A person holds a phone with customer reviews on it

Enhance Your Content Marketing with Patient Reviews

Online reviews are quickly becoming the leading form of word-of-mouth marketing for businesses of all types, and surveys continue to reveal their rising appeal. With 85% of respondents admitting to trusting online reviews as much as recommendations from friends, it’s worth your time to maximize the benefit of any and all positive reviews your business receives. After all, getting patients to leave you a positive review online takes a lot of hard work, and you deserve to share the good news.
One way to extend the reach of a great review is to highlight it in a blog post on your website. This content can then be shared on your social networks and also in your email newsletters. These posts can also include helpful information within the content itself, while also incorporating favorable reviews to encourage readers to seek your help if they’re suffering from hearing concerns as well.
Consider the three article formats below to showcase your happy patients and encourage others to join their ranks:
Patient Stories
There will be times when patients are so thoroughly satisfied with their results that they give generous reviews about their experience with you. These reviews present an opportunity to highlight the journey each patient took from experiencing a hearing concern to delighting in exceptional results. You will certainly need patient consent to share their story, and you should obtain this consent in writing before and after your blog has been written (but prior to publishing it). Usually, patients who are this thrilled with their results are happy to allow you to spread the good news further. If he or she would prefer to remain anonymous, the review would need to be left by “anonymous” on whatever website it was published on (which is not always possible) and a pseudonym should be used for the story itself.
These kinds of relatable posts tend to be the most popular kind, so spend some time laying out all of the details of your patient’s situation before coming to see you. You want your readers to be able to relate to the symptoms and their effect on your patient’s life. Once you paint a clear picture of his or her struggle, then go into the details about the relief your patient experienced through your thorough and welcoming care. Be sure to express the patient’s experience throughout this entire journey – one of limitation and frustration to a place of unexpected clarity and renewed connection, for example. Readers want to relate to this patient’s emotional state, as many of them will likely have some or all of the symptoms described.
As for the review, you can either quote it in the beginning or end of the review, depending on how you want to introduce this case story. It’s also important to express gratitude for the patient taking the time to leave a review and being willing to share his or her story.
Common Misconceptions
An easy way to highlight a group of positive reviews is to use them to shed light on frequent questions or misunderstandings about hearing treatments and the like. By selecting a few reviews that touch on common misconceptions such as, “hearing evaluations are lengthy and unnecessary,” or “I don’t actually need hearing aids anyhow,” you can directly address these pervasive beliefs with successful patient testimonies.
Don’t worry about having the perfect review to match to a given misconception, but do use discretion on how you describe a patient’s situation. Unless you receive explicit consent (in writing) from the reviewer to describe their case in more detail, you should just stick to the details shared by the patient in the review itself. The main idea here is to simply expand on what struggles people overcome in general by visiting your office.
Outline of Results
Take advantage of a handful of positive reviews by highlighting the successful results they represent in your patients’ lives. You could do this “spotlight on results” type of post as a longer article looking at a few different reviews at once, or as a series of shorter posts focused on one result/review at a time. The latter will offer a more focused appreciation of each reviewer (and indirectly encourage more reviews from current patients), and the former will give a strong dose of persuasive information about your services in one article.
The nature of your posts will be determined by the reviews you’re choosing to highlight, but ideally will center around the most common results your patients are seeking: improved hearing, better ability to navigate important listening situations (e.g. work, family, etc), tinnitus relief, and so forth.
When designing your approach for a results-oriented post like this, be sure to thoroughly describe the problem seeking to be solved. Instead of just describing a patient who couldn’t hear well in meetings, go into the frustrations that can present to really allow your readers a chance to relate to the patient at hand. Avoid imposing that reality onto your actual patient who left the review (unless it’s clearly stated as such ), and just keep your analysis general and non-patient specific (this isn’t a case story, as above, but more of a description of the results that are possible, with reviews to prove it).
Leveraging your reviews like this can be a great way to create a popular blog post and create effective marketing all at once. Remember: you work hard for every positive review you receive and your future patients deserve to hear about what’s possible.
Having trouble getting patients to leave you reviews at all? Consider improving your patient review rates by adding ReviewMe to your website for the easiest way for patients to leave you a review on the most popular websites. Click here to learn more or simply contact us to take advantage of this today.

