SEO Medical Webpage Copywriting: SEO medical web copywriting requires knowledge of webpage SEO (Search Engine Optimization), original content copywriting, and knowledge of medicine, dentistry, healthcare and scientific research. 3MD (Media Marketing MD) is a physician owned and operated medical, dental, and healthcare website development company that specializes in search engine optimization and cross channel Internet marketing.
Medical Webpage Outline
- Topic: Medical Web Copywriting
- Author: James L. Rothschiller, MD
- To: Medical Web Copywriters
- Re: Due to the rapid growth in our client base, we are searching for freelance writers (1099) to contribute original medical/dental/healthcare content for web-based publishing.
- Project Description: We ask that you merge two or more scraped (web copied) web documents into one document of original content for that webpage. Websites are penalized if they have plagiarized content. You are merging material that will only be scanned by your reader. This writing is mainly for search engine crawling and indexing so the website is found easily by searchers. Please follow the guidelines below and run it through a MS Word spelling and grammar check prior to submitting the webpage for uploading to the website.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
The objective of website Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is for a website to achieve top of the page search engine placement (Google Ranking) for relevant keywords or keyword phrases.
Medical web copywriting involves a mindset of creating an outline architecture (broken down by keyword topics) for “scanners”, unlike the journalist writing technique for “readers”. People tend to “scan” rather than “read” the Web. Thus, scannable web pages will engage people and keep them from leaving your site. Similarly, search engines (Google, Bing, Ask) use web crawlers (spiders, robots) to scan website pages in a methodical and automated manner as a means of providing up-to-date data, to build an index, monitor websites for content change and search for copyright infringements. Essentially, web crawlers are algorithmic computer programs that “read” and adjudicate the “quality” of material. Content written in an outline architecture assists in implementing efficient web crawling, thus, making your website content readily accessible for keyword searches.
Instructions for Medical Web Copywriting
Keywords: Keyword or keyword phrases can be discovered by “Googling: the main keywords. Use the keywords in titles, headings and first and last sentences of paragraphs. If the medical keyword is complex like “larynx”, add in parenthesis the common term “larynx (voice box)” or visa versa “voice box (larynx)”.
Meta Description: It should be a shortened version of the first sentence and it contains between 125 and 156 characters.
First Sentence on the Webpage: The first sentence must contain the words in the TITLE and be a summary of the page that contains the title, meta description and keywords. The following sentences in the paragraph should state the doctors’ names, clinic or organization and that they specialize in these keywords. The first sentence gives away the punch line for the page…exactly what Google wants.
I made changes in red for SEO. The first sentence I usually rewrite to contain the identical phrase as the title, ~ 150 characters in length and filled with keywords. This is the meta description for Google.
Headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.): H1 is the title, H2 can be used twice, H3 can be used thrice, etc. H2 Must contain the words in the TITLE. Use your judgement when selecting headings based on the flow of information. Not all of the listed headings are relevant. Avoid Headings that ask questions.
Paragraphs: Do not double space between sentences. Avoid essay like paragraphs, people are scanning the webpage looking for clues on what to read. If the sentences lack heavy content they pass it over.
Lists: Try to include lists. The algorithm likes to crawl and index data in this manner.
References/External Links: Reference a page on another leading website that is not a local competitor. Select the same-specialty specific website, for example ENT website should have link to the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery
Internal Link Sentence: Add a sentence that has keywords linking to where they should read next. The objective is to keep them on your site longer (eg. Learn more about “hyperlinked” keyword).
Last Sentence on the Webpage: Should contain keywords in a “call-to-action” statement with a link to the action (Contact Us page), It should also contain a keyword for that page. Eg: Please contact (“hyperlinked” Dr Smith at the ENT Center) or call 972-999-9999 for more information about (“hyperlinked” keyword).
The following is the outline format for submitting a webpage to 3MD for uploading.
- Meta Description:
- Title: _________________ (H1)
- First Sentence/Summary Paragraph:
- Diagnosing ____________ (H2)
- Anatomy and Pathology of ___________(H3)
- Types of ______________(H3)
- Symptom of ___________(H3)
- Causes of ______________ (H4)
- Related Conditions of _______________ (H5)
- Treatment for ___________________ (H2)
- Nonsurgical treatment for _______________ (H3)
- Surgery for _____________ (H3)
- Home Remedies of ________________ (H4)
- References/External Links: (H5)
- Internal Link Sentence:
- Last Sentence on the Webpage:
Example of a Medical Web Copywriting
Keywords: vocal cord, disorders, dysfunction, nodules paralysis, cancer, surgery
Meta Description: Vocal Cord Disorders occurs when the vocal cords in the larynx (voice box) do not function correctly due to vocal nodules, polyps, laryngitis, vocal cord paralysis, and vocal cord dysfunction (VCD).
