When you are a successful business owner in the healthcare field you wear many hats. You are proficient in providing quality patient care, but what about the marketing side? When you have multiple medical practice locations the marketing management of those locations can get harried in a hurry. This is where the importance of...
- Brand Presence Consistency
- Social Media Management
- SEO Strategy comes in and that is what we will teach you in this blog post.
Brand Consistency Checklist:
Consistency will make or break your brand. This checklist below, from Medium, will allow you to see your practice branding through your prospective patient's eyes. If your patients see an inconsistent message from you online and in your marketing, their trust in you will waiver.
What We See:
___ Logo. Does your brand go everywhere with its logo in tow? Make sure it’s on your website, social media profiles, packaging, business cards, email signature, and advertising materials. Generally, your logo better be on everything you’re associated with.
___ Color Palette. Your brand color scheme is the Yellow Brick Road your customers. If your website color palette is blue and orange, why would Facebook be green? Are we still heading in the right direction? Keep colors consistent so your fans don’t get lost.
___ Typography. Does your website have one steady font style, or does it look like some teenager’s archaic AIM profile? Overdoing it with fonts looks cheesy. Choose one main font style (body text), along with one or two to pair with it (think headlines, menu bar links, etc.). Make sure they complement each other and are easy to read. These are now the fonts you will use everywhere.
___ Photography. What kind of photography is on your website and social media sites? People? Places? People with your product? Just your product? It seems small, but this consistency can influence your brand impression. Nike could only show photographs of shoes, but they choose to include people being active because it ties in with their brand message.
___ Website Design. Does your website visually reflect your message? If you have a brick and mortar store, do the store and the website share the same design? Apple does this well. The website and physical store both share similar clean and simple formats. If you’re only digital, make sure your design matches your mission. If a company that helps people get organized has a cluttered website design, the first impression is already poor.
___ Social Media: Profile Pictures & Visuals. When customers look you up on social media, how easy is it for them to find you? When you look up GradientWave on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, there’s no guessing which one is us. Our profile picture and cover photos are the same, or similar, across all three.
What We Read:
___ Name & Tagline. Branding 101: Your name and tagline should be the same on your website, social profiles, and all marketing materials.
___ Brand Message. Your core message can’t live and die on your website. It needs to be repeated, and even more, your brand needs to live it. When your actions support your message, customers adore you. No one did this better than REI. Last fall they stuck it to the Black Friday ritual with a #optoutside campaign. A retailer that tells you to go outside rather than come empty their shelves? On the biggest shopping day of the year? I don’t know about you, but it made me view them as a truly authentic outdoor store. May have been a bummer for sales, but genius for brand consistency. I have a feeling it’ll pay off.
___ Tone. Is your brand’s tone more healthcare-professional or more professional-buddy? Your voice needs to stay the same throughout your website and marketing copy, blog posts, newsletters, social posts, and beyond. If you’re fun and quirky on your website, patients who reach out will appreciate and expect the meme you attach to your email. If your tone on the website is very corporate, then that same email will look sketchy and immature.
___ Profile Name & Handles. Is your name the same on all your social media profiles? How about your Twitter handle? There’s no reason why Outlet Creative Group should have @ThatWebMarketingAgency as our handle on Twitter. No one would remember how to tweet us, let alone trust us. That is why we use @Outlet_Web
What We Feel:
___ Rate of Updates. Do you update your website, blog posts, or social media posts weekly, daily, or hourly? Do your followers know and expect this? If a weekly newspaper went, “meh, not happening this week” they wouldn’t keep any readers. If you promise to send one newsletter a month, but then flood subscribers with weekly emails, you can’t expect them to keep calm. Set a frequency and stick with it.
___ Accurate Information. Is the information correct on your social profiles, website, blog, and ads? When you’re going through an overhaul of updates, it’s easy to miss things. Maybe your office moved to a new location, but your ads still have the old address. Incorrect info like this can shake up customer trust, so fact-check the hell out of everything.
___ Customer Interaction. Do you respond and interact with your customers in a way that’s timely and consistent with your brand’s tone? Interacting with customers and fans helps out your brand image, but make sure you match your responses appropriately. Your Twitter crowd isn’t the same as your LinkedIn crowd.
___ Ease of Use. Is your website easy to navigate? Does it load quickly? These may seem like issues for your web developer, but they add to the experience your customers get when they visit your site. If your website is difficult, then your brand is difficult.
Social Media Management
A majority of practice owners say social media is the most difficult and time-consuming aspect of online marketing, according to a 2016 Manta poll. That’s understandable. After all, social media accounts aren’t worth much if you don’t post regularly. [Learn Social Media best practices here]
But before you decide that social media is more trouble than it’s worth, consider that it helps build your medical practices’ online visibility by driving more traffic to your site and reputation by allowing customers to experience your valuable insights. Social media is crucial for any practice, no matter the amount of time or budget available. A few posts a week will do far more for your practice brand than nothing at all. - These posts must be weekly and not one week here and there. Your followers must be able to count on you.
