Years ago, planning a marketing campaign was a simple process. With fewer mediums available to reach potential clients, it was more about how much to spend and less about where to invest those resources. Today, though, the healthcare digital marketing landscape has changed dramatically. Instead of just print options, we now have things like pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, social media, influencers—just to name a few.
One of the most talked-about of these options is SEO. But is SEO as powerful as people claim? More specifically, is healthcare SEO worth the investment? Can it really move the needle when it comes to new business?
First—What is SEO?
Before we discuss the validity of this marketing investment, we need to define what SEO actually is. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the implementation of strategies to increase your companies visibility on popular search engines like Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go, and more. In other words, when people search for things like “best rehab therapist in Orlando” or “top nursing facility in Cleveland,” SEO determines which businesses continually show up at the top of the list.
Now that we’re on the same page with what SEO is, let’s look at a few of the characteristics of SEO for healthcare to help you see if it’s a worthwhile investment in your case.
Long Term vs. Short Term
If you’re only looking for immediate and instant results, healthcare SEO is not the right solution for you. Even the most expertly executed SEO strategy can take weeks, months, and sometimes years to secure meaningful results. And while that might sound like a major turn-off, there’s one thing you need to account for—sustainability.
When you use a short-term healthcare marketing technique like PPC or social media boosts, you get instant results. However, the second you stop paying for those results, the traffic stops. With SEO, once you secure a top ranking in the search engines, it only takes some minimal maintenance strategies to keep that there for the long run. Even if you did absolutely nothing after securing a top-ranking slot through SEO, you could potentially still hold that ranking (or close to it) for months or years. We’d obviously recommend maintenance work to maintain, but we share that to prove the point.
SEO Builds on Past Successes
As you may already see, we’re comparing an investment in healthcare SEO versus some of the short-term marketing mediums out there. With the short-term options, it’s all about how much money you spend. If you spend $100 on ads, you get $100 of ads. And the next time you spend $100 on ads, you still get $100 worth of value (plus a small gain if effectively using retargeting).
When it comes to SEO in healthcare digital marketing, though, future endeavors can greatly build on past successes. Once you produce high-quality content that search engines start to view as credible, that credibility carries over to future campaigns.
For example, a healthcare company just starting out in SEO may see that it takes months to years to get an article to rank in an impactful position. However, a company with an established track record of SEO success may be able to rank new articles and campaigns within weeks, days, or even hours.
The compounding benefits of SEO come with the long game, but they stick around for years to come.
Multiple Streams of Traffic
It’s important to point out that we’re by no means saying that you should only do SEO to drive traffic to your business. The best healthcare digital marketing strategy plans have a healthy mix of long-term solutions, as well as short and medium-term solutions to drive traffic.
The temptation, though, is to abandon the longer-term strategies when you start to see traffic rolling in from day one through the quick-fix options. However, if you’re willing to commit to the long game on top of the short game, you have the potential to see exponential gains that can limit or even replace the need for the continual costs of short-term mediums.
How Can I Learn More?
Staying on top of all the marketing mediums and opportunities for healthcare companies regardless of size is challenging. And making the decision on where and how to invest can be even more challenging, especially if you have limited resources.
If you’d like to learn more about the direct strategies leading healthcare organizations are using to make these decisions, we’d encourage you to check out our free e-book— From Digital Waiting to Digital Marketing: Actively Finding Audiences Who Need You.
From Digital Waiting to Digital Marketing
Actively Finding Audiences Who Need You