Okay, so let’s say you’ve got an all-singing-all-dancing website, now what? You have to drive traffic to your website and there are a number of options to achieve this. You could get someone to perform some Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to get you to the top of Google through organic ranking, although as soon as the algorithms change you may drop or disappear so this shouldn’t be relied on as your only strategy.
Another way might be through Google ads, as they can be a great way of driving specific traffic that is searching for your type of services to your website, although it can also be a minefield, so do take care. Google ad words have become extremely complicated over the past decade and it’s very easy to waste money; in fact it’s estimated that Google ads take $16 billion a quarter, with some claiming that $12 billion of this is utterly wasted because people have no idea how to set them up properly or to send traffic to appropriate landing pages. This is why in some quarters it’s known as ‘Google’s stupidity tax.’
Be warned that if you’re thinking of hiring somebody to actually do the job for you, the truth is that many of the so-called Google ads experts aren’t, and will throw your money away for you. I’m lucky enough to know somebody who is a real expert when it comes to Google ads, and he’s been asked to look at people’s Google ad accounts to check they were okay. Set up by so-called experts in their field, one particular account had two people working on it and when David checked they had only five negative keywords built into the search terms. Five!
Just in case this doesn’t fill you with instant horror, or you don’t yet know what a negative keyword is, it’s a word which – if it comes up in the search that somebody’s doing – ensures your advert won’t be shown. You use it to when you’re not interested in a specific market or niche, for example. So, if someone was looking for ‘free treatments’, as a clinic you’re more than likely to be more interested in putting your advert in front of someone with some budget so this may be a negative word that you’d choose. We should all expect to start off with a few hundred negative keyword terms as a minimum, and experts like David build up many, many more. Over the last five years he’s built up 5000 negative keywords for his own business and it’s the primary driver of significant (and very cost-effectively-acquired) business for him.
There’s too much to go into all of the Google ad words stuff in this blog, however I’ve written a blog on what questions to ask your Google Ads expert you can see it HERE. Even if you decide to start off doing it yourself, this should still really help you consider what you need to do.
Social media is another way of driving traffic to your website, and one tactic that you may choose to use is the production of regular blogs, which you can then tweet about, and post on LinkedIn for people to see. This will also help your organic SEO, as Google likes to see credible links back to your website. When writing blogs, remember to think about the specific questions that your clients will be asking, as it’s those questions that they will be Googling and which you need to include and answer.
Currently Facebook ads are a great way for clinics to engage with your potential avatars. With Facebook ads you can target based on gender, age, geographical area, and interests, which really allows you to specifically target the exact avatar you’re looking for. And when thinking about the landing page you’re pointing these ads to, make sure that the copy speaks directly to your potential client, and that there is some sort of download for people to take in exchange for giving you their email address. After all, it’s a big ask to get people to pick up the phone and call you, but they’ll be much more willing to give an email address where you can contact them if you tempt them with something of perceived value.
It’s also worth mentioning that recent changes to Facebook mean that just because you have 100 likes on your Facebook page, when you post on the page, only about 5% of the people who like your page will actually see your post. This is because Facebook wants you to pay to get in front of people. Also, further recent changes to the rules means that when you’re running competitions, if you ask people to like and share a page to enter the competition, and somebody complains about the fact you’re asking them to share your page to join the competition, Facebook will shut your business page down. Again this is because they want you to pay to get your likes. The rules are ever-changing though, so do check them out regularly to avoid being caught out.
Just on social media, if you’re going to do it make sure that you do it all the time – there’s nothing worse than looking on the website and seeing that they haven’t been blogging much recently. Even worse is when an clinic has a social media feed on their website and they haven’t tweeted for a couple of months. It gives an incredibly bad impression and I guarantee that it will lose you credibility and prospects.
Also, set up searches across your social media platforms for your business name and your own name to regularly monitor what’s being said about you, and remember that time moves quicker online and people expect a response within a far shorter timeframe than in the real world.
As well as blog, you should also be using video. YouTube is owned by Google and is the second largest search engine on the internet, so its importance will only grow from a search engine perspective. Statistically, short videos are more likely to get watched than an email is to be read, so videos are a very good way of communicating with your target market. If you really want to improve your SEO, using your blogs and sharing the video of the blog alongside the written content is a strong tactic.
By Alan Adams The Clinic Coach