Reporting Digital Marketing Performance to the C-Suite

[feat-text]In the private equity (PE) world especially, marketers are regularly asked to prove their worth. In this blog post, I explore some of the ways that CMOs, Marketing VPs, and other marketing professionals can improve how they report on marketing performance to their CEO or board of directors.[/feat-text]

“That’s great. Now tell me how it’s tied to revenue.” Have you heard that one before? It’s a standard imperative from the mouths of board members and the C-suites that report to them. What this means for marketers is, “don’t show me clicks, show me conversions.”

Tell me why I should care!

It’s a mantra I’ve heard often enough and one I use as a guide while preparing my own performance reports. I’m always putting my board-member shoes on and asking tough follow-up questions. Last quarter, cost per lead was down 2%. So what? Facebook advertising generated a thousand leads. Great, but how much revenue is tied to that activity?

The questions have to be tough because board members and the executives that report to them need to evaluate portfolio company performance, especially marketing return on investment (ROI). This information helps PE firms determine when and how to get involved so that their investment stays on a healthy growth trajectory. This, in turn, is fueling the rise of data-driven marketing and leading to the need for improved reporting transparency.

With so much data available, how do marketing teams best communicate their performance to the C-suite or board? What information do CEOs, portfolio managers, board members, et al. need to see to make critical business decisions?

 

How to Align Marketing Performance with the Expectations of C-Suite and Board

First of all, understand who you’re dealing with here. As Conor Kehoe and Tim Koller, writing for Mckinsey & Company, point out, PE boards can actually be quite engaged. Here’s what they have to say in Climbing the private-equity learning curve:

“PE board members feel like owners them­selves. Senior managers of the portfolio company typically own about 5 to 8 percent of the company stock, and the PE firm votes the rest of the shares […] the boards of PE portfolio companies usually include the “deal partner,” who is typically a midcareer financier, and one other member of the PE firm. There is typically a chair, who is frequently an ex-CEO, often from a much larger company than the portfolio company in question. Additionally, the boards will include one or two other nonexecutives—for example, experienced external nonexecutive directors with specific know-how in the company’s core sector or in a functional topic.”

Of course, that’s just one scenario. I’ve seen other scenarios where management only intervenes when they feel part of the business is underperforming, marketing or otherwise. For marketing professionals, this means that the board is going to want to see specifics around growth performance requirements.

Indeed, your marketing reporting must align with the overall value-creation strategy. How successfully are specific marketing initiatives supporting value creation? In your efforts to report on defined targets, such as progress toward financial objectives, consider the following:

Focus on the Right KPIs

Bring together both financial and non-financial KPIs. From a revenue perspective, you’ll likely report on KPIs like cost per lead (CPL) and customer acquisition costs (CAC). There are other leading indicators of revenue, certainly. In healthcare, for example, these indicators might be appointments booked, new patients, and market share. Patient satisfaction and patient experience metrics are also important as part of patient retention. These might include survey results, aggregate scores, or willingness to recommend.

On the other hand, the CEO and board is unlikely to care much about so-called tactical KPIs or activities. Website traffic, for example, or conversion rate—while valuable to the marketing team—have a much looser tie to revenue. The same goes for engagement KPIs, such as impressions, views, retweets, and so on. The board probably won’t care much about how many blog posts your team churned out, either.

In the end, you can’t go wrong with drawing lines from marketing KPIs to pipeline and revenue growth. Easier said than done; I’ll grant you that.

 

Make Closed-Loop Reporting a Priority

One of the most important ways to tie marketing activities and results to revenue is through closed-loop reporting. In this regard, “closing the loop” means attributing end pipeline or revenue growth, for instance, to the marketing channels, campaigns, and other marketing touchpoints that influenced it along the way.

As Salesforce points out in Closed-Loop Reporting and Why It Matters to Your Company, “When using the data gleaned from closed-loop reporting, you don’t have to wonder if the leads produced by marketing across a particular channel end up being a waste of effort. The data speaks loudly and clearly, and an honest assessment can lead you to reduced inefficiencies across the marketing and sales initiatives.”

Let’s take content marketing as an example. While the board might not care much about all the content your team is churning out, they’d probably love to see that leads generated from your whitepapers and ebooks contributed to X amount of incremental revenue last quarter. The same goes for any channel, really—paid advertising, social media, and so on. The idea is to demonstrate marketing’s ROI by focusing on the results marketing helps create, not on the activities to get there.

To get there, you’ll need some kind of attribution model, as well as supporting technologies. Time-decay, U-shaped, and W-shaped are three common attribution models to look into, though there are others.

Implement the Marketing Tech Needed to Gain These Insights

In 5 Digital Marketing Technologies to Rapidly Scale Growth, we discuss a variety of marketing tech for private-equity-backed businesses. A customer relationship management (CRM) solution is a principle among them, as is revenue cycle management software.

The key is to choose not only the right solutions but to implement seamless integration between marketing tech and other platforms that have insight into revenue, appointment booking, product sales, services, etc. With this tech underpinning, you’ll be able to put together reliable, accessible, and shareable dashboards and reports that the board will want to see on a regular basis.

And regular it will be. Writing in Quora, Private Equity Investor Peter Lynch describes “a reporting structure that will survive the hold period. It is generally comprised of the following: 1. a weekly dashboard; 2. monthly financials; 3. quarterly board meetings.” Suffice it to say, marketers will need to have their data, analytics, and reporting squared away to meet these expectations.

 

Communicate Marketing’s Role in the Strategic Vision

Even when you’re throwing the correct numbers up on the board, there’s still work to be done. Board members and executives want to see the dots connected, the right stories told. How do those hard marketing numbers relate to the end goals? We mentioned the content marketing example. What other opportunities are there to tell the marketing stories—using specific examples and numbers—that tie results to the broader value-creation strategy and overarching strategic vision?

This is also an opportunity to tell stories beyond what’s working. Board members need to understand what threats and opportunities presently exist. How, for example, is the pipeline creation generated by a particular marketing channel impacting sales metrics on the other side? Where are the gaps? And what does this more nuanced story tell us about the way forward?

More than likely, there’s a plethora of stories to tell embedded within your marketing metrics—stories your board cares about.

 

Finally, Trade Clean and Perfect for What’s Most Meaningful Right Now

Unfortunately, it’s always going to be a little bit messy when it comes to presenting

. Attribution models, technology integrations, even data trustworthiness tend to be variable—especially for companies with lots of work to do.

So, be really good with what you got. If you can find a way to be consistent in the metrics and stories you present, as well as how you present them—perhaps following the tips I’ve detailed above—you’ll go a long way toward building trust with the board and the c-suite. That means being honest about where the holes, drawbacks, and shortcomings might be, too. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging a limitation as long as you’re prepared to recommend and explain the corrective action.

In How to Present Marketing Reports to Your CEO and Board, Peter Mahoney of Plannuh calls it telling the whole truth. “You need to tell the complete story of your functional performance. It is expected that you will highlight the best results, but you also learn a great deal from those campaigns that did not go well. If you hide behind the best parts of your marketing plan, the worst parts will never get better.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

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7 Essential Principles for Optimizing Your Website for Search

[feat-text]If you’re a healthcare provider looking for concrete ways to improve your website and rank at the top of Google, this article is for you. Explore our seven principles for building a fast, findable, high-ranking site in line with the latest SEO best practices.[/feat-text]

In 2021, a consistent trend we’ve seen is healthcare organizations investing in their digital presence. Not surprisingly, a new or updated website is usually a top priority. It’s your hub, welcome mat, traffic generator, and more. What we tell clients is that design and fancy functionality are just part of the puzzle. It’s not enough to have a good-looking website.

And it’s a critical error to leave search engine optimization (SEO) until the end or as an afterthought.

Trust us on this one. If you’re a healthcare organization considering a new website now or in 2022, make sure to put in foundational SEO as soon as possible. This is the surest way to rank for the keywords that generate more high-quality leads in the long run.

 

7 Essential Principles for Optimizing Your Website for Search

That said, website SEO is a broad topic with lots of nuances. To help clarify what we mean by “putting foundational SEO in place,” think of your website as a plot of land. If you’re going to develop that land, build houses and condos on it, you’ll need to map out the best layout for optimal land use; you’ll need to plan for plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc., in a way that allows for now-construction and future expansion. And so on.

It’s a crude example, but it illustrates the point well. A website’s SEO will depend on its structure, site architecture, and URL hierarchy—foundational SEO that ensures that you can rank for target keywords and can scale your website with growth in the future. As such, your website should follow these seven principles of site architecture:

1. Organized

The recipe for foundational technical SEO has a few ingredients. As you organize your own site, remember that every piece of content has a place. Typically, that content is organized under your main navigation (main menu). That main menu should tell a story that gives website visitors exactly what they will get at a glance.

That menu is an outward representation of the way you structure and organize your site pages. You’ll want to group page types so they’re easy to navigate wherever a person is on the site. Typically, these groupings are hierarchical (your parent “Services” page might have subpages for specific service categories, for example).

As a general rule, keep page groupings and site structure as simple as possible for easier navigation and site crawlability. And make sure to write distinct meta descriptions, titles, tags, and heading tags for each of these pages (another key ingredient of technical SEO and overall site organization).

2. Discoverable

There are a couple of aspects of discoverability to consider. First of all, what good is your big, beautiful services page, or new blog post, if a visitor to your website can’t find it? “You don’t want your users going five clicks deep just to find key information.”

So, the first question you need to address from a discoverability standpoint is, can people get to your most important pages in three clicks or fewer, no matter their entry point?

Another aspect of discoverability is from the search engine standpoint. Can Google and other search engines discover, find, and crawl all of your site’s pages? One key step you can take is to add the Sitemap & Robots.txt file. Robots.txt and sitemap.xml are essential files that can help search engines better understand your particular website and index it correctly. For this reason, robots.txt and XML sitemaps go hand in hand.

3. Unique

Okay, your site is organized and discoverable. Now it’s time to address user experience (UX) and design, which can help your site in several ways. This is where UX and design come into play. You don’t want to look like all your competitors. You want to have something that stands out as memorable.

Unique websites originate from a clear sense of identity. Focus on who you are and who you help. This should inform your messaging, aesthetic, voice, tone, and other things that will make you unique. No duplicate content! Make sure to trim down duplicate content and create redirects where needed. If your website doesn’t feel unique, you’re probably not communicating what you do effectively.

