Let’s say you’re a doctor or you run the office for one, and it’s time to work on improving the return you’re getting from the practice’s website.
A medical SEO consultant comes in to pitch you their digital marketing services.
Instead of just passively listening, there are several issues where you can dig a little deeper for their thoughts. And they really all boil down to one simple question
How do you measure success?
This open-ended question can reveal whether you’re working with a pro who understands your business needs or another run-of-the-mill hack.
If the answer you get boils down to “get more traffic to the website,” then you might want to look in another direction.
Traffic to the website is great—in fact, it’s essential.
But an emphasis on this often exposes that the medical SEO consultant will mainly work to improve your vanity metrics—more visits to the home page, maybe better ranking for certain keywords—while leaving your bottom line mostly untouched.
A local business like a medical practice has a very specific type of person they want to search their website.
At the risk of pointing out the obvious, it has to be someone who might one day walk into the office and hand over their insurance card and co-payment.
But what if your consultant’s SEO strategy is built around ranking for keywords like “flu symptoms” or “ways to treat a cold” or even longtail possibilities like “how do I know if my child has pneumonia?”
These are what SEO professionals call “about terms.”
They’re entered into a search engine by people looking for information.
They could be 600 miles away and it really doesn’t matter to the searcher, so long as the information is valid.
You want an emphasis on what are called “buy terms.”
These are terms that are used by searchers who are ready to purchase a service.
Ranking for “pediatricians in (city) area” would be an example of this.
Or maybe “flu virus in (city) in (year),” with a thoughtful blog post on the specific influenza viruses you’re seeing this winter.
This is information valuable to people who are in your geographic footprint and who are poised to visit a doctor’s office.
It’s not hard for an SEO consultant to drive traffic to a website and create the illusion of success.
It’s much more difficult to produce the types of traffic that will have a meaningful impact on your business.
The question “how do you define success?” will help you separate the contenders from the pretenders.
While you’re determining which SEO consultant to hire, keep an eye on these SEO trends for 2019.