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Posts tagged Google marketing
Algo-Rhythm: Updating your Business Categories

Google is constantly looking to improve their algorithm for local businesses. They use these updates to see how well their users will adapt to the improvements and if they will be adopted by a widespread audience. You may have heard of Google Plus? Yes, it’s still alive and well. The point isn’t to say that Google is at fault for trying to make the improvements. Google is releasing these features for local businesses to take advantage of them. Google has recently updated their business category section to help organize the vast amount of niche businesses within local communities. Here are a few points to note:


  1. Google Changes the names of these Categories Frequently.  Your favorite “Natural Foods” store can seamlessly be renamed a “Natural Goods Store” to accomodate a more comprehensive list of goods and services. The only problem is if the Natural Grocers, which specializes in food, gets relabled, it's now categorized with niche natural goods and services. This is a much smaller market in comparison to supermarket grocery stores. This is why it’s important to utilize multiple categories in businesses.

  2. Categories get removed all the time.  In 2018 Google removed 36 categories and added 34. In the most recent update, Shower-Door Supplier was taken out of the list. Moz Local suggests these new categories are very important to update in your business profile. This also emphasizes how attentive businesses need to be with their own profile data.

  3. New Categories will BOOST your Rankings.  A recent update in a business owner’s industry put him in the top of the searches extremely quickly when he was on top of Google’s Category update. While some categories remain ossified for quite some time, when these updates happen, it can be a huge benefit to your visibility!

  4. “Category-Dilution” is not a real thing.  There has been widespread concern that classifying your business under multiple categories was going to diminish your ranking authority. That isn’t the case. Adding more categories increases your rankings and click throughs. Adding a new niche category could even boost your business to the top of the searches.

  5. Your Primary Category Holds Weight.  The last point to note is that the primary category should be thoughtful and precise, properly defining your business. Search Engine Land mentions how a personal injury attorney saw dramatic ranking increases when he switched his category from “Insurance Attorney” to “Personal Injury Attorney” as his main classification.  Making sure your business is classified correctly is important.

Staying updated with your Google My Business (GMB) information is determinant to your local search rankings. Using them lets them know you care about your data, and your business.


Source: Joy Hawkins

Healthcare Marketing, the Natural Way

Healthcare marketing is often part science and part art. Your patients don't want to feel like you're up-selling them. They want to feel cared for! By applying proven strategies and creatively connecting with a target audience, you can appeal to new patients and maintain your relationships with current ones. Below is a round-up of tactics that are effective for doctor's offices:

  1. The Power of PPC
    Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is an intelligent form of online advertising for several reasons. Prospective clients frequently begin their search for health information and local providers through online searches via Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc... You can use this bid on key words that are associated with your services, narrowing down your scope to reach a target audience. PPC is very effective for sales driven campaigns as you only pay for visitors who search for your product or service, look at your ad, and visit your website.
     
  2. Video Versatility
    Video is one of the most effective forms of communication for the healthcare industry. To this day, people are still perplexed by everyday medical situations and they constantly search the web for information about what they see or what they have. However, often times, the more information people find, the more confused they get. Short videos act as a visual aid for sharing information, making it easier for patients to understand the issues they are curious about. Furthermore, video education has proven to be the direction user engagement is heading towards as long as they are informative and snackable (We usually recommend a vid duration of 2 minutes or less, 5 min at most).
     

  3. Blogging/Newsletters
    Blogging has been proven to be incredibly effective in building brand awareness, retaining clients/patients and acquiring new patients! Why? A blog and accompanying email newsletter show your patients that your clinic is knowledgable and up-to date on current issues. A lot of our clients ask us about how to properly execute email marketing. As we've discussed in previous posts, email marketing is ineffective UNLESS you're providing your clients with reliable, customized, interesting content. When used properly together, blogging and email newsletters can be quite successful. 
     

We know marketing efforts can be intimidating to start. That's why we guide our clients through this process and even go as far as creating content for them! Our best piece of advice is to just start creating! You can't get better at something without practice. As medical professionals, you have unique knowledge, and your patients want to learn from you!