Perhaps that’s something your team needs to revisit and formalize.

4. Linkable

People link to other websites when they want to point readers to an authoritative source. Likewise, people will link to your website when they feel that they’ve found reliable information that brings value to their own audience. Make sure you have natural linking opportunities within your website, and you have content worth linking to through your link-building campaigns.

You’ll want to approach linkability from a few different angles:

  • Build out excellent content that brings value to your audience. Do your pages have the authoritative information that people want to link to from their own sites?
  • Evaluate pages with no internal links and a few external links. Add internal links to pages that are missing them and remove external links from service pages.
  • Launch link building campaigns to expand your backlink portfolio. The more that authoritative websites link back to your own, the better your site’s SEO.

5. Consistent

You want continuity in terms of theme, structure, and page types throughout all sites of a given brand (or brands). Consistency ensures that your website looks coherent and works harmoniously across all its different elements, such as headers, footers, sidebars, and navigation bars.

It also:

  • Gives your users a more recognizable and memorable experience
  • Enables users to carry out tasks more quickly and efficiently
  • Improves usability and learnability of your website
  • Eliminates pain points and difficult navigation
  • Saves money and time on design

“Make sure that your content is consistent. Consistent branding, consistent messaging, and consistent theme.”

6. Valuable

We mentioned the importance of bringing value in the linkability section above. Bringing value has broader SEO benefits for your site. The number one rule is to make sure every page delivers some value. Get rid of all those pages that aren’t delivering value for you.

So, do your site visitors get something from your site (instead of only being sold something?). Value might be:

  • Educational content that helps them make an informed decision about their healthcare
  • Price and insurance information that helps them evaluate costs
  • Testimonials and case studies
  • New research and reporting on important medical topics

Of course, there are other ways to add value to your pages. You can put content in a format that follows UX best practices, for one. When you optimize current pages for a better UX, you can not only reduce bounce rates, but help users read the content better. Certain page formats, such as adding headers and bullet points to break up pages, can also help you rank for featured snippets.

As you revisit existing services pages and blog posts, look for opportunities to take certain topics deeper to bring more value to people and search engines. As always, make sure you’re targeting the right audience and keywords.

7. Fast

The Page Experience update from Google has made it essential for websites to be optimized for speed and mobile. There are a LOT of ways to make your site faster. Fundamentally, you’ll want to set up your website from the beginning to maximize page speed. When determining your site structure, for example, evaluate the technical and hosting foundation (these are more difficult to address later on).

Here are some common speed-killers for websites:

  • WYSIWYG themes
  • Poor hosting
  • Too many third-party scripts
  • Too many plugins
  • No or inadequate caching
  • Unoptimized images

Our tips for creating faster websites? Start by “clearing out the weeds,” so to speak. Audit and clean up your Google Tag Manager (GTM) and other third-party scripts. Update what plugins you do have, remove the unnecessary ones, and disable your current site speed plugins. And optimize the format, file size, load order of your images!

With that low-hanging fruit out of the way, here are a few more technical site-speed optimizations:

  • Revisit your heatmap tracking, a common culprit
  • Check to see if your PHP is out of date
  • Setup a content delivery network (CDN)

 

In the End, Your Site is Only As Good as Its SEO

It’s true. While the seven principles outlined here happen to be SEO-related, they really affect all aspects of your website. Attention to these seven essential principles will help healthcare consumers trying to find a great provider. It will help you build credibility and trust with healthcare consumers, affiliates, partners, and so on. It will let patients know that they can trust you and your site, while improving the overall experience with your brand.

Indeed, a strong SEO foundation has major benefits for websites that can lead to long-term exponential growth. This is why we’re encouraging all of our healthcare clients to make both SEO and web strategy a core part of their digital marketing strategies.

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Guide to PPC Best Practices for Senior Care

[feat-text]In this blog post, I explore the viability of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for senior care providers, as well as some PPC best practices that can help providers connect with more people in need.[/feat-text]

I was recently asked by a marketer at a senior care provider (and prospective client) if they need PPC advertising. My answer was an emphatic yes. In some form or another, PPC can be a critical part of your broader digital marketing strategy and help you capture demand and build your lead pipeline.

 

Why Do PPC Ads Work for Senior Care Companies?

To understand the benefits of PPC for senior care, let’s take a step back and consider the context. First and foremost, the senior care space is a crowded one. The digital landscape is competitive. Even the most bulletproof SEO strategy in the world will take some time to gain traction and deliver high rankings, especially for competitive keywords.

For many senior care providers, especially those who have a financial incentive to keep beds occupied or patient rosters full, the need for high-quality leads is quite urgent. Speaking of patients, residents, and their families, the need for senior care can be urgent, too, often coming on the heels of a diagnosis or acute health event. Sprinkle in the lasting effects of the global pandemic and many senior care marketers find themselves in a bit of a pinch.

Enter PPC, which can be a very effective way to:

  • Place content and CTAs at the top of search results for competitive keywords
  • Connect with target audiences in need of senior care NOW
  • Buy search engine visibility that’s targeted toward specific locations
  • Get bottom-line results for high-intent, highly competitive keywords faster than with SEO

 

How Senior Care Companies Can Build a Strong Foundation for Cost-Effective PPC

Now, as effective as PPC ads can be, I do urge caution. The wrong PPC strategy can blow a marketing budget and generate nothing but low-quality leads. To avoid that outcome, build a foundational PPC strategy that’s strong in these five areas:

1. Develop a Strong Keyword Strategy

Step one is to build a list of the top keywords you want to advertise for. Remember that senior care is a very “local” choice for many people, so you’ll want to factor location into your keyword list. Next, focus on the keywords most likely to drive the conversions you’re looking for, be that a form fill or a phone call. This includes long-tail keywords, which tend to reflect the natural language people use when querying a search engine (coincidentally, long-tail keywords tend to be less expensive).

Speaking of expensive keywords, temper your expectations around broader, high-volume keywords. I don’t have to look to know that “senior community new york” is a highly competitive keyword phrase. Keywords like these might get thousands or tens of thousands of clicks a month, making them costly targets for paid advertising. Think about what makes your company unique, why do people choose you?

Focus on the keywords that reflect what your ideal customers are searching for. For independent living communities, that may be targeting keywords for people who value your amenities and are searching for “senior living community with pool and gym.” Or for long-term care facilities, family members are looking for “compassionate nursing home with good reviews.”

Finally, make sure to build out negative keyword lists. These are keywords that you’d rather not display ads for. “Senior living community” might not make sense if you provide in-patient hospice services (your audience is looking for something more specific than simply a 55+ living community). Negative keyword lists help ensure that your ads reach the right audiences at an efficient cost.

2. Consolidate Your Google Ad Campaigns

Proper account and campaign structure is an essential element of effective PPC advertising strategies. Google stresses account organization for a reason. A consolidated campaign structure can help improve ad budgeting, improve ad quality scores, and result in more insightful campaign reporting.

Campaign consolidation is also the first step toward utilizing algorithmic ad-buying tactics, such as smart bidding. A simple way to consolidate is to create two campaigns per location: brand and nonbrand. Then you can push service granularity to the ad group level.

Campaign-level consolidations can help drive more leads at a lower CPA. Think With Google estimates an 11 percent increase in reach efficiency after brands consolidate their campaigns.

3. Lean on Smart Bidding

Smart bidding uses predictive machine learning to automatically set bids during an auction. It’s a portfolio bidding strategy that groups together multiple campaigns, ad groups, and keywords to reach certain performance goals. Most ad platforms offer some kind of smart bidding option.

Smart bidding can help reduce the cost to serve up display and search ads. In senior care, for example, you can use smart bidding to pull out certain locations for incremental budgeting on an as-needed basis. This is useful for locations that chronically underperform on some channels.

While smart bidding might seem like a great way to hand off all bid management to Google, it doesn’t always make sense to completely automate your bids for search and display ads. In some cases, doing so can allow a small problem, such as a CPC increase, to grow into a margin killer.

3. Leverage Data to Improve Senior Care Lead Quality

To improve the quality of the conversions driven by paid search, you need to know which ads actually result in new customers, be that a long-term care patient or a new resident at your independent living community. So, how do you know which ads actually result in new business?

You need to have some sort of tracking system in place—and integrated reporting. CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot offer integrations with Google Ads and can help you tie ads to leads and actual new patients or residents. It’s not always easy, though.

There are solutions, though.

Implement Call Tracking

First, we recommend to all our clients that they implement a call tracking solution. It can help you gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of your online and offline marketing efforts. Without call tracking, it’s difficult to know where a phone call came from.

A person may see your ad online and decide to call versus filling out a form. In the senior care space, people often want to talk to a real person when evaluating options.

Call tracking can help you determine which keywords and ads are driving calls and appointments.

Integrate Offline Data

If you don’t have a closed-loop reporting system or a CRM that integrates with Google Ads, manual data transfer processes can help you gain insight into campaign effectiveness. You can pass back data from your patient management system (PMS) or electronic health record (EHR) system to a CRM and Google Ads by uploading offline conversions of actual new customers.

By telling Google’s algorithm which ad interactions led to higher quality leads and actual customers, it can optimize campaigns around the features that produced those customers. This is an effective method for lowering new patient acquisitions costs.

4. Use Responsive Search Ads (RSAs)

With responsive search ads (RSAs), you let Google optimize your headlines, ad copy, and CTA based on what’s most likely to engage and convert. You supply the ad headline and description variations and let Google’s AI choose the optimal combinations based on audience, device, location, and other variables. RSAs have proven highly effective, and for years they’re what we recommend to most senior care providers looking to get more out of their PPC strategy. They work so well that RSAs are now the default ad type for Google Ads. Expanded text ads are still available, but Google wants people to use their technologies backed by machine learning.

Instead of manually testing headline and copy variations as individual ads, RSAs automatically identify the best headline + copy combination to achieve your campaign’s goal. Responsive display ads should follow creative best practices by having a variety of 7 images, 5 headlines, and 6 descriptions to give the algorithm as many options as possible to serve the most relevant ad for each user.

They require a little more setup and planning when launching a new campaign. But that work pays off with more clicks, conversions, and better-performing ad campaigns.

