- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On August 12, 2015
- SEO, Video
Online video’s explosive growth has been well documented. American adults now spend more time watching video than they do on social media, and Cisco projects that 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic will be video by 2019.
As hospital marketers, this is a trend you can’t ignore. Consumers are looking online for answers to their health questions, and if they don’t find them at your health system, they’ll find them somewhere else.
Used effectively, video can be a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal, helping you rank highly on Google, meeting your community’s needs, raising brand awareness, and driving traffic to your website, where you can convert prospective patients into real ones.
Get found on Google
Patients rely on search engines at every step of the patient journey, from general symptom search terms to more detailed condition and treatment keywords to highly specific hospital brands and departments or physician names. Along the way, video reviews and testimonials are powerful factors in their decision-making, potentially providing a strong emotional connection to other patients who are or have been in the same situation. Search engines recognize this and deliver these videos to their users, often above organic results.
Meet your community’s needs
Healthcare marketers can also take advantage of the unique opportunity they have to provide people with the information they need to stay happy and healthy in the format they crave. Your hospital is already a health leader in its community—it’s time to position it that way online across all the important channels.
If you’re already sharing health and wellness tips on your blog or social media accounts, repurpose them in video form and post them on YouTube. Ask yourself what people in your community are looking for and use tools like Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner and Google Trends to verify the relevance of those topics and see what search terms people use, then optimize all of your videos with those keywords.
Competitor analysis is another way to identify strong topic ideas. Find out what works for other hospitals and adapt it to the skills and specialties of your staff and the particular interests of your community. You may not be able to outrank best-in-class examples nationally, but dominating local keywords is certainly within your grasp.
Drive traffic to your website
Links in video descriptions on YouTube are automatically “nofollow”ed, so expanding your video efforts won’t help you build up a link profile like blogging can. Despite this, video’s SEO benefit is still strong, building your off-site results and promoting brand awareness. And with YouTube traffic to hospital sites increasing 119 percent year over year, many of those viewers are still ending up on your website, where they can find a doctor or location or make an appointment.
An alternative—or, ideally, a complement—to YouTube is video hosted on your own website. Where YouTube videos raise brand awareness and direct viewers to your website, hosted videos help keep visitors on your website and convert them into patients. These videos might answer more specific questions and dive deeper into topics than YouTube videos would. And since they’re on your website, any shares will link back to your domain—increasing your SEO footprint.
Both types of video have clear benefits, so a full-featured video strategy will feature both to achieve maximum benefits.