Optometrists are told all sorts of crazy things by SEO companies, marketers, and salespeople. These salespeople are very convincing. One of my friends works for one of the largest SEO firms in Raleigh North Carolina and he tells me their tricks all the time. He tells me: “Len, we call their customers patients. We speak their language. We study how the companies operate, where their co-op money comes from, how they get advertising dollars from eyeglass manufacturers, etc, everything we need to close the deal.” When the deal is closed, optometrists do get a very nice looking website but that is about where the service ends and the huge recurring bills begin for virtually nothing in return.
SEO Copywriting and Content Marketing = Search Rankings
Each case is different, but usually to rank well in this profession you need a website properly configured, your Google My Business page set up correctly, and creative, unique content carefully crafted and placed on your website. Websites with content on them that answers the questions potential patients are going to ask makes them more relevant. Google and other search engines want to display relevant websites in search. Some people would call this SEO copywriting or content marketing; I simply call it ranking in search.
I have optometrists as clients who will tell you first hand the value of ranking in search. When you show up in search results when people are looking for your product or service people are going to land on your website, call your phone number, and make purchases.
I suppose what we do is a blend of SEO copywriting and content marketing. To us, The amount of content, content structure, content frequency, content authority, click through rates, bounce rates, and more, are all factors in where Google and other search engines rank your website, and this is SEO copywriting. Optometrist content marketing, to us, is basically the creation and distribution of valuable content that acquires patients.
Don’t the other SEO companies offer copywriting? No, they don’t. No, no, no. They are lying. I have watched the top firms in North Carolina deploying absolutely deplorable content for attorneys, doctors, and other professionals. They just have people spinning Wikipedia articles around and slapping them onto your website, as if they’re some sort of article cow that just regurgitates content.
What do we know about eyes?
By now you might be wondering how computer geeks could possibly do content marketing for an optometrist. Well, I am extremely curious and I love reading things online, creating new content, citing sources, and checking for accuracy. One of our current eye doctor clients in Brisbane Australia recently told us that I should be developing the content for the American Optometric Association. This is because I can look at a niche such as optometry or ophthalmology and instantly come up with content ideas. I then glance over at the competition and see where they’ve come up short. Have they discussed eye exams for children? UV protection? Diabetes? Dilation? Which foods affect the eyes? I can create content about vision loss, eye movement abnormalities, relation to eye problems to migraines, diabetic retinopathy, double vision, dry eyes, contact lenses, cornea disease, cosmetic lasek surgery, blepharitis, eye exams, eyelid cancer, glaucoma, keratoconus, LASIK, macular degeneration, macular translocation, etc. all day long and for years to come, making an eye care professional an authority in their field while building trust with their readers.
Do all eye doctors need content?
If you are in a small town and there are only 2 optometrists in the town, then no, you could skate by without it. You’ll still rank in search with very little effort. If there is plenty of business to go around, then don’t worry about it. But if you are trying to grow the business or defeat competition, content is king.
You may not need social media at all. It depends on the demographics. In competitive markets we do set up a social media presence. This usually consists of Google+ and Pinterest. We can configure Facebok and offer advice on how to run it as well, although in 2014 Facebook really became a new animal. Pinterest is easy to set up, drives traffic, it is easy to pin new blog posts, it helps with SEO, and people do use it.
Speaking of Google Plus.. While I was writing this article, I ran into someone using Google Plus online, Isaac Porter, MD of Lowry Porter Ophthalmology. This doctor is using Google+ excellent. I manage brands for people that understand that they need to stay ahead of the curve, and sometimes people understand this and handle it themselves. He is doing an absolutely outstanding job. The local newspaper, News & Observer, took note and highlighted him in an article about how small business owners turn to Google Plus to build their brand and search ranking.
Need more patients?