A person holds a phone with customer reviews on it

Enhance Your Content Marketing with Patient Reviews

Online reviews are quickly becoming the leading form of word-of-mouth marketing for businesses of all types, and surveys continue to reveal their rising appeal. With 85% of respondents admitting to trusting online reviews as much as recommendations from friends, it’s worth your time to maximize the benefit of any and all positive reviews your business receives. After all, getting patients to leave you a positive review online takes a lot of hard work, and you deserve to share the good news.
One way to extend the reach of a great review is to highlight it in a blog post on your website. This content can then be shared on your social networks and also in your email newsletters. These posts can also include helpful information within the content itself, while also incorporating favorable reviews to encourage readers to seek your help if they’re suffering from hearing concerns as well.
Consider the three article formats below to showcase your happy patients and encourage others to join their ranks:
Patient Stories
There will be times when patients are so thoroughly satisfied with their results that they give generous reviews about their experience with you. These reviews present an opportunity to highlight the journey each patient took from experiencing a hearing concern to delighting in exceptional results. You will certainly need patient consent to share their story, and you should obtain this consent in writing before and after your blog has been written (but prior to publishing it). Usually, patients who are this thrilled with their results are happy to allow you to spread the good news further. If he or she would prefer to remain anonymous, the review would need to be left by “anonymous” on whatever website it was published on (which is not always possible) and a pseudonym should be used for the story itself.
These kinds of relatable posts tend to be the most popular kind, so spend some time laying out all of the details of your patient’s situation before coming to see you. You want your readers to be able to relate to the symptoms and their effect on your patient’s life. Once you paint a clear picture of his or her struggle, then go into the details about the relief your patient experienced through your thorough and welcoming care. Be sure to express the patient’s experience throughout this entire journey – one of limitation and frustration to a place of unexpected clarity and renewed connection, for example. Readers want to relate to this patient’s emotional state, as many of them will likely have some or all of the symptoms described.
As for the review, you can either quote it in the beginning or end of the review, depending on how you want to introduce this case story. It’s also important to express gratitude for the patient taking the time to leave a review and being willing to share his or her story.
Common Misconceptions
An easy way to highlight a group of positive reviews is to use them to shed light on frequent questions or misunderstandings about hearing treatments and the like. By selecting a few reviews that touch on common misconceptions such as, “hearing evaluations are lengthy and unnecessary,” or “I don’t actually need hearing aids anyhow,” you can directly address these pervasive beliefs with successful patient testimonies.
Don’t worry about having the perfect review to match to a given misconception, but do use discretion on how you describe a patient’s situation. Unless you receive explicit consent (in writing) from the reviewer to describe their case in more detail, you should just stick to the details shared by the patient in the review itself. The main idea here is to simply expand on what struggles people overcome in general by visiting your office.
Outline of Results
Take advantage of a handful of positive reviews by highlighting the successful results they represent in your patients’ lives. You could do this “spotlight on results” type of post as a longer article looking at a few different reviews at once, or as a series of shorter posts focused on one result/review at a time. The latter will offer a more focused appreciation of each reviewer (and indirectly encourage more reviews from current patients), and the former will give a strong dose of persuasive information about your services in one article.
The nature of your posts will be determined by the reviews you’re choosing to highlight, but ideally will center around the most common results your patients are seeking: improved hearing, better ability to navigate important listening situations (e.g. work, family, etc), tinnitus relief, and so forth.
When designing your approach for a results-oriented post like this, be sure to thoroughly describe the problem seeking to be solved. Instead of just describing a patient who couldn’t hear well in meetings, go into the frustrations that can present to really allow your readers a chance to relate to the patient at hand. Avoid imposing that reality onto your actual patient who left the review (unless it’s clearly stated as such ), and just keep your analysis general and non-patient specific (this isn’t a case story, as above, but more of a description of the results that are possible, with reviews to prove it).
Leveraging your reviews like this can be a great way to create a popular blog post and create effective marketing all at once. Remember: you work hard for every positive review you receive and your future patients deserve to hear about what’s possible.
Having trouble getting patients to leave you reviews at all? Consider improving your patient review rates by adding ReviewMe to your website for the easiest way for patients to leave you a review on the most popular websites. Click here to learn more or simply contact us to take advantage of this today.

Man and Woman look at computer together

Three Easy Steps for Creating Blogs that Get Seen

The Internet has become an endless sea of content ready for consumption. With an estimated 350 million blogs online and counting, trying to create something attractive enough to grab people’s attention can seem downright daunting.
Luckily, the formula for engaging content has remained the same and simply requires that you select a topic of interest and provide useful, entertaining, or unique information on it.
As a hearing professional, you’re fortunate to be deeply involved in your patients’ hearing healthcare journeys. It means you know their questions and concerns, what interests them about their hearing, and what kind of solutions grab their attention most. From a content marketing perspective, that information is gold.
Because what’s the point of spending your valuable time on creating a blog for your website if it isn’t attracting more visitors? Useful and interesting information on your blog should not only be boosting your website’s overall ranking in search results, it should also be directly increasing traffic to your site via people discovering your blogs through online searches or shared links.
The more visitors your blogs get, the more easily other people will find them when searching for related topics online. And ultimately, the more visitors your website gets overall, the better your business will do in the long run.
Remember: even if your website’s visitors aren’t in your area, their time spent on your website makes it more visible online (by improving its search engine ranking) and thus, more easily found by locals looking online for hearing services in your area.
So where do you start? Consider the following tips for creating content that works.
Write What You Know
Choosing the right topics for online traffic is a critical step in creating great content, and fortunately, it will be an easy one for you. Your in-person work with patients means you likely already know what their most common questions are. And your patients are the perfect sample of your “target audience” since they’re confronting the same hearing health issues that your online audience would be.
Make a list of the questions your patients ask most. Include other topics that you notice gain interest from patients when you bring them up (i.e. everyone wants to know more about extended-wear hearing aids, etc.). Write about those topics, and any other trending news in the hearing industry.
Once your blogs are posted, share them on social media and watch the response they get. If you notice certain topics gain more engagement or attention than others, consider how you could expand upon them in new ways.
Engaging blogs give a balanced dose of fundamental information and an interesting perspective to keep us informed and reading. It’s important to choose topics that you have helpful knowledge on (or can research enough until you do). You shouldn’t create content that’s so dense it’s nearly academic, but you also don’t want it to be too light and surface-level.
Quality over Quantity
Creating interesting content for your blog doesn’t have to take all day. In fact, the average length of blogs is only 500-700 words. Despite the rising trends of creating longer content for better SEO effects, you need to evaluate your unique audience and offer what they seem to prefer.
With the intense content saturation on the Internet, it’s no surprise that people, in general, tend to read through shorter articles over longer ones. The exception to this is when a topic is being expanded upon authoritatively (i.e. a Wikipedia entry). If you want to offer up a novel, yet lengthy, perspective on the effects of hearing loss on relationship dynamics, by all means do so. Longer content can be just as effective as short-form articles, but itt definitely takes longer to create. It also needs to be engaging enough to hold your readers’ attention.
In general, aim to craft an interesting article in 500-700 words. Be sure to use some of the most popular keywords throughout your writing, and remind yourself that it doesn’t need to take hours to produce. If it does, consider choosing  topics that you’re more comfortable writing about.
Chop It Up
No matter how long your content is, it’s helpful for your audience when you break it into sections with clear headers. We do that with most of our own blogs since research shows that people tend to scan and skim online content instead of read it.
Segmenting your blogs into sections with subtitles is also helpful for organizing your content. If you have a few topics you plan on expanding into full blog articles, consider just outlining them first with their relevant subtitles. Especially for topics you have extensive knowledge on, outlining your topics can help keep your writing focused and more concise.

