Creating a well-planned medical marketing strategy can come with its own set of challenges. With the importance of social media marketing and Google reviews growing, there are certain medical fields that are at a distinct disadvantage. For example, a plastic surgeon is going to have a much more difficult time getting patients to post public messages or reviews that are directly tied to their personal social media accounts. This can cause an overreaction by focusing too much on what the competition is doing.
The most important thing to remember when planning a medical marketing strategy is, don’t get caught up in what the competition is doing. While it’s tempting to duplicate the efforts of the competitor that may be ranked #1 for a target keyword, this is never going to yield the results that you really want. Your new medical website design is unique, and it will have a very different set of circumstances. The strategies that are implemented by your competition are unique to their circumstances and won’t always work for you.
While there are tried and true methods to medical marketing, taking your practice to the next level can be a difficult task that may involve trial and error. In many ways, the ever-changing Google algorithm can make it seem like each site is being held to a different standard. In all reality, this is absolutely the case. While some sites have been penalized severely for “Black-Hat SEO” techniques, it seems as though others have flown under the radar. For example, many sites were penalized in 2012 for a large number of footer links. These are links that exist at the bottom of your site and are on every page of your site. With a little digging, you may find that your competition has a large number of footer links, but they seem to rank well for every keyword. Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of doing what they’re doing. Chances are, you’ll be hit right away with a Google penalty and essentially have to go into recovery mode. This isn’t fun for anyone, and your website traffic will suffer.
Avoid the war, and be patient
Your first reaction may be to want to report the competitor site for using “Black-Hat SEO” techniques to leap to the 1st position, but you should avoid this too. No need in starting a search-engine war with your competition. In due time, doing the right things will pay off. As your medical website design reflects the level of professionalism that you want your medical practice to represent, so too should your medical marketing strategy. While it may take time for Google to catch your competition using negative SEO techniques, penalties can go as far as de-indexing the entire site from search engines. By penalizing your competition, guess who’s next in line to take their spot at the top of search engine rankings. Most importantly, if you manage to stay above the fold in your medical marketing strategy, you won’t have to worry about losing the #1 spot anytime soon. You got there the right way, and you don’t have to worry about Google updates raining on your parade.
Competitive SEO Analysis
While there is no doubt that you want to avoid duplicating your competition’s marketing strategy, understanding their strategy can be very beneficial. For example, how are they building links? Are they using paid listings or Pay-Per-Click marketing? Knowing what your competition is doing can help you to counter their strategy, and it can also give you a heads up if a Google penalty is heading their way. In some cases, you may even see where they are building their links and see if you can get a link or two from the same sites. However, you don’t want to duplicate their link profile either. Again, your site is different from their site, and your marketing approach should be unique to your goals and circumstances.
Position yourself to win
I can’t stress enough how important it is to do the right things early. When you begin to develop a medical marketing strategy, you’re essentially building the foundation that will support the overall structure over time. It’s the difference between building your castle on stone or sand.