 

It’s Almost 2018. Stop Doing These Things Because It Will Get Your Business Nowhere
 

 

Holiday season. Q4. We’re finally here – the last stretch of 2017. As 2018 approaches, it’s time to reflect on your progress and rethink your marketing strategy as a whole. Even in traditional fields such as medical, the consumer needs are constantly changing and now more than ever, businesses need to get as personal with them as possible. Consumers are immune to the generic, the norm, and the mass-produced. To help you navigate the ever-changing online landscape, here’s a list of marketing techniques that aren’t worth your time:

 

1.   Generalized Drip Campaign

Drip campaign refers to direct marketing methods such as email marketing (Think: Mailchimp). It’s widely used because companies can deliver information right in front of the consumers’ face. Drip campaigns are mainly pre-written content and are automatically sent at predetermined times in order to engage these contacts. The idea is to bombard your consumers’ inbox enough that they’ll consider buying the product or service. However, consumers are much smarter now; they do not pay attention to contents that appeared mass-produced. To make matters more complicated, many millennial consumers (age 19-35) use an alias email when signing up for newsletters; making many of the impressions from marketing emails useless.

The solution to this is to find ways to categorize your audience. Find ways to collect not only their emails, but their age/race/gender etc….Doing so will allow you to customize your content delivery with information that your consumers will find useful, which will increase engagement level. For example, we tend to build sign up forms that ask for additional information from our clients.

 

2.    Focusing on Quantity

As consumers are drowning in high influxes of information every day of their lives, the last thing businesses should be focusing on is producing more and more useless content. In the age of The Internet of Things, businesses have to be smart and produce content that is engaging, thought-provoking, and most importantly, useful to their audience. Make sure the content is focused on one subject matter and serves a particular purpose. Example: driving leads to another piece of content or supporting a recent campaign.

 

3.    Organic-Only Facebook Strategies

The misconception many people that most people have is gaining a large audience on social media is free. In 2017, Facebook surpassed 1 billion users. That is a lot of fish in the sea. Facebook organic reach is at an all-time low and continues to decline; researchers say that currently, only 2 to 6 percent of small businesses’ audience are seeing their posts. When it comes to marketing, the general rule of thumb is it doesn’t matter how many people see their content, if they’re not your audience, then it’s practically useless. Your high impression count does not matter if your reach is low. Instead of trying to do it organically, try using Facebook’s boosted posts and advertising to not only increase your reach but also ensure you are getting your message in front of the right people at the right time. It’s much more beneficial to dominate your niche pond than to swim endlessly in an ocean leading to nowhere.

 

4.    Relying Strictly On a Text-Based SEO Strategy

People are multi-dimensional. It’s time for your marketing strategy to be the same way. Today’s consumers are all about multimedia; people want videos, images, and audio. They want options. It’s important to think about how your message can be delivered effectively to your consumers in all angels. Short video format was a big marketing trend in 2017. In 2016, video marketing was on the rise but once marketers saw that people weren’t listening to the audio, they started captioning every piece of video content and the format took off. Everything is revolved around consumer behavior; therefore, it’s important to be considerate of all forms of media people consume. Just optimizing the text on your website is not enough; it’s time to optimize your video, images, and audio files for searchers. By doing this, you are optimizing your messages in all formats that the users are searching for.

 

Our closing message: Treat your customers, patients, and clients like the unique individuals they are. Be open to new ideas. And most of all, don't be afraid to challenge yourself.

 
Want to Get More Patients Through the Door? Start On the Web: How SEO and Google AdWords Can Boost the Health of Your Practice.
 

In the competitive jungle of business (yes, that includes medical practices…) the name of the game is no longer just “getting people through the door”.  That’s the final step of the process.  But nothing more.  And getting to that step at all increasingly depends on your online skill set and strategic abilities.  

Before we move on to some targeted tips to boost your practice’s profits, let’s cover some rudimentary definitions.  First on our list, what is SEO?  SEO (“Search Engine Optimization”) involves a variety of on-page and off-page strategies with the end goal of helping a web page rank as highly as possible on Google.  As a frame of reference, when you hear SEO marketers talking about that “coveted spot”, they mean the very first spot on Google’s search results for a particular query.  

