Today, most individuals rely on the internet for the information they need including healthcare information. According to Jupiter Research, a Forrester Research Company, 81 percent of the users find their desired destination through search engines. It has therefore become important for all businesses including medical entities to optimize their websites to improve online presence and drive more customers. Healthcare businesses meet this requirement with medical SEO services. Among the solutions available are – search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC). Both techniques help you to get on the front page of search engines for targeted audiences. However, each of these has its respective pros and cons.
SEO is indispensable for start-up businesses to establish authority, develop a good online reputation, and increase organic traffic. This strategy is also good to obtain back links and returning visitors. SEO is a long-term activity, and results don’t show up overnight. But when it starts showing results, you are ensured consistent and quality traffic. Experts consider it a more reliable digital marketing strategy because you achieve a high rank on Google via “natural” strategies with Google recognizing your website as reputable and trustworthy. The disadvantage of PPC strategy is that internet users often ignore sponsored ads and paid advertisements. Studies show that organic results are more likely to be clicked on than paid results. PPC requires heavy investment on your part to obtain advertising space for specific keywords. To be successful with PPC, you do need some basic search engine optimization to be performed on your website.
Let us look at these two strategies and the advantages they offer.
Search Engine Optimization
There are various methods available that help to increase the usability of the website and make it appear higher in organic search results and it is a combination of technical expertise, creative elements and strategic planning to increase traffic, rankings and conversions. Although search engines are intelligent, they require some assistance to understand what the website is about and to verify its credibility. With the help of some SEO tactics you can eliminate any confusion search engines may have at the time of positioning your website for success.
- Increase organic traffic: One of the main reasons for web traffic across all sites is organic traffic from search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. Designing an appropriate healthcare digital marketing strategy and optimizing your medical website helps search engines to determine the value of your website. This will improve website traffic and allow the site to be found quickly.
- Trust and Credibility: Having your website at the top of organic search results significantly increases your credibility in the perception of users searching for a business like yours. When you are on Page 1 of the search results, it will portray legitimacy and trust over a business showing up on Page 3.
- Long-term strategy: This strategy is different from PPC campaign, because the efforts do not stop the moment you stop paying. Instead, SEO efforts will continue to generate traffic and help your website to grow and flourish.
- Position advantage: Once you have gained a good position in the organic search results, your competitors cannot simply pay more to rank above you. What matters are quality, usability and credibility of your website.
Pay-per-click helps you to be on the first page for targeted keywords within a day. In this strategy, you run online ads and pay a fee when someone clicks on your ad. This is also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Paid Search. Google is the primary provider of paid search advertising via Google AdWords. It also offers Search and Display advertising where search advertising means ads seen in the search results and display refers to the ads you see when you visit other websites on the Internet.
- Prominence for your ads in search results: PPC campaigns helps to display your ads prominently on search results for specific keywords related to your business. Usually ads take up the first four slots on the search results page and the first three slots on a mobile device. Getting the first slot on search results depends on your quality score and bid amount. The quality score is based on three factors – the expected click through rate, ad relevance and landing page.
- Customize your target audience: PPC allows you to customize the audience of your ads. The audience can be targeted using location, language, device, time or day of the week, websites visited earlier etc.
- Control your budget: Budget can be controlled because of the flexibility PPC offers. This form of advertising can be a low-cost option for your business if you have a high quality score.
- Data and flexibility: PPC advertising helps you to create reports and find out which strategy or techniques are working and which are not. The techniques that are not performing or performing poorly can be turned off. You can also increase budgets on campaigns that are doing well. The information in these reports can be used to obtain additional information regarding user search behaviour, which can be used in organic search efforts.
2017 PPC and SEO Statistics from Webpage FX
- 93 percent of online experiences start with search engines
- 70 percent of clicked search results are organic
- Google fields more than one trillion searches per year
- 89% of marketers say SEO is successful
- 6 percent of all SEO leads close (as opposed to 1.7 percent of outbound leads)
2017 PPC Stats
- Search ads increase brand awareness by as much as 80 percent
- 32 percent of companies use PPC to sell products directly to customers
- PPC visitors are 50 percent more likely to buy than organic visitors
- 65 percent of all high-intent searches result in an ad click
- On average, businesses earn $3 for every $1.60 spent on AdWords
PPC and SEO are two tactics used for online marketing, but it is difficult to say which one is better. If you own a small medical practice or business with little competition, then sticking to SEO is the best option whereas if you own a large business or medical practice with strong competition then SEO alone may not be enough. A proper combination of both PPC and SEO is required for any business. This will enable the two strategies to work better by strengthening and supporting each other. These measures can help medical businesses enhance their value, improve online presence and increase revenue. A reliable healthcare digital marketing agency would stay abreast of the latest SEO trends, and ensure that their clients rank high in all leading search engines and improve traffic. They would develop the right internet marketing strategy for your healthcare website considering key factors such as business goals, target audience, and budget.