SEO Tactics, Online Marketing Strategy for Hearing Healthcare
Search Engine Optimisation. Search Engine Optimization (Photo credit: Hobo!)
One of the few things that I can say about most of the people within this business with some confidence is that search engine optimization (SEO) is the last thing on their minds. After all most people have a thousand things on their to do list and they continually think in terms of conventional traditional audiology marketing. So they pay little if no attention to the concepts of search terms, key words or backlinks. Unfortunately, this mind-set is short-sighted in the extreme, we realise that in this business word of mouth is key, how good your products or services are really matter. Existing Patients and their referrals probably account for a massive proportion of a healthy business. We also know that the attrition rate of our database is probably 10% per year. With these factors in mind, it is clear that we need a cycle of new customers to our business in order to survive, let alone grow. If people can’t find you online, you’re going to have a seriously tough time sustaining the momentum you need to drive your business forward. So instead of dismissing SEO and other online strategies, you should seriously consider implementing them as a matter of urgency in their audiology marketing strategy.
So what are SEO techniques and how can you implement them? I have researched the most common SEO techniques that have been utilised over the last few years and the following list of techniques are probably the most used and efficacious.
Implement Branding Efforts
Branding is imperative across your business, not just in your online presence. Decide on a set logo, colour scheme, tagline, and promotional phrasing for your business. Use these elements consistently not only across your web presence but also on all your marketing material. This is important, it speaks to the professionalism of your business and therefore the perceived trustworthiness. Perceived professionalism and trustworthiness is imperative for your web presence. Consider working with a graphic designer or marketing consultant if you don’t feel capable of coming up with a cohesive brand on your own.
Identify Target Key words & Key Phrases
Key words and key phrases are what your potential customer are entering into search engines to access information around our industry. Your number 1 marketing goal should be to identify at least a handful of potential SEO keywords to target within organic search results. Then you should optimize your site accordingly in order to rank highly on the organic search results for those keywords or key phrases. You base your chosen keywords and phrases on research data you can easily compile from search volume figures found in keyword research tools. Once you have identified these keywords, you should integrate them into your site in key areas. These key areas include your page titles, your heading tags, and your body content. Basically they should be leveraged throughout the structure of your page. However, you should avoid excessive inclusions, stuffing your site full of keywords will actually be counter productive. The search engines will actually punish you for it, but do take advantage of the SEO value these positions hold to inform the search engines about the subject of your web content.
Use Content Creation To Leverage Your Strategy
Running a company blog is an important part of your audiology marketing strategy. You should post informational articles, product updates, industry news pieces and your reactions to them. You should also post personal interest pieces based around your Practice, your Staff and your Patients. This a vital part of your SEO strategy for two reasons.
First, publishing content to your site regularly increases the number of different keywords related to our business on your site. By improving keyword exposure in this way, you will find yourself receiving traffic via not only the search phrases you target. But also other search phrases you never thought about.
Second, filling your site with content of value is a good way to build up a relationship with and engage your potential Patients and Patients. Good content also reduces bounce rate and increases time on site. Both of which are believed to play roles in search ranking algorithms.
Publishing regular content also allows you to leverage your social media channels to build links back to your site and your blog. It may also be of value to run your blog as a separate site as opposed to a page on your main site. This will also allow the leverage of backlinks from one to the other. Something that search engines value.
Commit to Social Networking
Many of the people in our industry see little or no value to participating on social networks. Their main argument that our demographic are not using them has some validity, although only of social networks outside of Facebook. But, you still need to integrate social media into your online strategy. It is in fact imperative for your entire online marketing strategy.
Both Google and Bing have acknowledged that social traffic, including link shares and brand mentions on social network status updates are currently playing a role in organic search rankings. This fact alone means that maintaining a presence on these sites is vitally important for your online strategy. You can also leverage links to your website and your blog through your social media channels. Again this helps to create a buzz around your online presence and boost your organic rankings.
You should spend at least ten minutes a day on your social channels, posting links to content, re-tweeting interesting articles and engaging with followers and like minded individuals.
Install Google Analytics
You have set out your web strategy, built your online presence, now you need the ability to measure and test different metrics. To gather the data needed to do this effectively, you’ll want to install a program like Google Analytics. It’s free and easy to use, and it provides an incredible wealth of information that can be used to improve your website’s performance. With analytics at your disposal you can assess viewer numbers and bounce rate. These two metrics actually give you a wealth of information about how popular an article or post name is versus how popular the actual content was. It also gives you a clear idea of visitor numbers to your website and referral sources.
Build Links & Backlinks To Your Site
Links and backlinks are the lifeblood of your social media strategy, it is links and backlinks that give your site authority. In text links, sidebar links, header and footer links all have value within your social media strategy. It is thought that links and backlinks are perhaps 50% of the data that affects your organic search ranking. In order to take advantage of this you need to leverage links to and from your site. One strategy natural strategy for this is to run your blog and website as separate sites. Then taking advantage of this fact by building links between them. This will bring you so far, what you are looking to do is to design and deploy content that is rich enough for someone else to link to.
One link building technique that deserves mention is guest posting. As a guest author, your content allows you to connect with other websites in your industry to provide guest blog posts in exchange for a link back to your site. When done well you will receive a high-quality, highly-relevant backlink and you also stand to achieve additional web traffic. The perceived recommendation of your content by the referring site’s author will help to drive this. With just a few good guest post posts, it’s possible to increase both your rankings in the organic search results and the amount of traffic flowing to your website.
Launch Press Releases
Finally, one link building technique that is also very effective is the use of press releases. Whenever your company has something newsworthy to report, write up an interesting press release and send it out through a distribution service. There are many such services across the web such as UK PR Web and PR Web. Again promoting your site in this way really has the potential to both increase traffic and backlinks through the sites that will hopefully carry your press release.