Secondly, what’s Google AdWords?  AdWords is a digital tool published by Google to help companies track and optimize their marketing efforts.  Its features include keyword planning, a range of advertising options, customer engagement initiatives, and more.  

Given its bundled features, and that you only pay for results, AdWords is a must for every medical practice that’s serious about its marketing.  So, essentially, every medical practice that cares about its continued existence...

Still on the fence about this modern masterpiece of digital marketing?  Read on for 3 of our favorite features from this SEO powerhouse.  They’ll be sure to get more people on your site and more patients through your door.  

1. Keyword Planner lets you craft the perfect strategy

Knowledge (and eventual mastery) of keyword strategy is utterly vital to the health of your practice.  Without going into too much detail (you can find that here), keyword strategy is based around the inclusion of predetermined words (keywords) on a web page.  

The idea is to build a page with the goal of ranking top on Google for a certain keyword or cluster of keywords.  For instance, if you’re an ophthalmologist, “glaucoma patient” might be a keyword that would interest you.  

Keyword Planner presents you with an immense amount of incredibly useful info to help plan, implement, and track your keyword strategy.  AdWords will show you the number of local and national searches for a given keyword, which are incredibly useful in choosing which keywords to go after.  

For instance, let’s say you run a brain imaging clinic in Columbia, MD.  “Brain imaging” would be an extremely hard keyword to rank for, since the competition for such a widely used phrase would be fierce.  (You’ll be able to see all this in real time with AdWords.)  But “Columbia brain imaging” might very well be a keyword your clinic could rank for.  

Keyword strategy may be a vital aspect of SEO success, but it’s only one of the many benefits AdWords offers.  

2. PPC (pay-per-click) means there’s no barrier to entry

PPC is an elegant solution to the single largest hurdle medical practices encounter when setting up a bona fide marketing push: budget.  

The core appeal of a PPC campaign can be summed up in four words: you pay for results.  Here’s what a PPC campaign with AdWords would look like, from a financial perspective.  It’s disarmingly simple.  

You merely create your ad for free, and set a predetermined daily budget.  You’ll pay a set amount with each click on your ad, and that will continue until your budget is depleted (at which point you’ll be prompted to reset your budget).  

PPC eliminates the “budget factor” with online advertising, allowing even startup practices to compete with confidence.  

3. An emphasis on metrics means you can double down on what works

One of the largest recurring problems among marketing campaigns is a lack of emphasis on tracking results.  No expense is spared when it comes to planning the content of a campaign, the psychological triggers that will send the patient into your office and yours alone, etc.  We get it…it’s easy to get stuck there, especially if you’re new to marketing.  

But here’s the honest truth.  If you care about the health of your practice, you can’t get stuck there.  Because marketing campaigns are won and lost largely in this: emphatically watching metrics that you’ve determined to be important (local page views, keyword ranking, etc.) and then readjusting your approach depending on the results you get.  

If you can watch, you can adapt.  It’s just that simple, and just that vital.  Google AdWords offers a wealth of important digital metrics you can use to gauge the success of your campaign, according to your unique goals.  

Conclusion

Google AdWords is hands down one of the most powerful digital marketing tools at your disposal.  Just always remember (this should be part of your core marketing ethic): getting a patient in the door starts on the web.  

Piqued your curiosity about AdWords?  Good.  Click here for even more ways you can maximize your relevance and impact with AdWords.

 
 
How to Set a Marketing Budget for Your Business
 

In the early stages of a company's success, many entrepreneurs try to avoid setting a marketing budget. We're here to tell you, it's not as intimidating as it sounds. See our tips for getting the most for your money.

1. Define Your Marketing Goals 

A company's marketing budget should be customized to fit the needs of the company. Do you need more sales? Do you want to create brand awareness locally or nationally? Do you want to use marketing to revitalize relationships with existing customers?