Title: Vocal Cord Disorders
First Sentence/Summary Paragraph: Vocal Cord Disorders occur when the vocal cords in the larynx (voice box) do not function correctly due to vocal nodules, polyps, laryngitis, vocal cord paralysis, and vocal cord dysfunction (VCD). The Fort Worth ENT otolaryngologists specialize in vocal cord disorders and are the official ear, nose, and throat physicians of the Fort Worth Opera.
H2: Symptoms of Vocal Cord Disorders
Diagnosing Vocal Cord Disorders
Anatomy and Pathology of Vocal Cord Disorders
Types of Vocal Cord Disorders
Symptom of Vocal Cord Disorders
Causes of Vocal Cord Disorders
Related Conditions of Vocal Cord Disorders
Treatment for Vocal Cord Disorders
Nonsurgical treatment for Vocal Cord Disorders
Surgery for Vocal Cord Disorders
Home Remedies of Vocal Cord Disorders
References/External Links: For more information see the Academy of Otolaryngology
Internal Link Sentence: Learn more about vocal cord disorders, dysfunction, nodules paralysis, cancer, and surgery.
Last Sentence on the Webpage: If you are diagnosed with vocal cord dysfunction, treatment to prevent or control the disorder will involve speech therapy and breathing techniques to train your throat muscles to relax. You may need several appointments with a speech language pathologist to learn the speech therapy techniques.
If you have any issues with voice changes or vocal cords disorder, please call our office at 817-XXX-XXXX to set up an appointment or submit an online appointment request.
Tips for SEO Medical Web Copywriting
Do not CAPITALIZE all of the letters in a word, it is considered yelling.
SEO Acronyms, Abbreviations, Initialisms and Apostrophes
- When writing for the web, assume that no one knows the meaning of acronyms and abbreviations. The first time you use acronyms and abbreviations (ANA), it should be spelled out followed with the ANA in parentheses. After that, one can use the ANA throughout the text.
- Do not place periods in acronyms and abbreviations (A.N.A., ANA)
- Internet influence on our dialect and grammar: Avoid all periods, hyphens, dashes, etc., because they take up bandwidth
- Learn more about SEO Acronyms, Abbreviations, Initialisms and Apostrophes
Headings (H1, H2, H3, H4)
- Use headings to organize content and show its structure
- Write meaningful headings and begin headings with keywords
- Headings should be bolded, do not indent
- Use headings to announce the content that follows
- Left-align headings and body text
- Add keywords to your headings. Eg. Treatment for Asthma in Children
- You may use phrases, but do not copy word-for-word paragraphs
- Keyword phrases: use in the first and last paragraph
- Use keywords your users will understand along with the medical term. Eg. cross-eye (strabismus)
- Write short, single-topic paragraphs
- Try to introduce the topic in the first sentence
- Consider reader’s tasks and expectations when structuring content
- Usually, put the most important or frequently used content first
- Group like items and separate those that aren’t alike
- Avoid wordiness; write for scanners, not readers on the first page
- Keywords: Highlight in bold 1-2 keywords per paragraph
- Avoid overuse of stop words (a, the); search engines ignore two-letter words and common words
- Bold, italic and underline text tells the robots that this text is important
- Use “call to action” words: ”Request an appointment” or “VIDEO”
- No spaces on lists
- Boldface the Keyword, capitalize the first word, don’t use a period at the end
- Use lists to highlight key information.
- Eg: Esotropia: Esotropia is a form of strabismus, or “squint,” in which one or both eyes turns inward.
- Please reorder and reword lists from the original content that was merged
- Include keywords, the simple word and medical term. Eg. cross-eye (strabismus)
- Write each item in the same style, and avoid repeating the same word at the start
- Use numbered lists only when the sequence is important – indicate this to me in [number list]
Links (Info for project managers)
- Links embedded in content
- Minimize links leaving your website
- Best to link to a summary on another page and then link off your website
- Don’t link just because you can. Use links that are directly relevant to the user’s task
- Anchor text is words or phrases that hyperlink to another page. Effective anchor text concisely describes the destination page.
