Life Science SEO in Action: An Outstanding Example of Evergreen Content
The best content provides long-term value, and the life sciences and healthcare have an outstanding opportunity to create that content.
Content marketing is a growing trend in B2B, with 89 percent of businesses using content in some form. The increased trend in content marketing is advancing the field, but it’s also revealing some of the key challenges content marketers face. One of those critical challenges is producing enough content.
The lifetime value of most content is determined by the response it generates in around the first three days. After that point the novelty has worn off and it is more difficult to capture attention.
Some forms of content, evergreen content, can last much longer than that.
Evergreen content is content that doesn’t age or turn stale. The information delivered by evergreen content tends to be highly detailed and specific without being tied to a recent trend or news story. As such, it provides “how-to” or background information on a specific subject, information that will be just as relevant in two years as it will be immediately after publication.
Of course, producing evergreen can be difficult. Creating timeless or mostly-timeless content is not easy; it requires significant time and resource investment, and is likely to produce material that is quite long (although that might even be a good thing).
Fortunately, life science SEO has the potential to attract large and highly relevant audiences. The fields of life science and healthcare are actually outstanding growth areas for evergreen content.
Evergreen Content and Life Science SEO
Much of what is considered “common knowledge” in the life sciences and healthcare is knowledge acquired from an entire career’s worth of experience. But what happens when a researcher on the edges of a scientific niche needs more information about an application? Or a non-scientist with a role in procurement needs to compare products?
Journal articles are likely to contain the necessary information, but they can be difficult to find without a background in the field. Searching on Google will return some results, but many of these will be geared towards researchers in the field.
And therein lies the opportunity for life science SEO.
There exists little detailed background information in the life sciences and healthcare, granting companies the opportunity to produce this content on their own.
This example, from Thermo Fisher Scientific, highlights the fantastic use of evergreen content and semantic life science SEO to generate traffic and long-term value.
An “Overview of Affinity Purification”
The Thermo Fisher Scientific page titled “Overview of Affinity Purification” does a fantastic job of providing a comprehensive resource for affinity purification.
Over 4,000 words long, the web page explains how affinity purification works, what different kinds of affinity purification are used for, how they are conducted, what materials are necessary, and even other types of related chromatography. In sum, it is a truly valuable resource for intelligent non-experts seeking more information about affinity chromatography.
In order to maximize the investment in content development, the page is heavily search-optimized, with impressive results.
The below image is output from SEMrush, a highly-regarded search engine marketing tool, showing that this page ranks for 247 keywords.
You have to go 22 keywords into the results before you find a ranking that isn’t in the top three (and the top three search positions capture 68 percent of search traffic).
You have to go 35 keywords in to find one not on the first page (and it’s “purified,” a very general term you wouldn’t expect this page to rank for).
As impressively, look at what happens when you search for “affinity purification vs immunoprecipitation.”
First, notice that the affinity purification page has been pulled into “search position zero,” the space above the actual first result. Google has identified that this page is likely to have an answer to the question being searched, and therefore pulled the link and related text to the top of the page.
Secondly, the top organic search result is a different page from the same website! There is clearly a site-wide life science SEO strategy in place for producing evergreen content; the page even outranks Wikipedia.
Finally, the phrase “affinity purification vs immunoprecipitation” appears nowhere in the text of the affinity purification page. This result is entirely the result of high-quality, well-optimized content and Google’s ability to determine relevance.
So how was this page actually optimized?
First, notice the topic and primary keyword used. In this case both are “affinity purification.” Selecting a primary keyword is usually a balancing act between the number of people searching and the competitiveness of the word, but with a strong website and long content, there is the opportunity to rank even for general phrases.
A few notes on why “affinity purification” might have been chosen:
- Selection of a primary keyword must also take into account the primary words on other pages of the site. Otherwise pages will compete with each other for rankings.
- “Affinity chromatography” would also have been a perfectly reasonable keyword. It’s possible that “affinity purification” was determined to attract a slightly different audience, or that it is more difficult to rank for because of competition from other companies.
- The term is liberally sprinkled throughout the copy, as well as being used in the URL, page title, headline, and subheads
After the primary term is identified, secondary or related terms are used. Examples in this piece could include more specific tech/procedures or terms that build on the base of “affinity purification,” which helps by sending Google signals about the overall page topic.
Some examples that appear on this page include:
- Affinity purification products
- Protein purification
- Affinity purification procedure
- Antibody purification
- Column affinity chromatography
- Affinity purification with magnetic particles
In some cases, secondary terms can be used as entire subsections. “Immunoprecipitation,” “Antibody Purification,” and “Gel Filtration” all get their own sections with more detail.
This provides a better overall picture of “affinity purification” for the reader, as all the information they need is on one page (Google likes this as well).
Finally, semantically related terms are used. Terms like “GST-tagged fusion proteins” are not important enough to be the overall subject of this page, but they are related and merit inclusion.
There are a ton of semantically related terms in this piece, too many to list here. Examples include:
- protein protein interactions
- elution buffers for binding interactions
- covalent attachment of ligands
- acrylamide-based polymer resins
It’s the use of the these terms that helps the page rank so highly for phrases like “affinity purification vs immunoprecipitation,” even though those phrases appear nowhere in the copy.
Content that provides detailed background information is a marketing growth opportunity in the life sciences and healthcare. Well-planned life science SEO can be used alongside evergreen content to attract traffic, collect information, and generate leads.