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Findable Content Marketing: 3 Google Keyword Tool Tips

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I love diversity of the arts. It makes the world a beautiful place. It brings us Beethoven and YirumaCarravag and Banksy. But remember there was a time when each of these fellows was unknown and unheard of, until someone discovered, consumed, and shared their work.

The lesson here for businesses is that, whatever content you create, people should know it exists. Even the most epic content is worthless unless someone finds it, enjoys it, and passes it along to his friends and peers. That’s what great content is all about.

Google’s Keyword Tool helps your content get found. It allows you to identify good opportunity keywords (or phrases) that are popular and easy to leverage. When these words are added to your content (in the headline, copy, or both) people can easily find your work online. So before you write your next article, find out exactly what keywords customers are searching for online and incorporate them in your content.

Here are some tips for using Google’s Keyword Tool:

1. Research, filter, and act

Think of a word or general phrase that you want your business to be known for or associated with — for example, pain management. Here’s what that would look like in the Google Keyword Tool if your match type were broad (estimated):

Figure 1

Notice there are 550,000 people in the U.S. looking for that term (that’s good for you!). However, medium competition* means there are other brands (perhaps doctors, practitioners, and institutions), possibly with greater resources, that are also targeting your word. You have two or three main options here. Let’s begin with the first two:

  • Create a Google+ community that educates people about pain management. In no time at all, you’ll be ranking even higher than your competition simply because Google rewards you for having a community.
  • Create a page on your website titled “Pain management” and show it in the main navigation bar of your home page. This is a great place to start telling people what you do (as opposed to “Services” or “What we do”) because it communicates clearly and instantly to both visitors and search engines.

2. Evaluate suggestions

There is a third, and more obvious option for content marketing: Write a blog article about pain management. But if you’re worried that competition for that term might be too high for you, here’s how you can use the Keyword Tool to generate similar blog title ideas that are less competitive.

First select “exact” match type (see far left arrow in Fig. 2, below) to see a more accurate monthly volume for suggested keywords. Exact matches are more useful here, as they reflect actual words that customers use when they’re searching.

If you scroll down the page under “Keyword Ideas” you will see long-tail phrases (more specific, multi-word phrases related to the general phrase) that Google suggests for you:

Figure 2

Phrases such as “Denver pain management” or “advanced pain management” have very little competition and could be ideal (if your business is actually located in Denver, or if you specialize in advanced treatment methods for pain). But notice that few customers use these terms in search compared to “pain management,” which pulls 18,100 local monthly searches. This shouldn’t surprise or hinder you.

Remember that long-tail phrases usually generate a lower search volume than shorter, general phrases. That’s because very few people use exactly the same multi-word phrase when searching for information. One person might search for “advanced pain management,” while another will search for “advanced pain treatment methods.” Only a handful will search for “Denver pain management.”

Here’s the clincher: If the goal of your content is to attract a very specific (small) target audience (e.g., people in Denver who suffer from pain, or people in the Denver area seeking advanced treatment methods for pain), then it’s better to remain relevant and use a phrase with low monthly search volume, since it will attract the exact audience you’re looking for.

So when choosing keywords for content development and optimization, consider first the needs and goals of your customers — even if it means using long-tail phrases that don’t pull as much search volume as general phrases.

3. Create custom blog titles

Once you’ve decided on a good key phrase, it’s time to form it into a blog headline or title. Some keywords will be easy to work into a title. For example, the phrase “practical pain management” can be easily turned to, “5 practical tips for pain management.”

But if you’re struggling to adorn your title, why not take a quick peek at how others are using the keyword and get some clues from them? The idea is not to copy someone else, but rather to jump-start your imagination by seeing what others are doing.

Let’s say I want to write an article about health care writers, but I’m not sure how to create a compelling title using this phrase. Using Google’s Keyword Ideas, I can see how other authors have previously used it in a headline.

First click on the blue drop-down arrow beside your targeted keyword (see arrow below).

Figure 3

On the drop-down menu, select Google Search. Once you’re in the search engine results pages (SERPs), look through the search results for a headline that looks interesting. Here, the first page reveals an article titled, “How to become a health writer.” If the purpose of my post is to attract organizations that are looking to hire writers, then I could turn this title into, “How to shop for a health writer.

This strategy is especially helpful if you’re the lone content marketer for your company and do not have someone to bounce ideas around with. The only words of caution here are to useshort, concise, and descriptive titles (about 60 characters long) and to avoid stuffing multiple keywords into one title.

Quick wrap up

You and I both know how frustrating it can be to find relevant information online. If it feels like trying to find a needle in a haystack, readers will give up quickly. It all boils down to putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and simply asking yourself, “How would someone find this topic online? What words would they enter in Google search?” Then, use that word or phrase in your title and in the copy of your content. With Google Keyword tool, this exercise is much easier and likely to produce better results.

Your turn: What other tips can you share about using the Google Keyword Tool?

