8 Things Your Audiology Website Needs Right Now

8 Things Your Audiology Website Needs Right Now

Simply having a website is a great step towards helping your audiology practice grow. Now that you have a website, you should consider exactly what you put on your site. Here are 8 things your audiology website needs right now:
Great content
People come to your website looking for answers. It’s as simple as that. Your content should provide the answers to the questions they have.
Remember that people’s questions will vary widely, so your content should be broad enough to answer many types of questions. Consider questions you are frequently asked in your office or via the phone, and answer those questions are your website. These might include questions relating to hearing topics (e.g., “What is a hearing aid”? “Do I need hearing aids?” “What is tinnitus?”, etc.), as well as those relating to your office (e.g., “What are your hours?” “Where are you located?” “What are your qualifications?”, etc.)
Telehealth
While many offices were already beginning to incorporate telehealth into their practice model, the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns around the world have only highlighted the importance of telehealth.
Telehealth services like myVirtualClinic enable you to care for your patients without seeing them in your office. This can save time for your patients (and your staff, too) and can make it easier for patients to reach you.
Social media
Social media isn’t just for teenagers anymore! Businesses need a strong presence on social media as well. You should have a dedicated page for your audiology practice on all main social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. (You can branch out beyond these if you want to!)
Of course, it isn’t enough to simply create a social media page and abandon it. Patients (both existing and potential) want to see that you actually interact with your customers. Be sure to reply to any comments or questions that are left on your page, as well as reviews. It’s also important to post regularly so your practice is kept fresh in the minds of your patients.
Individualism
Unless you are located in a very small town, chances are there are multiple audiology practices in your area. This means that potential patients have a choice of whom they give their business too. In order to win their business, you need to stand out!
There are a few ways you can do this on your website. Include photos of your office and your team. Consider including biographies as well, so your patients can get to know your team before coming in. You might also want to showcase your practice philosophy online, which can highlight how you are different from the others. Positive reviews are another good way to feature what’s great about your practice and why patients should choose you.
Opportunities to sell
Although the optimal setting for selling a hearing aid might be at your office—once you have completed a hearing test and provided a professional consultation—you shouldn’t pass up on opportunities to sell on your website. This can be as simple as listing out (with images, too) the hearing aid tools available through your practice.
eCommerce can be powerful, too. This allows people to buy directly from your website rather than coming to your office.
Great imagery
The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is still true. Showcasing photos of your office and your team on your website can be a great way to help patients get to know you before they even step foot inside your practice. In addition, a website with eye-catching imagery is much more inviting to look at than one that’s only filled with 10 pt size type!
If possible, have some professional photos taken of your office. This can make a big difference in the quality of the photos and how they appear on your website. You can even have a “patient” (either a real patient or a family member of your staff) in the photos to highlight the level of care you provide.
Patient testimonials
You simply cannot go without patient testimonials on your website. One recent study found that 59.9% of patients chose their medical provider based on positive online reviews, and 60% said they have avoided a medical provider because of negative reviews.
Highlighting a few positive reviews on your website can do wonders for drawing new patients to your practice. If you don’t currently have any testimonials to showcase on your website, just ask your happy customers! Using a service like ReviewMe can also make it easy to continue gathering reviews.
Consistent branding
Have you ever visited a website for a business and wondered if that was actually their official website? You might not have been able to pinpoint the reason at the time, but your questioning was probably due to a lack of consistent branding.
The aim is to provide a consistent experience for your website visitors across your entire website—and the rest of your online presence as well, including your social media pages and any other online listings. This should include using the same logo and practice name. Make sure your office hours, phone number, and address are updated as well. You could even consider using colors on your website that are similar to the colors in your office for an especially consistent patient experience.
These 8 factors are essential to creating an audiology website that draws in new patients and helps your practice succeed. To learn more about how you can build your practice online, please contact us at AudiologyPlus. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, we have the experience and expertise you need to grow your business.