Here are a few tips to get more from your responsive search ads:

  • Leverage Google’s ad strength tool to improve the effectiveness of your copy
  • Use countdown customizers to add urgency for special events, like open houses
  • Tailor your RSA text to the user’s location with the location insertion field. Instead of uploading data files with thousands of location rows, this feature allows ads to be customized to the user’s state or country.

Lastly, while RSAs automate a lot of the manual testing of ad creative, you still need to analyze campaign performance. Look across campaigns to identify trends and to understand what your customers are responding to. Implementing these insights across your account will improve the overall performance of your PPC advertising strategy.

5. Create an Exceptional Post-click Experience

Too often, advertisers neglect the post-click experience, which is what happens after someone clicks on your ad.

Your ad is only as effective as your landing page. If you fail to deliver the message and experience promised in your ad, you’re ad clicks and conversions won’t actually result in new business. That’s how you tank your ROI.

The goal of your web page or landing page is to get conversions. They can contain plenty of content, but they must adhere to an information hierarchy that encourages users to act.

Content should be organized into clearly defined sections that address prospects’ questions, motivations, and barriers. Users need to first know they are in the right place after clicking to arrive on the page and subsequently presented with the information they need in order to convert. Testimonials and other credibility factors should also be placed higher and in more than one place on a page.

The journey from ad to landing page—including messaging, tone, user experience, even aesthetic—should be as seamless as possible. Your campaign landing pages need to be dialed in order to maximize conversions, including:

  • Rocksolid landing page copywriting
  • A hierarchy that encourages action
  • Prominent CTAs that make it easy for people to convert
  • Consistent branding
  • Testimonials and social proof
  • FAQs

Lastly, reinforce the ad messaging and appeal to user motivations with clear, unique selling propositions. If someone is quickly scanning the page, they must be able to immediately interpret the benefits your senior care organization provides.

CASE STUDY

How a Renowned Senior Care Organization Increased PPC Conversions 32 Percent

The team at Centers Health Care needed to create its own pipeline, rather than relying on lead aggregators or in-person hospital referrals alone. Their goal was to overcome inexperience with launching efficient PPC campaigns, dramatically increase monthly admissions, and build brand awareness for all of its locations.

To see how we did it, [optin-monster slug=”kadawcxj42kiajcabdjb”].

From Foundational PPC to Rapid Scalability

I can’t stress enough how important it is to put these foundational pieces in place. Without these best practices, it becomes quite difficult to efficiently scale PPC, something that most multi-location senior care providers want to do. The good news is that simplicity is usually the best bet, especially at the outset. That goes for keyword strategy, campaign structure, and even ad creative.

With these pieces in place, the sky’s the limit.

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Guide to SEO Best Practices for Senior Care

[feat-text]Let’s take an in-depth look at the search engine optimization (SEO) best practices essential for senior care organizations who want to increase their visibility online. I’ve sourced these tips from our agency’s work with leading multi-locations senior care groups.[/feat-text]

Let’s put things into context. The senior care vertical is poised to explode in the coming years. More than eight million seniors receive care from some kind of senior care service (nursing home, residential, etc.) annually. Research from the Urban Institute indicates that the number of Americans aged 65 years and older will double over the next two decades.

This makes for a large pool of seniors and family members looking online for care options. It’s a crowded and competitive space. Standing out in Google search experiences requires close attention to a few foundational SEO best practices, as follows.

 

Lay Your Foundation: Technical SEO

Before you invest considerable resources into activities like content creation, link building, or review solicitation, you need to ensure your website adheres to the technical requirements outlined by major search engines. They need to understand your website’s architecture, crawl, and index your web pages. Failure to optimize your technical SEO will result in pages that never hit the search engine results page.

Here’s a brief checklist to get you started:

  • Increase your website’s loading speed—Google and users hate slow websites
  • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
  • Build a site structure that’s easy for Google to crawl and index
  • Fix crawl errors
  • Optimize your crawl rate
  • Use clean search engine friendly URLs
  • Add relevant internal links to connect relevant pages
  • Replace broken links and resources
  • Implement dynamic schema markup
  • Remove duplicate content
  • Set up 301 redirects

It’s easy for minor errors to occur, and over time, they can pile up and make a negative impact on your search rankings.

Each month, we monitor and optimize 100s of technical SEO factors to make it easier for our senior care clients to rank for competitive keywords. Without a solid technical foundation, other SEO tactics become more challenging and won’t yield the same result.

 

Make Local SEO a Priority

For most families, senior care is a local decision. People want to be close to their families, generally speaking. They want their aging family members to be close by, too. Whether you’re a multi-location senior care group or an individual practice, your local SEO strategy will be an important means for connecting with prospects.

Develop a Localized Keyword Strategy

Keywords are the language that people use to look online for senior care. They’re the stuff search engines use to help people find what they need online. To build your localized keyword strategy, you’ll need to define the specific list of keywords you want to rank for, monitor, and measure performance against.

Broadly speaking, your keyword strategy will break down into three parts:

  • Goals. Do you want to rank your website in the top three results for a particular search phrase? Do you want to increase keyword rankings for a dedicated service page, such as “hospice care atlanta”?
  • Research. Learn how the members of your target decision-making unit (DMU) find senior care solutions online. As your ideal DMU moves through the process of finding senior care, what kind of questions do they have? What keywords do they use to search for answers?

With this information in hand, you can put together your keyword list. We recommend focusing on two types of keywords, in particular:

  • Location-based: Longer keyword phrases that include location identifiers, such as postal code, city name, and so on. In large cities, you may want to rank for specific neighborhoods. For example, “senior hospice medicare atlanta” versus “senior living communities near buckhead.”
  • High-intent, solution-aware: The language of a person who already knows the outcome they want, but not necessarily the senior care service that will get them there. For example, “dementia care atlanta,” or “after stroke care 92115.”

Both higher intent and location-based keywords are particularly useful for multi-location senior care practices. However, they’re only two parts of a broader keyword strategy. After you increase rankings and visibility for local high-intent keywords, you can then target more problem-aware keywords that are used when people start to research their senior care needs.

Create Localized Web Pages

Create a unique website page for each location within your senior care group. This location page will help each location rank for location-based searches—your Brooklyn location for people in New York, for example, or your La Mesa facility for people in San Diego.

When building these dedicated location pages, give each location page a distinct URL that includes location information and more than 500 words of content. Use location-specific keyword combinations, too, like describing nearby destinations like parks or landmarks. Finally, tie these location pages to their corresponding listings on Google My Business and elsewhere.

The idea is to rank content for location-based searches. You want to make sure, for instance, that your hospice group’s Kansas City location ranks on the first page for people searching Google for hospice care in that location.

When building these dedicated location pages, incorporate your local keyword strategy by using location-specific keyword combinations throughout. Publish valuable information to your target audience, including the FAQs they might have (insurance, cost, etc.). Where possible, develop a template that makes it easier to roll out pages for new locations as they’re added to your group or network.

 

Take a Full-Funnel Approach to SEO

Depending on your particular senior care space, people are looking for options right now (in response to an acute issue, for example) or those with longer consideration phases (selecting a senior living community, for example). Ideally, your full-funnel SEO strategy has you ranking content for all of the above (and everything in between).

That said, you’ll want to tailor your target keywords and content to the different stages of the funnel:

Problem Aware: At this stage, a person knows they have an issue, but they’re unaware of potential solutions. They might not even be actively seeking a solution at all. This is an opportunity to educate your target audience and articulate their problem in clear, authoritative terms.

Solution Aware: This person is in the process of evaluating different solutions to their problem. At this stage, you’ll want to demonstrate why your particular senior care service is a viable solution to their problem.

Product Aware: The product-aware consumer needs convincing that one solution is better than another. Create content that summarizes your solution concisely, makes the benefits real (using a testimonial, for instance), and disarms or overcomes any objections.

Most Aware: At this stage, your consumer likely knows and trusts your senior care brand. Now is the time to get them over the finish line with a good offer—something that incentivizes them to contact you.

Create Authoritative Content About Senior Care Topics

Beyond your primary website site pages (homepage, services, etc.), you’ll want to put out a steady flow of authoritative, keyword-rich, high-value content that aligns with those stages of the buyer’s journey. Map this content to the stages in the funnel we covered above and related target keywords.

Keep your ideal Decision-Making Unit (DMU) in mind, too. The decision-making unit (DMU) varies based on the type of senior care. Sometimes, an adult son or daughter is the primary decision-maker. In other situations, it’s the senior themselves that’s making the final purchase decisions.

 

Manage Your Digital Reputation

Too many senior care providers overlook their digital reputation. How your business appears in places like Google, Yelp, and other digital search experiences affects SEO. This includes the volume and quality of reviews left on each of your listings. Take an inventory of the digital profiles, sites, channels, and listings you already have. Where do your ideal patients go to read and leave reviews for your senior care brand?

Start with a Solid Google My Business Listing

At the very least, get a GMB listing in good standing for each of your locations. Keep each listing up to date with accurate NAP, business categories, and photos, and so on. GMB listings factor significantly in local search experiences. Remember, senior care is a highly local matter. A billion+ people use Google Maps every month. Make sure you update:

  • Hours of operation, address, and contact information
  • Links to websites and appointment scheduling
  • Reviews and ratings—don’t forget to monitor and respond to feedback
  • FAQs about your senior care services, insurance, and so on
  • Photos of the senior care facility and staff
  • Announcements and promotions
  • Updates about COVID-19 protocols

Generate Regular Reviews

Reviews are critical in the senior care space. People are averse to senior care brands with poor reviews or none at all—as are search engines. According to an NRC Health Study, “74.7% of patients want to see at least seven ratings before they’ll trust them.” Here are a few ways to get people to leave reviews:

  • Send out review invitations in your automated email messages, customer communications, and website
  • Train your staff to ask for a review
  • Automate your review program with vendors like BirdEye

 

Give Your Website the Attention it Deserves

Looking at the best practices I’ve already detailed here, it’s clear that most roads lead to your website. How does your site look, feel, and perform on various devices and platforms? Is it simple to navigate, find information, and contact you?

