How to Conduct Vision Exams on SEO Firms (Part 2)
As any ophthalmologist knows, stereoscopic vision is a fundamental element of everyday life. Issues in this area make it difficult for those affected to accurately interpret stimuli and interact with their environment. The same holds true for SEO firms. For our purposes, stereoscopic vision in internet marketing is defined as having a thorough knowledge of and ongoing relationship with the client's industry. Tactics that work for an online clothing retailer or car dealership will vary greatly from those that work for an eye care facility.
Find out whether a SEO firm's "eyes" are working together to produce a 3D view of your needs with these 3 questions:
1. What is your experience working with practices such as mine?
Seek a SEO firm that has demonstrated value for other eye care professionals with practices similar to yours. Probe on the process the SEO firm uses to evaluate the needs of their eye care practice clients and the manner in which they produce quantifiable results for the practice. Hearing that an SEO firm is able to create 100s of links to and from your site and will get your site to rank in the top spot on Google searches is not as significant as hearing from the firm that describes the results of their work in terms of the number of quality leads generated for your practice, and the manner in which your online reputation will be cultivated and maximized over time.
For example, Einstein Medical has worked with eye care practices with widely varying needs. From Dr. Stanley Teplick's experience in building an online presence that attracts thousands of unique visitors to his website each year to Dr. Jeffrey Martin's experience in leveraging his internet strategy to attract new patients and open five new offices. These results are tangible and meaningful to your practice. Seek a SEO firm that lives in the tangible and has a track record of delivering results.
2. How has marketing evolved in my field over the past 20 years?
The last 20 years have been transformative for the eye care industry. From the rise of blade-free all-laser LASIK and crystalens intraocular lenses to ophthalmologic practice web presence and the era of the surgeon-shopping consumer. A careful understanding of these transformations and the manner in which they impact your practice and future patients is critical to developing an internet marketing strategy that will provide lasting value.
Asking a prospective SEO firm to describe their experience in anticipating and responding to key changes in your industry may expose potential areas of weakness. Einstein Medical recognizes that the future looks bright for eye care surgeons, with some areas of concern. First, as reported in The State of the Optometric Profession: 2013, the U.S. population with ocular conditions such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, open angle glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration is projected to grow to roughly 45 million in the next 5 years. Second, when considering the current turn-around in consumer spending and positive indicators for ophthalmologists seen in the growth of LASIK procedures from a low of 622,000 in 2011 to almost 700,000 in 2014, eye care surgeons have reason to adopt a positive outlook for the future.
However, we remind you that business has become much more competitive across all industries and the era of the surgeon-shopping patient is here. Pew Research Center reported that 72% of internet users looked online for health information in the past year. Keep in mind that the sheer number of websites had exploded to over 968 million in 2014. Finding a SEO firm that understands the evolving buying behavior of your potential patients gives you a valuable advantage in a highly competitive marketplace.
3. What have been the biggest challenges in executing successful internet marketing strategies for practices such as mine?
As with the world of ophthalmology in general, internet marketing strategies and tactics for eye care practices are constantly evolving. Staying up to date with the latest technological advances in eye care and related market trends has allowed Einstein Medical to guide its clients through the changing landscape and to anticipate opportunities and challenges on the horizon. Einstein Medical's Story demonstrates the deep relationship that the firm has with the eye care profession and how the firm leveraged this understanding to generate significant business opportunities for its clients.
Seek a SEO firm that can confidently describe the challenges your industry and practice face and which strategies have proven successful in the past. Ask the firm how the competitive landscape has changed for your practice. If the answer focuses purely on advances in the internet and consumer behavior, with little connection to the recent significant advances in your field, you may have found a SEO firm lacking the stereoscopic vision your practice deserves.
We'll continue the discussion next time with the peripheral vision test to determine whether a SEO firm's tunnel vision is a deal-breaker. Feel free to send me your comments and feedback. Need help diving deeper into these questions? Give us a call at (800) 606-0003 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.