Category Archives: Internet Marketing

Unlocking the Secret to Great SEO

For this week’s American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses (ASPSN) meeting in Boston, two members of the RealPatientRatings team were asked to create poster presentations. 

Eva Sheie, our Director of Online Strategy, drew up on current research and many years of experience to develop this poster, titled Unlocking the Secret to Great SEO.

Today’s effective SEO strategy is centered around trust in two ways: trust built with Google, and trust built with patients considering your services. Find out which kinds of internet marketing can get you into trouble, and discover which tactics result in greater trust with both Google and patients to generate more conversions, more consults, and more cases.

Click this image to enlarge & download a printable PDF.

SEO is Building Trust

Below are the slides from a recent presentation given to plastic surgeons and practice managers titled “SEO is Building Trust.”

Effective SEO strategy for any size market is centered around trust, in two ways:
  1. Trust built with Google
  2. Trust built with patients considering your services

There are so many different ideas about what SEO is out there and so many different ways of doing things. It’s important to understand that we from the perspective that every internet marketing activity you take on has to have be looked at through the same lens, which is that the primary goal is to increase conversions.

A good strategy does not rely on any single tactic; rather it relies on a variety of high quality sources of traffic so that if one tactic becomes irrelevant, the house isn’t a house of cards and it doesn’t fall down.

And most importantly, your main measure of success should not be by total number of visitors or how many keywords you have #1 rankings,only by conversions.  If you’re #1 for all kinds of things, but those aren’t things that patients actually care about, or worse, they land on your site and don’t get what they are looking for, then you’re investing time and money toward tactics that don’t have a good return.

The thing that’s hard to see about SEO is that a lot of SEO is “janitorial” in the sense that you clean stuff up, follow a technical protocol or a process – and just about anyone can do that part of it. It’s the part that has to do with building trust and getting conversions that can’t be done by just anyone. As surgeons, you certainly can relate to the concept that even if all of you do a surgery with the same basic technique, it may not turn out exactly the same way because the talent and skill of the person doing it really matters.

In person, trusting the doctor is pretty easy to do, but we’re not talking about in person here. We’re talking quite literally about getting a bunch of code and some words to convince Google to trust you, and we’re also talking about what appears on a computer screen or a mobile phone to build trust between you and a potential patient who is a complete stranger who hasn’t even had the opportunity to meet you in person yet.

It’s hard to read reports, it’s hard to dive into Google analytics and figure out what ‘s going on. You know what’s not hard to do anymore? You can have tracking data delivered right in the body of your website contacts that tells you exactly where the person came from, what they searched for, how many pages on your site they viewed, whether they read reviews or not… this is easy to get and over time you will see patterns and understand what’s working.

But most importantly, forget what you think you know and remember that you are what you publish and you get back what you put on the web.

How many reviews are enough?

How many reviews is enough?Some say having a few long reviews is better than frequent, short reviews. If your patient was only to read a single review, there’s no question that a long, detailed review would have more impact on their opinion.

But that’s not what they do! They don’t just read one review… they explore every corner of the Internet in search of qualitative information.

Don’t discount the power of quantity and frequency in your quest for length.

Consider these assumptions consumers make while researching potential plastic surgeons:

1) “If there aren’t very many before and after photos to look at, the surgeon hasn’t done very many of these procedures and must not be very good at it.”

Even if only subconscious, a website with only a few photos to display suggests a surgeon who hasn’t done much surgery.

Do you do 100 cases each year? 300 cases? Even more? Your website should reflect the volume… if you do hundreds of cases each year, it should be reflected by the number of photos that appear on your website.

2) “If there aren’t very many reviews to read, the surgeon probably isn’t busy and doesn’t see many patients.”

We think consumers would be startled to see how many patients a plastic surgeon actually sees. Consistent patient feedback published over time presents an accurate and believable long-term view of your practice’s commitment to quality.

3) “If there are no ratings, the reviews were probably edited to only show the good ones.”

Ratings are the “secret sauce” to making reviews believable. You can have hundreds of reviews, but without a rating and a total number of respondents included, there isn’t enough quantitative information to give your consumer the confidence needed to make a decision.

Practices with hundreds of reviews from patients contributed over a long period of time are converting more web visitors faster, because the quality of their services is so powerfully demonstrated by the combination of reviews and ratings.

Our advice? The best strategy is to do both. Combine your efforts to acquire long reviews with a method of generating frequent reviews, and don’t forget to include the ratings.

The importance of content for SEO, explained in just TWO graphics

The nature of content you create affects users differently and can be categorized into four distinct categories: entertain, educate, persuade, convert.

Over a decade of testing various types of content with prospective patients has determined that patients who are ready to make an appointment require real reviews from past patients to move forward. The illustrations below further confirm our findings.

Depending on the type of business you have, you may not need all of the elements below. Medical practices, for instance, don’t need games! Review content presented to prospective patients results in a massive increase in conversions, along with content about price/cost. If your website doesn’t have these two content types, get going and add it now.


Brafton's Infographic: Why Content for SEO?