Things like navigation, page speed, accessibility are all part of the user experience (UX). Not only does good UX lead to better consumer experiences with your digital brand, but UX is a search engine ranking factor. Here are a few best practices to follow across your websites and pages:

  • Run your site through the Core Web Vitals report to get baseline stats and performance
  • Test your site on different devices and platforms
  • Minimize pop-ups and other distractions that interfere with what people need to do
  • Invest in a mobile-friendly and responsive site design
  • Consolidate and simplify your site structure; avoid redundant pages

Finally, Here are Three Case Studies in Senior Care SEO

I was going to close with some sweeping overture about senior care SEO. But my Flock is all about showing the proof in the pudding. So here are three case studies from our own client portfolio that have made successful use of the SEO best practices enumerated in this blog post.

King’s Bridge

From a business perspective, the King’s Bridge team had their hands full with handling resident turnover and keeping their units full. From a marketing perspective, their one-person in-house team was limited in terms of available bandwidth for even fundamental digital marketing activities. See how their team generated a 59 percent increase in organic sessions.

Home Care Assistance

At the outset of its engagement with Atlantic, the HCA team had a prime opportunity to reach a lot more hand-raisers for senior home care. What they needed from Atlantic was a way to target this audience earlier in the funnel to drive demand at the time of the precipitating life event (acute illness, a fall, etc.).

Abode

Abode needed to find a way to reach aggressive monthly goals for cost per lead and new patient admissions. This being the company’s first formal digital marketing initiative, Abode knew that they needed to partner with an experienced digital marketing agency with a proven track record.

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How to Uncover Patient Insights for Better Campaigns

[feat-text]Summary: What do your patients really care about? And what do they think about you? The answers might surprise you. They might also reveal why your marketing campaigns are missing the mark.[/feat-text]

Healthcare marketers don’t have a choice: monitoring performance metrics is crucial to success. The numbers matter! What marketers sometimes forget is that there’s also a person behind the metrics they care about most. Real people. Current and future patients. What those patients want, need, feel, get frustrated about—their surprises, disappointments, and desired outcomes—comprises a more qualitative aspect of healthcare marketing called patient insights.

On top of the insights that most marketers already use to optimize, reorganize, or rethink campaigns, patient insights can help them develop better marketing campaigns by taking a step back. By asking, “do I really know what my patients want?” It’s an ongoing effort that can directly inform changes to marketing strategies.

 

Why You Need to Talk To Patients

It seems counterintuitive, but a lot of healthcare practices are hesitant to talk to their patients. They don’t want to bother patients, hurt the relationship, or risk violating privacy standards. Worse, some practices think they already know everything. In these cases, ego gets in the way of an honest conversation about blind spots in the patient experience.

Under the right circumstances, however, most patients want to be forthcoming about their feedback, whether positive or negative. In some cases, they’ve already made their voices heard on reviews sites or social media. The question is, are you providing the right opportunities for patients to share their feelings? More importantly, are you listening?

 

Where to Look for Patient Insights

To find patient insights, take your reporting and analytics hat off for a moment. Don’t overthink it because getting patient insights doesn’t have to be some complicated marketing operation. Again, most people appreciate being informally asked their thoughts and ideas. A conversation with a physician, for example.

Of course, make sure you always follow HIPAA regulations and, where necessary, keep all patient information confidential and secure. With that in mind:

Review Existing Channels to See What People Are Saying

Start by digging into your patient feedback forms (assuming you use them). Pay special attention to negative sentiment, both in how patients rate your services, as well as what they write when asked to elaborate. The same goes for your reviews on social media, Google My Business, and healthcare review sites. What are people saying, especially those who have left negative ratings?

Call logs from your customer service center can be another good source of customer voice, feedback, and sentiment. Even a cursory review of social media comments, posts on your channels, or where your brand is tagged can be revealing. Across the board, you’re looking for common threads, trends, and other insights that might inform improvements to both your patient experience and related marketing campaigns.

Conduct Patient Interviews

While the line from patient interviews to healthcare marketing campaigns isn’t always direct, the former can inform the latter. Patient interviews are your opportunity to hear directly from patients, ask productive questions, and make sure nothing slips through the cracks. In some cases, this is the only forum in which patients feel totally comfortable sharing their thoughts.

To conduct better patient interviews, we like three call-outs in particular from EMS World’s tips for conducting patient interviews:

  • Ditch the script and rely more on open-ended questions. This leads to a more natural, conversational flow.
  • Slow it down and give patients time to respond to questions one at a time. Few people feel very thoughtful when they’re feeling rushed.
  • Avoid “doctor speak” and medical jargon, so patients feel comfortable using their own words. Again, patients should feel like they’re in an open and supportive environment.

Bonus: hearing the actual words and terminology that patients use to describe their medical needs can help inform your keyword strategy.

Diversify Your Patient Outreach

Next, take your patient surveys and interviews a step further. Most practices have three distinct opportunities to expand patient outreach:

  • Talk to your long-term patients. For example, “Thanks for your support and loyalty. How can we continue to deliver the best possible care for you moving forward?”
  • Reach out to patients who are leaving or already have. For example, “We’re so sorry to see you go. Do you mind telling us what we could have done better?”
  • Survey your new patients. For example, “How did you find our practice, and why did you choose us?”

The idea here is to get an idea of the needs, concerns, and feedback that patients have at critical points in their journey. We’re guessing that most healthcare marketing campaigns are closely tied to these points in the journey—at least they should be.

 

How to Use Patient Insights in Marketing

There’s a variety of applications for patient insights. Physicians and healthcare professionals themselves often use patient insights to guide treatment plans, clinical trials, and other aspects of medicine. For healthcare marketers with access to patient insights, here are some ideas for putting them to use toward improving your healthcare marketing strategy.

Refine Your Positioning & Messaging

Patient insights can shed light on what makes you different as a healthcare brand. What’s your unique selling proposition (USP)? What makes you different from the next provider in your field? And why should someone choose you? Often, your patients will help to answer these questions for you.

For example, we’ve seen the surprise when healthcare marketers find that their brand has a reputation for subpar customer service. They’ve always assumed otherwise. Elsewhere, we’ve seen rural hospitals or regional groups struggle to change a perceived lack of advanced technology and services. Others haven’t been able to identify why they’re losing business to a competitor across town.

Insights like these can be a turning point for healthcare brands struggling to find or refine their positioning and messaging. There’s valuable information in the nuances that matter to real patients. The trick is to invest the time and effort needed to find it. For the brands that do bake these patient insights into their brand positioning, their campaigns are far more effective at engaging prospective patients.

Breathe New Life Into Your Ad Creative

Based on these patient insights, your ad creative might be next in line for an update. Use patient insights to inform design, theme, and copy updates that resonate better with actual patient needs. Use imagery and video that evokes feelings that appeal to their motivations and goals or alleviate any fears and make them feel confident in their choice.

For example:

  • Before/after photos
  • Patient testimonials
  • Provider interviews
  • Procedure/surgery overviews

A plastic surgery group, for example, might find that a fear of “going under the knife” is their patients’ top objection to a specific procedure—not price, as they previously assumed. The marketing team might use this information to create messaging, testimonials, and other ad creative that directly addresses—and disarms—these fears. If the marketing team can target these ads to the stage in the funnel where patients feel this fear most, all the better.

Attend to Your Patient Experience

If your digital reputation is suffering or not quite on par with competitors, look to see if you’re missing key patient requirements. Do you know what really matters to your patients? What do they expect when they go into the office? When you deliver exceptional patient experiences, you’ll generate more positive reviews naturally—people will be eager to share with their friends and family. Word of mouth recommendations will increase, too.

Patient experiences and patient reviews are closely intertwined.

A dentist might look into its negative reviews, for example, and find that many customers are confused about insurance. They can’t get their questions answered by the website! A multi-location healthcare organization might find that customers are having trouble finding the right phone number to call to make appointments. They’re constantly put on hold or transferred! Both of these flashpoints in the patient experience can be addressed by specific marketing activities—the important thing is to know that they exist.

 

Tune In Before Smoke Becomes Fire

Healthcare brands that fail to invest time in patient insights often overlook critical faults in the patient experience. More often than not, these fault lines aren’t acute enough to jump out at a person—at least not without closer scrutiny. Over time, however, these issues can persist and become an undesired part of a brand’s visible digital reputation.

“They have poor customer service.”

“I can never get an appointment.”

“Their bedside manner is rude. It feels like they don’t listen to me.”

The list goes on. And in that regard, it really is a relationship. It’s up to healthcare professionals to nurture this relationship—listen and look for the signs that something is wrong. Usually, this requires nothing more than organizational buy-in for the value of patient insights. That and taking the time to talk to patients and hear them out.

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How to Create Stellar Location Pages for Your Medical Organization

[feat-text]Summary: A list of best practices and practical steps for setting up one of the most fundamental parts of your practice’s local SEO strategy.[/feat-text]

In healthcare, the name of the game is reaching patients. Consistently and with purpose. In an increasingly noisy digital marketplace, Google is still the best place to start. Of the three principal ways you can do so—paid ads, reputation, and local search optimization (SEO)—local SEO has particular upside for healthcare marketers. And one of the first steps toward shoring up local SEO for each of your locations is with a strong location page.

 

Why Your Location Pages are so Important

To understand how localized search has evolved, examine your own digital habits around healthcare. When you need a teeth cleaning, new primary care physician, or physical therapist, do you look in the next town over or closer to home? If you’re like most people these days, you’re making your decisions based on proximity.

You’re likely doing it all on your smartphone, too. According to the Google UX Playbook for Healthcare, 65 percent of searches for healthcare happen on mobile. Of these searches, mobile-based “near me” searches—for example, “urgent care near me”, or “dentist near me”—factor prominently.

What does this all mean for healthcare marketers? Convenience, even down to how your locations appear in search results, matters greatly. People not only want to find you using their smartphone but quickly place a call or schedule an appointment—right then and there in the search results. Indeed, “78% of respondents agree that Google has become the new homepage for local businesses” (Moz State of Local SEO Industry Report 2020).

Local SEO is critical to delivering this kind of relevance to healthcare consumers. That means optimizing your site so it appears in Map Pack and Google Maps. Step one is to create unique, optimized location pages for each of your locations. It’s the most fundamental way to send the right signals to Google so each page ranks for local search queries.

 

How to Create SEO-rich Location Pages for Each Locale

We’ve established that location pages are a best practice for local SEO. So let’s begin with a good rule of thumb: unique location landing pages are better than separate websites. In other words, you should create individual location pages for each physical locale, all of which live on your practice or organization’s main website (as opposed to creating a completely separate website for each location).