*Editor’s note: The “competition” column depicted in Figures 1 & 2 describes PPC competition, not SEO competition. SEO and PPC are different but complementary strategies.

Companies get many benefits when both are used simultaneously. PPC provides a quick boost to traffic — if you’re willing to pay the price for clicks. SEO clicks are free but take longer to achieve desired results. With PPC, your goal is to find relevant keywords that you can bid on. For example, you may want to focus on keywords that represent a new product or a profitable category for your business. You will use these words in ads, campaigns, and landing pages.

With SEO, your goal is to understand keywords that people would use to find your content. You will use those words in your content, page titles, meta-tags and link building efforts. Since you don’t need to buy SEO keywords, it doesn’t hurt to make a note of high-competition data and test out words (ranking factors include web site content and inbound links). You will also want to consider different long-tail keywords for SEO.

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healthcare marketing

9 Stunning Search Statistics Hospital Marketers Should Know

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In today’s digital world patients are using non-traditional paths on their medical journeys.

It used to be that if you suddenly fell sick, you would call a family member or a doctor to help you figure out what the next step would be. Not so anymore. Today you would simply fire up your computer or smart phone, and start to research your condition or symptoms online.

If you’re in charge of marketing at a hospital or other medical facility you cannot afford to ignore content marketing and the impact it has on search. You need a website that is regularly updated with relevant content that provides helpful answers to questions patients are asking.

The following 9 statistics show the importance of having a strong online presence and a content marketing strategy if you want prospective patients to find you (Source):

1. 77% of patients use online search prior to booking an appointment.

2. Digital content is key to decision making. 83% of patients booked appointments after researching content on hospital sites.

3. 21% of patients are now booking appointments via computer or mobile

4. After an appointment patients tend to spread the word about their experiences. 50% recommend the facility to their family, friends and peers; 12% post a review on social media networks; and 6% post a review on another website.

5. When patients see a paid search ad, only 5% contact the hospital that is advertised. 35% continue to search for more information, while 29% begin the search process all over.

6. 49% of patients start the search process using a specific condition or disease not a branded hospital term

7. Patients who booked appointments conduct almost 3X as many searches as those who didn’t.

8. Patients who use their smart phones to research health information watch videos in greater numbers (35%) than those who use computers (10%).

9. Mobile device searchers who watch a video also schedule an appointment in greater numbers (44%) than computer only searchers.

Your Turn:

Which stat do you find most interesting?

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Inbound marketing

6 Ways Doctors Can Influence their Site’s Listing in Search

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Google search is the most common way for current and potential patients to find information about your practice.

Research shows that less than 10 percent of searchers look beyond the first page of SERP (Search Engine Results Page). That’s why it is important that the most valuable content on your website feature on the first page of Google or Bing search results.

Content that should appear on the first page of SERP

  • Your Website – This should be the first thing a patient sees because it has everything they need to know about what you practice. Plus you have control over the content you want them to see so that’s an added advantage.
  • Your Bio Pages – Every organization, association, hospital or medical practice that you have an affiliation with should have a biography of your background, experience and current specialties. If they do not, consider submitting a unique bio to each one for them to post on their sites.
  • Your Blog Content – Blogging can help reinforce your expertise and authority in a given field. Any content that you have written for other websites (guest posts), should also be listed high up in the first page of search results.
  • Social Media Profiles – Social profiles establish ‘social proof’ or social influence – the idea that if you have a large social following then that is proof that you are doing something right (of course there are problems with this assumption, but that is a discussion for another day). For doctors, LinkedIn, Twitter and Doctors Hangout, are good places to start.

Now that you know what needs to be on the first page of SERP, the next step is how to move your results up. Software Advice, an online guide for software buyers, recently published an article about this.

Here are 6 tips to consider when developing an online reputation management strategy to help own the first page of Google:

#1. Start a Blog

If you haven’t already done so, start writing a health blog. Blog posts should be compelling and well-written. Find content that your patients would want to read and publish it regularly on your website.

As a physician your audience is made up of existing and potential patients, so the content your provide should be engaging, educational, and most importantly, easy to understand. A good start is blogging about frequently asked questions or preventative measures for illnesses that you treat.

#2. Edit Your Work

Google can penalize a site for poorly written content.

No matter how good you are at writing, have a second set of eyes look over your work to ensure your content make sense and is easy to understand. Ask a colleague who is familiar with the material to edit for clarity, and then ask another unfamiliar with the subject for a second perspective.

#3. Avoid Repetition

People do not want to keep reading the same things over and over again, so keep the topics focused but fresh. Mix up your content to cover the different areas of healthcare solutions that you offer.

Also, if you are listed on different websites, write a different bio for each one and focus on what you do for each organization.

#4. Share Your Content

Spread the word about your new blog.

When you first begin writing, be sure to promote your blog to people that will enjoy it. Also share each new article on your Facebook page, your Google+ community, Twitter profile, LinkedIn page, email list and every other social outpost you own.

The more content you publish and share, the easier it will be to improve your search listing.

