How Search Engines Rank Life Sciences
Hey there, welcome back to the Life Science Marketing Lab. In the last video, we discussed why SEO was important to life science companies and to their digital marketing strategy. We also walked through some of the basic tactics for SEO, one of them being to improve your rankings, which is obvious.
To improve your rankings, we need to know how search engines rank pages in the first place. So, what factors does Google find important when ranking pages. Once we find out these factors, we’re gonna know how to influence Google into ranking our webpages.
So, what are the ranking influencers?
The first one is keyword use. So, are we using the keywords in the right places. With this search result page here, for alkaline phosphatase detection kits – that’s the keyword, so, is this being used in the right place in the search results? The answer is yes, that’s why they are ranking. For Millipore, they have the keyword in their title element, which we’ll discuss later in our video series – things like title elements and meta description. It’s being mentioned in the meta description, and it’s being mentioned in the URL – Alkaline Phosphatase Detection Kit. That’s one of the reasons why this page is ranking for this – it’s got very good keyword use.
For the second page, for Abcam, it’s done not as good of a job of using the keywords, but it’s using very similar keywords. It’s got Alkaline Phosphatase Assay Kit, however, it’s a similar keyword. We have to remember that Google doesn’t always use exact match keywords. It takes a bunch of keywords and it can relate them together. Google is very intelligent nowadays in not focusing on the exact match keywords, but on focusing on topics. So, it obviously considers Alkaline Phosphatase Assay Kit and Alkaline Phosphatase Detection Kit as part of the same topic. That’s why it’s ranking this page at number two. It’s also using parts of the keywords, it’s got ‘alkaline phosphatase’, it’s got ‘kit’ here, again, ‘alkaline’, ‘phosphatase’, ‘kit’. ALP, which is an acronym for alkaline phosphatase. It can also relate acronyms with their actual keywords. Same with the bottom page, alkaline phosphatase kit, AP, alkaline phosphatase. You get the idea. These three pages have very, very good keyword use.
The second point is content quality. What we always have to remember about Google, which all the people seem to forget is that it is, in fact, a service. It’s a free service. Like any other service, it’s trying to provide the best experience for its users. Its users being the searchers. The searcher here is searching for alkaline phosphatase detection kits, so Google wants to provide content that matches what the searcher is looking for. That’s why it’s very important for your content to be factual, entertaining, informational, correct, whatever. It just needs to provide a very good experience for the user, for the searcher. If Google can pick up on that, in your content, then it’s way more likely to rank your page. That’s very, very important.
Next is user behavior data. When we talk about user behavior data, we’re talking about things like your bounce rate, so, how often do people come to your page and then just leave – that’s your bounce rate. Also, the average time they spent on your site. The number of pages that they browse through before they leave your site. These are all really good user behavior data points that Google picks up on to decide whether your webpage or your website high-quality site. It ties in back to it trying to provide a good service to its users. If somebody is going to your website and then saying, “Oh this is kinda crap”, and just bouncing, that’s gonna tell Google that this isn’t a good website. And it’s able to track those metrics, because now Google owns the most used web browser, which is Google Chrome. With Google Chrome, it’s able to pick up on all those metrics, on all these websites. This also ties back to content quality. If someone is staying a long time on your webpage, reading through it, going through to new webpages, that’s telling Google that this webpage has good content – it’s very good quality. That’s really important. It’s really important for your SEO campaign to track that data and to try to improve it. If those metrics are going down or going up, it’s a good indication of how you should proceed in your campaign.
Next is external inbound links. External inbound links are hyperlinks that are coming from external web pages that are pointing to your website. The reason that’s important is that Google is seeing those links as referrals to your website. If you have another website linking to you, Google thinks, OK, this website is referencing this website, it must be a good website. In a nutshell, the more inbound links that you have coming to your website, the better. However, you also want very high quality websites pointing to you. Ones that you know that Google trusts.
Next is internal links. You have many, many different pages on your website, many of them even could be competing for certain keywords. But you wanna make sure that you’re ranking the pages that you want to be ranking to certain keywords. You can do that with internal links. The more links that you have going to a certain page, that’s getting that page more important, so Google is more likely to rank those important pages.
Next we have domain authority. Domain authority is a score out of a hundred based on an algorithm developed by Moz. Your domain authority is more or less your ability to rank for certain pages. Domain authority algorithm is based off of many things: user behavior data, maybe based off of your external inbound links. The more links you have coming from really high authority, important websites, that tells algorithm that your website is also very important, and you’re gonna get a higher score. This is more of an indicator of how good your website is, how it’s going to perform in the search engines.
Next we have social media signals. When it comes to Facebook, Twitter (for life science companies we’re focused more on LinkedIn and ResearchGate), the more your material is being shared through the social media accounts, this is a good signal to Google that your content is really high quality. People are sharing because they find it useful, they find it very valuable. That’s another very good indicator for Google.
Next is your brand strength. Google has said explicitly that it wants websites to improve its brand. Again, this ties back to content quality, and the fact that Google wants to provide the best search results. It wants to provide very good brands. If you have a strong brand, it will suggest that you have a very good website and that you’re going to provide good information that people wanna see.
Next is your website usability. This ties back to user behavior. If your website is easy to use, if it’s easy for people to navigate through your website, if it has a good pagespeed – users aren’t waiting for it minutes and minutes to load, things like that. If your website is very easy to use and people can navigate to the information they want to navigate to, that’s another very good indicator for Google.
There are many, many more factors and ranking influencers that you can use to improve your rankings.
Thank you very much. Bye bye.