Table and Graphics
- Use tables or graphics where appropriate
- Tables and graphics can make content faster to use, easier to understand
- Send copies of the .eps or largest jpeg and include instructions and label
- Send the link to the graphics if it is on the web, we will take an image of the graphics to remove the embedded code
- Search engines can’t read images and video, they hate animation, send text that describes the content on images and video
Adding Pages to a website:
When adding a page to a website, include the following criteria:
- Title: Contains at 1-4 keywords and the length is between 50 and 70 characters. Eg: Glaucoma (Intraocular High Pressure)
- Meta Description: It should be a shortened version of the first sentence and it contains between 125 and 156 characters.
- First Sentence: This must be a summary of the page and contain the keywords. It should be longer than the meta description. It should precede everything on the page.
- Keywords: List the main keywords. They should be in the first sentence, main title, meta description, and each paragraph.
- Headings: Should accompany most paragraphs and contain the main keyword. The paragraph’s keyword(s) should be in each heading. Eg: Treatment for Glaucoma
- Ending Sentence: Should contain a “call-to-action” statement with a link to the action (Contact Us page), It should also contain a keyword for that page. Example: For more information about ___________ (keyword), please submit an online appointment request or contact the ____________ (client) office at 972-999-9999 (use the 2-dash).
- Test your data: Please test your data on this page. http://www.seomofo.com/snippet-optimizer.html
- Print or PDFs: Use a font that is available across all platforms: computers, mobile devices and the different browsers e.g. Arial, Verdana or Sans Serif. This can be detected with ocular character recognition (OCR) by electronic scanners, which allows conversion of the PDF into the correct text.
Okay, so I’m no English major, but I am a content marketer — attention to grammatical detail is something very near and dear to my heart.
The more time I’ve spent in this role, the more I notice little errors in things like text messages, IMs, and birthday cards. This could either be seen as a good thing … or incredibly stressful to anyone who has to communicate with me non-verbally. (Sorry guys. I can’t help it!)
I’ve become the go-to person for proofreading other people’s content before it goes live, and as a result, I have started to notice a few of the same mistakes cropping up time and time again.So, I decided to write this post with the hope of calling attention to those common errors.
And if these grammatical faux pas aren’t enough — there’s actually another post by my colleague Ginny Soskey that details several other common mistakes. Just in case you want to nerd out a bit more.
Note: I know, I know, not all of these are “grammar” mistakes. But I’m taking a pretty liberal definition of “grammar” in this post — including spelling, usage, punctuation, and the like.
1) The Apostrophe Catastrophe
The two most common misuses of the apostrophe are:
The apostrophe is often used as a contraction. For example, “I can’t figure this out.” The apostrophe here is used to omit the word “not” so that “cannot” becomes “can’t.” The same can be used for “don’t” (do not), “they’re” (they are), etc.
The second most common use of the apostrophe is to indicate possession. For example, “That is John’s car.” The car belongs to John. Without using the apostrophe in this case, you are pluralizing John, meaning there’s more than one John in your sentence. And then the sentence just doesn’t make sense anyway.
A common point of confusion for both of these apostrophe use cases is the word “it’s.” The possessive form of “it” can cause all kinds of confusion, as it doesn’t conform to the above rule.
For example, “The elephant is known for its memory” is a correct use of the word “its” — even though one might think there should be an apostrophe after the “t” since the elephant “possesses” the memory. A simple way to remember the right one to use is to ask if the word can be separated into two words — “it is” or “it has.” If it can, use an apostrophe.
2) That Tricky Little Comma
There are many uses of the comma, but for simplicity, I’m only going to cover the most frequent errors I spot.
To Separate Elements in a Series
I went to the shop to buy apples carrots bread and milk.
That sounds insane, right? That’s because each element in the series should be separated by a comma.
I went to the shop to buy apples, carrots, bread, and milk.
Ahhh, much better. That last comma, by the way, is optional. It’s called an “Oxford comma,” but whether you use it depends on your own internal style guide.
To Separate Independent Clauses
An independent clause is a sentence that can stand on its own, so when in doubt whether a comma needs to be in the sentence, take the second part of the sentence and ask yourself if it would make a full sentence on its own. If it does, add a comma. If it doesn’t, leave it out.
