You have an Allied Health practice or a Dental Surgery, right? And the Yellow Pages are dead in this day and age, so… how do you make your business known to your prospective customers? There is advertising but it’s tricky and expensive and, to be honest, people don’t want to be interrupted when they’re doing something. What happens when the ads come on TV? You skip them! You need people coming to you on their own terms, when they want you and your product.
If you had considered Internet or Digital Marketing but thought it was too scary, technical or even a complete scam, fear not! I’ll explain the basic ideas you need to know before making any decisions in plain English below.
Your business needs a website, no question about it. It’s not just me telling you, it’s basically that the world is turning to Google to find what they want in a website. That’s what you do too when you want to find a plumber or buy a wedding present for your best friend. Of course tips from your friends and relatives still work but you still check online first before you order or go out shopping. If your business is not found online, it doesn’t exist!
Your website doesn’t need to be fancy but it needs a few basic things to work in your favour:
- It has to be visually appealing, modern, easy to find what you’re after and easy to update when things change in your business.
- It has to have useful content for your visitors to engage with it. If they engage with it, they engage with you and chances are they’ll want your services too.
- It has to be found when people search on Google, otherwise it’s just cyber-rubbish and serves no purpose to you.
- It has to be social and interact with people. Customers should be able to ask you questions, post comments or at least see your latest updates on your social media pages. This gives you credibility
- It needs to work beautifully on mobiles and tablets too! This is especially important now that Google will implement an update on 21 April 2015 to favour mobile websites more than ever.
Let’s cover some of these in a bit more detail below.
Useful and helpful content help drive customers to your website and to your business. Content has been proven to generate 61% lower cost leads than other forms of marketing, according to this hubspot report. People want answers to their questions and they look to Google for this.
- how to ease back pain
- how to fix a broken tooth
- how to best help their teenage daughter’s anxiety
Content is not created in one go. You build it over time and as you do it you’re creating an asset that will attract people to your website for years to come. You’re also presenting yourself as an expert in the area and eventually this generates trust in your readers. This is only great news to your business. It also means better rankings on Google search result pages because Google loves fresh, frequent and original content.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is what you do while your content generates the results you need. As content may take a few months to produce results, you need a tool that will make your website appear high up on the searches your potential patients do, and you need it fast. The more and better content you have on your website, SEO can produce better results, because as mentioned above, Google loves content.
This is a double-edge sword though. You get the cheap and nasty SEO people and you could get stung with a Google Penalty which means your website may show up after page 40 or, worse, nowhere! Get the right people to do your SEO and you could be on Google’s page one in a couple of months and stay there. I know, it sounds scary. So how do you choose the right SEO people? Read on and you’ll see.
You know it, Facebook is everywhere. And so is Twitter. Google+, if you heard about it is not that popular with young people (or older people for that matter) but it is really important for Google so you have to be there too. And if you do business-to-business you must have a presence on LinkedIn. By this I mean you should have a “business page” not just a profile. And you should share the content we talked about above as well as company news but most of all, you have to give your customers useful stuff so they will want to share and like. This, as I mentioned before, gives you “street cred”, which is the 21st Century equivalent of people talking about you.
You can see now how each one of these building blocks interacts with the others:
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Getting Started With Digital Marketing
More Digital & Social articles from Business 2 Community: