It’s no secret that mobile traffic is up significantly. After all, many of you are probably reading this very blog with some sort of mobile device. Even if you’re not, it’s probably within arm’s reach!
Google recently announced that they will start letting users know which pages in the search results appear to be mobile-friendly. It’s a useful feature that I think will really help users know which results to choose when doing a search.
According to Google, pages may be marked “mobile-friendly” if they avoid using technology such as Flash (which isn’t very friendly to mobile devices), has design and content elements that size appropriately for such devices (responsive design, anyone?) and they may even detect how far apart links are from each other.
At Geonetric, we’ve always believed that providing the user the best experience on whichever device they use is not only a good idea, but THE idea. These changes from Google, which will roll out slowly in the coming weeks, appear to be another great win for webmasters striving to provide all users a great experience.
To learn more and to see all the criteria for getting pages recognized as “mobile-friendly”, check out Google’s blog post.
One thing we know for sure in the world of SEO is that change is the only constant. Last week, Google made yet another algorithm change, this time targeting the location-specific search results.
And, yes, this one was also named after an animal. We would like to introduce you to “Pigeon!” (We’re not in charge of the names here. Promise.)
Do you have stakeholders in your organization constantly asking to be featured on your site’s home page? Well, the trick may be on them!
The truth is, users find their way into your website in many different ways. While the homepage may be a popular entry point, if your search engine marketing tactics (search engine optimization, pay-per-click ads, etc.) are working properly, users are finding their way to the exact landing page on your site that can answer their question. They may never see the home page!
One question Geonetric hears from clients is, “How do you keep up with all these changes in SEO, PPC, and social media?” Good question!
I shared my reading list with attendees of Geonetric’s 2014 eHealth Client Symposium: Camp Reboot, and thought others may benefit from this list as well. A word of caution: these blogs will turn you into a search marketing geek in no time flat.
So, what do I read in my free time to keep up with Google, Bing and the other cast characters in search and social media? Here’s my current reading list:
We all know the importance of YouTube on the Web today. It’s a go-to destination for many users looking for entertainment, how-to and health-related videos. Knowing who is watching your videos, how long they watch, and where they watch can be very valuable, especially as you make content creation choices.
Luckily, YouTube is providing more and more data to channel managers via YouTube Analytics. You can pull all sorts of data about the users who view your YouTube content on your channel or across the Web. You’ll find data such as:
If you’re looking to build an audience, YouTube is a great place start. After a few minutes of surfing around the popular video site, you’ll notice many successful individuals and organizations making a name for themselves on YouTube alone (some don’t even have a real website!).
Even more surprising? Some of the most popular videos are not exactly “professional” productions. (Thumbs up, everybody! Rock and roll!)
The Evolution of YouTube
If you spend much time in your YouTube account these days, you’ll notice many more options and features for content creators. YouTube has evolved into a true platform for content creators to build their audience and make a name for themselves or their brand.
So, how can you use YouTube to build your healthcare organization’s following?
With New Year’s upon us, it’s a great time to take a look at what you can all do in 2014 to make your hospital Web strategy better than ever.
Here are five ways to get started:
Take off your “work hat” for a moment.
Let’s pretend you’re having a routine physical at your local medical clinic. The day has come, so you drive to the clinic, follow all of the instructions you’re given, and proceed with the appointment.
Unfortunately, you had to wait an extra 30 minutes and when you finally got in, you felt rushed by the staff at the clinic. Your doctor was pleasant, but rushed, and the billing situation afterwards left a lot to be desired.
And then? You do it. You let your entire social media following know just how disappointing your experience was. From Facebook to Twitter, your message knows no bounds. Oh, and like many savvy social media users, you were sure to name the clinic and tag them in all of your posts too.
You wouldn’t be alone. These days when someone has a poor experience with a brand or organization, the first thing they fire up is their smartphone.
If you’ve worked with any of the awesome writers or strategists here at Geonetric, you’ve probably heard them advocating for the best user experience possible. Whether you’re looking at reshaping a single page of content, a complete information architecture overhaul or a new site design – be sure to keep the user central to your decision-making process.
