The Importance of Content Marketing in Healthcare

the power of content marketing for your healthcare practice

Content marketing is, without a doubt, the foundation of great marketing. Want to drive patients to your website and therefore your center? Want to simply find ways to engage with past, current, and future patients? It all starts with great content. As a healthcare marketer in the 21st century, one of your main jobs, if not your MAIN job, is not just to develop engaging content for your practices, hospitals or health care organizations, but also to place it where it's the most likely to drive business and engage patients.  For most healthcare practitioners, that's your website. 

Often times, health care professionals think their website doesn’t really matter when it comes to getting new patients. 100% of the time those health care professionals are wrong. A medical practice’s website is usually the first means of contact the modern patient has with a new physician. A patient’s first impression and experience depends solely on the content on that website, which means if your website is bogged down with irrelevant, boring, or even just poorly organized content, that first impression is going to be a bad one. On the flip side, if you can wow them with an awesome website full of meaty, informative, and entertaining content? Now you've got their attention. 

Let’s discuss some of the ways that great content can help your practice, and how bad content can hurt your marketing efforts.

What is BAD content?

It's important to first distinguish the difference between "great content" and "bad content". "Bad content" doesn't necessarily have to be content that's poorly written, it can be really well written content that's simply organized in a bad way. There are a lot of different things that determine what makes up "bad content", but generally speaking bad content looks like one of the following:

  • Unclear or overly clinical language
  • Content that's inappropriate for the audience you're trying to reach (i.e. content written for doctors when you’re trying to target patients)
  • Duplicated content on multiple pages
  • Content that is clearly stuffed with keywords in an effort to improve SEO, to a point where it doesn’t even make sense
  • Lack of enough content
  • Content that is poorly organized or doesn't "flow" right

How BAD content can HURT you:

  1. If a patient can’t find what they are looking for in the first few seconds, they will bounce right off your website. We know this because we've done it.
  2. When they leave your website, they will find another option with a more easily navigable website and they will call them instead.
  3. A website with bad content could leave a patient frustrated, giving them a negative impression of you before they even walk in your doors.
  4. If a patient can’t find an easy way to communicate with you through your website, you could see an increase in cancellations.
  5. You could be seen as “old fashioned” and in healthcare, no one wants an antiquated physician who isn’t up on the most advanced technology.

What is GREAT content?

Great content is content that motivates your website’s visitors to take action, guides them through the website and provides the kind of information most of your visitors are looking for on your site. There are a lot of different things that determine what makes great content, but generally speaking it usually follows these rules:

  • Content that is relevant to your customers
  • Content that is easy to understand
  • Content that's interesting and makes readers want to engage
  • Content that's well organized and silows readers through to other areas on your website
  • Content that utilizes proper spelling, grammar, capitalization/punctuation, and word choice (avoids using "big" words that confuse readers, but still sounds authoritative and intelligent)

How GREAT content can HELP you:

  1. The best content can help improve your organic rankings on Google so you can reach more savvy patients searching for your services online.
  2. Content can help you drive patients where you want them to go on your website, creating pathways for them.
  3. If your goal is to get more patients to schedule appointments, the right content can help you drive more patients to fill out online appointment forms.
  4. You can become a valuable online resource for patients, encouraging them to return to your site for more than just appointment booking, but for health tips and medical advice.
  5. You will appear more advanced, giving you more control and being seen as an authority in your medical community.
  6. Most importantly, great content makes you memorable. It keeps people wanting to come back for more. It's what determines your brand identity in the mind of your patients, and it's what makes them decide whether or not that brand is worth engaging with. 

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Creating content is easy, but creating great content? That's a little more tricky. It's a pretty impressive skill, but it's not one that everyone in the healthcare industry is going to have. That's where we come in. If you're following these guidelines but are still struggling to produce great content that's engaging and relevant to your patients, don't worry. We can help with that. It's not rocket science, it's content marketing, and it's what we do. 

9 Things You Need to Know About AdWords

Whether you’re an AdWords novice or have been Google certified for years, there is always something new to learn in the world of search marketing and advertising. Today we’ll explore some basic AdWords training principles to incorporate into your healthcare marketing strategy, so you’ll be more prepared for conversations with your team about your paid search strategy.

 

The 9 Things You Should Know About Google AdWords:

1.     CPC/PPC vs. CPM

CPC (cost-per-click) and PPC (pay-per-click) are terms that can be used interchangeably and mean that your bid-strategy is to pay Google only when people click on your ads. You can also choose to take the CPM (Cost-Per-Thousand impressions) bidding approach which determines your costs based on how many times your ads are shown. CPC is more common and helps give you a better indication of your ROI.