This approach to site structure and location pages affords the following benefits:

  • Create a cohesive brand image and voice across all locations
  • Increase site authority as you accumulate internal and external links
  • Make it easier for patients to find you and navigate your website
  • Reduce your workload with fewer pages to optimize

Here’s an eight-step formula for spinning up stellar location pages:

 

1. Create a Parent Location Page

Site structure and navigation matter to search engines. Before diving in headlong, put proper site structure in place for your location pages. To begin with, you’ll want to create a singular “parent” location page—a strong, locally optimized URL that has a place in your site’s top navigation menu.

If you only have one location, this page will be optimized for that location (for example, San Diego or your particular part of San Diego). If you have multiple locations, you’ll want to list them all on this parent location page, then link out to dedicated subpages for each location. Here’s what that might look like:

This centralized approach to your location pages offers several advantages:

  • Google crawlers will easily index this part of your site
  • You can concentrate your link building efforts on this page (a single URL)
  • Link juice will flow down to each dedicated location page

 

2. Use at Least 500 Words of Copy

The quality and thoughtfulness of this content matters. Google will figure it out pretty quickly if you’ve copied a template and swapped out the location’s name for each one. Instead, add keywords relevant to your location by including points of interest, nearby landmarks, or a location-specific description of the office itself (for example, “views of San Diego bay from our sixth-floor reception desk”).

While we don’t recommend repeating content, we do recommend developing a template that can be used for all location pages. This template should make it easy to copy agreed-upon page structure, content sections, and so on, and then quickly build out the unique content for each. This achieves some near-term consistency while making it easier to roll out and add locations as your organization expands.

 

3. Showcase the Providers Available at Each Location

Your people offer another opportunity to enrich each location page with relevant content. You can organize staff into various departments or groups, then include a name, photo, and credentials or bio for each. For physicians or the leadership team, you might consider creating additional bio pages with more information, testimonials and reviews, and so on.

People want to get to know their providers!

 

4. Highlight the Services Provided at That Location

In addition to meeting your people, healthcare consumers want to meet your services. Most likely, they’re confirming that you offer their service at this particular location and, if available, getting a bit more information. Here’s an example of how to go about that:

  • Build out a subpage for your dental group’s Tampa Bay practice
  • On that page, list the services offered at that location
  • Link each specific service, such as “veneers” and “root canal therapy,” to their own dedicated subpages
  • Enrich location-specific service pages with as much detail as possible, including media, testimonials, and FAQs

 

5. Add Photos

Photos serve several purposes for local SEO. First and foremost, this is an opportunity to show people what your location looks like inside and out. It gives prospective patients an idea of what to expect. This is also an opportunity to optimize the images, including image alt text and other metadata, for local search results. Google will often pull these images and include them in your Local Pack to enhance that experience for people looking for healthcare.

6. Focus on Helping People Do What They Came to Do

We’re talking about user experience (UX)—both in terms of navigating between location pages and to the location pages themselves. Not only does good UX make life easier for site visitors, but UX happens to be a Google Ranking factor. That means you have double the incentive to make it easy for patients to understand where you’re located and how to navigate to you. They should quickly find how to contact you by phone, email, or chat or to schedule an appointment.

Some tips for strong location page UX:

  • Optimize your page for smartphones
  • Structure your content for readability with skimmable headers, bullets, etc.
  • Embed a map for each specific location
  • Add a “get directions” button
  • Include the phone number for that location
  • Add a “click to call” button
  • Add an embedded scheduler
  • If applicable, include location-specific insurance information


7. On-page Optimizations You Can’t Forget

There are a few opportunities to further localize your dedicated location pages by way of on-page SEO. Here are the three we commonly recommend:

  • Implement location schema: Essentially, location schema is special page markup, and that helps search engines better serve up location-based information in search results. Check out SearchEngineJournal for an in-depth guide on location schema.
  • Use location keywords in the URL, for example:
    • /locations/san-diego-dentist-office
    • /locations/los-angeles-dentist-office
    • /locations/san-francisco-dentist-office
  • Add city and region keywords to the page title and meta-description.


8. Don’t Forget About NAP Consistency

Your name, address, and phone number information (NAP) must be consistent across all directory listings (citations) and location pages. By consistent, we mean using the exact same name, address, and phone number—same formatting, too. This way, both prospective patients and search engines know they have the right information wherever they find it.

3 Examples of Great Location Pages

Rather than treat their location pages as an afterthought, these three healthcare providers invested time and resources toward well-optimized pages.

CareSpot

Here’s the location page we helped CareSpot put together for its urgent care location in Lakewood, California. We focused on creating a clean and straightforward layout, mobile-optimized design, and embedded buttons for calling, getting directions, or scheduling an appointment.


LifeStance Health

This page is also simple in its layout and well optimized for mobile experiences. We appreciate the prominent “Schedule First Appointment Online” button, which is a common first action for visitors to this page. LifeStance makes it easy.

 

Atlanta Brain and Spine

The first thing we noticed about this page was the local-optimized URL (https://www.atlantabrainandspine.com/atlanta-office/), as well as the embedded links to other location pages. In fact, the page is rich with photos and additional content as you scroll.

 

 

To see how more healthcare organizations across a variety of verticals are handling local SEO, check out our case studies page.

 

All This for a Location Page!?

Yes! There’s a reason we dedicate blog posts, social media content, and even full webinars to location pages and local SEO. With a little tender loving care—a little bit of structure and intention—these pages can generate serious link juice over time.

To a place where your location pages are ranking well and even converting, you have to make them easy to use. You need to situate them, structure them, and write them with your people in mind. What do your people need when they reach one of your location pages? And how can you build those pages to support better experiences? If you use those questions as starting points for your location pages, the rest of it takes care of itself.

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How to Get More from Your Online Reviews

[feat-text]Summary: As powerful as reviews and testimonials can be, there’s still so much untapped potential out there. Potential to expand their reach and visibility—to relate with patients and get them over the finish line. Here are a few ideas to get as much out of your online reviews as possible.[/feat-text]

Healthcare consumers care a heck of a lot about reviews. Going online to check out the Google reviews for a particular practice, for example, or directory ratings for a specific surgeon is now an essential component of the decision-making process.

I know it is for me!

And I know that, as with many people, bad reviews are a bad sign. Whether these poor reviews are reliable indicators is beside the point. They send a strong signal.

According to an NRC Health Study:

  • Almost 60 percent of patients have avoided a doctor based on the negative reviews that they read online.
  • More than ⅓ of patients look at reviews as the first step in finding a healthcare provider online.
  • 83 percent trust online ratings and reviews more than personal recommendations and referrals!
  • Nearly 75 percent want to see seven or more reviews before deciding to trust a brand.

It’s a topic we’ve written at length about. And while reviews are certainly a core part of your Google My Business (GMB), Healthgrades, Yelp, and other listings, you can do more with the positive reviews you’ve already generated. Here are a few ideas about using your existing reviews to increase visibility and enhance your brand image and reputation.

Questions I’ll Answer in this Article

  • How important are healthcare reviews?
  • How do I improve people’s perception of my brand?
  • How can I encourage people to choose my healthcare organization?
  • How do I put my reviews onto my website?
  • How do I take all the reviews I have and turn them into marketing material (ad copy, graphics, etc.)?

WORD TO THE WISE: Before you do anything with reviews or testimonials, you need to get the person’s permission. It’s a big deal in the medical world, one fraught with potential liability. So be sure to get their written consent and always follow relevant HIPAA regulations.

 

Promote Your Reviews on Social Media

You can significantly extend the reach of your reviews by giving a publicly visible shout-out to people who leave good reviews. Share a direct quote from their review. Tag them, if possible. And use this as an opportunity to ask others to share their experiences, too.

Many review sites offer an embedded option to share reviews to your connected social media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, and so on). You can also do so manually. Here’s an excellent example from Google My Business:

No matter how you choose to share your reviews, each one is a free opportunity to let just a couple more people see the review. Sharing reviews is an opportunity for engagement and visibility on social, which can only help (algorithmically and in terms of your brand equity overall).

 

Add Those Positive Reviews to Your Website

I like to remind our healthcare clients of a simple thing: adding reviews to your website isn’t braggy. It’s a good user experience! For instance, most people who come to your website via Google search might not know your reputation. In fact, it’s likely the first thing they want to see. You know, what’s this brand about and where can I find some reviews?

Don’t make your healthcare consumers go searching for this information! A couple of clicks—MAX—if any at all. Instead, here are a few ways to thread these important reputation indicators (reviews, ratings, etc.) throughout your entire site:

  • Create branded graphics that highlight your overall five-star rating. You can add five-star graphics to your about page, footer, service pages, appointment scheduling page, etc.
  • Consider embedding reviews directly from your review platforms using embed codes, review platform tools, or site customizations. What’s nice about these embeds is that they’re often automatically updated and refreshed.
  • Add a scrolling banner section that features quotes from your testimonials and reviews (include names and photographs where possible). I like the homepage—near the top—as a nice spot for these.
  • Create a dedicated reviews and testimonials page that presents your most impactful reviews in an engaging way (your “trophy case,” so to speak). However, give this page some structure and context (supporting headers and copy), instead of just providing a flat list of reviews for a patient to sort through.
  • Consider putting together video testimonials, one of the most potent reviews you can get (more on this later).

While it may seem overboard to include reviews and your ratings across your entire website, alongside a dedicated testimonials page, remember this: prospective patients find and arrive at your site pages from many different places. The homepage isn’t always the entry point! But wherever your patients land on your site, they need to immediately see that you’re an experienced and reputable provider of choice.

Add Your Composite Star Rating to Patient-facing Communications

This tip takes a page right out of Branding 101. Are we suggesting that you print beer koozies and keychains with your logo and five-star rating on them? Not entirely appropriate for healthcare consumers. But you might consider adding your composite ratings—especially official “five-star” recognition from companies like Google and Yelp—to patient, partner, and client communications.

You might have seen these badges around the web, or even pasted onto the front door of brick-and-mortar businesses in your area. Here’s a good example of a review badge from Yelp:

Google and Facebook Business publish similar assets, badges, and graphics. We find that they’re just the right thing for email signatures, invoices, and receipts. Taken on their own, these measures might not amount to any measurable outcome. When deployed alongside other reputation boosting activities, like those we’ve listed above, they can help reinforce your brand’s reputation as a five-star provider. Not only will people begin to associate your brand with a splendid digital reputation, but it can also encourage more people to leave their own reviews.

