Health SEO content explained

Why bother with content marketing in 2024?

Healthcare SEO content covers all written content generated to improve a website’s ranking. SEO content includes website content, blogs and articles, as well as technical content, including page titles and meta tags. In 2024, health brands that want to engage their audience need to get serious about SEO content – and we can help.

Every day, millions of pages are published online (with most of it being junk content). The purpose of SEO content isn’t about gaming the algorithm, it’s about creating content that your audience will find useful and want to read and share. Too much SEO content is dull, derivative and doomed to fail. At 42group, we’re taking a different approach – creating strategic SEO content that’s built around your audience. 

How? We can show you. This blog explores the importance of SEO for healthcare brands, the unique challenges and opportunities in healthcare SEO and how you can create content that builds human connections. (TLDR: Don’t use AI.)

What is healthcare SEO content?

We’re going to assume you know what SEO is and what content marketing is, so we won’t take any time to define them. But it’s probably valuable to have a definition of healthcare SEO content – and this is ours:

“Healthcare SEO content are blogs, articles, reports, guides and whitepapers that are created with the explicit intention to improve your website’s ranking in search engines. Each piece of content is created to support an SEO strategy and is focused on a keyword, audience priority, customer pain point or other defined purpose. Content is optimised to ensure that it provides both the audience and search engine algorithm with everything it needs.”

That’s how we see healthcare SEO content. How about you?

SEO has a bad reputation – a situation that has not been helped by aggressive SEO agencies making bold promises and using negative tactics to achieve short-term success while doing long-term damage.

You can call us at 42group ethical SEO practitioners. While we understand the vital importance of boosting your search engine performance, we don’t believe that this should come at the cost of great content and a positive user experience. 

Instead of creating more pages of “and me” content, we focus on creating original, authentic and accurate content that’s designed for your audience. The outcome of that is almost always an improvement in your ranking that’s sustainable. 

Sound good? Let’s walk you through how we achieve this.

Understanding your audience

Everything starts and ends with your audience. But what do you really know about them?

When working with a new client, we begin by analysing their current content. We use tools to understand what content is working, what’s ranking and what’s not to get a picture of how the Google algorithm and your audience consider your content. This provides us with a baseline on which to build.

The next stage is to build a picture of your audience and what kind of content they want and need. To do this, we perform keyword analysis. Now, we don’t have the time, space or expertise to provide a detailed guide on identifying keywords, but here are a few places to start:

These tools and techniques are essential to help you identify the keywords your audience will engage with and the answers they’re searching for. Simply having the keywords alone isn’t enough, you need to explore the user intent (informational, navigational, transactional) and identify those that are the most relevant to your organisation and audience. 

When we have a group of keywords, we relate them to user journeys. A patient, for example, will want different information from a clinician at different times during the journey.

We use the keywords generated by tools in this way:

  • Understand user intent for each keyword and capture this in a sheet
  • Group keywords and prioritise them
  • Create clearly defined user journeys through your site, identifying the content touchpoints
  • Understand how each keyword relates to your business, audience and search algorithm
  • Identify key pieces of content (stock content) and ephemeral content (flow content)
  • Explore SERPS and competitor sites to see the kind of content that’s ranking
  • Find keyword-friendly content gaps

Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But this is the bare minimum. Why? Because in every industry competition for the top search spots is tough. You simply can’t afford to create generic content based on existing high ranking content and expect to achieve anything. 

If your agency isn’t generating and using keywords intelligently, then it’s time to consider an alternative.

Creating a content strategy

We’ve got our beautiful Google sheet stacked full of keywords, all grouped into audience clusters with a clear purpose, objective and outcome attached. At this point, we’re able to begin commissioning content, right? We need to create a content strategy that encompasses everything – including your target audience, content marketing activities and core KPIs.

We’ve tackled this in huge detail in our healthcare content marketing strategy guide, which is packed full of useful information. 

Your SEO content strategy will have a clear focus on SERPs, with aspirations to claim the top spot (they always do). But we encourage our clients to think more intelligently about how they can use the information generated through keyword research to gain more traffic, clients, engagement and customers. 

Instead of looking at volume, consider competition. Everyone knows that low-competition, high-volume keywords are a goldmine – but too few take the time to find them and target them.

When we build a content strategy for SEO, we do the following:

  • Create audience profiles
  • Identify keywords
  • Map keywords to audiences and channels
  • Perform a gap analysis*
  • Identify targets, goals, KPIs (and other other metrics that matter to you)
  • Create content concepts (including content types and channels) to engage your audience
  • Map out a content calendar to ensure a structured approach to content delivery
  • Assess the mixture of content types (blogs, guides, FAQs, reports & whitepapers, etc.)
  • Plot the content calendar on a real one to spot any bottlenecks, barriers or potential breaks in the process
  • Create briefs, identify writers and begin the content creation process
  • Have a coffee/wine/beer/peppermint tea.

* One important part of the keyword research campaign is a gap analysis. This identifies the current content on your site,  content gaps you have on your site compared to your competitors and audience demands. 

This sounds like a lot of work, because is – but it’s the bare minimum to build a healthcare SEO content strategy that will deliver you the results you want. (And even after you do all this work, you may not get a P1 position. Sorry.)

