Internet marketing when done right can be one of the most cost effective marketing strategies. However, there are no fixed formulas to crack and each business, including healthcare, has to find out what works and what is detrimental to its efforts. Experienced search engine optimization professionals will testify that internet marketing is a veritable minefield, and if you don’t tread carefully you run the risk of failure.
Having spent a substantial part of my professional life in online medical marketing I have stumbled over some of these mines. Not all mistakes committed by me and my clients were terrible, but we would have done well if we had avoided them.
Here are five mistakes you as a healthcare professional and your SEO team should steer clear of:
Poor onsite content strategy
Prior to Panda updates it was common for microsites, with high inbound links, to feature in the top rankings on Google search results pages. The content on such sites was of poor quality and lacked depth and relevance. However, post Panda updates, you need tons of quality and relevant content if you want to rank higher in organic search results.
What are the markers of good quality content?
- High number of high quality inbound links to the page
- Volume and quality of social pointers linking to your page
- Formatting style of your webpage (use bold, italics, and bullet points)
- No grammatical and spelling errors
- Subheadings for easy reading
- High quality outbound links
- Appropriate length of content
Poor offsite content strategy
Not implementing an SEO link building campaign is one common mistake medical marketers make. Inbound links score the maximum points with Google’s ranking algorithm.
- When healthcare related websites that enjoy high authority link to your website you gain by way of improved brand image, increased referral traffic, and increased exposure.
- Inbound links to your website act as expressways. Having high number and high quality of inbound links means more potential patients can find your healthcare website and know more about the services you offer.
It is advisable to hire an expert SEO team proficient in ethical link building as building links that appear unnatural will do your marketing efforts more harm than good.
Online medical marketing can be compared to the stock market. You need to give it the time it deserves. There are no quick fixes. However, over a period of time it returns a fabulous rate of return.
Organic search engine optimization takes longer than paid search, but is far more cost effective and returns a bigger bang for your buck. Stopping too soon will leave you worse off than when you started your online marketing efforts.
Shoe string budgets
Many medical professionals have burnt their fingers after being lured by low-priced SEO companies. When an SEO company makes an offer that you feel is too good to be true; it usually is.
Earmark a budget and stick to it. In the long run you will be happy you spent the money. Low-cost SEO providers use unethical tactics which in turn do immeasurable harm to your brand image. Your website could also be blacklisted by search engines.
Online medical marketing is too vast and complicated to be done by one person alone. As a medical professional all your waking hours need to be spent in building up your practice. When done right, online marketing requires the services of several professionals across various disciplines. It is advisable to source your online marketing efforts to reliable outside agencies.
The point of this article is not to scare you off, but to impress upon you that your oversight is more than important when it comes to online medical marketing plans. Think out of the box and delegate tasks to professionals that know the nuances of organic search engine optimization.