Build Marketing Campaigns Around Your Testimonials

As potent as they can be, testimonials require significant time and resources. Willing patients can be challenging to track down, too! Start by shortlisting candidates for testimonial content. Usually, these are “champions” of your services, staff, or brand. People who have had successful outcomes from an experience, therapy, or even surgery. Assign testimonial outreach to an internal stakeholder (marketing or customer relations, usually) and contact these people directly. Incentivize their participation, if appropriate.

The idea here to get the most mileage out of your case studies as possible. So when you do snag a testimonial agreement, put some process in place to be as productive as possible. This includes any agreements and signatures required upfront and interview questions and talk tracks that help tell the right story. Ideally, your video recording session will also yield photography and soundbites that can be repurposed for “testimonial graphics,” which are perfect for use across social media. Video, in particular, lets you tell a more compelling story that connects with prospects.

Once you have your core testimonial content, repurpose it into the collateral mentioned above that can be threaded throughout a broader advertising, social media, and/or email marketing campaign. A push around a newly introduced plastic surgery procedure, for example. Or a new campaign to build awareness among the senior citizen demographic.

 

Bonus: Make it Easy to Leave a Review “In the Flow”

Once your organization is established on various review sites, you’ll get access to your own unique shareable review link. Here’s an example from Google My Business:

In this example alone, we see four channels (Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, and Email) that you can share this “Request review” link in a click or two. Indeed, clicking a link and going straight to the review form is a lot easier for patients than tracking your review form down on their own.

Less friction = more reviews!

 

Capture the Holy Grail of Patient Reviews

It used to be that review volume was the only most important thing—the holy grail of digital reputation management. Now, it’s but one of the most important factors. While a high volume of frequent reviews is still quite important, patients have shifted their focus. Authenticity and relatability matter most of all. People—especially healthcare consumers—can smell fake or manufactured reviews from a mile away.

Your reviews are an opportunity to showcase the strength and integrity of your people. It’s people that run healthcare organizations and create positive patient experiences. This is what we’re after and the kind of reviews we want to showcase and share.

What I’m talking about, in the end, is storytelling. We’re drawn most to the narratives we can relate to—the ones who share our pain, journey, and ultimate triumph. My favorite movies and novels “hold up the mirror,” welcoming me to see myself in what I’m watching or reading. The same goes for patients who go online to read reviews.

They’re picturing what it will be like if they leave their important healthcare decision to you.

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Strategies to Optimize Your Google and Facebook Ads Budget

COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders have changed the way marketers do business, forcing us to be innovative in the ways that we serve consumers. Together, we’ve shown how nimble the healthcare industry can be by quickly putting new methods into practice, such as telehealth, to make sure patients can get the care they need.

But we’ve done more than put a band-aid on a temporary situation; we’ve accelerated the provision of a necessary service for patients who are geographically isolated, time-constrained, or have mobility concerns. This is a need that will persist long after we flatten the curve.

Still, as we market new and existing services while navigating the uncertainty of this global pandemic, healthcare marketers need to remain strategic in two key areas:

  • How we get in front of consumers
  • What we say once we’re there.

Because the truth is, most healthcare consumers aren’t actually going to see healthcare providers yet, and they’re not ready to commit to spending money on a procedure. As a result, we’re seeing that online searches for elective procedures are down. From a marketing perspective, timing and tone are now critical, especially when it comes to ad spend.

 

Digital Demand Remains High

Whether or not your town or state is opening up for business, the process will be slow and tentative. We still expect to see people spending a lot of time on their computers and smartphones. In fact, according to InMobi:

Seventy-three percent of consumers said they are spending more time using their mobile phone. Among this group, 29% reported using social apps more often now.” 

And Nielsen has reported that the stay-at-home orders can in some cases lead to a nearly 60% increase in the amount of content we watch. Thus, investing strategically in digital advertising can make a huge difference in your return on spend during and after COVID-19.

 

Start with an Audit of Your Site

It’s important not to blindly cut or increase ad investments. Instead, we recommend that you simultaneously track two things: how your target consumers are currently interacting with online media and the evolution of your local stay-at-home directives. Keeping tabs on these two focus areas will help you remain flexible and make smart budget allocations to get the most bang for your buck with paid media campaigns.

Your first order of business is to implement communications specific to COVID-19, including website copy, ad campaigns, and updates to your Google My Business listing. Your website should have a COVID-19 landing page with linked banners on most pages. Make any operational changes clear as day to your consumers.

From there, you can utilize informational pop-ups that greet your users upon arrival to your site with relevant information, link them to the COVID landing page, and remind them of any updates before they navigate away from your site altogether. Who knew pop-ups would be your new best friend to help guide your patients to the services they need?

Personally, we love OptinMonster for lead generation software because you can add its pop-ups to any website you have. Remember, it’s your job to be as helpful as possible to your patients, many of whom are confused and unsure right now.

 

Audit Your Current Ad Campaigns, Too

Now is also the time to examine every single one of your current ad campaigns through the lens of COVID-19. As you do so, keep the following questions in mind:

  • Do your campaigns display accurate information and reflect current operations, such as whether or not you are physically open, your correct hours, special phone numbers, telehealth offerings?
  • Is the ad copy and tone appropriate? Are you inviting people to “stop on by” when they can’t? Be sensitive to your customers’ situation.
  • Are there inconsistencies between your messaging on Google My Business, ad campaigns, and operations? Now is the time to give your patients clear, consistent information.

According to Search Engine Journal, 70% of YouTube viewers want ad content sensitive to their current mood. People are dealing with more stress than usual right now. The future is unclear. Make sure your ads are sensitive to this new environment.

 

How to Reduce Your Paid Media Spending

Once you’ve streamlined the information that you’re putting out there and adjusted the messaging to be empathetic, you can begin refining your paid media campaign strategy.

Avoid the Impulse to Indiscriminately Cut or Pause Campaigns!

Pausing campaigns isn’t as benign as it seems; it has its own consequences because it takes time for both Google and Facebook to learn your ad audience’s behaviors and improve targeting accordingly. Plus, campaign data is lost or reset when you pause a campaign; and when you turn the ads back on again, your ad performance might be quite poor.

Rather than pausing a given campaign, consider reducing the budget.

Pause or Dial Back Top-of-funnel Campaigns

You’ll want to focus your budget reductions on campaigns that have a high search volume, but low conversion rate. Also consider pausing any paid campaigns that are centered around SEO keywords that describe general symptoms, conditions, or high-level questions not relevant to specific conditions, such as:

  • How do I get antibiotics?
  • Seasonal allergy symptoms
  • Annual exam
  • Headache causes
  • Why does my knee hurt?

Reduce or Optimize Poor Performing Campaigns

Take a good look at your ad metrics and zero in on which of your campaigns aren’t delivering conversions. These are candidates for reduction or even total pause if you need to do so. Although, the better alternative is to identify ways to improve the ad campaigns and implement a conversion rate optimization (CRO) plan (assuming you have the budget).

Implement Dayparting

Only spend money when you’ll actually reach your audience. Known as “dayparting,” this is a particularly useful tactic if your data shows that you have consistent spikes during certain hours of the day, or days of the week. Of course, this strategy is less effective if your business has a steady search and conversion rate no matter the time or day.

Go to your historical Google Ads data to see when your target audience is most active—clicking ads and converting into patients—and least active. Develop a custom ad schedule and bid up on the times during which your patients are paying attention and ready to convert. If you don’t have historical data, you can use Google Trends to determine when people are actively searching for services like yours.

 

Focus Your Paid Media Budget on High-Performing Campaigns and Strategies

As you’re looking at your metrics, continue investing in the campaigns that have historically performed well and reliably convert ad viewers into patients. As you do so, keep the following in mind:

Branded Keywords Convert People Who Are Already Looking For You

Your branded keywords might include your company’s name (including variations of and any misspellings) used in combination with products, services, or specials you offer.

Bidding on (and owning) your branded keywords and URL is probably easy on your budget and will capture people who are close to the point of conversion (as they are already searching for you by name). Savvy competitors may actually bid on your branded keywords, so don’t let them scoop in on your future patients!

Non-branded Keywords Can Help You Target the Middle of Your Funnel

Non-branded keywords are those keywords that relate to your industry and the services your business offers but aren’t specific to your company. “Healthcare marketing podcast” is a good example of a keyword for our Ignite Digital Marketing Podcast. Another example is “Atlanta SEO services,” which relates to our business location and core service.  In the case of healthcare providers, there are two categories of non-branded keywords that you might consider focusing your bids on: treatment-focused and provider-focused.

Treatment-focused keywords are those that your patients would search to address their own symptoms, pains, or illnesses. For example:

  • Knee replacement surgery
  • Physical therapy for shoulder pain
  • Mouthguard to relieve jaw pain
  • Cataract surgery

Provider-focused keywords are those that a patient uses when they are seeking a specific type of provider. For example:

  • Orthopedic surgeon near me
  • Physical therapist for athletes
  • LASIK eye surgeon in Atlanta

Ad Copy Should be Focused on Conversions

All of your campaigns should be working to inspire viewers to click and convert. Target the right people and assure them that by clicking through to your website, they’ll find solutions to their concerns. Once they get to your website, you need to make sure you deliver on the promises your ad states. Make it easy to as possible to schedule an appointment—whether it be an in-person or virtual appointment.

 

Promoting Your Telehealth Services, Now and For the Future

Once your website and online scheduling tools are prepared to handle telehealth clients, your ads need to spread the word. Don’t make them dig for the information—shout it from the virtual rooftop! When prospective patients hit the search engine and are looking for help, you want them to immediately find information on your telehealth services. Make the scheduling process seamless, so they can book an appointment online—right now. The easier the process, the more comfortable they will feel trusting their health in your hands.

Put Your Telehealth Offering in Layperson’s Terms

Telehealth is a new concept for most people. Your patients may not realize that it’s a viable option to receive healthcare and that you already offer it. Sure, once they’re on your website, you’ll be able to easily answer their questions about telehealth. But your ads need to get them there first.

