Strategies for Digital Marketing for Healthcare Companies
Whether your healthcare organization is a world-renown hospital or a local medical clinic, establishing a well-optimized web presence provides the foundation for any healthcare digital marketing program.
But what exactly defines an “optimized web presence?”
Below we delve into the most important elements that contribute to a cohesive web presence. While there is some overlap in each of these areas, each component is crucial for healthcare digital marketing in Atlanta and building a thriving organization.
Responsive Web Presence
Staying competitive in today’s digital marketing environment requires more than just a website. Now, healthcare practices must ensure that their website is responsive, or mobile-friendly, on all types of smartphones, tablets, etc.
Taking this one step further in the healthcare sector is the advent of mobile apps. Investing in mobile apps enables patients (or prospective patients) to better engage and connect with your practice. Custom-designed and purposeful mobile apps, combined with a mobile-friendly site, is what ultimately contributes to a responsive web presence as a whole.
Social Media Integration
Integrating social media into a practice’s healthcare digital marketing plan is major element to brand building and cultivating an audience. There are many layers to social media, both in terms of the social platforms and marketing strategies.
In addition to maintaining an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, and other related social platforms, healthcare practices can also value from social media advertising. These opportunities expose organizations and brands to new audiences, helping to grow the volume of followers, promote marketable content, and inbound prospective patients to the site.
Search Engine Marketing
Parallel to social media in terms of new patient acquisition, search engine marketing is powerful force in healthcare digital marketing. Search engine marketing, or SEM, can focus on one or both means of attaining better visibility in Google:
- Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising – Using platforms like Google AdWords, healthcare practices can bid on certain keywords to have ads shown in the search engine results. These often appear as sponsored listings at the top and bottom of the search results page.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This focuses on increasing the organic search engine rankings of a practice’s website (non-paid listings shown under the PPC ads.)
While PPC advertising provides immediate exposure, organic SEO is a long-term investment that can pay incredible dividends for healthcare digital marketing. Often the best approach for healthcare practices is combination of both. A wealth of data and intelligence can be earned from PPC advertising, which can then be directly applied to SEO.
Healthcare Digital Marketing Content Strategy
Creating a content strategy is the fuel that keeps a practice’s SEO and social media efforts burning strong. Some of the most prestigious hospitals, like Mayo Clinic, offer great examples of successful content strategies. While Mayo Clinic is a top-tier example, the Patient Care and Health Information section on its website is a model for an educational-driven content strategy.
Another more locally-focused example of a solid content strategy is the Emery King’s Medical Video Library of the Detroit Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading hospitals for cardiology and vascular care.
The video library offers a rich format to engage with users, helping to increase SEO and inbound marketing value. Additionally, the videos can be shared on social media, further expanding the hospital’s ability to reach prospective patients and drive new traffic to the site.
These are a just some of the primary pillars to keep top of mind when developing a digital marketing program for an Atlanta healthcare practice. While the strategies and investments will depend on the size, budget, and overall nature of the practice, many organizations can increase their patient acquisition potential by investing in these key areas of digital marketing.
Although Google may make it simple, constructing and managing a profitable AdWords account requires experience and understanding. There are many different advertising features, opportunities, and common mistakes that profoundly impact the success of a PPC advertising campaign.
To underscore some of those mistakes, below are three common issues that can plague the performance of a Google AdWords PPC advertising account. If you’re making these PPC mistakes, then consider them game-changing opportunities that can transform your account.
Having Too Many Keyword Variations in a Single Ad Group
One of the most common mistakes that inexperienced PPC advertisers make is building one or two ad groups that include a wide variety of keywords.
In short, ad groups perform best with very tight, relevant, and focused keyword groupings. For instance, if truck scale company is bidding on the keywords “truck scales” and “weighing equipment,” the campaign should be set-up with two separate ad groups for each keyword grouping.
The Truck Scales ad group might bid on keywords like:
- [truck scales for sale]
- +truck +scales
- “truck scales”
- “truck scale”
And the Weighing Equipment ad group might bid on keywords like:
- [weighing equipment]
- “industrial weighing equipment”
- +mining +weighing
- +payload +weighing
Further, developing more specific ad groups enables you to write more targeted and specific ad copy. As a result, your ads can see better CTR’s and your keyword will often have higher quality scores.
Lastly, with laser-focused ad groups, you can also implement ad group-specific Ad Extensions that really make your ads stand-out from the competition (more on Ad Extensions below.)
