SEO For Audiology, Tips From An Expert
By Geoffrey Cooling F.I.B. on 9th December 2015
Okay, SEO tips for Audiology from a doer
You all can stop laughing now, my famed Irish sense of humour is getting the better of me again. I am by no means a professional expert. I've never taken a course or had formal education on SEO. In fact, when I started doing SEO, there was no formal education on the subject. All there was really was a bunch of other nerds like me who were fascinated with the internet and how search engines worked. We were riding the crest of a new wave giggling insanely while the world transformed around us.
So now, I am seen as an Expert on SEO, online marketing and futurism for Audiology. It even hurts me to say that, you have no idea, it gives me an almost sub genetic urge to hide under my bed. Irish people don't really do well with any type of praise. However, I am a doer and I have been a successful doer for quite a while. Believe me, I don't consider myself an expert, because I am not sure that there is that many experts out there. Most of the people I look up to are doers, doers who have had success and made mistakes and then were happy to talk about it.
I think I fall into that category, I do stuff, measure it and then talk about it. I know what I know from experience, trial and error and for some reason I see how it works. I just get it, if I want to go after a long tail keyword phrase I tend to understand just how to do it. Not always though, I have had failures just as I have had successes. So that is where my tips come from, that is what the information I share is based on. Trial and error. Before I get to the information, the famous tips, lets look at the trial and error.
Excited By The Mode Of Communication
It's 2006 and I was fascinated and excited by the new modes of communication that were constantly evolving right in front of my eyes. Social media was really not a wide spread phrase, it's ramifications for human communication were unclear at best, they still are. However, even then many of us nerds understood that it was a future communication tool for businesses and private individuals alike.
It also quickly became clear that marketing to and communicating online with customers was going to be the norm. Not just that, we believed that it would become the single most important channel for reaching prospects. By 2009 I firmly believed that online channels would soon become the single most important marketing channel for hearing healthcare. Not just on a B2B basis, but also for B2C. Lots of people laughed at me and thought I was a little crazy, hey me and the voices knew I wasn't!
The Widex Ireland Blog
I first started blogging in 2009, writing absolutely breathless stuff about new opportunities in communication. Even I don't like to read that stuff! Then in 2010 I started the Widex Ireland online strategy, it included a blog as part of our customer support initiative. We had a huge amount of outstanding content from Widex Corporate that really supported professionals in the front line. However, Widex like every other big company at the time didn't deliver that content very well.
So the blog was born as an educational and announcement tool. It quickly turned into a business support tool where I discussed evolving marketing and communication strategies. I also covered business development and patient retention strategies. As so often happens, things didn't go as we expected, our audience for the blog Facebook and Twitter profiles turned out to be everywhere but Ireland.
Mike Dittman pulled me aside after several months, it was about the launch of the Fusion, I had been blogging about it in preparation for the Irish launch. However, Canadian and American Dispensers were driving their respective distributors mad about when the new Fusion was going to be released in the Americas. That was kind of when I knew I was probably right about online marketing, although I had to try and hold back because of the launch schedule.
The Just Stuff Blog
I was fascinated by this stuff, I mean fascinated, but there was stuff I couldn't write on a company blog. So I started the Just Stuff blog as a personal platform. Sometimes I cut close to the bone, in fact in the early days there was some really interesting responses from some people to some of the stuff I wrote. One American guy had a knock down stand up (Irish exression for a brawl) on Linkedin with me.
He said I was part of a conspiracy by manufacturers to get Audiologists to accept changes. Yes, that's what I was doing alright, I actually thought I was writing stuff that started debate and helped clinicians to understand the way the world was changing. Not just that I tried to translate some of the stuff I was discovering about online marketing into easily digestible non babble in the hope that I could help clinicians do it themselves.
People were still telling me I was mad, our demographic aren't online, I was still responding, they are and even if they aren't, their sons and daughters are! The voices kept saying "KIll Them Kill Them" but hey since the incident...... I don't do that any more.
Writing For Customers
I eventually began writing articles for customers as part of the support I offered to them. Those articles always ranked exceptionally well, pushing their sites to the top of the rankings for keywords that mattered. One of my customers in Northern Ireland was a bit annoyed that he had set up a small site for earwax removal and it wasn't ranking in search. I said yes we can fix that, I set up a blog for him, cross connected it to his sites, did a couple of articles and whammo, two weeks later he was top of the search rankings.
If I really understood how hard that was to do back then, I would have never opened my mouth. But I truly didn't realise what I was doing was hard, for me it was as simple as counting to ten. As I went though I learned, I learned quickly that top of the rankings wasn't much good if it didn't drive leads. That is when I started to think about optimising for conversion, up until that I was really focused on the joy of optimising for rank.
Hell, no one had told me that I needed to convert them as well! So with this new task, I went at it again. Researching conversion tricks, understanding that it was as much about psychology as it was technical aspects. That's when I really began to understand the use of CTAs (call to actions), then I went back at it with a vengence, trying out CTAs, testing them, assessing them, changing them and re-assessing them.
A Practice Website, At Last, At Last!
Then I got to run Practice website completely for six months non stop. I did everything I wanted to do on that site, tried out every strategy I wanted, measured and changed. I had a ball, in hog heaven, it allowed me to validate all my theories and see them in action. So that's the history, that's why I am here now, that is why I know what I know. Like I said, successes, failures, a ridiculous amount of reading, writing, conversing with other crazy people and the insane joy of seeing your efforts rewarded by top rankings.
I am going to cry off now, in the next part of the article, I will actually get to the tips.