Lastly, although content marketing is a passive approach to gaining new patients, you do have a golden opportunity at the end of your blogs to mention the services you offer. It’s golden because by the end of your article you’ve (ideally) just revealed your professional knowledge and helpfulness, making it a prime time to mention how people could work with you further. No need to get detailed here, just a simple reminder that if your readers are looking for hearing healthcare services, you’re equipped to help them.
Content marketing through blogs is an eefective way to help your website get found online. Today’s hearing marketplace demands a strong digital presence to attract local patients searching online for hearing professionals. If your website needs an upgrade, or you aren’t getting the traffic online (or in office) that you should be, feel free to reach out to us to learn how we can help.
(See what we did there?)
 

Woman records video on her phone

How Video Can Skyrocket Your Practice’s Online Presence

Optimizing your digital marketing strategy for your hearing practice means making your website as visible as possible online. And in 2018, creating video content is one of the most effective ways for increasing your presence in the digital realm.
The idea of creating video content, however, makes many people cringe. Either they don’t want to be on camera or they expect the video creation process to be overwhelming or expensive. While getting past a camera-shy attitude looks different for different people, it’s helpful to understand why you’d want to reconsider putting yourself in front of the lens. And fortunately, these days, making videos that are useful, engaging, and highly shareable doesn’t have to mean hours of time or hundreds of dollars. Just take a look at the incredibly popular “live” videos (like Facebook Live or Instagram Stories) and you’ll quickly see that a smartphone combined with a few shared thoughts or vistas are enough to do the trick.
The main point you need to keep in mind as you consider bringing a video content strategy into your overall digital marketing plan is this: people online really like videos.
Truly, they love them. On Facebook alone, posts with videos get 135% more engagement than text or image posts. Further, YouTube, the most popular video platform on the Internet (and second most popular search engine) has more online viewers during prime-time TV hours than any television network!
It’s simple: times have most certainly changed, and online video is the way to go for bolstering your marketing efforts. Beyond the ballooning stats about people engaging with video online are a few more persuasive reasons why video content can, directly and indirectly, boost your practice’s visibility online.
Let’s take a look at each of them to better understand how you can take full advantage of this leading-edge approach.
Improve Your Website’s SEO
Perhaps the most important benefit of video content marketing is its effect on your website’s overall SEO, or search engine optimization. It’s a known fact that Google ranks websites with a variety of media types on them higher than those that don’t. Given the estimated projection that 80% of all internet traffic will be represented by video within the next year, it’s no surprise that search engines are favoring websites with video content along with the typical text and image formats.
To fully optimize your videos for search engines, it’s important to include all relevant and important keywords for your content in the video description and meta tags when adding it to your webpage. We dive more into keyword research here and recommend it for all of your content marketing efforts (be them through text or video).
Uploading a transcript of your dialogue along with the video itself is another way to bolster its SEO properties. Not only does a transcript enable an increase in the number of keywords you can use for your video, but it also makes the content accessible for viewers who aren’t in a position (or prefer not) to turn the sound on for your video. Transcripts also let search engines understand the relevancy of your video, making your content more easily searched and listed for related queries.
Increase Your Reach
Video content continues to garner increased attention from online users across the globe, with websites like Youtube showing over a billion hours of video to viewers every single day. People are more likely to click on interesting or informative video content than any other type of media—and they’re also more likely to share it on their own social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, or even their own blogs.
The more views your videos get, the more valuable they’re rated by search engines. And, you guessed it, the result is better ranking in related search results. Over time, this strategy can really pay off, so creating highly-shareable video content is a rapid and low-cost approach to expanding your reach online.
It’s also wise to host your video on an external website like Youtube or Vimeo, instead of only having it on your website’s blog. You can still embed the video onto your website (which we recommend), but it will actually play through its hosting site (or through a widget) when someone clicks on it to play. This alone can relieve your website of the heavy data-load that storing videos creates, which can quickly slow your website down.
Most important, though, is the effect of the link to your website that you would put in your channel’s description. By hosting your video on a third party site, you gain the space to add a valuable link to your website (called a linkback) in your profile area. Link-building—the process of gaining links to your own web pages from high-quality and popular external websites—is a critical element in any SEO strategy. As you endeavor to create a strong online presence, improving your visibility in search results should remain a top priority.
Increase Your Appeal—and Your Impact
Online analysts and digital marketing experts have been actively evaluating and debating the reasons for video’s high appeal. The inquiry ensues, but one aspect that everyone agrees on is the relatability of most video content. This is most easily seen in the rapid rise of the aforementioned “live” video features available across various social media networks, where editing capabilities are minimal and the results are raw and unpolished. The trends seem clear: people want to watch others who they can relate to and feel connected to. We saw it with the surge of interest in reality T.V. over a decade ago, and we’re seeing the same trend play out for online content.
This is where your content can really shine. Videos created and shared by knowledgeable hearing professionals have the combined effect of being informative and useful, while also disarming and encouraging. At a time when an estimated 80% of people with hearing loss are currently untreated, standing up and sharing helpful information about treatment options and patient outcomes can be transformative for people silently suffering from hearing issues.
The stigma around hearing aids and other treatments persists, and educating people about the realities of life after hearing aids is a crucial part of absolving these stubborn barriers. Sharing this information through video content is ideal—especially when delivered from a real person that viewers can get to know, trust, and watch anonymously online until they’re ready to get the help they need.
Allowing your viewers to learn from you while you simultaneously share your personality, warmth, and knowledge is an excellent way to begin building rapport with a significant number of potential patients. Marketers have long known that familiarity breeds trust, but sharing helpful information along with a dose of your presence goes even further in developing a base of loyal followers.
 
Navigating the waters of content marketing can seem daunting at first, especially when it comes to creating videos to share your message and knowledge. It helps to put any tendencies towards perfectionism aside and remain focused on simply helping as many people as possible.
This perspective shift will encourage you to prioritize your time so that you get as much helpful information out as fast as is reasonable, without getting hung up on how “polished” your video may or may not seem. Remember: the more of the real you people see, the more of them you can expect to see… through your office doors.
 

