Blog post taken from the Eyemaginations Premium Webinar Series with presenter Michael Dobkowski, Founder of Glacial Multimedia Inc
I’m pretty sure that most medical practices today know just how effective Internet marketing can be. Historically, advertising the Yellow Pages was what worked best and there’s still some lingering perception of that today—but it’s no longer the case.
Patients are now researching health information online in very large numbers. Emerging media types, especially social media, are now prevalent and as a result, many practices are trying to find ways to harness their power. They recognize that the Internet is going to be something that both generates and fosters their respective brands in the marketplace.
Here are just a few stats…
- In 2012, Internet users expanded by three percent to 239 million which is about 75 percent of the total population using the web.
- Mobile users reached 113 million (a seven percent increase) and 70.8 percent of all users watched online video—which I find very significant, as online video is a new frontier for the web.
- Facebook will reach 143 million users this year (a 8.2 percent increase) with affluent Americans spending more than 40 hours per week on Facebook.
All of this data is pretty significant and means a lot for Internet marketing. Brands including eMarketer, Pew Internet, and Iposos came up with this information.
For Internet health search, 80 percent of internet users (59 percent of adults) look online for health information, 34 percent have read a patient story about a health issue, 24 percent have read reviews, and 13 percent seek others who have had the same medical issue.
So what does this mean? That people want to connect. They want to talk to other people with similar experiences. And now, they’re doing it online. It’s our responsibility to figure out how to network effectively with this audience to promote our businesses and generate new leads!
So what should I do first?
First, you should come up with a list showing what you feel you can do to get more leads, generate more interest, and increase website traffic. Here is my list of the top 12 trends that practices can focus on to achieve these goals:
- Paid Search Marketing: This refers to the process of gaining traffic by purchasing ads on search engines such as Google. Many of your fellow practices are doing this right now. Just do your own Google search on the phrase “paid search marketing” and you will see sample ads highlighted on the right top side.
- Newsletters: Get your existing patients much more engaged by keeping them informed. Quarterly or monthly newsletters can be great to get your practice’s message out.
- Organic SEO: Getting found on the search engines by incorporating relevancy into your page content without paying for ads. Extremely important these days and changing quite a bit with the new Google Panda and Penguin updates.
- Link Building Mix: Factored in with Organic SEO.
- Social Media Applications: Companies like my company, Glacial, and Wildfire make applications that run directly on Facebook where you can really utilize the viral capacity that Facebook has in reaching a lot of people.
- Mobile Website/SMS: Make sure that your practice can be reviewed from a handheld mobile device.
- Video Optimization (VSEO): One thing I learned this year is that the search engine variables have increased with possibly 15 to 20 new engagement variables including video optimization. So if you have videos on your site and you have done them correctly, you’re going to gain points in the SEO game for that.
- Local Search: Local search includes not only information about what is being searched but geographically as well. However, it can be a very frustrating process unless you’re one of those very lucky practices that haven’t had any problems with it from the start.
- Physician Reputation Management: What’s your external reputation?
- Conversion Optimization: How many visitors to your website become patients?
- Expansion of BLOG: How is your blog set up?
- Social Media Maintenance: How are you promoting your business across social media?
In part two of this post, we will discuss what you should be focusing on first!