Content creation and optimisation

We could start this by identifying which types of content that work best for healthcare audiences, and talk about blog posts, research articles, patient testimonials, case studies, reports and more. 

But you know all that. 

When we start a content campaign, we look at what your competitors are doing and do something else. Why? Because you’re never going to wrestle away an earned position by posting the same type of content. 

This is why we’re against writing aids and AI. They simply skim the content that’s already ranking and copy it, assuming (wrongly, as it happens) that this will work. 

It won’t.

You’re good at your job, so you already know about Google EEAT. In a world where AI can knoup a passable piece of content, we’re adding an O to the list: originality.

Your audience and the Google algorithm want content that has all the EEAT stuff – but isn’t just another piece or “me too” content, but is me first. You’re pushing boundaries and connecting with your audience at a deeper level than anyone else. Sure, you’re answering their questions – and have the authority to do so – but you do so in an engaging and authentic way. 

This is the core of effective SEO content in 2024. That’s not to say that you can ignore SEO strategies for content optimisation linke (using keywords naturally, creating good meta tags and titles and adding, alt text for images), because you can’t.

In healthcare, perhaps more importantly than in any other sector, you’re writing for real people with genuine needs, desires, pressures, worries, concerns and relationships. Your content must reflect this. 

Are we telling you to ignore SEO fundamental to deliver better SERPs results? Seems that way. 

When we commission and create content, our aim is to add valve to the reader and do something new, innovative, original – even on the most basic, boring or mundane topics. 

Oh, we’ve forgotten optimisation. (We haven’t.) Too much SEO content is “improved” by agencies and SEO experts who load it with keywords and key phrases that can ruin the best written content. Don’t let them. 

Healthcare SEO is about being sympathetic and resisting the temptation to simplify content for SEO. This can damage your brand, affect integrity and inhibit growth.

Link building strategies

In the dim and distant past backlinks were the basis of search engine rankings. The more links, the better your website’s ranking. Today, it’s not that simple (which means there are fewer backstreet backlink sellers), but they are stll a vital sign to search engines providing validity. 

We’re not in the business of building backlinks and don’t recommend you do so.

If your content is good enough and genuinely connects with your audience, it will generate links because (as old fashioned as it may seem), people actually believe what you’re writing has value.


To help amplify your reach, we recommend each piece of content (or content batch) has a clear route to markt. That’s likely to include your blog, social channels and other mechanisms to reach your target market.

If you write it, they will come…

Content compliance, morals & ethics

We’re not legal experts and don’t have the authority to provide a comprehenxie overview of legal and ethical considerations in healthcare marketing. Healthcare organisations have to adhere to ASA legislation, which provides clear guidelines on what you can and can’t say. 

Again, we’re going to assume that you already know what you can and can’t say – and the critical importance of referencing claims and providing evidence for everything you say. 

When it comes to content creation – and especially when working wiht a content agency – you’ll need to establish what’s acceptable and what isn’t. This is why we recommend healthcare companies always work with a specialist healthcare content agency like 42group. We’ve had over 15 years’ experience working with healthcare clients in the UK, Europe, USA and Aisa, developing creative content that’s complies with all regulations – while building connections. 

When selecting a content partner, push them on their knowledge and understanding of the environment in which you operate. 

Analyse, assess & improve SEO content

We’ve created a detailed blog on how to build a healthcare content marketing KPI dashboard – so start here. 

We can break KPIs down into five categories:

  1. Traffic metrics
  2. Engagement metrics
  3. Conversion metrics
  4. SEO metrics
  5. Revenue metrics

Not all of these metrics will be relevant to you. The dashboard you create should be built bespoke and supported by analytics tools to deliver you with clear and valid numbers. 

We recommend going to the granular level, analysing content at the level of a single blog to a whole campaign. When assessing the impact of your content strategy, tie this into the wider commercial strategy of the company. Every piece of content should have a purpose in pushing your organisation closer towards achieving its goals. KPIs measure how effective you are and crucially identify opportunities for improvement. 

The best SEO agencies, practitioners and partners are relentless, using data to drive improvements. We’re not talking about tweaking a headline or meta, but about building a genuinely data-informed SEO content strategy.

That’s the aim for us – and it should be the aim for you too.

What role does AI have in the healthcare SEO content process?

None. Next question…



OK, you’ll probably want to know why we (as a content agency) don’t like AI. In fact, it’s less about the risk to our jobs (because that’s not a big issue for us), and more about what the impact on your brand can be. 

AI content could fundamentally destroy the internet. AI-generated health content isn’t well researched, driven by audeince insights and created to fulfil a need. It’s a crude attempt to game the Google algorithm (and it will fail). 

You’re creating content that nobody will read, for an algorithm that will ignore you, for a brand that nobody will ever trust again. 

Oh, and your content could be racist too. (This is a bit crude of us, but it highlights the flaws that are still inherent in machine generated junk content.)

Should I invest in healthcare content marketing?

Even in 2024 when trust in online content is falling by the day, it’s still vital for businesses and brands to invest in content. 


If you’re reading this, SEO content is working. 

If nobody is reading this then you won’t mind if I go and grab a coffee and cuddle the cat…

Connect with a healthcare SEO content agency

If you’re searching for a healthcare SEO content partner, then get in touch. There’s simply no better agency in the UK and Europe to help you build human connections with your audience.

Get in touch today.

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