Man with social media concepts in hands

5 Best Practices for Marketing Your Hearing Practice with Social Media

Few hearing healthcare practices are without a website, but many have yet to create an effective presence on social media. Being active on outlets like Facebook or Twitter might seem overwhelming for an already-busy practice owner, but avoiding social media for your business means losing out on a valuable, low-cost opportunity.
The truth is, social media use is on the rise and showing no sign of slowing down. A recent Pew report found that 74% of Internet users engage with social media, and that 80% of those engagers are specifically looking for health-related information and health professionals who could help them.
There’s no better time to be online, engaging directly with prospective patients through social media. Whether you’re just starting out or are an established practice looking to expand your patient base, social media is an excellent addition to your overall marketing strategy. A small amount of time put aside to nurture your online presence on websites like Facebook and LinkedIn can quickly prove worthwhile as new patients discover you there and inquire more about your services.
So where do you begin? Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Youtube, Pinterest… the list can definitely seem endless. With the ever-widening array of social media sites online, it’s no wonder that creating a social media presence for your practice can feel rather intimidating at first.
The key is to identify the ideal patients for your services, and then pick two to three social media outlets that tend to attract those types of patients. You likely have the first part figured out already and know your ideal patient demographics in detail. Finding out where they spend time online can take some digging, but beginning with a basic overview of the populations that frequent each social media outlet is a wise move. It would be hard to deny that Facebook is an essential website for your practice to have a presence on, and depending on your services or specialties, you might find that your ideal patients are frequenting other social sites as well.
Once you’ve defined a short list of social media outlets you’d like to build a presence on, it’s time to create an overall social media strategy. This doesn’t need to be extensive or time-consuming, but should outline the overall purpose of your profile and the type of content you intend to post and share. The biggest mistake we see businesses make with their social media accounts is to miss having a clear direction with their profile activity. Do you want to attract more patients? Perhaps you intend to simply spread awareness about the effectiveness of modern treatments for hearing loss. Any goal will do, but defining it at the outset is important.
Now let’s take a look at the five best practices for optimizing your practice’s social media presence:
Craft Your Profile with Care
The most popular social media sites enable you to describe your business and add contact information to your profile. This is your opportunity to highlight the focus of your practice and mention the most attractive aspects of your services.
When creating your profile, be sure to incorporate as many relevant keywords as possible into your business description, without sacrificing a natural tone. Social media profiles are just as searchable as other web pages that Google and other search engines list when people search for matching keywords. For this reason, be sure to include the name of local vicinities your practice serves. Unsure about the best keywords for your practice? We go into more detail about researching keywords here.
Content is King
We say it all the time, and the fact remains that content is indeed still king. Increasing numbers of people are visiting various social media outlets for the interaction—and especially the content—they provide. Defining the overall purpose of your social media presence is the first step, and creating the actual content for your regular posts is the implementation of that vision.
The best content offers your audience value, humor, or practical information (i.e. “We’re closed early today due to the storm,” etc.). There is no single formula for winning content, but after you begin posting a variety of information, you’ll begin to see what posts get the most engagement (i.e. likes, clicks, and comments) from your audience. Experiment within the bounds of professionalism and your overall goal, and don’t be shy about sharing content from other businesses or people on social media that have quality content you think your audience would appreciate.
It’s worth noting that if your practice’s website has a blog of its own (which it should), that it’s entirely appropriate to share your past blog posts along with current ones on a rotating cycle. In other words, you don’t want to create just one post about a helpful blog you wrote and have it get buried in your news feed after a couple of months. Any new followers you gain would likely never see it. There’s a balance, of course, between overly-redundant promotion of the same content and ensuring that it doesn’t get lost in a sea of daily posts. Depending on how quickly your audience is growing, you should cycle in previous blog post promotions every 8-16 weeks on your feed.
Stay Engaged
Social media is supposed to be just that: social. While posting attractive content is a main priority, as a business owner looking to gain an audience online, you also want to be sure to interact with any followers who comment or ask questions on your posts, profile page, or via direct messages.
Not only does this kind of personal interaction offer insight into the type of provider you are, but it also invites more participation from your audience. People appreciate when businesses take the time to acknowledge and respond to them, and are more apt to stay engaged with your posts when you’re doing the same. Back and forth activity on your feed is also attractive to those passing by who might otherwise not choose to actually “follow” your page, and it also tends to keep your business’s posts actively showing in your followers’ news feeds.
Promote Your Offerings
In the midst of your quality content posts, don’t skip the opportunity to keep your audience informed about everything your practice offers and what makes you stand out. Receive a professional award or additional certification? Post it. Begin carrying the latest model of rechargeable hearing aids? Post it. Get an amazing testimonial from a satisfied patient? Definitely post it.
You get the idea. The goal is to balance out your self-promotional posts with valuable content that your audience is drawn to. Many of the people following your business may not be local at all to your practice, but follow you due to the informative nature of your posts, so it’s important to keep that in mind as you promote your own services (aimed at local followers who could potentially need your services). A common recommendation is the 80/20 rule: give helpful and valuable content away (via your posts) 80% of the time, and sprinkle in some subtle self-promotion 20% of the time. After all, you are a business.
Focus on Service
As a hearing healthcare professional, this one will come easy for you. You’re in service to your patients every day, and the truth is, going on social media should be no different. Regardless of whether the goal of your social media presence is to gain more patients or share important information, by focusing on giving through the majority of what you post, you’ll see a loyal online audience grow quickly.
With nearly 30 million Americans living with untreated hearing loss, there’s currently a real need for helpful information about conditions, treatment options, and accessibility in hearing healthcare. Many of these people are online and using social media, so why not use your posts as an effective way to reach and teach them? Much of the persistent stigma around hearing loss and treatment stems simply from a lack of knowledge. This is where you—and your practice—can really stand out and help.

Tending to your social media presence doesn’t need to be a part-time job. With a small amount of time dedicated to it consistently, healthcare professionals across many fields have discovered social media to be an investment offering significant rewards. Consider making the time to cultivate your own social media presence and watch it bolster your entire digital marketing strategy,
Don’t have a digital marketing strategy? Learn why it’s imperative that you do, and feel free to contact us to learn how we can help.

