical reviewer:

1721037365 579 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037365 579 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

And The Mayo Clinic links to their huge list of medical editors:

1721037365 658 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037365 658 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

Medical review is so common across health-related SERPs that Caitlin adopted a simple rule for her content creation process: get every article medically reviewed—even a topic like drinking water to lose weight.

If creating hundreds of articles and subjecting them to rigorous medical review sounds complicated, well… it can be. Here’s how the experts handle it:

Create content with non-experts

You might think that all medical content needs to be written by medical experts, but after talking to our experts, most articles were created by writers with no medical qualifications—or even generated with AI.

For many medical topics, it’s easy to find objective, accurate information. Add in a few interviews with healthcare professionals—as Sarah asks her team of freelance writers to do—and properly cite medical references, and non-experts can write decent SEO content.

For more research-heavy or cutting-edge topics, it’s necessary to do deeper research and work with specialized medical writers. Here’s how Caitlin tackled this process, dividing her content into two “buckets”:

  • Common knowledge topics (~70% of all articles): for topics with lots of existing information, Caitlin worked with the content marketing agency Verblio. In a similar vein, Geoff uses AI to write straightforward first drafts.
  • Cutting-edge topics (~30% of all articles): for topics that required heavy research (like the impact of CBD oil on anxiety), Caitlin worked with a specialized medical writer from the agency Writing Studio. When writing about ozempic, Sarah sought feedback from four separate professionals.

Source expert medical reviewers

The SEOs I interviewed sourced their medical reviewers in two different ways:

  • In-house experts: Sarah at Hinge Health had content reviewed by “in-house, member-facing employees”, a mixture of physical therapists, medical reviewers and clinical reviewers depending on the topic.
  • Freelancers: Without the luxury of in-house experts, Caitlin built a network of freelance doctors on Upwork. These were generally fully licensed doctors and medical professionals, half from within the United States and half from other countries.

In all cases, Caitlin notes, it’s important to ask your medical reviewers to check their indemnity insurance. In most countries, clinicians are accountable to medical regulators. Once they put their byline on an article, they are responsible for the advice it offers.

Review for medical accuracy

Medical reviewers should vet your content for accuracy and suggest edits where needed. That often means:

  • Flagging errors and misinformation (like incorrect medical terminology).
  • Adding extra context and information (like extra details about symptoms or treatments).
  • Softening language (avoiding phrases like “best treatment” or “guaranteed to work”).

Caitlin’s workflow looks like this:

1721037365 0 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037365 0 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

Learn more about Caitlin’s process in our article, 7 Content Automations used by Real Content Pros.

Publish with clear author and reviewer attribution

It’s crucial to make the medical review as obvious to readers and search engines as possible. Here’s a great example from Caitlin’s previous company, HealthMatch:

1721037365 921 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037365 921 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

And another from Sarah’s company, Hinge Health:

1721037366 532 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037366 532 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

These examples highlight three best practices:

  • Include a clear, obvious reviewer bio on every article, including their photograph, name, qualifications, and even their area of medical speciality.
  • Link to a dedicated reviewer page, showing the author’s credentials and past experience, and linking to other relevant bylines on the web.
  • Use relevant schema data for the authors and reviewers (but more on that later).

Everyone I interviewed shared the same core challenge: medical SEO is dominated by a handful of internationally recognized brands, like Cleveland Clinic, Healthline, WebMD, NHS, and Mayo Clinic.

With strong link profiles and brand recognition, these companies generally dominate most healthcare SERPs.

1721037366 268 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037366 268 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros
A 92 DR score means these companies can be very difficult to compete against in the search results.

To work around this constraint, everyone I interviewed chose to focus on low-competition long-tail keywords, before gradually targeting more competitive terms as they started to see results.

You can find these terms easily with Ahrefs. To start, here’s a short-tail keyword, headache, with 121,000 monthly searches and a “Super hard” keyword difficulty:

1721037366 755 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037366 755 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

A top-three ranking would be out of reach for most companies, but we can use the Related terms report in Keywords Explorer to find less competitive variations that might be worth targeting.

Here, we’ve set the keyword difficulty to a maximum of 40, and surfaced 976 keywords:

1721037366 398 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037366 398 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

To stand an even better chance of ranking, we can also filter our results with the Lowest DR filter. In the screenshot below, we’ve limited our search solely to keywords that already have low DR websites (in this case,

In other words, these are all keywords a fledgling website would have an excellent chance of ranking for:

1721037366 757 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037366 757 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

The topic cluster framework is a way to organize and link between related articles on a website. It makes it easy for both visitors and search engines to easily navigate between related content—other relevant articles are only a single click away.