Top 10 Marketing Ideas for Audiologists

Top 10 Marketing Ideas for Audiologists

The secret to success for a hearing practice is not a secret at all—you need loyal patients who love your practice. You know that you provide exceptional care and run a great office. However, in order for your practice to grow and thrive, you need other people to know that, too.
That’s where marketing comes in. To help your practice grow—no matter how big or small you are right now—we have the top 10 marketing ideas for audiologists:

  1. Referral Offers

One of your practice’s greatest assets is your patients! Word of mouth is a great way to bring new patients to your practice. So, why not give your existing patients (who already love your practice) an incentive to spread the good news?
A referral offer is a discount you offer to existing patients who refer a new patient to your office. In some cases, you give the new patient a discount as well; the details are up to you.
2. Reward Positive Reviews
In addition to word of mouth referrals, positive reviews are an excellent way to showcase how much your patients love your practice. When potential new patients research your office online, they will be able to see those positive reviews, which could influence them to choose your practice as their new audiologist.
Consider offering a reward to existing patients who submit a positive review. This could be a discount on their next appointment or a gift card to a favorite local restaurant. Submitting a review is very easy and takes little time on their part, especially if you use ReviewMe.
3. SEO and Local SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is critical to the success of any practice. SEO is what enables potential new patients to find your practice online. Local SEO is especially important for location-based businesses like audiology practices.
VisibilityBooster is a powerful tool for improving your website’s online presence and gaining valuable SEO traffic. With this tool, more people will find your practice, your website will rank higher in search engine results, and you will also be notified of new online reviews.
4. Fun Content
As an audiologist, content related to everything-audiology is probably of great interest. However, to put it frankly, audiology isn’t fascinating to everyone. That’s why it’s important to feature some fun content on your website, too.
One way to bring some fun to your website content is to make use of your blog. A blog allows you to add more personalized content that you can tailor to topics that are relevant at the time. Of course, you can still create blog posts about audiology-related topics, but they don’t all need to be about audiology. Consider creating blog posts about fun topics like office birthdays and celebrations, local events, practice milestones, and even your staff’s favorite recipes.
5. Video Tutorials
If you’ve been on Facebook lately, you might have noticed that more and more people are posting videos instead of written content. That’s because so many people prefer watching videos to reading lengthy posts.
Use that to your advantage! Create simple, easy-to-follow video tutorials for tasks that patients frequently inquire about. This may include how to insert a hearing aid battery, how to clean a hearing aid, etc.
6. Telehealth
In this day and age, having an alternative to in-person appointments is crucial. For many patients, telehealth virtual appointments are more cost-effective and use less of their time than driving to and from appointments at the office. Telehealth is also essential during times when health risks are high, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Telehealth services like myVirtualClinic allow you to provide personalized, quality care to your patients, no matter where they are. As long as they can connect with you via their computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can serve them.
7. Create Customer Campaigns
You already know that not all of your patients are the same. You have patients of different ages and genders, not to mention family demographics, financial backgrounds, and more. Because your patients are so unique, you should have customer campaigns that target these different “types” of patients.
For example, maybe you have certain marketing materials that are targeted towards seniors. These will differ from the marketing tactics you use to target the parents of deaf or hard-of-hearing children. You can also use different marketing platforms to reach varying audiences. Be sure to consider email, direct mail, social media, PPC, and other types of advertising.
8. PPC
Pay-per-click advertising is just what it sounds like: you pay each time someone clicks on your online ad. This can be a cost-effective way to advertise, as you won’t pay for any ads that are not clicked on.
If you want to get your biggest bang for your buck when it comes to PPC, try PPC+. This program is designed to get your business listed at the top of Google results, to keep your practice on people’s minds, and to ultimately draw new, high-value patients to your office.
9. Request Customer Feedback
Even happy patients might have ideas about how you can improve your practice. You won’t know unless you ask them! Don’t be afraid to ask your patients for feedback about their experience at your office. This feedback can be a valuable way to improve your services and enhance your patients’ experiences.
If you do happen to get an unhappy patient, ask them for their feedback, too. This could give you important insight into what could be changed so you have fewer unhappy patients.
10. Have a complete, fresh, branded, and modern website
One rule of marketing in the twenty-first century is that if you don’t have a website, you are missing out on a huge portion of patients. For some people, if you aren’t online, you might as well not exist!
It’s important to not only have a website, but also to have one that’s complete, fresh, branded, and modern. You never want potential patients to become frustrated with your website because they cannot find the information they need or it’s too difficult to navigate; frustrated website visitors typically leave your site and rarely become patients. If your website needs a refresh (or you need a website, period), check out our exceptional, modern website services.
With these 10 tips, you’re well on your way to growing your practice. If you would like more information about how to market your practice online and how we can help, please contact us at AudiologyPlus.