To Separate an Introductory Word or Phrase
At the beginning of a sentence, we often add an introductory word or phrase that requires a subsequent comma. For example, “In the beginning, I had no idea how to use a comma.” Or, “However, after reading an awesome blog post, I understand the difference.”
There are plenty more use cases for the comma, which is really well documented in this blog post from Daily Writing Tips, which I follow and highly recommend for content marketers.
3) Semicolons and Colons
If you only semi-understand when to use these punctuation marks, here’s a quick explanation to keep in your back pocket.
Semicolons help writers connect two independent clauses that, though they could stand on their own, are closely related and should remain in the same sentence. For example, “It’s her birthday; a party is inevitable!” Notice that each clause could be its own sentence — but stylistically, it makes more sense for them to be joined. (Note: If the first clause contains a coordinating conjunction — “and,” “or,” or “but” — use a comma instead.)
They may also be used to separate items in a list when those items contain commas themselves.
Colons should be used to introduce or define something. For example, we used one in our blog post title, “The ABCs of Content Marketing: A Glossary of Terms.” Before the colon we give you the title of the post, and after the colon we define what the post is.
You may also use a colon before a list, or when preceded by a clause that can stand on its own. For instance, one might write:
- A blog post
- An ebook
- A novel
And here’s the thing about writing a blog post, ebook, or novel: Your business will benefit as much as your personal brand.
See what I did there? Note that because what follows the colon can stand alone as its own sentence, the first word is capitalized.
4) “Fewer” Versus “Less”
This one drives my colleague Pamela Vaughan up a wall.
You know that show 10 Items or Less? That’s actually incorrect. It should be 10 Items or Fewer, because the object is quantifiable — you can count out ten items. You use “less” when the object is not quantifiable.
If you’re ever unsure whether you should use “less” or “fewer,” ask yourself if you could attach a number to the word. For instance, it makes as much sense to say “He has ten beans,” as “He has fewer beans.” That’s because you can quantify beans. But it doesn’t make sense to say “He has ten angst.” You can’t quantify angst. Thus, you’d say “He has less angst.”
5) “Should Have” Versus “Should Of”
This one seems obvious when written out — particularly in the context of a grammar post — but alas, people get it wrong all the time. The confusion stems from the way we all slur our words together, so in an age of more colloquial writing, I understand why people make this mistake.
Always write “should have” or “should’ve.” That contraction — “should’ve” — is why writers get confused. It sounds a heck of a lot like “should of,” and people probably started writing it without even considering the contraction “should’ve.” But now that you know, it’s a mistake that’s easy to correct.
6) “Couldn’t Care Less” Versus “Could Care Less”
This is another one that seems so obvious when you think about it — but hey, I guess people aren’t really thinking about it when they say it. There’s a scenario in which each phrase makes sense; the problem is, people don’t use the right phrase for the right scenario. Let’s walk through a scenario together to clarify the right usage of these phrases.
Scenario: Bill asks Bonnie on a date, and Bonnie turns him down. Annoyed, he flippantly tells his friend, “Pshh. Whatever … I could care less.”
This is the incorrect usage of the phrase. Why? Because context clues tell us Bill is trying to save face and pretend he doesn’t care about Bonnie. But this phrase, “I could care less,” indicates that he does care a little bit.
He should’ve said, “I couldn’t care less” to demonstrate he has no care left to give.
If you commonly get confused with this phrase, follow the advice of my fourth grade teacher: If in doubt, leave it out.
7) i.e. and e.g.
i.e. and e.g. are both abbreviations for Latin terms. i.e. stands for id est and is translated to mean “that is.” E.g. stands for exempli gratia, which means “for example.”
A great trick I learned for remembering the difference between the two of these came fromGrammar Girl’s blog. She teaches us to remember that i.e. means “in other words” (both start with i), and e.g. means “for example” (example starts with e).
8) Beginning sentences with coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or or)
I will admit it might be disconcerting to your audience. But, occasionally beginning sentences with coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or or) allows you more flexibility and control over the tone of your writing, and allows more variety. So as long as you know how to avoid accidental sentence fragments.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage (or MWDEU) says, “Everybody agrees that it’s all right to begin a sentence with and,” and notes that you can find examples of it all the way back to Old English. However, MWDEU also observes that “nearly everybody admits to having been taught at some past time that the practice was wrong.”