2.     Keyword Planner

Google offers a FREE keyword planner tool for all Google AdWords users. You can use this to determine search volume of certain keywords, estimate competition and average bids along with helping you come up with more appropriate keywords for your campaigns.

3.     Difference between Ad Campaigns and Ad Groups

Ad Campaigns can have multiple Ad Groups underneath them. Think of Ad Campaigns as the different service lines for your practice (ex: Women’s Imaging or Diagnostic Imaging for a radiology center) and think of Ad Groups as the specific services or modalities that fall under those campaigns (ex: Mammograms and Ultrasounds).

4.     Negative Keywords

You can add negative keywords to your campaigns, which indicates to Google that you don’t want your ads shown when people search for certain terms that might be similar to your terms. For instance, let’s say you are using the keywords “diagnostic imaging centers” and “imaging centers” but someone typed into Google “imaging services” they will get results for imaging centers and also digital printers, so you’d want to add “digital imaging” as a negative keyword.

5.     Branded Keywords

When you create an ad campaign for branded keywords, that means ads will show up when someone searches the name of your practice. It might seem counter-intuitive since you’re already coming up 1st organically, but it’s still beneficial to own that real estate. It helps contribute to your overall ad rank if you’re converting well on your branded terms, but keep in mind you don’t have to budget as much for these campaigns.

6.     High Search Volume with Low Competition

It’s a good idea to focus on keywords that have higher search volumes and lower competition. This won’t always seem like a good approach from the get go, but if you do well with converting lower competition terms, you’ll be in a stronger place when you start bidding on more competitive terms.

7.     AdWords Certifications

Anyone can become AdWords Certified through Google and it doesn’t cost anything. Always ask your paid search team if they are certified. It doesn’t take much to do so. First, you take the AdWords Fundamentals exam and then you choose to take either the Search, Display, Mobile, Video or Shopping Advertising exam. Once you pass both, you’re officially certified. Side Note: There are tons of free study guides online and through Google.

8.     Search Network vs. Display Network

These are kinds of campaigns; “Search Network Only” means that your ad will only show up on Google, “Display Network Only” means your ad will only show up in Google’s Display network of websites and videos, including YouTube and Blogger. “Search Network with Display Select” is a combo, which enables your ads to show up in both scenarios.

9.     Ad Rank vs. Quality Score

Your AdWords’ ad rank is the grade that determines in where your ad is displayed on a search results page. Your ad rank can fluctuate based on your bid amount and the quality score Google has given to your ads. Quality score is measured by your ad’s headline, description, destination URL, relevancy and the keywords you’ve chosen. If you have a higher quality score for your ad you could end up paying less per click since Google has determined that you’re providing valuable information for their searchers.

 

Learn more about Google AdWords by reaching out to the members of our paid search team and by checking back for more blog posts about paid search and healthcare search engine optimization tactics.

12 Tips for Optimizing Your YouTube Videos

Points for you for exploring video marketing!  You have scripted, filmed and edited your video, now all you have to do is get it out to the world. Beyond sharing your new video on your organization’s Facebook page, website and blog- you should also be sure to optimize your video on YouTube so that others on the interwebs can find your video.

 

Here are some tricks for making sure each YouTube video you upload is optimized:

  1. Key terms should be included in the video’s title. Focus on terms that patients would be using to search for your services on Google.
  2. Any branding terms should be at the end of the video’s title.
  3. Your video’s title should be under 66 characters so that it can be properly viewed in search results.
  4. Sometimes it helps if the word “video” is in the title.
  5. In the video description area, write a one to two sentence description of what the video is about.
  6. In those one to two sentences, be sure to include appropriate and relevant search terms along with branded key terms, i.e.: your practice name.
  7. Makes sure to include a URL linking to your website at the beginning of the description. This way, even if they only read the first line, they will see the CTA to explore more on your website.
  8. Tag your video so that search engines, YouTube and viewers know what the video is about.
  9. Key phrases should go in quotes, ex: Tampa vs. “Tampa radiology center” when using tags.
  10. Transcribe your videos with the script. It helps with SEO and gives your video the ability to include closed captioning. If you don’t want to show the script, simply disable the feature.
  11. Annotations can also be used for calls-to-action, ex: "Learn more about MRI’s" or “Read our spotlight on Dr. Smith.”
  12. Don’t over do it on the annotations.

 

Now, every video can’t have as much viral success as the classics, but if you have valuable and engaging content there is nothing stopping you!