Woman writes a blog on her computer

Boost Your Practice by Guest Blogging

Blogging is one of the most accessible and cost-effective ways to naturally boost your website’s visibility online, but few hearing professionals take the time to maximize their blogging potential. We know that businesses that blog gain at least 67% more leads to their websites than those that don’t, so there’s little debate about the value blogging can offer your website.
But the truth is, blogging alone is usually not enough. To get a worthwhile increase in traffic to your website by potential patients, you need to leverage your writing. And guest blogging—posting your blog on someone else’s website—is an excellent (and free) way to do just that.
Guest blogging carries a short, but significant list of benefits. The intensity of these benefits increase in proportion to the popularity (or “quality,” measured by several factors by search engines) of the website your post is published on. In short, you can expect guest blogging to help you in the following ways:
Increase your own website’s visibility.
Unless otherwise noted, every guest blog you post online will be followed by a brief writer’s biography where you get to include a link back to your own webpage, another related article you wrote, or anywhere else you deem useful. It’s this link that is the treasured gem for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. These links, or linkbacks as they’re called, are a critical factor in the algorithms search engines like Google use when ranking your web pages in search results. The more linkbacks you have from other, quality websites, the higher your own web pages will rank.
Gain secondary traffic to your website.
Beyond boosting your overall SEO for online searches, it’s important to realize that many people will also click over to your webpage (or wherever the link in your author bio directs them) simply after reading your article. This lets you ride on the popularity (and high ranking) of your hosting website, as well as gain any extra attention from promotions that website might do on their own social networks. In other words, guest posting on the right website can significantly increase the number of avenues that new readers encounter your article, and in turn, learn about you and your services.
Establish authority in your field.
As a hearing professional, you have a lot of knowledge to offer. Your readership, on your website and in guest postings, will mainly be those who have an interest in hearing health and the problems and solutions associated with it. In the same way, you guide your patients with your experience and training, you can offer a similar level of value to people across the globe through your blogs. Writing on your own blog certainly helps to display the breadth of knowledge you have to share, but getting selected to post your content on a well-known or respected website takes things a few steps further. It highlights you as a hearing professional worth listening to; an expert with something to offer those in need. While less tangible and harder to measure, establishing a reputation as a trustworthy source for hearing healthcare information can have far-reaching benefits for attracting new patients locally, and getting more guest posting opportunities worldwide.
Now you can see why so many bloggers pursue guest posting as a means of boosting their online presence. But you might be wondering how to go about it. The truth is, guest posting isn’t as easy as it might seem. The competition is thicker than ever and the amount of content online is nearly unfathomable. To stand out enough to be selected to guest blog for a worthwhile website, it’s wise to take note of a few key tips before you get started:
Select your target host sites first.
You might have a topic you can’t wait to write about because you know that readers online will gobble it up and you expect it to be sure win for a guest post submission. Many guest bloggers go this route—writing great content first and then submitting it widely to discover what website will “bite.” In time, this approach might work well for you, too, but in the beginning, we recommend reversing the order of those steps for maximum opportunity. Once you’ve established a few guest posting relationships with different websites, you’ll likely have a good sense of the type and style of content to produce to keep those channels open and satisfied. Until then, research as much as you can upfront to save yourself time and frustration later.
By researching and selecting the ideal websites for your guest post, you give yourself the option of tailoring the content to each website’s style and readership. This alone will greatly increase your odds of standing out. Many websites have very specific guidelines for contributing writers, and knowing these in advance can save you time and energy.
It’s also not uncommon for very popular websites to refuse to accept anything other than an article proposal instead of a finished article, so researching your options beforehand can help you tailor the most successful approach to landing your first guest post. If you’re not sure if a website you like accepts guest posts or not (after thoroughly searching their entire site), send a brief email to an editor or their general contact email to find out. Avoid pitching yourself in that initial email, and wait to get a sense of what they’re looking for in their reply.
Write impeccable content.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth noting that you should expect to spend much more time crafting a guest post than you would a typical blog for your own website—at least in the beginning. You want your guest blog to gain as much traction online as possible, so spend time thoroughly researching the best keywords to include in your article (we dive more into keyword research here). Avoid trying to “stuff” keywords in as much as possible, and instead craft your article to naturally explore each related topic to be sure you can integrate those keywords seamlessly throughout. This also helps your article become more comprehensive and authoritative—two qualities that help online articles stay relevant (and popular) in the long-term.
Maximize your benefit.
Many guest bloggers miss an important opportunity when posting on external websites: they don’t build relationships with their readers. This might seem hard to do with readers on a website other than your own, but remember that as a guest poster, you often have two direct ways to connect with your article’s audience—through your link and through the comments.
The link you put in your author bio is important. Incredibly important. Sending readers to your website’s homepage or some related article you’ve written might mean that they learn more about the topic, and potential about you if they look around, but it’s a huge lost opportunity to connect. Consider that those who are interested enough in your article are likely the exact people who would be interested in your services. Your link should connect you to them more directly, by way of directing them to a page where they can sign up for your email newsletter (ideally in exchange for a helpful piece of content, like an ebook or guide of some sort).
Getting people to join your email list lets you continue to nurture your connection and keep your content in front of them going forward. If not local, these readers would at least become regular consumers of your content—clicking on it and possibly even sharing it— helping to boost your overall visibility online.
Most blogs have a comment section below the article, as this can help boost SEO for the article and keep people connected to the website and its writers. You’ll want to pay attention to the comments section below any article that you guest blog, for the same reasons you should stay connected to the comments on your own website, as it’s an effective way to further establish your authority on the topic, display your willingness to help to readers, and even gain helpful information for future articles. For instance, if several readers end up asking about the same related topic after reading your article, you might consider diving into that topic in more detail for a follow-up post (which host websites tend to love if the first article did well). As you work to build an online presence for yourself and your practice, the more interaction you can have with readers online, the better.
 