Make sure that each ad clearly states that you offer telehealth services and then directs people to learn more. Repeating critical information like the word “online,” “virtual,” or terms such as “from home” will also make sure your viewers understand what you’re promoting.

Expand Your Geographic Reach

Take advantage of the fact that telehealth also opens up your geographic scope for potential patients. Consider including more areas than you would typically include, or at least widening your target audience by a circumference of at least a few miles.

Target areas where people will recognize your brand and be more likely to convert rather than starting from scratch in new areas. Remember, we’re focusing our budgets closer towards the bottom of the funnel here (people close to becoming patients), so you want them to at least be aware of your brand.

Embrace a Potential Long-term Shift to Telehealth

Telehealth isn’t going away. In fact, the pandemic has only hastened an inevitable shift that has been in the making for quite some time. While it may take some education and time to get patients used to this new model, the pandemic is changing the healthcare field and making it easier for you to reach your patients where they are and when they need you.

Many patients value the opportunity to book an appointment and see a provider without the need to miss work, travel, or wait for an appointment. Some patients even require it. So, it’s smart to invest your marketing dollars in telehealth to build up this side of your business in preparation for this new paradigm that will follow COVID-19.

 

Potential Media Channels for You to Target

While spending is far more conservative—almost across the board—there are options. Many healthcare marketers are investing in Facebook ads while it’s still cheap. There has been a 53% decrease in Facebook CPM since the start of March, reaching an average of $2.61 (the lowest we’ve seen in more than twenty-four months). According to the same study, Instagram CPM rates are down by more than 40%! This is great news if you are looking to get more views for less spend:

Impressions have doubled according to Tinuity.

And don’t forget YouTube, which has also experienced a major increase in viewers since stay-at-home orders went into effect. Search Engine Journal reported that in a recent survey that only 33% of respondents are seeking COVID-19 content on YouTube and that many more people are seeking uplifting, entertaining, and educational content to—presumably—distract and entertain themselves.

That 33% is potentially an opportunity for healthcare providers as many non-medical, non-healthcare companies don’t want their content associated with COVID-19 coverage, and the ad space they’re vacating has become inexpensive. If you can include an uplifting message about how helpful your organization is during this hard time by providing telehealth options to those needing healthcare, you could hit the right target audience without turning them off with generic COVID-related messaging.

 

Invest Now, Experience the Pay-Off After the Dust Finally Settles

With unpredictability being central to the current global climate, everyone’s a little gun-shy about spending money right now. That’s why it’s important to stay smart in your healthcare advertising investments, considerate in your messaging, and strategic in how you want to drive business both now and in the future. It’s also imperative that you remain on top of a rapidly changing landscape and adapt quickly as rules and audience behavior change.

As you direct your healthcare marketing spend, think about meeting current telehealth needs as well as building brand awareness for when patients are ready to seek in-person care again. That time will come, and remaining top-of-mind will give you a leg up on your competitors who are less strategic in their advertising campaigns.

If you need help managing your PPC campaigns, feel free to reach out to us. We’re happy to help you make the most of your advertising budget.

 

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8 Alternative Channels to Drive Traffic to Your Medical Website

Search isn’t the only way to get people to your website. There are many other channels that you can use, and it’s important to diversify your traffic sources. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket. Especially if you’re trying to rank for competitive keywords, it may take a long time before you’re on the first page of the search results. It’s also risky to rely on Google as your sole source of traffic as they frequently update their algorithms.

Let’s consider the broad core algorithm update released on August 1, 2018. This update was commonly referred to as the Medic Update because it initially targeted a significant number of medical websites.

This update resulted in many website’s organic searches dropping rapidly. For example, Peachy’s, website lost 18% of its organic search traffic overnight.

It took many websites a long time to recover from this update. Therefore, it’s essential to have a strong—and broad—foundation of traffic sources.

This article offers 8 alternative sources of traffic aside from Google. But before we dive into these alternatives, let’s get the basics out of the way.

 

Types of Web Traffic

If you log into your Google Analytics account and head to the “Acquisition’ section, you’ll see that your website traffic is organized into 5 main channels.

For many companies, the bulk of their traffic comes from organic search. But there are other channels people can use to access your website. If you only focus on search engine optimization, you’ll miss out on getting a significant boost from those channels.

Let’s review the channels:

Organic search:

Organic traffic comes from search engines and it’s not paid for—it’s earned. In other words, this type of traffic results when your web page (e.g., a blog post) ranks for keywords that online users are typing into the search engines such as Google, Bing, DuckDuckgo, and search results are visited.

Organic traffic doesn’t include visits from paid search ads.

Referral:

When another website links to your website, that’s referral traffic. For example, if your company is featured in a news article or blog post, they’ll often link to your company’s website.

Paid:

Paid refers to traffic that comes to your website from any type of online ad. This includes Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and ads from other social media channels.

Direct:

As the name implies, direct refers to visitors that come directly to your website. When they type your URL into their browser or click on a saved bookmark, the traffic is considered direct.

Social:

When a person is using a social media platform like Instagram and follows a link in your profile to your website, it is considered social traffic. Or they may click on a link that they see in their Twitter feed.

The main platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. But don’t forget to explore niche and up-and-coming social media networks. Depending on your target audience, there may be unique platforms that they use.

Email:

Last but not least, we have email traffic. This is also fairly straightforward. When a person clicks on a link within an email that’s been properly tagged, that website visit is categorized as email traffic.

 

Now that you understand the differences between these channels, let’s explore how you can use them to drive more traffic to your medical website. Below are 8 alternative traffic sources that can help you increase the number of visitors to your website.

 

1. Create a YouTube Channel with High-quality Videos

Did you know that YouTube is considered the world’s second-largest search engine?

Every day, countless people head to YouTube to be entertained, search for information, or be inspired. Because YouTube has such a wide range of users, you can’t ignore it as a traffic source. Although Google owns YouTube, a Google algorithm update will not affect the YouTube traffic your website receives.

You can drive considerable traffic to your medical website by creating high-quality, informative video content. The value of a 1-minute video is worth 1.8 million words, according to Buffer’s analysis. The possibilities are endless with video, you can record interviews, product reveals, testimonials, demonstrations, etc.

Explainer videos are very popular with both hospitals and private doctors because they help them educate and engage their patients. For example, a plastic surgeon could create explainer videos to walk patients through a procedure and answer frequently asked questions.

While YouTube can be a terrific traffic source on its own, you also want to consider adding those videos to your website. When you add videos to your website, you’ll see an increase in organic traffic. That’s because Google’s algorithms are designed to favor certain types of content:

  • Videos are considered more informative and higher quality than text. Because Google aims to deliver the best search results, it will rank video content higher.
  • Search results containing videos have a CTR greater than 41% when compared to search results without videos.
  • When a visitor stays longer on your site, Google assumes your content is informative and relevant. Videos make visitors stay longer on your page, which subsequently increases your page rank.
  • A website with videos has domain links 3X more powerful than pages without video elements.

Videos can help your business reach a larger audience and generate more traffic.

 

2. Promote Your Videos Through Press Releases

We’re not done with video yet. There’s another way you can use your videos to reach a broader audience.

Press releases aren’t new, but many have forgotten about their usefulness in the digital era. Many consider them a has-been approach that isn’t worth the effort. But press releases are a great way to generate referral traffic. When you embed interactive media into the release, they can deliver incredible results. Take a look at this example; a hotel included high-quality videos in the press release to highlight Japanese culture and show things you can do while visiting Tokyo.

Press releases are a viable method for promoting video content which will, in turn, drive traffic to your site.

There are several press release websites you can use. Some are free while others are paid. You should focus on news release sites that somewhat align with your industry or topic.

 

3. Leverage Social Media

Creating engaging and informative content is a great way to attract organic traffic, but you can do more with it than just post it to your website. You need to share your content using social media platforms. This will amplify your content reach through different channels.

When developing your social media strategy, think about your target audience and where they spend their time. If you’re trying to educate HR professionals on your B2B service, LinkedIn might be the best place to share your content.

But if you’re an urgent care center, it might be better to share information about trending health topics on Facebook.

Social media posts can be optimized like blog posts using specific keywords. When you optimize your social media content with relevant keywords and hashtags, you can increase your content’s reach and subsequently drive more clicks and visits to your website.

 

4. Write Meaningful Comments on High-traffic Websites

Another source of referral traffic is from blog comments on high-traffic sites within your niche. Leaving relevant comments can increase traffic back to your site. Many people head to the comment section to get more information and to see what others have to say.

If you leave meaningful and helpful comments, people may click on your link to learn more about you. With this technique, you want to be deliberate with the websites that you leave comments on. Think about who you’re trying to reach and comment on websites that they frequently visit for information. This will help you establish credibility and connect with that audience.

Make sure that you’re adding value and continuing the conversation. Website moderators often review comments before they are posted. If you’re spammy, they’ll likely decide to delete your comment.

For example, do not leave generic comments like this:

“Hey, thanks for writing this; I enjoyed it. Learn more by checking out my website: www.my-unrelated-website.com”

In previous years, leaving links through blog comments was rampant among SEO professionals. But a lot has changed in recent times and blog comment links do not build link authority anymore. You should consider these comments as a way to establish your credibility with an audience and generate referral traffic.

 

5. Create Podcasts, Radio Shows, and Audio Content

Studies show that the use of podcasts, radio shows, or audio content increases traffic to websites. If you want to attract an engaged audience, then you should create podcasts and audio content.

According to RAIN News, 81% of podcast listeners have taken action after listening to audio ads during a podcast session.

Podcasts are fun, informative, and engaging. Podcasts and radio shows bring businesses closer to their customers.

A case study of a company using a podcast to drive traffic to its website is Social Media Examiner — The Social Media Examiner Show:

Here are a few of the benefits of creating podcasts, audio content, and radio shows:

  • Podcasts can generate high-quality traffic to your website. Unlike blogging, the competition in the podcasting space is low.
  • Podcasts are engaging and easy for listeners to consume and understand.
  • Podcasts are mobile-friendly, which is good for generating mobile traffic.
  • The popularity of podcasts keeps increasing.
  • Studies show that a podcast audience is one of the most loyal audiences online.
  • Podcasts are interactive: therefore, customers can express themselves, bringing business and customers closer.

