Why Children’s Hospital Colorado is One of the Best Websites I’ve Ever Seen

From an SEO perspective, Children’s Hospital Colorado is how every website should look.

When you work in SEO, you can’t help but look at websites differently than everyone else. You keep tabs on how quickly a page loads, you judge the content quality – or lack thereof – on each page, and if you have to go to page 2 of Google for a particular query, that website may as well not exist.

As an SEOer, it’s part of my job to keep tabs on well-performing websites so that I can refer clients to how a website should look and try to mimic that style to shoot for better chances of organic search success. I know that this is the equivalent of a parent telling one child to act more like their well-behaved sibling, but it takes work to get a website to land first-page results and you do what you have to do – barring black hat tactics.

Content, Keywords & Backlinks Galore

I first came across Children’s Hospital Colorado’s site in January 2018 when I was trying to land a job with them. I picked apart their site using BrightEdge’s DataCube tool to discover a mind-blowing amount of high-ranking keywords, then peeped around on their alt text, internal linking, backlinks (50,000+!), and ample content that covers all topics related to pediatric health conditions. I was floored as to how well they implemented SEO best practices and I would have considered myself blessed to have been a part of it. Talk about standing on the shoulders of giants!

But they decided to go with another candidate. C’est la vie.

Even though they didn’t choose me for the position, it didn’t change my opinion about their website in the slightest.

Now, maybe I’m just geeking out here, but I have an intense amount of appreciation for those who work hard to make sure a site is visible to search engines, that keyword research is taken seriously, and that even the smallest details are attended to. For example, their main image on the homepage, a smiling baby girl, has alt text that reads, “Physician smiling at a child and mother before surgery at Children’s Hospital Colorado.” Most alt text I see is maybe 2-5 words while CHC’s is practically a novella.

The Hospital is For Children, But the Content is For the Parents

As a more content-focused SEO specialist, I have to say that their site content is beyond comprehensive. Following one of the key rules of content creation – know your audience – they write with parents in mind. CHC avoids whimsical titles in favor of direct, to-the-point, topics. Think about it, when you’re frantically trying to find out why your toddler is breaking out in hives, which would you rather click on, “Reasons Your Toddler Has Hives & When to Call a Doctor” or “What to Do When a Tot Shows Splots”? Chances are you chose the first option.

Quality Content Works on Your Behalf

On top of well-worded titles, the content structure itself reflects an intense amount of work. With H1’s, H2’s, and so on, as well as page titles, meta descriptions, meta keywords, and list-style formatting in many posts. When content is done right in terms of incorporating SEO, it works for a website just by being live.

According to SEMRush, as of June 2019, they have over 12,000 keywords ranked in positions 1-10. While it doesn’t hurt that CHC has a phenomenal reputation as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country, it backs up its physical success with jaw-dropping organic search performance.

SEO isn’t just about getting site traffic, it’s about establishing yourself as an authority within your industry. When you determine a client’s goals, be it improving local keyword rankings or giving site content a facelift, this is an action that results in passive heavy lifting.   

Having trouble getting the hang of all the digital marketing terms out there? This infographic can help!