By Steven Jacobs
Online marketing is a primary tool for doctors, medical practices and hospitals to reach new patients. And the pervasive availability of the Internet has propelled healthcare consumers—patients, prospective patients, friends and family—to a new level of awareness and empowerment.
The thing is…Internet marketing has become increasingly competitive and technically challenging.
A simple website, with a little now-and-again attention, doesn’t create a viable Internet presence for a healthcare provider. And online marketing (which produces measurable results) is no longer an automated process.
People create the technical and content side…
While the behind-the-scenes programming and technical particulars have exploded, much of what constitutes sound and successful online marketing remains anchored with human beings. Results-driven marketing and effective search engine optimization (SEO) take a lot of people to make you standout in healthcare’s competitive landscape.
Quite often, these people are experts in what they do. For example, at Healthcare Success, we have specialists who just do local SEO and directories, experts in overall SEO, social media specialists, and multiple people assigned to content creation, link building and other related tasks.
Other specialists understand the intricacies and apply the mechanics of Pay-per-Click (PPC) and online advertising while managing an overall marketing plan.
…for people on the audience side.
Google—the goliath search engine where many health information searches begin—is increasingly focused on bringing quality content to their users. Other search engines have rules, with rewards and penalties, related to quality of content.
To achieve quality results for the user (and higher ranking results), Google’s quality guidelines recommend, in part:
Create web pages for people, not for search engines. Their intent is to eliminate “common forms of deceptive or manipulative behavior,” sometimes referred to as “black hat” SEO practices.
Create high-quality, authoritative information and content. In addition to ruling out contrived material, Google’s search algorithm wants to return meaningful results that are actually relevant to the user’s search query.
The overall picture is considerably larger, and you might want to call in professionals to help. But the big idea here is that many people and multiple talents go into creating quality web pages, content and information.
It’s no easy task to do it right and to produce measurable changes in performance analytics and meaningful results. To stand out from others and for effective online marketing, consider what makes your pages and content unique, valuable or engaging for the user.
What’s more, high quality, meaningful and engaging content is what the empowered patient/consumer (people) need and want. And ultimately, people-connecting-with-people is the secret ingredient in successful online marketing.
Steven Jacobs, SEO Analyst and Manager