By Kathy Roy Gaughran
Senior Marketing Strategist
[Another installment in our continuing education series about Internet and marketing terms that sharpen your business success.]
The inside-the-shop vocabulary of medical advertising agencies has expanded with the growth of the Internet as a primary healthcare marketing tool.
Although elements of this business language are relatively new, they are nonetheless important to attracting and retaining new patients. Doctors and other healthcare providers need to be comfortable with terms-of-art and the role they play in effective physician marketing.
Consider these three fundamental terms and the role they play in your marketing plan:
PUSH MARKETING / PULL MARKETING
“Push” and “pull” are, as the names imply, distinctly opposite connection strategies between the message and the audience.
Push Marketing is where the message seeks the audience. In that sense, the strategy interrupts the potential customer and presents information that the audience has not specifically requested. A television commercial, for example, essentially interrupts the program that the viewer is watching in order to present the marketing message.
Effective push marketing can raise awareness, provoke interest and inspire demand for a product or service. But since the audience is unaware and not necessarily interested, “push” can be inefficient.
Pull Marketing is a tactic where the audience seeks the message. The intent is to motivate customers to actively seek your products, services and/or brand. Word-of-mouth or referrals, for example, can spark the initial interest of a potential customer who seeks out more information or makes a purchase decision.
The effectiveness of pull marketing is enhanced by loyalty to a recognized brand, often retaining customers in an ongoing relationship (and repeat business.)
LOCAL SEARCH OPTIMIZATION
In healthcare, local really means local. The vast majority of people seek and use healthcare providers and hospitals that are nearby and convenient to them. There are some exceptions where individuals will travel further to seek specialized medical services, but most people respond within their routine travel zone.
Local SEO employs particular methods that seek to recognize the geographic location of the individual conducting an online search. This has become increasingly important, given the nearly universal popularity of smartphones and mobile devices. People tend to want to find health care resources immediately, and they tend to choose resources that are close at hand.
Think of quality inbound links as a vote of SEO authority. When other online pages link to you (incoming links, inlinks, inward links or backlinks) it implies interest. And multiple backlinks can register with search engines as an indication of popularity, authority and importance. Hence backlinks to your website are likely to play an important role in enhancing your page rank.
But it’s not just quantity. Google considers the quality of the originating source as significant. The site that originates the link must be relevant to your site or content, and the more relevant, the higher the quality of the link. Conversely, a link from an unrelated (or artificially generated) source is seen as low quality and may reduce your visibility.
For more in this series, you’ll want to read: 3 Terms to Sharpen Your Internet Marketing Success.