 

6. Forum Discussions

Like leaving comments on blog posts, engaging in forum discussions can also help you direct traffic to your website. You want to focus on forums or communities that your target customer frequents. And your comments should be legitimate and not spammy. Spamming forums is bad, makes you look unprofessional, and can hurt your reputation. However, linking to your website legitimately can help you build brand awareness, establish your expertise with a target audience, and generate referral traffic for your website.

But, how can you do it correctly? You can generate traffic by adding your links to forums using:

  • Branded anchor text,
  • Naked URLs, and natural,
  • Non-keyword-targeted anchors,
  • Effective participation in relevant discussions.

Here is an example where a paramedic answers a question on Reddit. If he wanted to, he could have easily included a link to a webpage that lists the services his urgent care clinic provides.

However, keep in mind that you could be banned for spamming a forum. So, avoid randomly dropping links and be sure to follow forum rules and adhere to proper forum etiquette. Always aim to be helpful.

 

7. Encourage User-generated Content to Get Referral Traffic and Boost SEO

We’ve mentioned two user-generated content forms earlier in this article:

  • Forum discussion
  • Blog comments

Taking full advantage of any form of user-generated content is imperative, as this will drive traffic to your website, and increase your chances of getting found in the search engines.

More importantly, 73% of marketing professionals agree that user-generated content makes marketing more authentic and effective.

Another type of user-generated content is the review. Many different review sites exist, but here are some of the most common reviews sites that you should consider:

  • Google My Business
  • Amazon.com
  • Yelp.com
  • TripAdvisor.com
  • Yellowpages.com
  • BBB (Better Business Bureau)
  • Manta.com
  • Foursquare.com
  • Healthgrades.com

You can increase your website’s reputation by getting customer reviews on the aforementioned sites. You’ll also drive referral traffic when someone visits a review site and clicks on a link to your website.

Encouraging user-generated content (e.g., reviews) will also improve your search engine rankings. Google relies on signals like reviews to determine the quality of your content using the EAT (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) guidelines. So, in addition to getting referral traffic from these sites, you are also improving your SEO.

 

8. Build a Targeted Email List

Another good source of traffic is your email list. Sending out content to your email list is a good way to drive traffic to your website. And it’s one that is completely within your control.

There are many ways you can capture email addresses on your website. You can use a dedicated sign-up page or include a form at the bottom of your website. Apps like Opt-in Monster can be integrated into your site and you can build pop-up call-to-actions to capture email addresses

This is a good foundation to take advantage of. It’s one of the easiest ways to increase or generate traffic for your website. If anything goes wrong with Google, you’ll still be able to generate traffic to your website by sending content to your email list.

 

Conclusion

Google algorithm updates have wreaked havoc on many websites and have been a rude awakening for many marketers. Now, more than ever, marketers know they need to diversify their traffic sources.

I hope that this article gave you a few ideas on how you can reach new audiences and drive more traffic to your website.

 

If you’re looking to drive more organic traffic to your website or you want to discuss how to develop a social ad campaign, contact Atlantic Digital Marketing today!

 

10 Best SEO Analytics Tools to Get Marketing Insights

Utilizing search engines in your digital marketing strategy is the best way to drive sustainable leads and sales for your business.

Because when your website ranks high in the search engine results page, it results in organic traffic and leads. Recently, HubSpot conducted a survey showing that“57% of B2B marketers stated that SEO generates more leads than any other marketing initiative.”

Unfortunately, if your web pages don’t appear anywhere in the top rankings then your website remains buried.

As technology keeps evolving, both B2B and B2C companies are coming up with different ways to boost their rankings on Google in order to reach the targeted audience and market their products more efficiently. Since you can’t miraculously push your website to rank at the top of Google, you have to come up with a better SEO strategy.

It’s important to keep pace with the changing search engine algorithms. As a renowned digital marketing agency, we have compiled 10 of the best SEO analytics tools on the market to help you stay on top of the trends. Let’s dive in.

 

1. KeywordTool.io

People use different keywords when searching for specific information, asking questions based on what kind of results they think will match their intentions best. Since it’s tough to figure out exactly what people will type in, KeywordTool.io is helpful tool as it provides hundreds of keywords ideas that your prospects and customers are searching for.

 

2. Google Trends

All day long, millions of people search for specific terms including people, teams, seasons, places or events. Google Trends, helps you uncover popular search terms and how they’re doing at that particular time, including how these search terms fluctuate depending on the season.

For example, here’s how the keywords‘men’s fashion’ performed between 2004 through 2017. As you can see, the trend seems to be stable with a little drop in September and October 2010:

When creating a new website or redesigning an existing one, consider the keywords based on the season and how they affect your business. Google Trends helps you get accurate traffic data based on your industry. Paying attention to this data can make it easier to plan future content and it won’t be as much of a struggle to come up with new ideas.

Google Trends provides accurate data about the keywords by categories and geography, giving you better insights into what potential customers are looking for in your industry.

 

3. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a tried and true essential tool that collects data about the visitors coming to your website. It also helps you understand their interactions within your site.

When you dig through your Google Analytics account, you can gain insights to help improve your organic visibility, traffic, and conversion in order to create valuable content campaigns that people will want to consume, share, and link to.

It can be a daunting process to try to figure out the psychology of your consumers and what kinds of ads they’ll respond to. And if your reach is too wide- if you target the ads to a specific country or the entire world- then it could defeat your purpose. With Google Analytics, though, your work becomes easier.

It can also help you determine the exact location of where your website visitors live.

Knowing why and how people found you, what they’re searching for, and their intentions can help you optimize your pages with the right keywords that make customers come back for more. And it helps to go the extra mile to know what they’re truly interested in as it gives you the ability to create new content that isn’t available on the web yet.

You can also modify some of your already-published content with the search terms you found while digging through your Google Analytics account by determining which pages are performing poorly and improving them with less competitive keywords.

Need a bit more help on how to use Google Analytics efficiently or don’t have the time to do it yourself? 

 

4. Moz Local Listing Score

Moz Local is designed to improve the visibility of your website in the search engine results pages (SERPs) by predicting how your website will rank.

It also provides the ranking of your website compared to your competitors. This information gives you the ability to improve your website with the data you collect during the analysis.

 

5. Google PageSpeed Insight

The Google PageSpeed Insight tool is used to analyze a site’s front-end performance while also offering optimization suggestions. Your website can score between 0 to 100 points; a score of 85 or above is an indication of a well-performing page.

With the latest update, the tool now shows detailed results differently from what website owners are used to seeing. The old test results were confusing, but the new tool is clear about how your website is performing and what you can do to improve the user experience and conversion rates.

Delivering the best user experience on your website is a great step towards boosting your page’s conversion rates.

Conversion rates have a strong impact on your page load speed. And the faster the website, the higher your conversion rates. Aside from this, PageSpeed equally has a direct impact on your Ads campaigns and Quality Score.

According to statistics, mobile sites that load in 5 seconds or less generate up to 2x more mobile ad revenue compared to slow-loading mobile sites that take 19 seconds to load completely.

If you notice that your website takes more than 2-3 seconds to load, then it’s time to fix things or else up to 40% of people will leave the page in a jiffy. That’s why it’s vital to improve your page speed with this tool right now.

Atlantic Digital Marketing SEO experts know how to optimize webpage load speeds. 

 

6. SEO Webpage Analyzer

This SEO analytics tool helps you check your website to see ways you can improve your search traffic and ranking.

Your website may not be attracting traffic if it lacks relevant image alt tags or page bloat. And if the heading structures have errors, then that’s another way you’ll lose points with your users as they will be less likely to trust your content.

Fortunately, the SEO Page Analyzer tool uncovers these errors so that you can fix them.

 

7. SERP Simulator

The SERP Simulator helps you preview your web page before it goes live:

It’s a best practice to preview your blog post on your desktop to see how it will look like when it’s published. Don’t forget to check how it appears on mobile. You’ll want to ensure it’s optimized for all devices and fix any formatting or truncation issues you may notice.

 

8. SEO Site Checkup

The SEO Site Checkup tool instantly analyzes your SEO issues, allows you to understand your competitor’s SEO profile, save reports you can send to your clients or use for campaigns, and improve your overall search performance.

When publishing your website, you may fail to notice some technical SEO issues or be able to check for proper tags or errors when looking at it on your own.

With the SEO Site Checker, you can ensure that your website will be free of errors. Apart from the above tool, there are other site checkup tools that you can use that are also effective such as Alexa Site Audit, Check My Links, DareBoost, and DeepCrawl.

 

9. Browseo

Would you like to see your website the way search spiders see it? Then use Browseo.

With this tool, you can understand the website hierarchy since the search engine will give you accurate information and then take appropriate actions to make your website better.

 

10. Copyscape

Plagiarism is illegal, and one can take legal steps against you if you copy their content. Therefore, when publishing an article you must ensure that it’s plagiarism-free.

Copyscape is highly effective in helping to eliminate plagiarism and improve your SEO by catching any unoriginal work that you may inadvertently produce, and it can call out others who try to steal your work.

Some people react and might take legal steps when they realize that someone has used their content. On the other hand, this is an easy way to know if your content has been plagiarized and you can handle the situation differently by reaching out to them directly and ordering a cease and desist.

 

Conclusion

Aside from using these 10 tools, you can also optimize your web page with these following tips:

  • Target Your Market Business Analysis: Through website analysis, competitive analysis, and initial keyword nomination.
  • Keyword Research and Development: Develop a keyword analysis structure, a baseline ranking assessment, and define your goals/objects.
  • Content optimization and Submission: Create page titles, meta tags, and place search phrases in a strategic place on your page and submit your website to appropriate directories.
  • Continuous Testing and Measuring: Remember that your keywords require constant maintenance; modify, add new keywords, or delete competitive keywords from your page replace with long-tail keywords that are much easier to rank for.

It can be tricky to use all these suggestions, but you are already making great strides if you can at least implement one into your SEO strategy. Different people use different tools and it’s up to you to determine what works on your website and doesn’t.

You can find more SEO tools that are tailored to your specific needs online; there are dozens of them available. For instance, SEO tools like Moz Local can tell you when you eventually outrank your competitors in the local map pack. This provides you with a golden opportunity to make your website accessible to local consumers.

In addition to that, tools like the SEO Site Checkup can help remove any possible errors or problems stopping your pages from generating maximum organic traffic.

 

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