- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On May 20, 2014
Here’s a good way to keep on top of your practice’s marketing: Schedule an annual checkup.
Marketing is highly digital these days. And these digital environments change constantly. Every time there’s a change in one of these digital tools, say a change in Google’s search algorithm or Faceboook’s Edgerank algorithm (the one that decides which posts are displayed to users) this affects your marketing results.
These days changes occur every week. It’s not unusual for us to go onto Facebook on Monday and find a feature working one way and on Tuesday it works a different way.
What worked for your medical practice marketing a year ago may not work today. Unfortunately you cannot rest on your laurels.
Here are some things that changed in the last year that are probably affecting your marketing:
- Google: all search keywords are now encrypted. Result: when you look at your Google Analytics 70-80% of your keyword report will say “(not specified)”. Significant: yes, very! Do you know what to do?
- Google: algorithm updates, Panda, Penguin then Hummingbird. Updates to all occurred in last 12 months. Did they affect where you show up in search? Probably. Do you know how much? How are you addressing this?
- Google: Some big moves to penalize bad links going on at Google. Do you know if you have any?
- Facebook: Big story: A big reduction in the percentage of fans seeing your free posts. Even if you have hundreds of fans not that many people will see your posts unless you pay. A big issue for anyone who is relying on Fans only to get them new patients.
- Online reputation: sites that rank doctors are growing in popularity. Practices need to actively manage their presence on these sites. What are you doing to track and respond to online comments?
- Instagram & Pinterest: The hot social media platforms change all the time. In the last year Instagram has come on strong. Are you there? Should you be? What about Pinterest? That’s a major platform now. What’s your approach?
- Mobile: there will be mobile users in the world than desktop soon (source: Morgan Stanley). How does your website look on a smartphone? Do you have the technology in place to optimally display your site on smartphones and tablets (so called “responsive design”)? If not, this could create serious issues for your practice soon.
- Local SEO: It seems like now is the time to gain control of your local area for the keywords that matter to you. The window of opportunity is open but will soon be snapped up by others. What are you doing?
Even if the technology that affects your marketing does not change that much in the coming year you can guarantee your competitors will make some significant moves. Your marketing is a constantly moving landscape.
OK, so I know some years I don’t make it in for my annual checkup. But just as in medicine it’s not good to wait for a serious condition to develop before taking action. Proactive management is the best way.
Don’t wait for your competitors to have the best rankings in Google for all your key terms or find out that negative comments on a doctor rating site is actually starting to make prospective patients hesitant to come in.
If you’d like to schedule your annual marketing check up, click here. No obligation to take action on what we tell you but just like health it’s better to know what’s wrong than be in the dark.
If you’d like to learn more about digital marketing in general, grab our ebook below.