If you’re making time to write on your own website’s blog, you ought to consider penning one of those articles for an external website as well. As a hearing professional, your training and experience alone will help in asserting you as an expert on hearing health. Writing blogs to support that reputation is an excellent way to leverage your digital marketing strategy in a cost-effective way. Having your articles present on different websites online will also have long-term benefits, as content rarely ever “expires” on the Internet, and can gain attention increasingly over time.
Guest posting or not, sharing valuable content online is invaluable to any digital marketing strategy. And there’s no better time than now to capitalize on the immense opportunity of online marketing. In your mission to help people with their hearing health, gaining attention through your articles online can be an incredibly fast way to widen your reach and achieve your goals.
 

Person typing on their laptop

What a Monthly Newsletter Can Do for Your Practice

The growth potential of your hearing practice ultimately boils down to two metrics: your patient retention rate and your new patient accrual rate. Both figures represent large swaths of related details, but stand alone as strong indicators of how your business is faring overall.
Taking advantage of what digital marketing can do for your practice’s growth and success often means focusing on improving the latter of these two metrics—that is, helping you to attract more new patients through your website and other online listings. But digital marketing is vast. It also includes more subtle branches that not only help increase your visibility online, but also serve to nurture patients that have already chosen you as their hearing healthcare provider.
Email marketing is one of these branches and is a reliable, time-tested means of connecting with your current patient base, as well as reaching new ones. Don’t be fooled by its namesake either—email marketing often doesn’t seem like marketing at all. Monthly email newsletters sent out to your current email list of patients, for instance, would fall under the category of email marketing even if they’re just updates about the current news or happenings at your practice.
When approached this way, your email content is referred to as indirect marketing, as there isn’t any focused pitch or offer being made in the newsletter—it’s just informative content. It does, however, still promote your practice simply by reminding people of your services. Direct marketing can play a role in these emails as well, and as we’ll see, both routes are useful for building an abundant stream of patients to your office.
The benefits of connecting with your patient base through email are significant:

  • It’s easy and efficient (no printing, stuffing, or stamping)
  • There are plenty of free and inexpensive email services to make it cost-effective
  • It’s wide-reaching with nearly everyone using email to communicate (including 95% of baby boomers)
  • It lends a personal touch to your practice’s image

The last benefit—of adding a personal appeal to your brand—is worth highlighting. The hearing healthcare marketplace is a crowded one, and standing out often requires developing a rapport or relationship with your patients. While you certainly get the chance to begin that important process while rendering your services, email marketing gives you an easy opportunity to continue nurturing that connection long after they’ve left your office.
This becomes especially true when you focus your emails on providing valuable information to your readers. Including a brief article on a topic that’s commonly asked about is an easy way to create value in your emails. It not only increases the odds that your emails will be read instead of deleted, but it also reinforces the helpful and knowledgeable image of your practice, and—most importantly—keeps you top of mind for your patients.
This is why you want your email newsletters to go out in regular intervals. Keeping your business in the forefront of your patients’ minds is how email marketing organically translates into new patient inquiries. Simply put—your patients will be more likely to recommend your services to their networks when your name, value, and the impression you made on them in person is reinforced by a simple “hello” via email. The most common interval for business newsletters is a month. Monthly emails seem to strike the elusive balance of emailing your list “just enough” to keep them engaged and remembering you, but not so much that they unsubscribe or ignore your emails.
With regards to the type of content you send out, you have the option of making your emails entirely devoted to delivering valuable information, adding in personal details about your office to give it a more personal appeal (i.e. sharing when a staff member is getting married, or if a new member is added to the team, etc), or promoting various deals, offers, or new product selections.
A well-rounded email newsletter often contains all three. Promotions, or other direct marketing elements, don’t have to be in every email—but if you have an offer that never expires, such as a patient referral incentive, you may want to highlight it each time as a reminder. The general rule is to always provide strong value (aka helpful content) alongside any sales pitches or offers. The content you choose to include in each newsletter will set the tone for what your readers expect from you in general, and it’s wise to prove that your emails are worth opening for their educational or personal value alone, even if readers aren’t interested in any discounts or offers you might include.
Beyond sending these newsletters out to your existing patient base, you should also consider building an email list of potential patients. The most obvious source for this is your website, where a simple newsletter sign-up form can capture the emails of anyone interested in receiving news, discounts, and helpful information from your practice. You can also invite prospective patients who email or call inquiring about your practice to sign up. To reach out to your current patients’ networks, you can even create incentives for them to invite friends and family to simply sign up for your newsletter as an easy introduction to your services and special offers. To take your email list growth a step further, you could create an especially helpful piece of content, like a detailed article or video series, and allow access to it only upon receiving the name and email of those interested (commonly referred to as gated content).
Regardless of how you decide to create your email list, be it from current patients only or the active pursuit of potential ones as well, it’s important to keep your email marketing mindset as “content first.” When readers see you provide consistent value through your free email newsletters each month, they’re bound to consider that your paid services are even more impressive.
Any chance you seize to reveal your knowledgeable, personable, and trustworthy qualities, the better off your practice (and brand) will be. Let email newsletters be a monthly reminder of the quality care you provide.
 

