How to Conduct Vision Exams on SEO Firms (Part 1)
"You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else"
You wouldn't perform eye surgery on a patient before performing a thorough ophthalmologic evaluation... shouldn't your internet marketing firm face thorough screening before you invest in their vision? Here's a guide for determining whether an internet marketing firm has the visual acuity you deserve:
Seek Firms with 20/10 Internet Marketing Acuity
Would you allow an optician to perform your LASIK eye surgery? Of course not, and I would hope that none would offer such! Unfortunately, there is no shortage of search engine optimization firms claiming to provide guaranteed Google search dominance under the guise of internet marketing strategy. Unfortunately, only one entity capitalizes from this methodology... and no, it is not your practice or your future patients.
Knowledge of recent (and constantly evolving) advances in search engine algorithms and policies, patient decision making behavior, and system integration are critical to the success of your internet marketing strategy and to the sustained success of your practice.
Akin to the American Academy of Ophthalmology's preferred practice patterns, Google shares guidelines for optimizing website performance in Google search results. Is it fair to assume that you prefer improving your ophthalmologic skill and knowledge over improving your marketing prowess? If so, delegating this fundamental business task to a trusted partner will allow you to apply best practices across all endeavors without running you and your staff ragged.
Find out if an internet marketing firm has 20/10 vision with these 4 questions:
1. Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
Google's 200+ ranking factors and ever expanding library of design, content, technical, and quality guidelines are mandatory components of any internet marketer's knowledge base. Once closely guarded, these guidelines and updates are now publicly available. However, given the constantly evolving nature of this information, it is important to determine how a prospective internet marketing firm keeps up to date.
Successful internet marketing firms are comfortable discussing recent changes in these guidelines and have the ability to explain such to clients in commonly understood terms and concepts. The pace of Google's major algorithm changes has been exponentially increasing over the past 14 years making do-it-yourself SEO an impossibility. (Eye care, just like Google, has increased in complexity and tech... you do what you do best, let us handle this internet stuff)
2. What information do you need about my business in order to begin?
Successful internet strategy decisions are highly customized to each business. The days of a one-size-fits-all approach to internet marketing has long passed, due in large part to Google's mission to provide the highest quality search results. Patients are also savvy at seeking answers online and can quickly determine whether a site is helpful or a waste of time.
Seek out firms that begin the internet marketing conversation with a thorough understanding of your practice instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.
3. How do you define a successful internet marketing strategy for practices such as mine?
Disciplined marketers strive for customization when it comes to addressing client needs. Just as you work to develop a unique surgical plan to optimize the chance of producing a positive outcome for your patient, your internet marketing firm should care about understanding the intricacies of your practice and your definition of success. The best internet marketing firms will answer this question in terms that relate specifically to your industry, geography, and goals.
4. Can you share case examples of your work for other practices such as mine?
Case examples are a fantastic way to dig into the internet marketer's thought process and determine whether that process matches your needs. If you currently have a website and are looking for an update, ask for examples that match this scenario.
Probe further on the planning, execution, and maintenance stages. How did the firm interact with the practice? Were they responsive to the practice's needs and time constraints? What steps did the firm take to ensure that the practice had the tools and support needed to maintain their healthy web presence beyond the development of a website?
Start now by finding out how Dr. Stanley Teplick worked with Einstein Medical to implement an integrated internet marketing strategy that produced more than 10,000 website visitors in the last 12 months.
We'll continue the discussion next time with the stereoscopic vision test to determine whether an internet marketing firm's "eyes" are working together to create a 3D view of your needs. I would love to hear your comments and feedback. Need help determining the best answers to the exam questions in this post? Feel free to give us a call at (800) 606-0003 or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.