If you’re struggling to find time to update your social media, start scheduling posts in advance with tools like Hootsuite or Buffer. These are good for one user. Take some time on a set day to plan your posts for the next week. Create 3-5 posts and now your time during the week is free for daily responsibilities. Even better, use a social media monthly planning calendar to create a comprehensive content plan that is centered around your PT practice business goals.
Setting aside an hour or so at a time, rather than dropping what you’re doing in the middle of the day to post on Twitter or Facebook, will streamline the process and make it easier to reap the benefits of a strong social media presence. (Source)
If you are a larger practice and have multiple locations, you will want to start restructuring the team by region. Allow these teams to strategize individually while still keeping that brand message. Each location has its own set of unique values. Do large-scale interviews with all of the business development reps because they are the people who are out in the crowd and going to the events in the area and put regional managers on those teams so they can inform the team of what was happening locally.
Now you may add in blogging, Google Analytics, and email marketing campaigns that are specific to the practice location. This amount of work can be daunting is you are juggling multiple tools and expensive if you are having to pay for multiple staff users.
One easy to use solution is a HubSpot integration. Our clients at Outlet Creative Group have experienced great relief from the ease of use, full team usage for one price, and enjoy the endless marketing training insight provided by us and HubSpot.
For multiple locations utilize the calendar and look at the content orders going out and base social content around the same concept. Like, what are some pages that you’re trying to promote or whatever that topic is for the day because it varies based on the site, of course. Then pull some sub-content ideas from there.
Also, help those key people build out content pieces as authors and try to get it in local news and local press. Make sure all of the local pages are claimed and have access to those so they are being managed at the local level so you can make sure your reviews are staying on the positive end versus the negative. If a negative review comes up connect with the person to see how you can improve that relationship.
It gets kind of technical when you’re talking how it integrates with the local SEO, but definitely making sure that all of our accounts and all of your assets are linked together appropriately and making sure people at the local level are extremely visible and appreciated. Make sure that your local TV segments or news stories are being shared, talked about, and tagged out in social or the blog so that you’re getting that ad exposure and ad connectivity to the news stations, which can be very important especially at the local brand level. (source)
Obviously, you have to be hyper-aware of the details. It’s the most important part. Hiring marketing help can ensure this runs smoothly.
Make sure that you are claiming all of the local pages including Facebook, Google Plus, Yelp, and so on for your practices, so your patients can find you online. This will truly impact your website and social media traffic.
To optimize your whole site for search engines, you’ll need to follow these basic tips:
1. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION - PUT YOUR KEYWORDS WHERE THEY MATTER.
Include your top keyword (more on keywords further down the page) in the site title, domain name, description, tagline, keywords, blog categories, and page titles. If you don't have access to these areas, ask your website designer to add them in for you. The one area you do have access to is your page content. Keywords should be distributed throughout the content evenly – showing up at the top, in middle and towards the end of the copy. Make sure they flow naturally into your page writing so you don't sound like a robot.
2. COUNT CHOCULA SAYS, "IDENTIFY THE WORD COUNT OF THE PAGE."
Each page should have a minimum and/or target word count. You should always say as much as you need to on the topic to be thorough and provide something of quality, but there is typically a minimum word count. I always like to think of 300 words as the least amount of copy you want to write on a topic.
3. NO JUNK IN THE TRUNK -REMOVE ANYTHING THAT SLOWS DOWN YOUR WEBSITE.
Page load times are important so get rid of any non-essentials that bog down your website. These may including music players, large images, flash graphics, and unnecessary plugins.
4. A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS - USE KEYWORDS IN YOUR IMAGES.
Include words that reflect your site topic in the image title, description, and alt attributes.
Also, re-title the file name if it doesn’t reflect your main keywords (e.g. surgery-tips.jpg instead of 1234.jpg).
5. HAVE A FEW BFF'S - LINK TO OTHER WEBSITES WITH RELEVANT CONTENT.
You can do this by including a skin care product link list or a plastic surgery resources page on your website.
Of course, do it sparingly, as each outbound link is a “vote” for another site. However, if you do it well and people click your links, this tells search engines you are a trusted authority on your particular topic.
6. DON'T LET THE BREAD GET STALE - UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE FREQUENTLY.
Sites with dynamic content often rank higher than those with static content. That’s why blogs do so well on search engines. They are constantly being updated with new content.
7. DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM, WHAT'S THAT? - MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS INDEXED IN SEARCH ENGINES.
Don't count on search engines automatically finding and indexing your content. You want to be sure engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo is crawling your site so that people are finding you online. You can add them directly by following simple instructions on each search engine.
8. HOOK UP - HAVE OTHER WEBSITES LINK TO YOU.
This is really, really important when it comes to SEO. The downside is that you have no control over it unless you ask politely and send flowers. I would advise you to spend the time you would trying to convince somebody to link to you on just writing great content. Regardless of what you do, know that inbound links are essential to SEO.
