Best of 2021: 14 Insights from Healthcare Marketing Experts

By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer

As 2021 comes to a close, we have a gift for you — a roundup of the best advice on our blog from this past year.

It’s been a pleasure working with and interviewing so many experienced marketing professionals. Whether colleagues or team members, these experts are the people who bring this blog to life with tips and insight you can’t find anywhere else. 

This roundup also includes our coverage of the latest changes in the digital marketing industry, making it a quick and easy resource for you to stay on top of important updates. 

          14 Healthcare Marketing and Advertising Insights from Industry Experts

          Digital Marketing: SEO & PPC

          Computer will illustrated rocked ship taking of with the words SEO underneath

          1)      Why is your website tanking in Google? 

          How is your website performing in the search engines? Are you experiencing significant drops in Google? What if your SEO issues aren’t unique to your website or marketing team? 

          In this insightful blog post, I interviewed our SEO Manager Naghmeh Jafarzadeh, who shared some of the most common technical SEO mistakes she sees in healthcare websites today. 

          Missing key pages on a website is one of them, for example. 

          “Once a website audit is conducted, and it’s clear that the site lacks proper architecture, we often find that the site is also missing important landing pages. According to Naghmeh, it’s not uncommon for major healthcare brands to have missing pages, including location pages, service pages, and about us pages.”

          “From a user experience (UX) and SEO perspective, missing these key pages can harm your SEO and business growth.”

          You can read our entire post to get a list of the common mistakes and what to do about them.

          2)      Google Cares about the User Experience, A Lot

          User experience has always been a part of SEO best practices. But in June 2021, Google finally rolled out its long-awaited page experience update that turned user experience into a ranking factor. What does this mean for healthcare websites? 

          “…how patients or doctors perceive the experience of interacting with your web pages will now affect your rankings in Google.”

          Preparing for the update will ensure that your website has a positive patient experience and doesn’t drop in the search results. In our thorough blog post, we shared high-level action items to consider as you work toward creating a better user experience for your target audience.

          3)      Are you making these common paid search mistakes?

          In our experience, PPC falls short for many healthcare organizations. To find out why I talked to Garrick Gaffney, our Senior Digital Strategist, who explains it this way: 

          “It’s really twofold when it comes to PPC programs. In all the years of doing this, we see clients wasting their investment and not getting the proper attention to their accounts.”

          In a valuable blog post, he shares seven common PPC mistakes that healthcare brands make and how to solve them. If you’re investing in PCC, you’ll want to get ahead of the curve and avoid making these mistakes.

          The Best of Content Marketing

          Content marketing was big in 2021, especially in the healthcare industry. In this roundup, you’ll find the best advice on how to create high-quality content that your target audience and Google will love. 

          4)      What does Google expect from healthcare websites?

          It turns out Google has very high standards for healthcare websites. In fact, healthcare is one of the industries that the search giant deems as “Your Money, Your Life,” topics. With this in mind, our blog post covers what Google expects to see from a healthcare website and offers valuable tips on crafting quality content. 

          5)      Content Marketing Guides

          Depending on where you are in your content marketing journey, you might need guidance. This year, we focused on bringing our readers step-by-step guides on everything from building a strategy to how to measure and optimize your content performance.

          Beautiful, Bold Branding

          6)      Branding Checklist for Multilocation Providers

          This year, we published a giant checklist just for our multilocation clients struggling with branding issues. 

          “We have worked with health systems, hospitals, practices, retail locations, urgent cares, ASCs, addiction treatment centers, and long-term care facilities. When branding these clients, we often have to overcome various strategic and creative challenges, including a fair number of unexpected obstacles. 

          Are you going through branding challenges of your own? This must-have checklist includes seven steps to help you successfully deploy your brand.

          7)      What if your brand has low consumer awareness?

          The healthcare industry has many low-interest category services that most people don’t know about. When it comes to branding services with low consumer awareness, I turned to Johnny Smith, Vice President of Marketing Services at Encompass Health. 

          In a lively podcast, he shared five tips on creating a breakthrough brand with low consumer awareness. These tips are based on a recent, successful branding campaign launch.

          “Titled My Turn, the campaign tells the Encompass Health story from the caregiver’s perspective, one of the five key branding steps I highlight in this post.”

          “Everyone’s a consumer of something, and we know that our providers, partners, and acute care hospitals are all consumers of information as well. In some cases, you’ve got to determine the branding strategy for each of them,” says Johnny.