User experience matters in so many ways, but more recently, Google has focused on the quality of a page in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). While it’s not really a brand new idea in the world of SEO, it’s worth revisiting.
“What are some tips for maximizing social media?”
At Geonetric, we get this question quite often. Whether you’re just starting out on social networks or trying to figure out what path to take with your current strategy, it can be difficult to make sense of it all.
With the growing number of social media platforms/networks, it’s not getting easier, either.
Here are five quick tips for getting the most out of social media for your healthcare organization:
- Don’t try to be on every social network. We all see it – that lengthy line-up of social media icons/buttons on a website. Find the social media networks that work for your organization and focus on creating great content for that audience.
- Provide useful content. Social media isn’t about your organization. It’s about your users and what they can use today. Can you provide blog content with quick health tips? Maybe you can simply share others’ great content? If you are a source of great information, your following will grow.
- Post frequently, but don’t flood users. Choose your content carefully and provide value with each post. If you have nothing to share, wait until you have a great post you know your users will love.
- Reuse content across networks. Get the most value out of your efforts to create content. Whether it’s a video, a blog post or some other content, cross-promoting is a great way to get more followers and more traction from that content.
- Don’t fear negative criticism. Embrace the fact that users are engaging with you on social media and respond accordingly. Of course, out-of-line comments using poor language need to be dealt with.
- Bonus Tip! This is not just another “marketing channel”. Keep your brand in mind, but this social media stuff is about direct contact with your audience. Keep it conversational and engaging.
Easy, right? It just takes persistence and effort to build that following.
The key is to focus on the networks that work for your organization and to create great content users can use and share. Do that, and you’ll have a great following in no time. If you’re ready to dig a little deeper into social media strategy, take a look at some of our other social media blog posts.
Marketing is a fast-paced discipline. Every day, new tactics and opportunities for getting your message out to your target audience are uncovered and vying for budget. Which tactics are best? How do you know if you should put your eggs in the billboard basket or the PPC basket? And how do you measure these tactics in a meaningful way, tying clicks and passerby’s back to actual procedures and service line volume?
No amount of gut instinct can tell you for sure.
A New Approach
That’s why we take a different approach at Geonetric. We launch Responsive Campaigns — campaigns that are flexible, nimble and easy to adjust.
With our Responsive Campaigns, we set a measurable goal, launch tactics in the market quickly, measure our efforts and adjust them immediately to maximize performance. We can measure the return-on-investment of any tactic at any moment – and we tell you which tactic is working best.
Most importantly, our team of experts invests itself in the success of a campaign. We measure our results against the goal daily, and we meet weekly with our clients to share our thoughts, results, and recommend a new series of tactics. This is not a “set it and forget it” approach!
A Shining Example – Colonoscopy Campaign
Want proof our Responsive Campaigns work? Last fall, we partnered with Crozer-Keystone Health System to develop a campaign focused on scheduling colonoscopy procedures.
We built the campaign using responsive marketing strategies and delivered results that matter – 73 new appointment requests in just three months!
See how we achieved this in our case study.
Your landing page plays a huge role in which choice your visitors make.
Here are three easy things you can do right now to improve your landing pages:
- Match Creative Pieces – Does your landing page coordinate with your ad? Do you use similar creative, with logos and imagery? Is the content related? Keep the experience coherent. Logos, imagery and text all matter.
- Remove Extra Navigation – Your landing page should focus on one goal: conversions. If you include multiple links that allow visitors to wander off, your conversions will suffer.
- Add a Strong Call to Action – What do you want users to do next? Think long and hard before asking them to fill out a four-page form. Short forms, phone numbers and easy downloads are excellent ways to encourage immediate action. Bonus tip: keep your call to action near the top of the page! Don’t bury it.
If your landing pages break any of these rules, it’s time to get to work. These easy changes can boost your conversion rate significantly!