Increase hearing aid sales

Want to Increase Hearing Aid Sales? This Is What You Need to Know

As a hearing healthcare practitioner, your business depends on your patients. If your practice is like most hearing practices, you rely not only on appointments but also on sales–hearing aid sales. So, how can you increase hearing aid sales and therefore boost your business? Here are a few simple ways to increase hearing aid sales:

  • Listen to your patients’ needs.

Pushy salesmanship does not earn repeat customers–and it rarely earns sales. Rather than pushing certain devices on your patients, listen to their needs. Listen to your patient’s preferences, difficulties, and interests. This will allow you to make better recommendations that better fit their particular needs.

  • Follow up with your patients.

Once a patient purchases hearing aids, be sure to continue following up. Make sure they know you have not forgotten about them or their needs. Follow up to make certain that their devices are functioning properly and that they know how to appropriately care for their hearing aids.
It can also be helpful to take the opportunity to remind your patients about follow-up appointments, routine maintenance, and regular fittings.

  • Offer financing options.

Do not let financing be the reason you miss out on additional hearing aid sales. If the hearing aids your patient needs are a little outside their price range, offer flexible financing options that fit their needs. Make it simple for every patient to afford the device that is best for them.
It is also important that the way you explain financing options is clear–and that every member of your team can also clearly explain the financing options. Confusion will only hurt your practice and your sales.

  • Get a modern website.

A modern practice needs a modern website. On your website, you can feature the hearing services you offer, including hearing aids. This helps patients (both current and potential) find the services and devices they are looking for.
With a website built to the latest specifications, your site will function and display optimally on all types of devices. This includes mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. You will also want to consider adopting telehealth to ensure you can serve patients who can’t easily travel to your office. You can troubleshoot and manage hearing aids over telehealth!

  • Focus on Local SEO.

Of course, a modern website will not do much to bring your practice more patients and more sales if people cannot find your website. SEO (search engine optimization) ensures that people who are searching for your services will find them. Local SEO is especially important for making certain that people in your area find your practice.

  • Highlight positive reviews.

In today’s world, reviews are an important part of choosing both products and providers. Showcasing positive reviews on your website can help potential customers feel more comfortable in trusting your services and purchasing the hearing aids you offer.
To do this, you need to gather reviews from your existing patients. Once you have a few glowing reviews, you can start to feature them on your website.
At AudiologyPlus, we have over 20 years of experience in marketing hearing healthcare practices, and we are dedicated to helping your business succeed. If you need help with a modern website, SEO, reviews, or other online marketing services, we have the expertise you need. We welcome you to contact us today to learn more about us and how we can help your practice grow.

Is Your Website Accessible to People with Disabilities? Here’s What You Need to Know.

