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SEO Optimizing Healthcare Website for AI

How Can Healthcare Organizations Prepare for AI-Powered Google Search?

The launch of ChatGPT in November 2022 caused a huge splash. The sophistication of the platform surprised even large tech giants and set off a race to develop and launch AI-based platforms. Search engines in particular immediately took interest and began rolling research efforts out of beta and into people’s hands overnight, including AI-powered search results.

The goal of AI-powered search is to provide searchers with quick, relevant results and answers to questions. For years, businesses and SEO experts alike have been worried about the rise of “zero click” searches: searches where an individual’s need is resolved directly on the search results page, so they have no need to click to a business’ website. Understandably, AI-powered Google Search has folks more concerned than ever about a decrease in traffic to their websites and whether it will make it harder for them to sell products and services.

Here at Full Media, we’ve been staying on top of the issue and experimenting with AI-powered search results ourselves so that we can help our clients remain competitive. As a healthcare digital marketing agency, it’s our goal to serve as a guide for healthcare organizations trying to reach patients who are searching for care online.

The good news is that creating great content is still the gold standard for SEO, no matter what technology emerges. But there are valuable techniques to help patients find you online, especially through AI-powered search. Read our tips below:

Optimize for local SEO.

AI-powered search may be brand new, but the basics of search engine optimization will take you most of the way there.

  • Ensure that you have service, location and provider pages that have optimized meta information, headers and content based on the most common searches related to the services you provide.
  • Create or claim your Google Business Profile listings. Choose a relevant category, input the correct address, hours, and phone number, add high quality images, and ask for patient reviews.
  • Consider other listings websites, like Yelp and Bing, and healthcare-specialized websites, like Healthline or ZocDoc, and update your information there if you can.


healthcare Google search preview with AI


Answer common questions.

AI-powered search is especially good at understanding and answering more conversational search queries like “how long will my gallbladder surgery recovery take?” or “at what age should you get a colonoscopy?” Creating content that answers long-tail keyword searches has long been a great way to optimize your website for search engines, but it will become even more important with AI-powered search.

  • Answer common patient questions on your website in blogs or in FAQ content.
  • Break down each topic or question into small, easy-to-digest sections, separated by headers.
  • Use a question-and-answer format as often as possible. This mirrors the natural way many people search and how search engines work.
  • Repeat the service or condition in your question-and-answer format, e.g. “is a colonoscopy painful?” instead of “is it painful?”
  • Don’t bait and switch. Create useful content that truly answers the searcher’s questions and include a call-to-action for your services at the end. Don’t use FAQ or blog content as a purely promotional vehicle.
  • Create original, highly valuable content. Interview your physicians and write something truly unique. Don’t use AI to churn out content.


faq search in Google AI-powered search


Use everyday language.

AI-powered search pulls content from resources that use layman’s terms, so try to take the average reading age of your content down a little and make it easy for patients to understand. 

Above, we just advised against using AI to write your content. But AI can play a valuable role here by taking an original piece of content and simplifying down the language and vocabulary. Try it out!

Optimize images and video.

AI-powered search will create a richer search experience, enhanced with images and video. By optimizing your images and video content, you can help attract search engines to use your content in the featured sections of the search results.

  • Use high quality images, but don’t upload giant image files. Size images appropriately for the space you plan to use them in on your website. Consider using file types like WebP that compress image files.
  • Name your image files descriptively and use image alt tags.
  • Optimize your videos by choosing a descriptive, searchable video title.
  • Add video descriptions in platforms like YouTube that will also help your video connect with searchers.
  • Consider adding videos and images to your website’s XML sitemap, especially if you have optimized them.
  • Upload high quality videos and photos to your Google Business profile listings.

Integrate structured data into your website.

Structured data, also called schema, is a type of code that you can use on your website to help search engines provide a richer result for users. Structured data has been used for years not only to help tell search engines what web page or element is about, but also to impact the search appearance for everything from recipes to the “People also ask” section to star ratings.

There are special types of structured data specific to healthcare websites:

Structured data for Frequently Asked Questions may also be particularly useful for healthcare organizations working to optimize for AI-powered search.

This type of code can be added individually to important pages by your internal team or your SEO agency. You can also discuss with your website developer how to build structured data directly into your website templates. For example, a location page could have “Medical Clinic” structured data built into the page template, so that anytime you add a new location, the structured data populates seamlessly.

Test it out.

Google has made its Search Generative Experience available for anyone who wants to test it out. It’s important to remember that Search Generative Experience is still in Beta, so the results may not appear quite the same should Google roll out AI-powered search to all users in the future. But it’s a good way to become familiar with the experience yourself and see how it may work!

Sign up to see how you look:

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