Patient walking through office doors

How an Online Audience Translates to More In-Person Patients

Creating a steady flow of new patients through your doors is no small feat in the hearing healthcare industry. Competition is strong and it takes some innovation in your practice to stand out. While there’s no secret formula to guarantee success, there are a couple of time-tested strategies every practice should follow: Deliver excellent service to your current patients and get your practice seen by potential ones.
Odds are, you’ve been achieving the first goal for years. Remember that word of mouth marketing is the most effective form of promotion—especially within healthcare. Exceeding your patients’ expectations should always remain your first priority. And these days, it’s easier than ever to achieve the latter goal. With nearly 4 billion people online and growing, the world of digital marketing is calling your name.
Because why wouldn’t it be? Despite how daunting it might seem at first, online marketing is actually much easier than traditional approaches. It’s also far cheaper than the previous routes of mailers, print ads, and radio or TV airtime. And it’s arguably more effective, too.
With online marketing, you can target the exact kind of audience who would benefit from your services by using detailed information about Internet user interests and behavior. This also means you end up with helpful information about which of your online marketing routes are actually attracting attention or not—an area traditional marketing has long struggled with.
It’s important to realize that having a website (and even a few social media profiles) for your practice is not online marketing. No matter how beautiful it might be, a standalone website lacking a complete digital strategy behind it is wasting your time and money. Your website needs to justify its existence by showing you a return on your investment. It needs to be easily found online by prospective patients and then converting those visitors into inquiries. Otherwise, what’s the point?
A complete digital strategy begins from the ground up. It means your website is built to be found by search engines and that you have several external (or off-website) strategies in place to help bolster your ranking in the search results. While this topic of search engine optimization (SEO) is indeed complex, one of the most effective SEO tactics is also one of the simplest: create informative hearing-related content for your website.
You’ve heard us rant about “content is king” before, and it’s a point that bears repeating: the strength and quality of your practice’s online presence are directly related to the amount and value of content you’re posting. A bold claim indeed, but consider that increasing the effectiveness of your website comes down to two simple tasks: Making your website easy to find (i.e. effective SEO) and having something on it worth finding.
Let’s face it, the hearing healthcare industry is a competitive one. And almost all hearing practices have a website online. Imagine your neighbors searching online for hearing services in your area. Would they find your website through their Google searches? If so, would it have something on it that would keep them engaged longer than on other local hearing practice sites? Great content makes your online presence stand out.
Creating helpful and informative content on your website not only increases the odds that a website visitor will become a current patient, it also boosts your visibility online through improved SEO and the potential for shared content. For instance, consider the kind of traffic your website would get if your blog post happened to be shared by a Facebook user with 5000 followers? Simply put: the more content you produce, the more likely people will find you.
At this point, you might be wondering how useful it is for people located beyond your local area to end up on your website. The answer is: very. First off, search engines like Google evaluate the activity of your website and rank you accordingly in the search results. When more people (no matter where they’re living) visit your site, and especially when they linger on your site reading an article, the better your search ranking will be. This means that when people in your area go online looking for hearing services, they’re much more likely to find you.
Another benefit of having anyone, anywhere visiting your website is the potential for post engagement—you know, those comments, likes, and shares you see at the bottom of many blog posts. Those go a long way in creating a sort of “social proof” for new visitors to your site, becoming quite helpful when visitors are local to you and in need of hearing services. Positive comments and dialogue below your posts create an immediate sense of authority and popularity in the online sphere.
So you can see by now why it’s worth your time and effort to establish a strong online presence for your practice. And a wide and engaged online audience is a sure marker that you’ve succeeded in doing so. When done right, the more eyes finding your website online will mean the more people calling about and coming in for your care.
Don’t think you have to do this alone, either. We know how much is involved in running a hearing practice. In fact, we designed our services to meet the needs of busy professionals like yourself. You can definitely bootstrap your way to creating a decent online presence with enough time and energy. You can also reach out to us if you’d like to accelerate that process and stay focused on giving the quality care your patients appreciate.

Quality Content will get you noticed

Get Noticed Online by Creating Quality Content

As a hearing professional, you’ve got a lot of knowledge to share. Sharing it online is good for your readers, and even better for your business. In fact, one of the most effective ways to build a strong online presence is by creating valuable content on a regular basis.
High-quality blogs and articles encourage more people to find your website, keep people on your webpages longer, are likely to be shared with other online users, and increase the number of important keywords across your website. All of this helps boost your ranking in search results, thus making your website more visible online. Content marketing, as it’s often called, is one of the easiest search engine optimization (SEO) tactics you can employ. It’s why you’ve heard us say it time and again: content is king.
But before you jet off and quickly produce blogs about cerumen and tinnitus, take a quick look at the foundations of high-quality content first. Below, we’ve outlined the essential elements that all of your content should include, ensuring you don’t end up wasting your time.
Let’s face it: there’s no shortage of information on the Internet. Producing run-of-the-mill content will not serve your goal of reaching more people online. But creating enticing content also doesn’t need to take you all day. Just combine the wisdom below with your wide pool of useful knowledge on hearing health and you’ll be well on your way!
 
Choose your topics wisely
You are bringing a wealth of knowledge to your keyboard every time you sit down to create content for your website, so how do you choose which topic to expand upon? As we’ve mentioned before, looking up frequently searched keywords (especially long-tail keywords) is a helpful strategy for figuring out what people are interested in learning online these days. It’s also a great way to know which words to use throughout your content in general.
But you actually have an even easier source of topic generation in front of you nearly every day: your patients! Consider what questions they’re most commonly asking and what information they’re most surprised to learn during your visits with them. Your prospective patients reading your blogs online aren’t much different and will likely share a similar interest.
 
Craft an attractive headline
This tip is well-known, but taken for granted. It’s likely more the result of “writer bias” than laziness, but the truth is, no matter how much you like “Everything You Need to Know About Cerumen” as an all-encompassing title, it just doesn’t provide the pull your headlines need to have. First of all, very few people are looking up “cerumen” and most people don’t realize they’d even be interested in earwax anyhow. A title like, “The Secret Powers of Earwax” on the other hand, creates curiosity and immediately works on overcoming the idea that earwax is somehow “gross.”
Don’t be afraid to be bold with your headlines, tackling the underlying emotions of the topic at hand. And try to do it in 6 words or less. A good approach is to challenge yourself to create 5 different headlines for the same article. Then, either pass them by your office staff, or give yourself a break before looking at them again, and select the one that stands out most.
 
Get vulnerable
With the overabundance of information online these days, people have become incredibly selective with what they read. Just look at your own habits and what you tend to click on when scrolling. Trends vary across age brackets and cultures, of course, but one theme remains throughout: personal material pulls people in.
Don’t worry, we’re not telling you to spill your deepest secrets on your professional blog (there are other websites for that), but we are encouraging you to dare to include parts of your own story throughout your writing. It’s simple really: people enjoy reading material from those they can relate to. Especially with regards to hearing health, people enjoy a perspective that really gets what they’re going through. the emotions involved, the nuances of the struggle, the hope they’re afraid to let in. Luckily, whether you’ve dealt with hearing problems or not, you’re well-positioned to have a deep understanding of these finer details. Even describing your personal experience treating various patients (keeping them anonymous of course) is enough to remind your readers that you’re a real person who understands what they’re going through.
 