As a hearing healthcare professional, you are fully aware that you regularly work with people with disabilities. However, do you ever think about making your website accessible to people with disabilities?
In truth, most people only think about creating websites for people with “normal” abilities. If your website is not accessible to people with disabilities, you may be missing out on patients who would help your practice grow.
In the United States, web accessibility is regulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). So, if your practice is located in the United States, it is more than simply a good idea to create an accessible website–it is required.
In addition to being ADA-compliant, an accessible website allows you access to a large portion of the population who would otherwise have difficulty accessing your website. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that nearly one in five Americans has a disability. By ensuring that your website is accessible, you gain access to another fifth of the population.
Here are a few simple ways you can ensure that your website is accessible and can be effectively used by people of all abilities:

  • Include text explanations for visual and video assets.

Website visitors with disabilities may not be able to clearly see, hear, or understand visual or video assets. As a hearing professional, you are certainly familiar with those who cannot clearly hear and understand video assets. By including text explanations, you can ensure that they receive the same information as a visitor who is not disabled.

  • Feature clearly written content.

Overall, your website content should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. When creating your content, it can be helpful to consider the following three types of disabilities:

  • Vision difficulty: Your content should be easy to understand when listened to aloud with the use of assistive devices.
  • Learn difficulty: Your content should be easy to understand.
  • Cognitive difficulty: Your content should be easy to focus on.

By featuring clear and concise content, you can help to ensure that your website content is accessible to all people.

  • Ensure your website is accessible with all types of devices.

To conform to guidelines, all website content should be accessible on mobile devices and with assistive technologies. Every feature of your website should be easily used and accessed, no matter the disability of the user or the assistive technologies in use.
It is important to note that every part of your website must be accessible and should be changeable as technologies continue to advance. From the website coding to the design theme to the site performance, every aspect should be focused on usability and accessibility.
As you work with people with disabilities on a daily basis, do not forget to make your website accessible to them as well. Your practice should be accessible not only in person but also online. At AudiologyPlus, we are well versed in creating websites that are accessible to people with disabilities. To learn more about the importance of having an accessible website and how we can help you do this, we invite you to contact us today.

Success with local SEO

3 Big Tips for Being Successful in Local SEO

Local SEO (search engine optimization) is essential for location-based businesses, like hearing care practices. Because almost all your patients are from your local area, it is very important that your practice’s website performs well in local searches.
While the concept is easy to understand, ensuring that your practice’s online presence is at the forefront of local searches is not so simple. Many factors go into how Google and other search engines rank webpages on search engine results pages (SERPs).
To simplify the issue, we have identified a few key tips to help you be successful with local SEO:

  1. Provide your practice’s information to Google.

Have you ever searched for a business on Google (or another search engine) and found a variety of responses among the results? For example, perhaps you found the business’s main website, as well as a listing on a third-party site. Your search may have also turned up mentions on social media or an unclaimed business listing.
Make sure people who search for your practice online find the right information, not a hodge-podge of any mention of you on the Internet. To do this, you need to provide your own information to Google. You can make sure you have uploaded or created the following information for your practice:

  • Website content that includes your office location, services, and products
  • Supporting information about your practice on other websites
  • Image content
  • Video content
  • Social media content
  • Local business listing content (including a complete Google My Business listing)

On any other websites or platforms that feature information about your practice, make sure that information is accurate and up to date. If you receive reviews on these platforms, respond to them in a timely manner.

  1. Fight back when necessary.

While Google might seem all-knowing, the tech giant can make missteps. Operating on such a global level means that sometimes, things slip through. While these might seem small in the grand scheme of the Internet, they can have a real impact on your business. In certain cases, it may be necessary to fight back against issues that are damaging to your practice’s online presence. These may include:

  • Having your reputation targeted and attacked by competitors or members of the public who post fake negative reviews of your business
  • Being outranked online by businesses that violate Google’s guidelines
  • Having Google experiment with local features that have direct negative effects on your business

These other and other types of issues should be fought. While it’s important to choose your battles, if something is impacting your business, do not be afraid to speak up and make things right.