Using Broad Match Bidding
In the mock ad groups above, notice the symbols defining the keyword match type (+, “, ). It’s crucial to understand these keyword match types (broad match modifier, phrase match, and exact match.) It’s also vital to use the latter match types instead of broad match (which extremely broad.)
Using “Broad Match,” which does not using any symbols to further define the bid type, can wreak havoc on your account. In short, Broad Match keywords result in ads being triggered for overly broad and often times unrelated keyword queries. For example, bidding on keyword “red wagon” in Broad Match might cause the ad to trigger for unwanted query like “burgundy Subaru wagon.”
As a result of unknowingly using Broad Match, you can waste a lot of ad spend on poor quality clicks. Additionally, your CTR’s and quality scores for those keywords might hinder. It’s a common mistake that can easily be avoiding by implementing more specific keyword match types.
Neglecting Ad Extensions
There are a number of “Ad Extensions” that can help increase the size and prominence of your PPC ad in Google search.
- Link to specific pages of your site
- List a click-to-call phone number
- Display a map with your business address information
- Show +1s from your company’s Google+ page
- Include your business’ seller ratings
- Show products from your Google Merchant Center account
Even Google reports that leverage Ad Extensions can increase click-through rate (CTR) of ads by 30% on average.
With compelling data like that, it’s paramount to include AdWords Ad Extensions in your PPC advertising practices.
If you have a need or aspiration to grow your ecommerce website, SEO is surely a great way to gain more traffic. The cornerstone to ecommerce SEO is doing keyword research. And although the keyword research process seems straightforward and simple, there are a few things that one must know to get the most accurate results.
Ecommerce SEO is becoming more and more competitive by the month. For this reason, choosing the ideal keyword targets is paramount for success. In this post, I will give you three essential tips to help steer your ecommerce keyword research in the right direction.
Understanding the 3 Keyword Match Types
An important aspect of doing keyword research for ecommerce SEO is knowing the three keyword match types. These match types are Broad, Exact, and Phrase match, and although the primary purpose for each match type is for keyword bidding (via paid search advertising,) understanding the differences between each match type is imperative for search engine optimization.
Take a look at my example below regarding some research I was doing around “triathlon shorts.” Each match type is shown for the keyword “triathlon shorts;” however, each match type offers very different search volumes.
The reason why the search volumes for each match is so different is best understood by defining each match type:
- [triathlon shorts] (exact match) – search volumes accounts for only the two-word phrase triathlon shorts
- “triathlon shorts” (phrase match) – search volumes include exact matches, as well as variations with supportive outlier words (e.g. cheap triathlon shorts, triathlon shorts with butt pad, mens triathlon shorts)
- triathlon shorts (broad match) – search volumes account for all keyword searches that include similar semantics (e.g. tri shorts, womens shorts for triathlon, marathon shorts)
As you can see, the match types for broad and phrase match can seem very inflated from a SEO perspective. Broad match in particular is just too ambiguous to accurately account for the keyword’s traffic potential. When doing keyword research for ecommerce SEO, I strongly suggest de-selecting the broad match filter, and selecting the exact match option. This option is available in the left-hand navigation of the Google Keyword Tool.
Applying the Advanced Filter Options
In most cases when using the Google Keyword Tool in AdWords, you’ll need to adjust some of the advanced filter options. These settings enable you to set both the location and language parameters of your keyword results.
You can also modify the results to display search volumes based on the device people use to search Google. This information can be of value when creating mobile-specific search campaigns.
One setting that I strongly suggesting using is the filter option to “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms.” This check box is located just above the Advanced Options and Filters link.
The fact of the matter is, the Google Keyword Tool can provide search results for a lot of ideas that are broadly related to your initial keywords. This helps to keep your keyword research more focused while pinpointing those long-tails more efficiently.
Plug-in Keywords in Groupings
This next tip corresponds with the latter concept of keeping your research focused by using the filter options, especially the option to only show closely related ideas. Here you’ll want to use the Google Keyword Tool repetitively for select keyword groupings. That is, plug-in only a few keywords at time that are similar in context.
Based on our previous example, I’ll probably use this keyword grouping: triathlon shorts, tri shorts, triathlon short, shorts for triathlon. Next I might want to look at keywords around specific brands, variations (e.g. “tri” versus “triathlon”), and gender.
SEO for ecommerce requires thorough organization and planning. Organizing your keyword research in related groupings helps organize your thoughts. A segmented approach is optimal to generate cohesive strategies for SEO.