What is YMYL and How Does it Apply to Healthcare SEO?

The world of healthcare SEO constantly changes. Sometimes, it’s difficult to keep up with the latest jargon. Here’s one many businesses probably haven’t even heard of: YMYL.  

YMYL stands for “your money or your life.” Google apparently chose a drastic phrase to get a point across. Basically, YMYL sites and web pages are those that affect health, happiness or safety. Obviously, healthcare websites fall under this definition. 

YMYL & Healthcare SEO Implications

The big question is, how does YMYL affect healthcare SEO and the work of an SEO agency? The answer to that question isn’t as straightforward as we might think.

True to form, Google has stated that YMYL doesn’t refer to any specific ranking signals in their algorithm. However, we basically have to take them at their word. Google is infamous for not being forthcoming about how many aspects of their algorithm actually function. 

Despite what Google says, it is possible, however, to point to several healthcare SEO strategies that will likely be used in some way to measure a website’s YMYL quality.

Upgrade Your Content Marketing

It seems all discussions of how to make a website rank better always come back to content (in this case, YMYL content). There’s a good reason for that. As Google algorithms get smarter, they’re better able to tell the difference between quality and poor content. 

Pages that exist only for ranking are becoming more obvious to Google. Keyword stuffing… irrelevant content… poor-quality links… these are all signs of a web page that will be of little interest to viewers. Therefore, Google has little interest in pointing viewers toward such sites.

To optimize your site for better healthcare SEO and make it more YMYL-friendly, consider content marketing services that can bring upgrades to your content such as:

  • Pages offering instructions, advice
  • FAQ pages that help readers better understand various healthcare aspects
  • Consistently accurate NAP pages (name, address & phone number)
  • Pages that inform readers about your center or facility and explain your commitment, years of service, etc.

Enhance Your On-Page SEO

There is a wide variety of on-page SEO factors that need to be functioning optimally on a YMYL-friendly website. This would include things like:

  • Meta titles & descriptions
  • Anchor text
  • H-tags
  • Correct use of keywords

Keywords, of course, are an integral part of on-page SEO (even though Google has been trying to downplay their importance lately). They serve as a basic indicator of what a page is all about. How you use them matters. Dropping them all at the beginning of a page but nowhere else says to Google that you’re trying to rank for the keyword rather than actually offer anything of value to readers.

Any great healthcare SEO campaign begins with relevant keywords. That takes research (and by those who know how to do it). Then, they must be used organically in content. It shouldn’t be overly obvious to the reader that you’re using keywords. Simply dropping in keywords when they don’t necessarily belong is the mark of black hat SEO. Google takes a dim view of such practices.

Satisfy Google’s Freshness Requirement

Websites that are uploaded and forgotten are of little interest to Google or readers. Websites that aren’t maintained quickly fall out of date and become increasingly irrelevant. Such websites are routinely downgraded by Google’s algorithm.

Granted, a healthcare website isn’t a news website. You aren’t updating pages by the minute or the hour. However, there’s no excuse for a number of things that occur on healthcare websites. For example, event calendars where the “newest” event took place six months or a year ago. If a new blog hasn’t been posted for months at a time, Google is definitely going to see that as a sign that a website is stale and unworthy of a high ranking.

Excellent Healthcare SEO Will Make Google (and YMYL) Happy

At the end of the day, YMYL, like other things that Google finds important, has to do with website relevancy and value to the reader. Therefore, it’s imperative that your SEO agency is able to deliver you the kind of website you need.

As you assess your healthcare SEO needs, it’s important to partner with a digital marketer who understands the complexities of SEO as well as the unique nature of the healthcare industry. Dreamscape Marketing, a Google Premier Partner, checks both boxes. Call us today at 888.307.7304 and let’s talk about how our digital marketing services can help you satisfy YMYL requirements and improve your existing SEO strategy.