  1. Become a local business force independent of Google.

While providing your information online and fighting against wrongful practices can help your local SEO performance, you can also benefit from standing out locally—offline. Focus on listening to your patients, meeting their needs, exceeding their expectations, and beating the competition in every way you know how.
It is also important to take advantage of other avenues for advertising (which may make their way back to your Google ranking), such as print and TV news, local business organization newsletters, school newsletters and papers, and any form of publication surrounding non-profits, charities, or government.
With these simple steps, your business is well on its way to becoming a local force to be reckoned with. To learn more about how you can succeed in local SEO and grow your business, please contact us at AudiologyPlus today. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, we are here to help.

3 arrows in the bulls-eye of a target

Reach the Customers You Want with Precision Targeting

A huge perk of online marketing is the ability to target your ads to people expressly interested in your services. If a person is online, searching for information or professionals related to tinnitus, for example, you can clearly define that in your ad’s parameters and increase the odds that she or he will click through to your website. It’s these detailed targeting features, along with a notable cost-effectiveness, that’s made digital ads a popular option for businesses looking for increased traffic (both online and in-person).
Advertising services like Google Adwords and Sponsored Ads on Facebook offer an impressive array of details about the people you want to show your ads to. Whether you target people searching for topics related to your business, specify their location, or even define the kinds of interests they have, you can expect your campaigns will be shown to the right kind person.
Consider the possibilities for your business if you could directly reach the people in need of your services. Below we walk through what’s possible with precision targeting on two of the leading online marketing platforms: Google and Facebook.
Keyword Targeting
When in need of local services, an increasing number of people are going online to research their options before visiting any office or store in-person. In fact, 97% of people reported going online to look for a local business just last year. These kinds of pursuits usually start with people using a search engine like Google to find businesses that meet their needs. The words they use to perform their search include keywords for the respective industry they’re interested in. And these keywords are prime targets for online ads.
Through Google Adwords, keyword targeting can enable a business to place their website at the top of the search results and on related websites. It’s a versatile approach to finding your customers online as it offers a wide array of options for narrowing in on your ideal keywords. For instance, the keywords, “hearing loss” could be set up to trigger your ad when used in a phrase (such as, “symptoms of hearing loss”), by itself, and as broad or precise as you prefer.
Keyword targeting on Google can vary widely in cost, with the most popular (and obvious) keywords for a given industry costing the most. On Facebook, targeting audiences based on specific keywords doesn’t increase the cost, but can either increase or decrease your audience selection, ultimately defining the number of people likely to see your ad. The benefit of both platforms, however, is that you only pay for your ads when someone actually clicks them (hence, pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising).
Location Targeting
Targeting people within a certain distance from your office is an ideal choice for marketing your practice. It significantly boosts the number of people your ads will reach and also helps bring the cost down for highly competitive keywords (like “hearing loss” or “hearing aids”).
Location targeting is available for ads on both Google and Facebook, but is more advanced on Google. A targeting strategy known as “geofencing” has become popular for targeting audiences in specific areas, allowing marketers to place a virtual fence around a location and target only those people inside of it, as well as anyone who crosses into that space.
The novelty of geofencing is its use of GPS in conjunction with targeted ads, allowing a level of location precision never before available. For instance, an ad can be set to target people visiting a competitor’s business, or temporarily be set for a relevant event (i.e. a loud rock concert, etc).  
Facebook ads allow the specificity of locations on the city, state, and country level, but their limitation with location targeting is more than made up for by their detailed personal data for audiences.
Audience Targeting
Basic demographic qualifiers, like age, gender, country of residence, and language are adjustable for ad targeting on both Google and Facebook. But the similarities in audience targeting quickly end there, as Facebook’s giant trove of data about its users is far more granular than Google’s. From pages people have liked, to their profession, income level, education, interests, behaviors, and even recent life events, Facebook has a long list of personal data that proves useful when trying to market to a specific market online.
The trick with audience targeting on both Google and Facebook is to find the sweet spot of accessing just enough people without diluting your targeting goals. Keep things too broad and you’ll run the risk of people not being interested in your ads. Make your parameters too narrow and you’ll risk not enough people seeing your ad at all. Finding that elusive sweet spot requires some trial and error, but by diligently following the metrics of your campaigns and adjusting your ads and targeting accordingly, you’ll eventually settle on audience parameters that deliver the conversions you’re seeking.

