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10 SEO Tips for Life Science Companies

  • Supreme Optimization is an online marketing company dedicated to the Life Sciences industry. We have created SEO campaigns for our clients worldwide, from the USA to China, Japan, Europe and more.

    Here, within the success of our campaigns, are 10 ways we have learned to get the best results.

  • Biotech Ogilvy

    Crown Biosciences
    Applied StemCell
    Certified Genetool
    Ajinomoto Althea, Inc.
    WuXi Apptec
    Advanced Cell Diagnostics
    GeneCopoeia, Inc.

1. Place your most important products or services in the navigation bar. If a page is in your navigation bar, then every page on your website is linking to it. This tells Google that this is an important page on your website, and it will receive more SEO equity.

It is also important to alter the link anchor text to be the targeted keyword.

Biologics Corp wanted to rank for “recombinant cytokines”. We placed their Cytokines page into their navigation bar with the anchor text “Recombinant Cytokines”.

Within 1 week, Biologics Corp’s ranking increased from #29 to #9 for that keyword!

Navbar of BiologicsCorp website - a Life Science SEO client

This is a great demonstration of how your navigation structure can quickly influence your search engine results.

2. Implement your targeted keyword into image “Alt” tags. An ideally optimized webpage will have a relevant image, with the image “Alt” tag representative of your target keyword.

The “Alt” tag of an image is in the back-end HTML code of the webpage. It helps Google to read and understand the subject of the image (because Google can’t see images), and also the subject of the page.

We changed the “Alt” tag of an image to “rna in situ” on the homepage of Advanced Cell Diagnostic’s (ACD) website. The homepage’s ranking increased from #20 to #3 for the keywords “rna in situ” and “RNA ISH”. Furthermore, this image achieved 1st page rankings in Google organic image results for “rna in situ”.

Some great results for a very high traffic keyword!

ACD SEO rankings

3. Remove spammy back-links. A common SEO practice 10 years ago (and unfortunately still presently for many SEO companies) was to submit your website to 1000’s of web directories, and to pay for other links from low-quality spammy sites.

Google has become very intelligent in the last 5-7 years. It perceives these spammy unnatural back-links as a clear manipulation of its algorithms (which it is!).

Google has hit back, and penalizes all websites that have participated heavily in paid links and web directory submissions.

A penalty means that your website won’t be ranked! Your website will literally fall off the face of the earth.

Supreme’s biotech client AllCells was hit with a penalty prior to joining us. We removed many of the spammy backlinks by disavowing them with Google. AllCells saw a dramatic increase in rankings for several keywords.

AllCells organic search traffic increased from June 2014 to June 2015 by 54%.

4. Increase keyword rich content. An ideally optimized webpage will have 300 – 500 words of content. This content will have a mention of a targeted keyword 3 – 5 times.

Keyword implementation

This helps Google to understand the subject of the page.

Over 5 mentions of the keyword could be perceived as spammy – or keyword stuffing. This could result in penalties from Google and should be avoided.

We increased the content of Promab’s ‘Custom Monoclonal Antibodies’ page from 100 words to 500 words. The content mentioned the keyword “custom monoclonal antibodies” 3 times.

This page’s rankings increased to #1 for the keyword “custom monoclonal antibodies”.

Another very simple change, that can have a big impact!

6. Build a user-friendly website with trustworthy branding. Branding and user-friendliness has become a primary ranking factor that Google’s algorithms consider.

Google can now track how long a user spends on your website (since Google Chrome became the most popular web browser).

If you have a poor website with poor branding, a user is more likely to bounce from your website fairly quickly. A high bounce rate will result in lower rankings.

Supreme Optimization’s web development team re-built and re-branded the website of Certified Genetool. Leads through organic search traffic have increased 400%.

Genetool website - a Life Science SEO client

5. Implement your targeted keyword into your page meta title. The page meta title is in the back-end HTML code of your webpage. It is the text that appears in the window tab of your web browser, and it is also the text that shows in Google results as the link to your webpage.

An ideally optimized webpage will have a page title representative of your target keyword.

Applied StemCell incorporated “knock in rat” into the page title of their Rat Model page.  The page rankings increased to #1 for the keyword “knock in rat”.

Applied StemCell SEO ranking

How Does Social Media Help?

7. Use Social Media to increase your web presence and Domain Authority. One of the most influential ways to develop natural links to your website is to build a social media presence, and to share your content through these social media accounts.

Followers of your social media accounts will re-share your content (if it is good).

The more your content is spread, the more likely other websites will link naturally to you. This will increase your Domain Authority and likeliness to rank.

Supreme Optimization’s social media team increased Crown Bioscience’s twitter followers from 1000 to 9500. These were targeted, like-minded followers interested in the biotech industry.

Crown Bioscience’s organic search traffic increased by 98% from August 2014 to August 2015.

8. Take advantage of Google Webmaster Tools. Google provides many tools that you can use to support your search engine optimization.

Supreme Optimization helped Althea to migrate their website to a new domain. We used the ‘change of address tool’ to notify Google that the website domain had changed. This assisted the successful transfer of rankings and organic search traffic to the new website address.

9. Create useful academic resources. An effective way for biotech and life science websites to get ranking is to create high quality content in an academic resource. This is not necessarily a webpage that is promoting one of your products. It is typically a well optimized informational page (or set of pages) that life scientists will value as an helpful resource for their research.

Additional content created through academic resources or online research tools can provide a significant boost to your overall rankings. High-quality resources are essential for life science SEO. It results in a greater user experience, more inbound links, and increased social media activity……all essential ranking factors.

We consulted Boster Bio on creating an academic resource on the Western Blot Principle tailored to their customer base. They are now ranking #1 for the keyword “western blot principle”.

BosterBio SEO rankings

10. Approach SEO holistically. Although each of the above tips are effective in improving Google rankings, realistically, the positive results that we have achieved for our clients have come from an amalgamation of all the above, in a full, rounded SEO campaign.

With very strong competition for 1st page rankings in life sciences, it is very important to construct your SEO campaign holistically.

The foundation of every SEO campaign begins with detailed keyword research, competitor analysis, and market research. This research is then implemented using an organized keyword blueprint, a robust website structure, and an exceptional website user experience.

Furthermore, an SEO campaign should be tweaked over many months as the results are carefully tracked with analytical reporting.

Small changes will produce benefits, but bigger success comes from looking at the BIG picture.

These are just a few of the ways to make a life science SEO campaign more effective.

Supreme Optimization offers FREE 30 min SEO consultations, where we can offer you more FREE advice specific to your website.


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WuXi Apptec
Crown Biosciences
GeneCopoeia, Inc.
Advanced Cell Diagnostics
Ajinomoto Althea, Inc.