by Nick Fitzgerald
If you ask any online marketer, they’ll tell you that the majority of your future customers are going to be found online. If you’re feeling doubtful, consider that 290 million Americans were online in 2016. More recent data reveals that 77% of Americans use smartphones. All that is to say that your future customers are most certainly online.
If you’ve considered SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to be simply a buzzword, perhaps it’s time to sit up and pay attention. Introducing these SEO strategies into your business can propel your website from simply a digital asset claiming space on the digital highway into a space that draws people in.
Schedule SEO as a priority
It’s perhaps the most non-tech piece of advice, but an innately valuable tenet of digital strategy. You must dedicate time, energy and attention to your online presence.
Investing in a great looking website is only half of the story. Once you have a hospitable site that welcomes in new and existing customers, dedicating ongoing resources to making it work for you is the next and vital step.
You must schedule in time to think about and enact your strategy on a regular basis. In order for people to find your business online, it has to be visible and that means pleasing the algorithm gods. Search engines like Google use algorithms to rank your business which affects how your site shows up when people search in your industry and location. If digital strategy has always been an afterthought, it’s time to make a change.
Enact a content calendar
One of the most important aspects of maintaining a viable digital presence calls for a fresh website. That doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel and relaunching a website on an annual basis. What’s important is putting up fresh content on your existing site. This is an extremely simple and organized process when a content calendar at play.
Updating your site with new content or tweaking existing content makes your site more favorable to the web crawlers that evaluate your site and that ultimately result in higher rankings.
Look a couple months ahead and drill down on the essentials of your business. Start at your brick and mortar clinic if you’re having trouble coming up with content. What are the most common issues or questions your customers have? They’re a great representation of the wider world. Answer those questions and address those issue as a starting place for content creation.
Provide useful and engaging content
Many business owners, consumed with the demands of running their business, farm out content to experienced professionals. This can be helpful in a few different ways. Freelance or contract content providers think about and create engaging content on a regular basis. What might be a painful process for you, writing or producing images and videos, is second nature to them. While a billable hour might seem off-putting at first, consider the value of your own time and whether this is something that comes easily to you. A few hours of their billable time could produce a month’s worth of content and you can get back to the important task of running your audiology practice.
Be playful with content
Dry, informational pieces have their place on your site and in your strategy. They’re comprehensive and valuable to your customers. They provide a depth and breadth of knowledge that you want to be known for, it helps build credibility and integrity. But have a little fun with content, too. It doesn’t have to be an either/or scenario, there’s a lot more value if you shift your paradigm into both/and.
Maintain some longer format pieces that are purely education, but mix it up with some playful content, too.
Images and video are a great way to enhance your ranking and provide customers with something different or unique. Creating infographics is particularly useful as they’re highly share-able and might result in link-building. Link-building, or when someone else links to your site, is extremely favorable in search rank evaluation, particularly when the other party is a well- regarded site. Adding an infographic to your site can be an easy way to have others link back to you in attribution.
Put yourself on the map
Using geographical tags is becoming one of the most important ways to enhance your digital visibility. The rise in “near me” searches has much to do with that. Remember the huge number of Americans using smartphones? Many of them are using them to shop and their sense of urgency is higher than the person sitting behind their PC surfing the web in the evening. They’re customers who know what they want and they want it now. It’s exactly the person you want to welcome into your clinic.
Make sure that your Google listing is accurate, with a current address and up-to-date business hours. Make space in your content calendar to become a local resource in your community. This can mean posts that highlight local events or even local resources that dovetail with your audiology practice. Consider producing a list of the best restaurants to visit for people with hearing aids, or hotels in your area that are best equipped to host the hearing impaired. Those articles are useful to your clientele and lock you in geographically to your region or town.
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.