For many small business owners, it may seem enough to have a website and wait for people to show up. Indeed, having a well-designed and accessible website is an important part of lead generation online, but it is not the only thing required. Your website is just one element of a bigger picture, which also includes lead generation.
Here we discuss lead generation, its role online, and why it is important to your business’s online marketing strategy.
What is Online Lead Generation?
Lead generation, a term derived from traditional marketing, is used in online marketing as well. In traditional marketing, lead generation referred to “the contact information and in some cases, demographic information of a customer who is interested in a specific product or service.”
Similarly, online lead generation refers to the “generation of prospective consumer interest or inquiry into a business’ products or services through the Internet.”
As all marketers and salespeople know, leads are an important part of business. Keeping in contact, knowing that consumers are looking for, and piquing their interest are all a part of staying on a potential customer’s radar. Online leads may be used for these ends in a number of different online marketing strategies: email newsletter lists, reward programs, loyalty programs, or other member acquisition programs.
Healthcare Services & Lead Generation
For most of our clients, audiologists and hearing health providers, hearing is most likely not at the top of a consumer’s list of concerns. As we know, most people wait an average of seven years from the time they first experience changes in their hearing to the time they decide to seek treatment. Avoidance and denial are more common when it comes to reactions to hearing loss.
So how do we get people to pay attention to their hearing health needs – which are in fact important to their overall well-being – while also working to get them to show up in person at your brick-and-mortar location for a hearing test?
As with traditional marketing, you want to formulate your dream customer. Who are the clients you are trying to attract? When it comes to hearing health, we know that the majority of people who experience hearing loss are above the age of 50. Furthermore, we understand that hearing loss can affect one’s quality of life.
A 2017 snapshot of the medical industry shows that 26% of booked appointments came from the internet (a 2% increase from 2016) – but 55.58% came from referrals. This gives us important information on how we focus on generating leads.
Online Lead Generation
Referrals Online: Word-of-mouth referrals outrank internet searches for qualified leads, which eventually lead to booking an appointment. Word-of-mouth is the best kind of marketing because it is free. If you have satisfied clients, they will go on and discuss their experiences at your office and the significant changes hearing loss treatment has made in their lives. Their story will most likely resonate with their loved ones, friends, and peers – other people who may be in the same community and age-range – and they will discuss the care your audiology practice provided.
Social media is the new “word-of-mouth,” with shares and posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Make it easier for your satisfied customers to share your information: maintain an accessible and informative social media business page that links through to a welcoming and aesthetically sound website. Your website should incorporate elements of search engine optimization to ensure that people can search and find your practice easily. It should also include up to date information and useful resources.
Internet Search Engines: After word-of-mouth referrals, internet searches come in second. Many customers are looking for information on their mobile devices, and furthermore, they are using platforms such as Google and Yelp to find your practice. It is important that your presence in these arenas is well-cultivated, with up-to-date information, including hours and phone numbers as well as services provided. According to Google, 70% of mobile searches will call a business directly from search results – without ever visiting the website. “Click to call” is a new convenience available on mobile devices, and it is a welcome addition because it puts customers directly in touch with you.
At the same time, search engine optimization strategies and maintenance on your website are crucial to ensuring that your business ranks in the top bracket of search results. This is essentially how your business shows up with your phone number – thus enabling clients to “click to call.”
Nick Fitzgerald is the President and Owner of AuDSEO. With 13 years of digital marketing experience, Nick is a highly data-driven marketer, with expertise in search engine optimization, digital analytics and forensics, social media, digital advertising, and web development. He has been involved in the construction and optimization of nearly 1,000 web presences, including some of the largest Fortune 500 companies.