          Read his five tips now or listen to the podcast to get his detailed insight. 

          8)      How to Build a Living Brand that Endures Online

          Is your brand struggling to stay relevant in this digital age? Are you working to increase engagement on social media without losing your brand identity? These are common problems for healthcare brands today.  

          For insight, I interviewed our Senior Art Director, Brett Maurer, who introduced a new concept called living brands. You’ll want to know what it is and create one for your organization.

          “The only way to adapt to your audience and desired channels while remaining consistent with your core values and mission is to build a living brand

          A living brand is dynamic and fluid. It’s able to grow with its target audience and within the evolving digital environment.”

          To get your team excited about what it means (and how to develop one of your own), read “3 tips to building a living brand that endures online.”

          Traditional Advertising & Integrated Marketing 

          9)      Sports Marketing and Sponsorships

          Have you considered sports marketing for your healthcare brand? While there’s a heavy push for digital marketing, traditional advertising is still a powerful way to reach your target audience. And this includes sports marketing. For this podcast and blog post, I chatted with our agency’s medical media services guru and head media buyer, Charlie DeNatale. He gives insider tips on four ways to approach sponsorship opportunities

          10)      Call Center for Success

          At Healthcare Success, we always go beyond marketing communications to ensure our clients consider the big picture when it comes to the consumer and patient experience. This includes how our clients pick up the phone and talk to potential patients or clients. 

          Suppose you are a multilocation practice or healthcare organization. In that case, you’ll appreciate this post on the latest call center strategies, brought to you by the president and co-founder of, Kathy Divis. She offers six call center best practices you won’t want to miss. 

          11)      Physician Liaison Strategies for Building Doctor Referrals

          Doctor referrals are still one of the most important ways to grow a health practice, hospital, or system. In this podcast, I spoke with Kriss Barlow, co-founder of the consulting firm Barlow/McCarthy. She shared her top physician liaison strategies along with tips on how to find and hire successful people. 

          COVID-19 & Telehealth

          We can do this campaign.

          12)      How doctors and hospitals can help defeat COVID-19 vaccine resistance and misinformation

          What is your responsibility as a provider or hospital when it comes to vaccine resistance and misinformation? In this thought-provoking and timely blog post, I share why healthcare professionals are vital to answering resistance issues. 

          “From a practical perspective and a marketing POV, doctors, hospitals, and other providers are ideal for educating patients on the COVID-19 vaccines. They are ideal for communicating an effective and persuasive response to the ‘resistance challenge.’

          What’s more, with the overarching need to depoliticize objections – and federal voices distrusted – it’s critical for individuals to hear the vaccination message from their own local and trusted physician.”

          So what’s next? I provide a step-by-step marketing guide on how to craft a compelling and convincing message on the importance of vaccination. 

          13)      COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Strategy 

          It’s not enough to update your home page with a sticky banner. If you still haven’t solidified and optimized  your COVID-19 messaging, you’ll want to read our comprehensive guide to developing your communication strategy.

          14)      How to Market Your Telehealth Services

          Finally, while telehealth is here to stay, many healthcare organizations have not correctly integrated their marketing messages with telehealth services. 

          “Technology enhances the provider-patient connection, the patient experience, practice operations as well as the bottom line. Promote this new level of convenience that has universal consumer appeal.”

          Read our blog post to get the best ways to implement your marketing plan and carry that message to your critical audiences.

          Healthcare Marketing & Advertising Tips, Guides, and Resources

          We’re looking forward to bringing you a new whole year of insightful blogs on healthcare marketing and advertising. What topics do you want to learn more about? What resources do you need? Please let us know!

          Stewart Gandolf
          Chief Executive Officer at Healthcare Success
          Stewart Gandolf, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer of Healthcare Success, one of the nation's leading healthcare and digital marketing agencies. Over the past 20 years, Stewart has marketed and consulted for over 1,000 healthcare clients, ranging from practices and hospitals to multi-billion dollar corporations. A frequent speaker, Stewart has shared his expertise at over 200 venues nationwide. As an author and expert resource, Stewart has also written for many leading industry publications, including the 21,000 subscriber Healthcare Success Insight blog. Stewart also co-authored, "Cash-Pay Healthcare: Start, Grow & Perfect Your Cash-Pay Healthcare Business." Stewart began his career with leading advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, where he marketed Fortune 500 clients such as Wells Fargo and Bally's Total Fitness.



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