Caitlin explained that healthcare is “natively suited” to the topic clustering technique. Every medical condition generally has a similar set of patient questions associated with it, making it easy to use similar content templates for many different medical conditions.

Geoff shared a framework he commonly uses with his healthcare clients. For most medical conditions, you can usually group your content into three topic clusters: pre-intervention, intra-intervention, and post-intervention:

1721037366 786 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037366 786 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

Pre-intervention

These are questions people ask before treatment or surgery:

  • Diagnosis: do I need a hip replacement
  • Treatment options: which method of hip replacement is the best?
  • Cost: how much does a hip replacement cost
  • Images: hip replacement surgery pictures
  • Outcomes: how long does a hip replacement last

Intra-intervention

These are questions people ask about the treatment or surgery itself:

  • Anesthesia: are you awake during hip replacement surgery
  • Duration: how long does hip replacement surgery take

Post-intervention

These are questions people ask after having treatment:

  • Recovery period: how long to recover from hip replacement
  • Anxieties: what are the symptoms of nerve damage after hip replacement
  • “Can I do X”: how long after hip replacement can you drive

You can use Ahrefs to research these topic clusters.

Start by entering a medical condition or topic into Keywords Explorer. Click the Matching terms report to see similar keywords, and then Questions to find related keywords in the form of, you guessed it, questions:

1721037366 33 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037366 33 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

Here, we’re looking at hip replacement.

With this process, we’ve already found 5,163 keywords relating to hip replacements, like how long does a hip replacement last and how long after hip replacement can i tie my shoes:

1721037366 356 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037366 356 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

You can click Clusters by Parent Topic to group these keywords together into clusters, groups of keywords that can likely be targeted by the same article. Now we’ve refined our list of potential articles from 5,000 down to 270:

1721037367 63 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037367 63 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

Backlinks are a core component of effective SEO—and that remains true in healthcare SEO.

If the idea of doing “shady” outreach for a healthcare company gives you shivers, don’t worry: healthcare companies have unique strengths that make it relatively easy to build great backlinks.

Many healthcare companies have strong relationships with government bodies, charitable organizations, and educational institutions, making it possible to earn links from high-DR .gov and .edu domains.

Despina shared the example of HammondCare, an Australian aged care provider. A quick look at their backlink profile reveals 33 referring .gov domains:

1721037367 159 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037367 159 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

They’ve also snagged 24 referring .edu domains:

1721037367 559 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037367 559 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

Looking at their backlink profile as a whole, we can identify several easy-to-replicate strategies suitable for all types of healthcare companies:

As Despina pointed out, most healthcare providers are already sitting on a small goldmine of interesting research and accomplishments. Link building can be as simple as asking: what have we already done that we can use to get links?

Many healthcare organizations are local businesses with bricks-and-mortar premises. The process of attracting interest in a specific area is known as local SEO (and we have a full guide here: Local SEO: The Complete Guide).

There are three local SEO strategies that are particularly crucial for healthcare companies: optimizing your Google My Business profile, building NAP citations in healthcare directories, and building local landing pages.

Optimize your Google My Business profile

Most local searches include a “map pack”, a collection of top local business listings in your area. To stand a chance of appearing in these results, you’ll need to claim and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) profile.

1721037367 811 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037367 811 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

Once you’ve claimed your profile (head to https://www.google.com/business/ and click “Manage now”), you’ll need to fill out as much relevant information as possible:

  • Business or practice name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Website
  • Business type (the more specific, the better: orthopedic surgeon is better than surgeon or doctor)
  • Hours of operation
  • Medical services offered
  • Photos of your practice and team

Depending on the nature of your healthcare organization, there may be other types of information you can share. Here’s the GMB profile for The Royal London Hospital, complete with hospital-specific profile information, like number of beds and parent organization:

1721037367 973 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037367 973 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

For a detailed walkthrough of setting up your GMB profile, read our guide: How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing in 30 Minutes.

Be careful when asking for reviews

Earning and responding to reviews is a key part of managing your Google My Business Profile… but there’s a catch for healthcare companies.

In many countries, there are strict rules and regulations dictating how healthcare providers can (or cannot) solicit reviews from patients.

So before you hand out a hundred feedback leaflets to your patients, read up on laws and regulations (like HIPPA) in your location.

Build NAP citations and submit your company to healthcare directories

NAP citations refer to mentions of your organization on relevant third-party websites (including your organization’s name, address, and phone number—hence NAP).

These citations create more ways for potential customers to find you, and they can help improve your site’s overall search performance.