Add a visual
Great written content is important, but getting people to click on your posts that you might share on your social media accounts, like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn means that you’ll definitely want to consider adding an image or enticing diagram to your blog. Posts with a visual component get far more attention than written posts, and since getting your post shared on these platforms can be a huge boon to your website traffic, it’s worth the extra effort.
As for selecting an image, be very wary of just pulling anything offline. While it may seem unlikely, copyright lawsuits are increasingly common online and definitely not worth the headache (or high price tag). There are numerous websites offering images with free licenses for you to peruse, but best of all is to simply take a photo of something related with your phone. Yes, your phone! Trends show that personal images get much more attention than obvious stock photos do, so don’t sweat about trying to get the lighting and angle perfect. Remember our tip about being vulnerable (aka: real) and shoot whatever you think is best.
 
Ready to produce some great content? You have everything you need to begin bringing new eyes and potential patients to your website with all the information you have to share. The most important rule with content creation is to simply be consistent with it. Try to schedule it into your calendar so you don’t’ end up putting it off week after week. After a short while of consistently producing helpful and enticing content, you’ll be surprised by how many people come back regularly for more!

Keyword Research to Optimize Digital Presence

Choose Wisely: How Keywords Can Make or Break Your Online Presence

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could tailor your website’s content and marketing strategy down to the very words your target market is already using? Even better—imagine you could identify the words and phrases used most frequently by those interested in hearing health? This kind of information would enable you to specifically target potential patients by showing them you have precisely the information and services they’re interested in.
Well, you’re in luck: Not only is this information readily available, but using it within your website and your greater marketing strategy can make all the difference in the number of people you’re reaching with your website and your services.
In digital marketing, this approach is called keyword marketing or targeting. It can quickly become a complex and deeply analytical topic among professional digital marketers, but remains an effective strategy even when just the basics are applied.
Keywords, as you may have guessed, are those specific words your target market is using in search engines like Google to learn more about a topic. The most popular phrases used are referred to as “long chain keywords.” As a hearing healthcare professional, you can discover the most popular keywords and long chain keywords people are using when seeking information about hearing loss, treatment, or hearing health in general. All in an hour or less! This is what we like to call a “digital marketing no-brainer.”
Just what will these strategically placed keywords do for you and your practice? The most important benefit of selecting your words carefully, within your content as well as on the backend of your website’s infrastructure, is it being an effective way to boost your ranking in the results page of a search query. In other words, keyword targeting helps tremendously with your website’s search engine optimization (SEO).
As we’ve drilled into your mind with all of our articles, proper SEO is as critical as having a website is. It’s what ensures that your beautiful website will actually be seen by the people it’s designed to serve. Keywords are a relatively easy and effective foundation of any SEO plan.
Using keywords to your advantage is straightforward: you research the most popular keywords and then place them strategically throughout your website content, metadata (information in the background of your webpages), and everywhere else you’re creating content for your business, both online and offline. After all, these are the words that your potential patients are already using—so why not grab their attention by taking those words out of their mouth and expanding upon them with the answers they need?
Step One: Keyword Research
Your approach to researching the best keywords related to your hearing services can be as shallow or deep as you want or have time for. No matter how far you take it though, there are some basic strategies you should prioritize to ensure that you don’t miss the most important keywords and phrases being used.

  • Category Headers
    Begin your research by visiting some of the leading hearing healthcare websites online, (i.e. www.HealthyHearing.com) and make note of the common navigation items and blog categories. These are naturally going to reflect what your target market is interested in and looking for more information on.
  • Google Search Suggestions
    Type the main word related to your services (i.e. hearing) into the Google search box and then refrain from pressing Enter. A drop-down list of suggested entries will then reveal commonly searched words and phrases related to the main word you entered. For instance, if you type in “hearing” and wait for the suggestions, you’ll likely see that “hearing aids” is the first suggestion. Make note of these.

  • Google Keyword Planner
    There are several software options for a thorough review of keywords and the various metrics associated with them, but one of the easiest (and free) tools to use for entry-level detail is Google Keyword Planner. Simply enter the list of keywords you identified from the previous two steps and hit the “Get Ideas” button. You’ll be shown an incredibly useful list of most popular keywords related to your entries, including the average monthly number of searches.

Content Optimization
Now that you’ve successfully identified the most searched keywords and phrases for your specific field, it’s time to place those gems into your content. The trick here is not to overdo it. In fact, content that has been “over-optimized,” as it’s called, by placing too many keywords within it not only looks contrived to the reader, but is even recognized as such by search engines, which penalize content that appears “spam-like.” Unfortunately, this can actually harm your overall SEO strategy and should be avoided.
So the rule here is simple: keywords should be placed wherever they naturally fit in. Luckily for the hearing healthcare field, it’s nearly impossible to write valuable content for prospective patients without mentioning the most popular hearing-related keywords (i.e. hearing aids, hearing loss, etc.). Working in those long tail keywords requires a bit more finesse, but if you focus on keeping your natural tone throughout your content, they will fit in seamlessly as well.
No content should be left un-optimized: website copy, blog posts, metadata (page titles, page descriptions, image titles and ALT text, and so forth), any social media profile descriptions for your business, social media updates, and even offline marketing materials are all excellent options for using those trending keywords for your field.
It’s important to remember that your approach to marketing your services is to not only demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in hearing health, but also to appeal to potential patients with the kind of language they can relate to. There’s no better way to do that than to incorporate the words they are already using.
As a digital marketing firm, we liken keywords to gold. They can be incredibly valuable and, at times, can take some sincere digging to unearth the very best ones. Our approach to content and website optimization involves a multi-layered keyword strategy to ensure the best results possible. If you think your website and overall digital presence could benefit from professional optimization, contact us to learn more about how we can help.