2. Evaluate the Stage Your Business is in

For new businesses, it is widely recommended to spend between 8-10% of your revenue on marketing. However, there are exceptions for businesses in high-competition industries.
If you're industry is highly competitive, your budge can range anywhere from 12-20% depending on how high your operating costs are. 
For established businesses, with at least $5M in revenue, 12% is standard budget allocation. 
Additionally, understand that marketing drives revenue. Meaning you need marketing to grow as a company. Creating a marketing plan with a professional is one way of making sure this occurs. 

"Marketing Drives Revenue"

3. Test

It's highly likely that you won't KNOW the magic number until you test multiple marketing strategies, and evaluate which ones work best. This should be factored in to your marketing plan from the beginning. Marketing investment is a necessary risk. 

4. Don't Panic

Easier said than done. However, building up your marketing presence to accomplish your goals takes time. Make sure you look at how your marketing investment will pay off long term! You may not see direct results within the first couple months, but a successful marketing plan should increase your over-all revenues within the first year!

For clarification on marketing budget spending by industry, check out this helpful graph:

 
Increase Your Reach with Google Posts!

Are you using the Google My Business (GMB) platform for your business? Google My Business just rolled out Google Posts for small businesses. Google Posts allow businesses to create posts under their business listing. This gives business owners control over the information that first appears to customers in search and map results.

Promotion

This tool is best used to promote events, discounts, or new additions to your business. Google Posts is a low time investment with the potential for high returns (leads). This makes it a great addition to your business’ social media and helps to engage potential customers organically.

Free Lead Generation

With the addition of call to action buttons like “Learn More”, “Get Offer”, or “Sign Up”, you can think of this as FREE lead generation advertising. How cool is that?

Here’s how to get started:

  1.  Make sure you’ve created a GMB account. If you haven’t, click here
  2.  Log in to your GMB account and navigate to the “Posts” tab on the left side menu.
  3. Once there you have the option to upload promotional photos, write posts, and insert your one-click call to action.

Check out these examples!

How to Set Up a Business Page on Yelp and Google!

For most business owners, reviews are a sore subject. It feels like everyone has a story of that nightmare client. Collective groans aside, reviews are important to new clients!

So what’s the first step to getting online reviews?

Depending on the industry, certain platforms will be more important than others. Websites like Yelp, Google, Zocdoc and others provide tools for business owners once they have claimed their pages. To start you off, here’s a step by step guide to listing your business on Yelp and Google.

 
 

Yelp:
 

Step 1: Claim your business page 

Step 2: Add company information such as address, phone number, and your website.

(If you don’t have a website, feel free to contact us for a consultation. Adding recognizable photos such as your company logo will make it easier for customers to find your page.

Step 3: Make sure you respond to your reviewers!

When customers leave reviews, positive or negative, make sure you respond politely using your business account. Displaying your amazing customer service skills online will make your customers feel safe!

 

(Via- Yelp Support)

 

 
(Via-  Google Help )
 

Google:

To Start, Sign up to “Google My Business”

Follow these steps to sign up:

  1. Go to google.com/business and click Start now at the top right corner of the page.
  2. Sign in to your Google account, or create one if you don’t already use Google services.
  3. You’ll see a map of your country with a form at the top left. Enter your business name in the first field.
  4. As you type, suggestions for possible matches will appear. If you see your business, select it from the suggestions.
  5. Complete the rest of the fields with your business information, then click Continue. You may see a potential matching business suggested to you. If this is your business, click it. If it’s not your business, click "Keep the information I entered."
  6. You'll see the option to confirm that you're authorized to manage the business. If you are, check the box, then click Continue. If you aren’t authorized to manage the business, find the person in your organization who is, then continue signing up.

Now that you've finished that, Navigate to Google My Business

  1. Search for your business using its name and address.
  2. Brands, organizations, or artists should follow these steps.
  3. If you see a dialog letting you know that someone else has verified the business, follow these steps.
  4. If you don’t see your business listed in the menu, click No, these are not my businesses or I’ve correctly entered the business. You’ll then be prompted to enter some details for your business. Make sure you enter an accurate, complete street address, and a phone number which reaches your business directly.
  5. Click Submit.

(via – Google Help)

and viola! You're all set up!