1721037367 143 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037367 143 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

As a starting point, get your healthcare company listed with the main data aggregators (sites that provide business listings to popular directories), like Data Axle, Localeze, and Foursquare.

It’s also worth getting listed on other popular websites like Apple Maps, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Bing Places, and Facebook.

Geoff shared some of the UK-specific medical directories he sees most often in local healthcare search results (in many cases, these directories have international versions too):

You can learn more about building NAP citations in our guide: How to Build Local Citations (Complete Guide).

Tip

You can use the Link Intersect report in Ahrefs to quickly find relevant medical directories. Enter the homepages for similar healthcare organizations and hit “Show link opportunities.” You’ll see a list of websites that link to some—or all—of these competitors.

Here I’ve run the report using three private hospitals from my local area:

1721037367 206 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037367 206 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

Based on this result, I’d immediately try to secure a link from the CQC (the UK’s independent healthcare regulator) and Doctify (a review and feedback platform specifically for the healthcare industry).

Create locations and services pages

Despina recommends that most healthcare organizations create location landing pages: web pages that tell visitors (and Google) where your business operates.

Here’s an example from my local sports physiotherapy clinic. For each of the major locations they serve, they’ve created a dedicated website page.

Here’s one focused on the town of Aylesbury, helping them to rank for keywords like “physiotherapy aylesbury”:

1721037368 654 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037368 654 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

To create great location pages, Despina shares her advice:

  • Use a localized URL structure, like website.com/service/location.
  • Localize your page’s title tags and page header, like Aylesbury Sport Physiotherapy | Elite Sports Expertise.
  • Include sign-up buttons and contact forms near the start of the page (“above the fold”).
  • Showcase social proof, reviews and images.
  • Link between your location pages to help visitors find the best location for their needs (and improve your chances of ranking for location-specific keywords).
1721037368 671 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037368 671 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

Read Despina’s deep-dive into location landing pages: Location Landing Pages: 6 Crucial Elements Of Local Visibility.

Schema markup is a type of code that allows search engines to better understand the contents of your page. Schema markup can sometimes make your page eligible for rich results, which can help you earn more clicks from search.

Schema markup is particularly important for local businesses. After searching for family practice physician near me, the top spot in the search results is taken up by a local pack SERP feature:

1721037368 398 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037368 398 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

One of the top results is using Physician schema markup—a specific schema type designed to tell Google that the author is a doctor:

1721037368 969 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037368 969 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

Here’s the top result for private hospital near me using another type of medical schema markup, Hospital:

1721037368 442 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037368 442 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

Schema.org also lists a few other medical-specific schema types, like MedicalCondition (for information about specific medical conditions), Drug (for information about a medical drug), and MedicalWebPage (for webpages about specific medical topics).

Here’s the NHS using the MedicalWebPage schema on their #2 ranking article about hip replacement:

1721037368 31 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037368 31 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

(Although the #1 ranking article from Johns Hopkins doesn’t use any schema—so although it’s useful, using relevant medical schema is obviously not essential for good search performance.)

The healthcare industry has largely relied on self-regulation to prevent the spread of inaccurate content and misinformation, but this is changing.

We’ve already covered Google’s increasing emphasis on EEAT in search content. In a similar vein, Virginia shared that YouTube (also owned by Google) has started to verify content from medical professionals:

1721037368 766 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037368 766 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros
Medical video content with a “From a licensed doctor in the UK” banner.

They promote this content more heavily through their “Health shelf” feature. Here’s the YouTube results page for asthma, prominently highlighting videos “From health sources”:

1721037368 519 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros1721037368 519 7 Strategies From Medical SEO Pros

As YouTube explains, to be eligible for these enriched search features (and likely earn more clicks and views), content needs to be from “credible health sources”. These sources are vetted in different ways:

“Vetting mechanisms include accreditation, academic journal indexing and government accountability rules.”

Virginia recommends healthcare companies apply for PIF TICK certification. Created by the Patient Information Forum, the PIF TICK is the only independently assessed standard for both print and digital healthcare content creators.

While it won’t guarantee improved rankings through either Google Search or YouTube search, it seems like a smart proactive move given Google’s increased emphasis on EEAT content in healthcare.

Final thoughts

Healthcare SEO is competitive and involves solving unique challenges, like medical review of content, competing with industry giants, and staying compliant with tons of regulations.

This guide should arm you with everything you need to connect with patients and clients and grow your healthcare business—while making the world a little smarter (and healthier) in the process.

Want to ask a question? Connect with me on LinkedIn or X.



Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending