Archive for February, 2010

‘Local Search’ Poised to Revolutionize Medical SEO

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

One form of marketing a medical practice online that’s slated to see double-digit growth over the next few years is Google Maps, often claimed to be “the next YellowPages” by techies and online marketing pros.

It’s conceivable the conventional phone book will fade away as local search utilities like Google Maps take over. I mean really, how much do you use your local phone book to find something you need?

You may be thinking that computers will lead this revolution, but wait. With the rise of SmartPhones like the Blackberry or IPhone, you’re going to see many people relying on these Internet accessible devices to find things they need…perhaps when they’re just out and about running errands.

If you’re currently using the YellowPages to market your medical practice, this signifies a transition in how people find you. If your website/listing doesn’t appear in Google Maps and elsewhere, you are potentially losing out on a lot of potential patients.

To demonstrate, a 35-year old tech savvy attendee of an online marketing/SEO training course flipped out his Google Maps utility on his smart phone. With the device’s GPS feature, the phone could tell the person their location and the proximity of businesses that have what they’re looking for, which they searched for using keyword phrases.

So if you operate an urgent care clinic in Paducah, Kentucky and someone in the area needed your services, they can simply take their smart phone and find the closest facilities to their current location.

If you’re currently using the YellowPages or other outbound marketing channels to market your medical practice, it would be beneficial for you to at least consider the opportunities that lie in waiting in the ‘local search’ revolution.

Continuing Its Upward Climb – Medical Organic Search and SEO

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Observing trends in medical online marketing is always interesting. And it’s interesting to learn how people are looking for information online, including medical.

Google searches are by far the most popular – over 67% of online searches in December 2009 were through Google. And I understand why – when I need to look for something online, I just enter keywords into the search bar. If that doesn’t give me what I need, I just tweak the words to find more specific information.

Therefore, it’s not anything new to learn that organic search is a preferred means of locating information online…a method that continues its upward trajectory.

New data from comScore confirms this statement. Over 131 billion online searches occurred in December of ’09, a 46% increase over the same month the year before. In the U.S., searches grew by 22% despite the country’s recent economic troubles.

In terms of online searches, the U.S. is the world’s largest country in the world. Even though other countries saw much higher growth in 2009, the U.S. continues to be the top source online searches.

But where do these web surfers go to search for information online?

As stated above, Google remains the largest search engine in the world, experiencing 58% growth in 2009. But “core” search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing are not the only places people go to search for stuff online. Take for example eBay, who appears 5th on the list below with 2.1 billion searches. Facebook is another example, handling 1.6 billion searches in December ’09, a 43% increase over the same month a year before.

Looking at this data can only lead to one conclusion: optimizing medical websites for the search engines is an increasingly important means of drawing visitors to your website. Without good search engine optimization practices, potential patients searching for the services you offer will never know about you.