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Search Intent and Local Marketing

In the past, you might have considered your target audience’s demographics when creating marketing campaigns. How old is your ideal new patient? Are your patient demographics skewed towards a certain gender, race, ethnicity, or economic status? All of these demographic factors could have been considered in crafting your perfect marketing strategy.

Nowadays, however, online search has changed it all. In the world of online search, intent is the key. A person’s age, gender, race, economic status, and any other demographic factors don’t matter, as long as they are searching for your services.

There are four main steps in an online search intent funnel, or the path people follow as they research a new product or service online and where to get it. These four stages are:

  • Informational – This stage is focused purely on gaining information about a topic. An informational search might look like “hearing aids,” or “what are hearing aids.”
  • Commercial – In this stage, the searcher is interested in finding the best available options for the service or product they want. A commercial search might look like “best hearing aids,” or “most advanced hearing aids.”
  • Transactional – At this point, the searcher wants to buy and has narrowed down their search to a few options. A transactional search might look like “price of hearing aids.”
  • Local – This stage is for searchers who are serious about making a purchase and want to find a nearby solution. A local search might look like “hearing aids in Chicago,” or “hearing aids near me.”

The main idea is that you want your website to provide the searcher with the best possible answer at every stage of the online search intent funnel. If your website presents the best answers, the search engines will list your website as a result in the search.

Because audiology practices are location-based, local searches are where you most need to be. You want your website to be among the top search engine results for searches like “audiologist in [your city],” “hearing aids in [your area],” or “hearing tests near me.”

So, how do you use the idea of search intent to your advantage? Create content on your website that provides the answers that people are searching for. Be certain that your location is included in multiple, easy-to-find places on your website so local searches know where you are located.

Consider creating informational content that draws searchers further down the funnel, from an informational search to a new patient. One great way to do this is to literally answer your potential patients’ questions by creating a Q&A or FAQ page, where you answer common questions about your services and products.

Research on search intent has also found that search engines differentiate between “category pages” and “product pages.” For the purpose of a hearing practice, this is the difference between a page that lists all of your services and a page about a specific service. Both are key to answering people’s queries and gaining traction in online searches.

To learn more about how you can harness search intent to your advantage, please contact us today at AudiologyPlus. We are here to help you understand the latest trends in online marketing and gain new patients so your practice continues to grow.

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