4 key drivers for success
With 2019 upon us and new opportunities ahead, it’s timely to take a quick look at some of the priority actions required to ensure your dental marketing campaign is working optimally.
Google in particular, made some significant changes to the way it works and how it ranks websites so we’ll take a quick look at what changed there together with using other channels, namely Facebook, to boost your new patient acquisition.
It’s too easy to neglect your web marketing campaigns but if you do this, ultimately they will degrade and become significantly less effective. So now is a good time for a quick review and intervention as needed.
Google updates now look even more closely at website content quality
Elsewhere in this blog we detailed how Google’s updates back in March and again in August, started to scrutinise the “expertise, authority and trustworthiness” (EAT) of websites; boosting the ranking of those which met their criteria and demoting those which did not. If you saw unexpected Google ranking falls in 2018 around those times, chances are you fell foul of the latest “EAT” ranking criteria. Take a look here for more information.
If you are concerned that you did indeed suffer during the last search algorithm updates or simply need help to make sure your website is robust moving forwards, then please give our SEO team a call.
Technical quality of your website matters now more than ever
Along with Google looking very closely at the quality of your web content, they also appeared to pay an increasing degree of attention to the technical aspects of your website, what we sometimes refer to as “on site” SEO. So elements such as page load speed, mobile-friendliness, ease of crawl for their indexing bots, correct use of code and more, all came under renewed focus. Websites which complied with the more stringent requirements tended to make useful incremental ranking improvements, whereas those which didn’t fell away.
The main take-away here is that technical aspects of your website’s performance now matter just as much as the aesthetics. So if you haven’t had a maintenance tune-up recently, now is the time.
Don’t just rely on organic search for new patients from the web
Whilst a good traditional (free) search ranking is still a priority, paid ads became increasingly important last year and remain so for 2019 ahead. As we’ve covered elsewhere in this blog, Google is making page one of the search results premium real-estate and paid adverts are becoming more prominent than ever. So-much-so that ignoring pay-per-click can mean that you are missing out on potentially 40% of all website traffic, particularly that which comes from mobile devices.
Similarly with Facebook, expecting your content to reach your users consistently is now completely unrealistic and now you need to pay Facebook to facilitate this, either by boosting your posts or paying to advertise. Whilst this does mean another chunk of cash to allocate to your marketing budget, we are seeing good success with new patient enquiries coming via the Facebook channel.
So if you’re not yet on-board with paid advertising, then chances are you will need to consider it soon if you are serious about a holistic new patient strategy. Just be sure to use a specialist digital marketer who knows the nuances of advertising on these channels, as they will be able to save you hundreds of pounds versus trying to do it yourself.
WordPress undergoes significant changes with version 5 – have you updated?
If you use WordPress for your website and/or blog, then you need to be aware that the platform made huge structural changes late on in the year as it moved to version 5. WordPress can be fraught with difficulties and security issues at the best of times and needs regular maintenance, but the last set of updates have left numerous website owners in a quandary as their sites broke or their designers, knowing the implications, shied away from making the required changes.
If you use WordPress in any form, now is the time to make sure it’s updated to ensure security and a valid upgrade path in the future. Or alternatively consider a more robust solution.
2018 saw big changes on the web, perhaps more than usual. Four of the key ones which could impact your web presence and marketing campaigns are highlighted above and are well worth taking notice of and acting upon. Failure to do so could leave you with under-performing digital marketing, compromised search engine positions or even a broken website.
If you’re unsure what this means to your own practice website and online marketing campaigns and need some obligation-free advice, please call the Dental Media web optimisation team on 01332 672548 and we’ll be pleased to help.Google+