The sounds of treadmills at the gym are humming and lettuce sales are through the roof, so you know it’s a new year. Chances are, you’ve made one or two resolutions already, and the chances you won’t stick to them may be a little higher!
Our one and only resolution here is to continue to make sure our partners are performing amazingly day in and day out. But with the constant changes in the digital space, there’s a need for planning and proactivity. So, what exactly do the folks at Practis feel are the trends to watch out for in 2019?
1. CONTENT is and will continue dominating the way your site performs.
Above all else, content should really be what you focus on first and foremost as you begin to build your online presence. Sure, your site should be pretty and showcase what you do, and that modern feel you want probably does contribute to some user satisfaction. However, how on earth would you get people to your website without content that indexes well and can be read by ANYONE? This year, it’s crucial to make sure that your site is readable, and that doesn’t just mean by robots OR humans. In fact, it means it should be able to be read by everything. If you’re still sitting on content from 1999 then it’s time to throw a party a re-vamp! (We’ll even join in on the celebrations!)
Heard from the team:
- Gabe (Social Media Specialist) : Content is always going to be the most important impact for digital marketing, especially in the healthcare field, because anyone can look up and call doctors offices to learn about their health issues or concerns, but content makes it easier and more interesting. Good content will ultimately drive social media engagement, new patients, new appointments, and increase health awareness. SEO, Google, analytics, and everything else relates back to content.
- Andrew (Online Marketing Specialist/PPC) : The only thing Google ever really says for certain about their algorithm is that unique content matters. Not only does it help rankings but without quality content people would just bounce from the site
- Jess (Online Marketing Specialist/Copywriter) : I wouldn’t be doing my job as a copywriter if I didn’t highlight just how important content is, but it truly is essential for search engines and how they determine the relevancy of your site to users.
2. Make sure your site gives off warm fuzzies in the form of SECURITY!
It’s a new year, which means we can say it again; your site needs HTTPS. People are constantly becoming more aware of security issues around them. There were probably only a few days in 2018 in which we didn’t have a security issue in the news, so it’s a warranted concern. While you can’t change or control a data breach by yourself, you can make sure that your potential patients KNOW their information is safe. Invest in website security, partner with HIPAA compliant teams (like Practis!), and make sure your patient intake process is iron clad. Your patients will feel happy and more excited to walk in your doors!
Heard from the team:
- Doug (Digital Marketing Technologist) : Even though HTTPS has been a ranking signal for a long time, 2018 saw the distrust of older security certificates, a continued fight against spam, a new version of reCAPTCHA to fight bot form submissions, and more warnings in Chrome for sketchy looking website subscription services showing that Google continues to push for security in both web standards and for users – thus security continues to be an important factor for Google to protect users on the web into 2019 and beyond.
- Ben (Online Marketing Team Lead) : People like to be secure. Google also likes you to be secure. Google rewards you for being secure.
- Bryen (Online Marketing Specialist) : Security is always important to comply with HIPAA and the protection of patient info and should be a top priority of ours and our clients’.
3. To infinity and BEYOND….beyond Google, that is.
So, we know Google is important and omnipotent, but what about those other bajillion things out there serving up results online? Hello, social media. Aloha, listings management. Bonjour, reviews. If you’re putting all of your eggs in the Google basket and not thinking about the importance of your link building, you’re missing out. In healthcare specifically, there are a number of ways to connect people to your website, or even directly to your practice. Make sure that you’ve invested in a marketing agency that has the ability to help you find those channels and branch out of the box, otherwise you’re going to get left behind. Things to think about:
- Social Media Management and Video Production
- Reputation Management
- Voice Search (Siri, Alexa, Google Home, etc.)
Heard from the team:
- Matt (Digital Marketing Sales Specialist) : Just about every business, medical practice or otherwise, seems to finally understand that they need a website. So now, it may be more important to make sure that everything that isn’t your website is also in good shape. For instance, is your NAP (Name, Address, & Phone Number) consistent on Yelp, Facebook, Bing, etc.? Inconsistencies will lower the confidence levels of both Google and your potential patients in 2019 more than ever.
- Katie (Online Marketing Specialist) : Each social media platform has a niche market and figuring out what content to cater to each audience increases potential influence.
Now that you’ve heard from some of the experts here at Practis, you should be able to toast to a great 2019 for your online presence. If you still have questions, or are looking to improve your site, contact us as soon as possible to get started!