9. ARE YOU IN THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM? - STOP CHANGING YOUR DOMAIN NAME.
How long you have owned your domain name is a factor in your site’s search ranking, so be patient. If you’re launching a new blog every six months, you’ll never see your site get the value it deserves.
10. LISTEN TO MOM - BE PATIENT.
Have patience and you’ll see results if you follow these SEO tips for medical websites. This is going to take a few months. Just remember to be consistent and dedicated to your website content.
Obviously, most of you reading this already have a website, but many of these tips can be applied retroactively. And once you're done with your initial SEO on your PT website you can start writing regular content for your blog.
What is keyword research?
According to HubSpot, Keyword research is when people use keywords to find and research actual search terms that people enter into search engines. The knowledge about these actual search terms can help inform content strategy or marketing strategy overall.
How are your patients finding you? It all begins with words typed in a search box.
Keyword research is the foundation of SEO. It is one of the most important and high-return activities you need to make time for.
6 Steps For Thorough Keyword Research
STEP 1. MAKE A LIST OF IMPORTANT TOPICS OR NICHE MARKETS THAT APPLY TO YOUR Practice.
Come up with 5-10 main topics for your business. These main topics will be used for specific keywords later on in our process. Ask yourself, what types of topics would your target audience search that you'd want your practice to get found for?
For example, let's say you have a physical therapy practice. Your prospective patients might search for:
- Typical injuries your office treats
- Therapy modalities you implement
- Your practice specialties
- Practices near their location
- Products you endorse or recommend
STEP 2. FILL IN YOUR TOPICS WITH KEYWORDS.
Now that you have a few topics you want to focus on, it's time to identify some keywords. These are keyword phrases you think are important to rank for in the SERPs (search engine results pages) because your target patient is probably conducting searches for those specific terms.
For example, if I took -- "your practice specialties" -- I'd brainstorm some keyword phrases that I think people would type in related to that topic. Those might include:
- Injury Prevention Programs
- Pediatric therapy
- Job-Site Analysis
- Functional Capacity Evaluations
- Custom Designed & Fabricated Splints
This is still not your final list of keyword phrases ("Ugh! What?" - I heard you and we can help take the load off). We will narrow the lists down later in the process.
Another smart way to come up with keyword ideas is to figure out which keywords your website is already getting found for. To do this, you'll need website analytics software like Google Analytics or HubSpot's Sources tool.
If you're having trouble coming up with relevant search terms, you can always ask your employees in your next staff meeting what types of terms their patients and customers use, or common questions they have. Those are often great starting points for keyword research.
STEP 3. RESEARCH RELATED SEARCH TERMS.
To get "the little gray cells" generating more terms a great help is to go to Google.com and take a look at the related search terms that appear when you plug in a keyword. When you type in your phrase and scroll to the bottom of Google's results, you'll notice some suggestions for searches related to your original input. These keywords can spark ideas for other keywords you may want to take into consideration. This is what happens when you type in "bubble gum".
STEP 4: LOOK FOR HEAD TERMS AND LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS UNDER EACH TOPIC.
What are those? Head terms are keywords phrases that are generally shorter and more generic -- they're typically just one to three words in length such as, "bubble gum flavors". Head terms have more search competition and can get lost in the sea of search results.
Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are longer keyword phrases usually containing three or more words such as, "What bubble gum flavor is best for blowing large bubbles". These terms are highly specific and, in turn, will have highly specific search results. These terms won't bring everyone to your site but they will bring the right kind of patients.
It is good to have a mix of these keywords so you can use the head terms for research down the road and the long tail keywords will give you some great SEO right off the bat.
STEP 5: SEE HOW THE COMPETITION IS RANKING FOR THESE KEYWORDS.
If the practice across town is ranking for certain keywords that are on your list then you should try to rank for those words as well but also take note on what keywords they don't rank for. This is your opportunity to pull ahead in a specialty area.
To figure out what keywords your competitors are ranking for, I recommend SEMrush. This allows you to run a number of free reports that show you the top keywords for the domain you enter. This is a quick way to get a sense of the types of terms your competitors are ranking for.
STEP 6: CUT DOWN YOUR KEYWORD LIST.
The Keyword Planner will show your which terms have a too high or too low search volume. Don't delete anything until you check out the terms trend history and projections in Google Trends. This will show you if some low-volume terms might actually be something you should invest in now and benefit from later.
Google Trends can help you determine which terms are trending upward and thus you will know how to cut down a large keyword list and which terms to give your full attention.
Well, for now, that is, you will need to re-evaluate these keywords once a quarter. You will find that as time passes your website will gain more authority in the SERPs and you can add more keywords to your lists. This will allow you to maintain your current ranking and then grow in new areas as well.
Keep in mind, even the best estimates of value fall flat against the hands-on process of optimizing. Search engine optimization involves constant testing, experimenting, and improvement. Remember, even though SEO is typically one of the highest return marketing investments, measuring success is still critical to the process.
What a great amount of info you just took in. Take it step-by-step and be patient. You may always ask us a question at firstname.lastname@example.org we always happy to help and make you happy!