#5. Ask Others to Share Your Content

When others link to your content, it’s like a high-five in the eyes of Google.

Ask your peers, medical associates, and other credible sources to link to your blog. It will further demonstrate authority to Google and build a larger following for others to read your material.

#6. Be Relevant and Avoid Spam

Share your content on websites that are relevant to your brand.

If a website seems “spammy” and you suspect its owners are participating in suspicious activity, stay clear of that website.A mention on a relevant website such as a top association in your specialty will increase your credibility in the eyes of both readers and Google.

Quick Wrap-up

Improving your website’s listing in search is an ongoing process. But if you take action with these tips, you will begin to see improvements. Monitor your progress and check your Google listing often. By taking control of what people see about you online, you are securing your success for the new year and beyond.

Over to you: Are you pleased with your brand’s listing in search? What steps have you taken to influence the results? Please share your ideas in the comment box below

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healthcare marketing

Hospitals, inbound marketing and ROI: How it all fits together

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For many patients, hospitals can be a place of great comfort or a place of stress and worry.  As a physician or healthcare marketer, you may not see the agony of a young father taking his child to the emergency room only to be told “your co-pay today is $500.”

Or the beaming new mother whose joy is promptly interrupted by the patient access representative asking her to “please come by the business office on your way out so we can go over your bill”.

Such scenarios may cause a hospital to appear more materialistic than caring, thereby causing undue stress upon patients.

The fact is that healthcare is not an “easy” money-making venture. And now with the controversial healthcare reform promising to provide “affordable, quality healthcare for all”, profit will potentially become even more elusive.

So how can a hospital improve its ROI and still maintain the balance with positive patient experiences?

Inbound marketing can help to achieve positive patient experiences with lower marketing costs

Inbound marketing to the rescue

The focus for medical care providers is two-fold:

  • To provide patients with quality healthcare
  • To improve ROI for the business of healthcare

Inbound marketing is one of the most efficient and least costly ways to achieve both goals. In case you’re wondering what that is, inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that is based on attracting prospective customers by offering valuable content.

It enables patients to find your healthcare facility’s digital content at the click of a button. Your medical center can be a trailblazer in inbound marketing by offering platforms or tools that:

  • Enable patients to find a relevant physician
  • Help patients to make non-urgent appointments
  • Enable patients to automatically refill a prescription
  • Provide educational content
  • Information nuggets such as “Get-to-know-your-specialist”
  • Allow patients to ask questions and get answers online
  • Provide informational articles about various events at your facility

Why Inbound?

By providing these access opportunities, patients are able to interact with your medical center and with physicians more easily instead of waiting until their next appointment.

Such platforms also enable patients to take a more active part in their healthcare planning without having to worry about office hours, recorded voices, and so on. These are after all some of the “perks” of living in a technology-driven culture.

By providing patients with access to your facility and/or your physicians, you are building strong relationships with them that will translate into a positive experience for them and enhanced brand loyalty for your organization.

Inbound marketing is also a great way to reduce your overall advertising and marketing costs, which in turn improves your revenue-earning potential and maximizes your return. By utilizing social media networking sites such as FaceBook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn, physicians and hospitals become more visible, and enhance patient relations.

Online customer service surveys, questionnaires, and opt-in emails are another fairly inexpensive way to reduce marketing budgets.

Once a marketing campaign has been put in place, then the assessment of its effect on ROI is paramount.  Recent studies show that inbound-marketing dominated organizations spent 62% less per lead than outbound-marketing dominated organizations.

According to HubSpot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing, the average cost per lead for outbound-dominated businesses was $346 while inbound businesses reported their leads cost $135 on average.

Is Inbound marketing right for your hospital?

It has to be.

Keep in mind that when inbound marketing is supported by a strong social media and content marketing strategy, then your organization’s interactive website is able to contribute to increased brand visibility on a lower marketing budget.

In contrast, outbound marketing is the more traditional method of getting the message across to your target audience. It consists of call centers, mailers with postage, and in-stay surveys.  While outbound marketing eats up more than 50% of hospitals marketing budgets, outbound leads on average cost $346, while inbound leads cost $135.

With these kinds of numbers, your hospital should consider using inbound marketing to improve ROI and your patients’ collective healthcare experience.

How to get started with Inbound marketing

  • Study other healthcare systems and providers that are successfully using inbound marketing e.g. Seattle Children’s Hospital. Without re-inventing the wheel, start off by borrowing some of what is working for them and adjusting it to your environment.
  • Figure out what you want your message to say and then plan how to connect with your target audience using relevant social media networks.
  • Most importantly, make sure you engage with your target audience. Find helpful articles, blogs, forums and tips. Provide a link to this information on your Facebook page or Twitter profile. Better yet write your own helpful articles and post them. Ask other medical experts to join in your conversations as well.
  • Post helpful articles on a regular basis as well.
  • Finally make a schedule and stick to it!

Over to you: Are you using inbound marketing at your medical facility? How has it impacted ROI or overall patient experiences? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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