Pay-per-click advertising (and specifically, Google AdWords) is making it easier than ever to target users where and when it matters to them. Google Adwords is launching Enhanced Campaigns – a new way to manage ad campaigns in today’s multi-device world. This is making it even easier to drive targeted traffic to your site, no matter where visitors are or what device they’re using (desktop, mobile, tablet, etc.).
How Do Enhanced Campaigns Work?
Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns allow you, the advertiser, to create ads that capitalize on the context of someone’s search… things like time of day, device they’re using, and location.
For example, to promote your emergency room, you may want visitors on a mobile device to see an ad with clickable phone number and driving directions, while visitors on a desktop computer view an ad that drives them to a landing page with an online form to reserve a spot. Your ad may even change depending on what time of day it is, or how far the visitor is from your hospital.
Rather than creating several ads for multiple different scenarios, Google will be able to detect the situations, and use your criteria to automatically tailor your one ad to fit the visitors’ specific needs.
The possibilities are endless.
Better Conversion Tracking
Since the new campaigns allow users to interact with your ads in a variety of new ways (e.g., click-to-call, visit a landing page, download an app, etc.), Google will also provide ways to measure and act on the data you can collect. Ultimately, this means better conversion rates and easier ROI information.
Google plans to convert all campaigns to Enhanced Campaigns by mid-2013. No worries, though. The AdWords gurus at Geonetric are on it.
If you’re not currently working with us for your pay-per-click campaigns, now may be the perfect time to contact us. We love making pay-per-click advertising work for our clients and can do the same for you.
You can start by asking some simple questions:
- Have you made any major content changes that would change your numbers?
- Do you have new marketing campaigns driving traffic to your site?
- Have the search engines made any significant changes that would change your inbound traffic for better or worse?
- Have you done any maintenance on the site that may have changed your tracking code?
Sometimes, you need to dig deep into your analytics for the answers. For example, you may investigate your top referrers to see where traffic is coming from. Is your organic search traffic on the rise? Hmm… maybe your visibility in Google has improved!
Once You Have Some Insight
Once you’ve done some investigation, it’s time to act on what you’ve found.
You can quickly make adjustments. For example:
- If your search traffic has dropped, you may invest in a search engine optimization strategy to boost your visibility.
- If you notice an increase in traffic coming from social media sites, can you take advantage of that with a campaign to build on that traffic?
- If you’re benefiting from someone linking to your content, maybe it’s time to partner with that new friend and get some more exposure.
Don’t Make Assumptions
The key is to not make assumptions or have knee-jerk reactions when traffic shifts. Shifts are normal and will happen.
Often, they may be predictable (a marketing campaign, SEO efforts) or unpredictable (a major blogger linking to your content or a dip in your search engine rankings), but it pays to investigate and then act.
Always be aware of your data and how you can use it to your advantage from day-to-day. It’s an easy way to get your website to give you results.
Essentially, this announcement means better search functionality within Facebook. You’ll be able to easily find friends (and fan pages) that have liked certain things, have visited certain places or know certain people. That’s just a few examples of what will be easily found.
Your Fan Page
Over 1,200 healthcare organizations have official Facebook fan pages that they manage. What do the new changes mean for fan page admins?
The most important way you can use this new feature is to give your fan page content more visibility. Searchers will be able to find your status updates, photos, videos and other content via the Facebook search function. Your Facebook content just got a whole lot more visible and became an even larger tool for spreading your message and services on the Facebook platform.
It’s safe to say content creation continues to be key. Just as we optimize our website content for searchers, how should you optimize your Facebook content for searchers?
- Think strategically about what you’re posting and how it might be shared throughout Facebook.
- Utilize keywords where possible (and where it feels “natural”).
- Use a variety of content types – status updates, notes, videos and photos are a great start.
In the end, it still comes down to the usual message we share at Geonetric: content is king. We’ll know more in the coming days as the feature is slowly rolled out to users and we get a feel for how it works exactly.
Stay tuned more for strategy ideas surrounding Facebook’s new search functionality.