Online marketing has proven to be significantly more successful for business owners than traditional marketing ever could be. And it’s not hard to see why: targeting your audience is easier and more precise, campaign tracking is rich with detail and enables you to make necessary adjustments instantly, and more people are looking online for local businesses than ever before.
If your business has yet to take advantage of online marketing, be it through PPC ads or a strong online presence, there’s no better time than now. Contact us to find out how our clients are realizing growth in their businesses they never thought possible.
 

A woman looks at a laptop among collagues

5 Reasons Why Digital Marketing is the Fastest Way to Grow Your Practice

Your practice deserves to thrive. As a dedicated hearing professional offering life-changing services, there’s no reason it shouldn’t — especially given the incredible number of people in need of your help. Nevertheless, many worthy practices aren’t thriving because people simply don’t know about them.
In the digital age, a business listing isn’t enough — no matter where it is. To effectively attract a steady stream of new inquiries, your practice needs to reach a wide local audience and tell them about the results your patients enjoy.
Many options exist for marketing your practice, from physical mailers to Facebook ads, but they don’t all deliver the same results. And they definitely won’t work on the same timeline. Online marketing has set the bar for what constitutes a successful marketing campaign, as it’s become easier than ever to reach your target market at lightning speeds.
If you’ve been hesitant to use online marketing for your practice, consider the factors below that make it the most efficient return on your marketing dollars.
More Affordable
The low overhead of doing business online accounts for the many inexpensive marketing routes it provides. No materials, printing, or stamps are needed. The high expense of billboards or television and radio ads don’t apply either. Often, online marketing doesn’t even require that any graphics are designed, making entry costs the lowest anywhere. The Internet is a versatile landscape for marketers, and a little can go a long way.
Consider Facebook ads. Often, they’re just a single, relevant image, with the important information in the text above and below. In fact, images that are “too designed,” with excessive text or graphics added to them often don’t get approved or widely distributed, as they’re deemed “too promotional” for Facebook’s community brand. Facebook ads can be a low-cost entry point for online marketing, getting you results from small and large investments alike.
Despite the greater range of options and affordable pricing with online marketing, the old adage of “you get what you pay for” still applies — mostly. With a limited marketing budget, you actually can reach a wide audience to share your message with, but you will need to use some marketing savvy to get the most out of your dollars. Precise targeting and an enticing, succinct message are often the winning combo for marketing in general, which is even truer when using the lowest-cost marketing routes on the Internet.
More Precise
Speaking of targeting, it’s worth noting that the Internet enables you to hone in on your exact market (or ideal patient base) in ways traditional marketing could never imagine. This is mainly because online behavior is highly tracked and thoroughly evaluated for this very purpose.
The leaders of tracking online user behavior are the social media giants (think Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and so on), which have access to an incredible array of details about their users that marketers can select when targeting their audiences for ad campaigns. This precise targeting online means you could create an ad for Facebook, for example, and have it show up in the feed of people who have liked Oticon’s Facebook page, among any other data you prefer. The options are nearly endless.
Even better is targeting the keywords used in online searches, allowing you to get your practice in front of the very people looking for information or services related to hearing care. Most digital ads operate on a “pay-per-click” basis, letting you avoid wasting money on an improperly targeted audience or an ad that doesn’t attract people’s’ attention.
More Reliable
The extensive tracking capacities available with digital marketing also yield more reliable ad campaigns in general. By being able to track the number of engagements on your marketing efforts (i.e. ad clicks, email opens, social media post likes, etc), you can get a nearly instant picture of whether your ad needs any tweaking or not.
Traditional marketing routes could never provide such rich data about how your ads were performing. Knowing the number of people who actually read your mailers or saw your print ad simply isn’t possible, ultimately making those ads an expensive game of guesswork.
Online marketing affords you the benefit of being able to test out various approaches for your ads, and not worry about wasting your money since you only pay for the engagements you actually get. The result? Cost-effective ads that are tailored to your market’s demonstrated preferences, creating more reliable conversions over time.
More Expansive
The Internet is often described as the “new wild wild West.” It’s the ever-expanding horizon, unlimited by space or material. And for marketers, the saturation point for any given market is far from being met. There are simply too many people online to worry about over-marketing to any of them.
One of the key benefits this endless terrain offers is a multi-faceted landscape for building your brand. Your practice doesn’t have to remain contained to a single website online. It can have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Google business listing, a Yelp profile, and so on.
Building a brand is all about exposure. So having your logo, business name, and any other eye-catching information about your business in more than one place is ideal. It means more eyes passing by it and more potential patients remembering it when they happen to need your services.
More Intimate
Ironically, the wide open digital world offers more connection than ever before. Sure, it can be a different kind of connection (no handshakes here), but still provides an opportunity to get to know people anywhere, anytime. This becomes hugely beneficial for marketing your practice.
Online interactions, be it through simple comments on a Twitter post or a submission on your website’s contact form, allow for an increased number of conversations to happen with potential patients. These interactions are efficient and important. The way you reply to comment on a post or a simple email inquiry speaks volumes about you as a practitioner. When those replies are public (i.e. not emails), they send a message to the person you’re engaging with and everyone else who passes by the exchange and reads it.
Consider online reviews. When you respond to a review about your services, you’re taking advantage of an opportunity to reveal your professionalism and personability to anyone else who reads through those reviews. Onlookers get to know you simply by having access to what would have likely been, in previous times, a private exchange.
 
