We have a client with a local medical business with a handful of clinics. They only serve people in the region, but they get so much organic traffic we had to increase their WPEngine hosting plan to avoid all the overages they were getting charged.
Their content is mostly pages talking about the medical issues they treat (in-depth and well organized) and 1 blog post a month. They don’t have a large library of medical info like WebMD, but what they do have is high quality. It’s mostly evergreen and serves its purpose.
Their medical content consistently ranks well and gets a lot of international traffic (the good kind). It doesn’t drive a ton of appointments directly, but it sure appears to influence. We’ve seen consistent growth over 10 years with many featured snippets. This broad organic visibility coupled with engaged traffic signals that the site is highly trusted – which also helps their local visibility.
Last year we had a copywriter gap and we had to write and publish an article in the interim. One of our seasoned vets wrote it. While she doesn’t write much for clients at this point, the optimized structure and quality paid off. Here is a Search Console screenshot of the visibility and clicks for that article since it was published July 2022:
This wasn’t normal for them. Something was different. This reminded me of the old theories of Google’s honeymoon effect / sandbox. These are theories that Google will either rank something high right away until users signal that it’s not a good result or keep it in a testing sandbox while they figure out where to rank the new page.
For 5 weeks after publishing the article didn’t do much, but then it started showing a respectable amount of impressions. We were pleased at this point, but then after another 5 weeks it did it again and exploded. It has over 500k impressions as of this writing.
We’ve also seen this work in the opposite way: Google ranks your new post on the 1st page and even gives it a featured snippet to see how users like it and then assess how it’s going before determining where they should place you in the SERP.
What made this page get this visibility?
I believe there are 2 things that Google really likes about this post:
- The content is optimized for voice search. It’s phrased as a question and answers the question as well as natural follow up questions
- No fluff, only content
It really comes down to content and user experience. In this space people are looking for answers to their questions. Why not just give it to them?
As a result of this structure, the article has also spent consistent time as a featured snippet. We’ll write more about our top tips for features in the future.
Let’s say someone wants to know how to make pancakes from scratch. Two articles contain the same recipe, but one of them has 10 paragraphs of laborious creative writing about their grandma teaching them how to make pancakes on Christmas morning before they get to the recipe. Which article will give the user the best experience?