It’s a search battleground out there.
Each and every day, more and more people use the Web to seek out medical, health and healthcare related information. Your competing hospital down the road or top health insurance competitor across town knows this just as well as you do. In fact, your boss may be questioning why your organization is always ranked below the competition in various search results. Time to take action.
To date, you may have assumed that search engine optimization (SEO) is something that your IT folks handle and that it’s not a priority or focus area for your communications or marketing team. The problem is that your IT team is not tied in with your day-to-day communications and marketing activities. Thus, chances are good that there is a disconnect between what keywords your IT team is focused on versus the keywords you are working to own through your search engine marketing campaign, content marketing and social media efforts.
SEO has always been a critical marketing driver but why is it now more important than ever for healthcare marketers? Here are three key reasons to consider:
1. Competition Is Already Stiff
SEO is anything but new. Still, I’m often blown away by how few companies and organizations regularly track, analyze and adjust their SEO efforts on a quarterly basis to match changing market landscapes. To gather general insight, I encourage you to go visit Google’s Keyword Tool. Type in various keywords or phrases that you think a potential patient would search to find your organization, product or service. Take a look at the volume of local searches (note: Google only narrows local searches on a national scale), search competition and the relevant search phrases that populate below your inquiry.
You may find that competition for top keywords is very high. View this as a challenge and an opportunity to narrow in and determine how you can adjust your SEO strategy to focus on optimizing your site and content for medium and long-tail keywords. These insights will help fuel which keywords you integrate into your website and content and benchmark against to measure success moving forward.
2. Solid SEO Knowledge = Smart Content Optimization
On a daily basis, you and your team team are likely creating a number of content assets – blog posts, tweets, videos, etc. Would you prefer to have more or less eyeballs and engagement with this content that you’re investing time, effort and financial resources to create each day? I’ll assume the former.
By keeping your database of target keywords handy, you’ll arm your team with a filter to help ensure that those keywords are consistently being integrated into blog post titles and content, video titles, tags and descriptions, Twitter handle bios, and in any other marketing assets you create. Search engines of course love quality content and you’ll succeed at driving strong search engine results when you begin to own a consistent brand keyword framework.
3. Health Reform
One can bet on a major search volume spike in the year ahead as more and more states prepare to launch their own individual health exchanges. Whether you work at a hospital, health insurance company or other health-related organization, get ready…the questions and inquiries will start flooding. Your competition will be fighting to own localized search inquiries tied to the health exchange and there is an opportunity NOW to position as a thought leader in the space.
Have I convinced you that’s it’s finally time to start ignoring those three fearful letters – SEO? Great! Time to smarten up and start synching your IT team with your marketing efforts to start making an impact. It’s not rocket science to understand the basics and there are plenty of very smart folks out there who have been kind enough to guide you right along from the start. Give the two resources below a solid read and you’ll be well on your way.
Image courtesy of Paloma Gomez.
The following is a guest post from digital account executive Justin Tsang (@justinjtsang).
The Social TV movement has arrived. And it’s here to stay.
Don’t believe me? Well tune into your favorite Prime Time TV show this week and chances are that you’ll see at least one of the following things:
- On-screen promotions of hashtags, Twitter handles and/or Facebook Pages
- Promotions of network and show-specific second-screen apps
- Contests or sweepstakes that incorporate some sort of social interaction
In fact, a recent study by Accenture found that 64 percent of consumers recall seeing social prompts on TV. Which means all of the above is actually sticking with viewers.
Still don’t believe me? Log into the App Store or Google Play, and take a peek the growing number of Social TV apps dedicated to allowing you to earn rewards, check in, access exclusive content and interact with your friends in real-time. This isn’t surprising, because according to Nielsen, 68 percent of tablet owners and 63 percent of smartphone users are on their devices multiple times a week while watching TV – a phenomenon known as the second screen.
And let’s not forget about Twitter, who recently embraced its role in Social TV. If you’re looking to put money on a trending-topic-to-be, look no further than the next big TV event.
Now that Social TV is here, what makes a solid second screen experience?
Being an avid TV watcher, Social TV enthusiast and strategist for a Social TV client, I’ve taken the time to dabble in as many second screen opportunities as possible. And to be truthful, my experiences have varied greatly – from “wow, this is really cool!” to “hmm, this is kind of pointless.”
Below are my five ingredients for a successful and sustainable second screen experience.
Attention spans are short, and patience is even shorter. This describes the majority of people who are testing out new apps and social experiences. Second screen providers are not exempt from this and need to ensure that their app or platform runs near perfect – all the time. From an intuitive, quick-responding UI to easy, socially-infused functionality – the whole experience should be seamless. That or risk the chance of users jumping ship and not-so-kind reviews.
Social TV and the second screen are commonly associated with the concept of the Digital Water Cooler. This is due to how conversations about TV no longer have to wait for the office. They’re happening in real-time and online instead. This is one of the most revolutionary aspects of the second screen, and in order for it to appeal to the eager-to-chat TV fanatics, second screen providers need one-tap integration, posting and sharing with existing social networks. Anything slower or more complicated will result in the missing out of conversations.
Found the app? Check. Downloaded the app? Check. Tried the app? Check. Neglect the app? Check. Like any other mobile app, second screen experiences need mechanisms to keep its users coming back after the initial trial run. Whether it’s rewards (like stickers or gift cards) or exclusive content (like behind-the-scenes videos), a successful second screen experience needs compelling incentives to keep its users tuned in for the long haul.
One of the key differentiators for second screen providers is the depth of integration with the top shows on TV. It’s a difference-maker because of its power to attract scores of users that are passionate about the shows they watch. These fans crave new ways to enjoy and interact with their favorite shows, and a second screen provider that can deliver an integrated experience will surely win them over and keep them coming back for more.
Does it have a wow-factor? Is the app cool and/or compelling enough to spur viral download recommendations both online and off? Well, I would argue that if it makes the grades in terms of seamlessness, engagement, incentives and integration, it has a pretty good shot. The bottom line is, if it doesn’t have the potential to grow and carry via word of mouth, it’ll likely share the same fate as many of this year’s new shows: cancellation.
What are your thoughts on the Social TV movement? What about the keys to a great second screen experience?
Image courtesy of pupismyname.
One thing I love about the Internet today is the sheer volume of great content floating around.
Certainly there is plenty of junk, but ever since reading Groundswell back in 2008 (still one of the best reads for our industry, in my opinion), I’ve been obsessed with analyzing the incredible shift we’re all experiencing from a social technographics perspective. As technology advances and social media continues to embed into mainstream communication habits, we’re witnessing a surge in quality content creation. To help you sift through the significant amount of great creative content being generated on a weekly…daily…hourly basis, I’ve included a few items from last week that caught my eye.
Enjoy and feel free to add any other relevant good reads, views or other solid discoveries in the comments below.
I will never get tired of great timelapse videos. This one has set quite the bar and I can’t wait for Cameron’s follow up project, whatever it may be. Some smart brand will latch on quick to integrate with this genius.
I love excellent curation sites that share a strong tie to design, travel, fun and interesting content. Just happened upon this site and it’s fantastic. Here’s the post that caught my eye and lead me on a half hour surf fest of their site…20 Creative Street Advertisements.