Online marketing offers an entire world of possibilities never before seen in traditional marketing. With its cost-effectiveness, precision, reliability, expansive breadth, and unique opportunity for connecting with many potential patients at once, it’s easy to see how going digital with your marketing can show you the fastest return on your investment.
If you’re ready to take your practice to the next level with digital marketing, feel free to reach out to us to learn more about our tools designed to get you there.

Man pointing to highlighted SEO hexagon

How Well Are You Ranking? A Quick SEO Self-Audit

You don’t need to be an Internet-savvy or very technical person to have a website with great visibility online. You simply need to know the most important factors for getting your website seen. This is where a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy comes into play — arguably, the most important element of your online presence.
Because let’s face it. If your website isn’t being found by people looking for local hearing services online, what’s the point of having (and paying for) a website at all?
The truth is, even the most beautiful websites get lost online. Just consider that there are more than 500 websites created every minute of each day. And with 1.3 billion websites already online (and counting), it’s easy to see how that sleek and modern website of yours can quickly get lost in the stream unless you implement an SEO plan. Without it, potential patients looking online for hearing help will end up with a competitor who made SEO a priority.
So where do you begin? By seeing how your website currently stacks up. You need to know what you’re starting with so you can track the effectiveness of any SEO method you apply.
Assessing how well your website is currently optimized for search engines is referred to as an “SEO audit.” A full SEO audit involves reviewing a long list of SEO-enhancing or SEO-diminishing elements. From the backend structure and details of your website, the amount and quality of linking to your web pages from elsewhere on the Internet, to the very behavior of visitors on each of your webpages, a complete SEO audit can reveal a detailed picture of your website’s SEO strengths and weaknesses.
Since search engines operate from ever-evolving algorithms, this process is never static, making it all the more complex. It’s the reason why so many people opt to hire a professional to create a successful SEO plan for their website.
For the purposes of a DIY audit, however, you need not get so complicated. Your goal is simply to know where your website shows up for relevant searches, see how well your site is indexed by search engines, and strategize the best ways for you to improve your website’s visibility — without any expensive software or technical knowledge.
Test Search
It’s important to know where your website currently ranks in the search results for relevant keywords. When people in your area look up something like “hearing clinics,” “tinnitus help,” or any other keywords relevant to your services, is your website listed within those first few pages? Do you have an idea of the top keywords your potential patients are using? If not, you might find our blog on keyword research for your industry helpful.
Luckily, to find out where your website stands, you don’t need to manually scroll through endless pages of results to find your ranking. Many online tools exist for evaluating your current ranking for top keywords. We like this tool for the sake of its accessibility (it’s free to use), easy interface, and accuracy. By simply putting in your website’s URL, you’ll quickly see what keywords you’re ranking for in your area as well as any recent changes in your rank.
It’s important to note that search engines, like Google and Bing, deliver results to users based on their location (a process called localization). It means that a Google user in, say, Denver can simply type in “audiologist” and see only Denver-based audiologists’ websites in the search results. When you begin ranking in the search results for keywords affected by localization, it means you’re website is ranking well within your market. This is great news, as it’s much easier to rank well within your local market than it is to rank well across the entire Internet.
Check Indexing
When using the tool above to check your page ranking, you might find that your website is not ranking at all. There are two reasons for this: either your site isn’t ranking for any of the top 100 keywords for your website or your site isn’t showing up in search engines at all.
The former can be improved through various content enhancements (like these) and SEO tactics (like these). The latter would be an indication that your site is likely not properly indexed by search engines. Indexing is the process by which search engines essentially file away the content on your various web pages for future reference. It’s essential for your content to be accessible via an online search, and it’s best achieved by having a clear sitemap of your website.
Several tools exist for you to check how well your site is indexed by search engines. However, we recommend doing a simple site:operator search to get a clear picture of what Google and the like are seeing on your site. To verify your indexing with this method, simply type “site:yourwebsite.com” (using your actual website’s address) into the search bar for Google. You could do this for Bing or other search engines as well, but Google is the most popular, so we recommend using it for this test.
The results for a site:operator search will only show the indexed pages of your website. Scroll through the results and make sure the important pages of your site are showing up as individual results. At the top of the results, you’ll see the number of results the search pulled up. This is the exact number of indexed pages for your website. If that number seems too low, or if you clearly see pages are missing from the search results, it means you need to submit your missing pages to Google for them to be indexed.
The easiest way to do this is to simply submit the URL for each missing page into this Google submission form. You should see each submitted page show up in the Google results (via a site:operator search) within a few minutes. If you feel confident accessing some of the more technical aspects of your website (i.e. DNS records, etc), you could also submit a full sitemap of your website to Google here.
Target & Strategize
Now that you have a clear idea of how well your site is ranking for top keywords and if your site is being properly indexed by search engines, it’s time to focus on improving your rank.
There are many tactics that SEO professionals use to improve a website’s ranking in search results, but two of the most accessible, start-right-now approaches involve creating rich content on your site and improving the amount of quality backlinks (links to your site from other reputable websites) you have.
Rich content not only includes relevant keywords (both short and long-chain) throughout, but also provides useful and engaging information. Great content keeps visitors on your page longer, resulting in a more favorable ranking by search engines. Optimizing your content for better ranking is a big topic, and one we discuss more in previous blogs, like here and here.
Backlinks to your website essentially prove to search engines that your website is popular and worth referencing on external, quality sites. The type of external websites linking to your site need to be legitimate (i.e. not spam or “blackhat” websites, where people essentially pay to have backlinks put there) and, ideally, include relevant keywords in the backlink itself. This is also a topic deserving more detail and depth, which you can explore more here.

As you endeavor to work your way to the first page of search results, keep in mind that successful SEO is more of a marathon than a sprint. Unless you’re willing to pay for better placement, it takes consistent, well-paced efforts over time to show great results.
If you’d prefer a professional assessment of your current SEO and how to improve it, feel free to contact us. We work with clients across the hearing healthcare industry to help them reach the top of search results as quickly as possible and easily get found by their local markets.

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.