December 18, 2017

5 Simple Steps Toward Writing Better Web Copy

Posted on April 1, 2012 by in Online Marketing

Make no mistake, we can get as excited as want about this or that web metric or conversion tool, but content remains king when it comes to medical practice marketing. All the web traffic and design overhauls in the world won’t amount to much if you don’t have the kind of content your visitors are looking for when arrive.

Writing great web copy doesn’t need to feel like pulling teeth.

Incorporate the following five steps into your writing sessions, and you’ll be well on your way to trimming the fat off your copy while giving your audience the meat they’re looking for.

  1. Get the Headline Right – In a nutshell, your headline needs to look like it’s exactly what your readers have been looking for the moment they read it. Certain elements like numbered lists, percentages and questions have been proven to create more clickable headlines than others. Avoid cutsey or clever headlines that are more likely to confuse than entice your readers.
  2. What’s in It for Me? – When you visit a dentist’s website, are you interested in reading about the team behind the practice or how they’re going to fix your teeth? Keep we-we language on your site to a bare minimum, and let your potential clients know what’s in it for them.
  3. Trim it Down – Your typical web user has an ever-dwindling short attention span with 6th to 8th grade reading level to match. They’re not dull-witted: they’re struggling from the same information overload we all are. Trim down your copy so that it conveys the necessary information, mental images and call to action, nothing more.
  4. Add Some Sizzle – Learn the difference between active and passive voice, and stick to the former as often as you can. Start replacing descriptive adjectives and adverbs with imperative verbs, and you’ll create more engaging copy.
  5. Use a Scannable Format – Pages packed with five or six thick paragraphs of text and not much else are too imposing for most casuals readers. Break up your copy with subheadings, images and bulleted or numbered lists so visitors can find the tips, info and direction they need in easily digestible chunks.


Suggested Exercise:

Find a good candidate for editing amongst your existing medical practice marketing copy like an old blog post or your About Us page. If you’ve got a lot to choose from, look for a piece that you’ve always felt uncomfortable about. Put this content through the ringer using the five steps we discussed and see if you can create something that really pops.

 

Catering SEO Copy to the Online Buying Cycle

Posted on March 11, 2012 by in Online Marketing

Much of SEO is about improving the visibility of your site. Unfortunately, some have misunderstood this and believe that this is the only goal of SEO. It’s important to recognize that SEO and sales are closely related. Your site should not only be optimized for the search engines, it should be optimized for your visitors.

One of the most important elements is the connection between SEO and the online buying cycle. It’s a mistake to think that all internet searches are conducted by the same kind of user, and that they all have the same likelihood of clicking on an ad or buying a product. Thankfully, most of your traffic belongs to one of three categories: interested, researching, or buying. A good site targets all three types of users, but treats them differently.

Stages of the Online Buying Cycle: Interest

Take a close look at your keyword list and try to identify those that indicate a general interest in the subject. These keywords tend to be fairly broad. They tend to be either academic or entertainment seeking. These are the users looking for “latest news” and “funny clips.” They have no immediate interest in buying something, and shouldn’t be treated as though they do.

Why target these readers at all? Several reasons. Users who find your content interesting or entertaining are more likely to subscribe to your site, share it on their social networks, link to it, leave comments, and become a loyal visitor.

Let’s face it, nobody buys something from an eCommerce site and immediately jumps on Facebook to let everybody know what a great deal they got on a “Custom heavy-duty, large spring Mfg for industrial & OEM applications.” Users who are farther along in the buying cycle are the least likely to promote your material.

While the users with an interest in your subject matter may be the least likely to offer direct product, they are the most likely to offer social and SEO benefit.

Stages of the Online Buying Cycle: Research

These users are looking for something to buy, but don’t yet know what they’re looking for. They won’t yet be susceptible to anything very marketing oriented, but they will be interested in reviews and other neutral articles about products they are interested in buying. These users are a good source to target for advertising revenue. You could, for example, compare two products neutrally, and provide an affiliate link to both of them within the content of the review.

Stages of the Online Buying Cycle: Buying

This searcher is typing things like “buy” or “order” into the search box, or they’re searching for something very specific. Odds are this user wants to buy something right away. In this case, you’ll likely achieve the best results if you don’t waste any time getting in their way. The very first thing on these landing pages should be a product description sitting next to an image of the product with an easy to spot “buy now” button in an obnoxious color that can’t be ignored.

Do not waste any time trying to convince this visitor that they want this product. Their search query has already let you know it’s exactly what they’re looking for.

Keyword Research Maximizes Traffic to your Medical Practice Website

Posted on March 11, 2012 by in Online Marketing

Expending the time, effort and money to set up a medical practice website is a critical step in increasing your patient database; however, maintaining a compelling medical practice website is moot unless patients actually visit it. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a way to ensure that your website is among the first that prospective patients see when searching online for a doctor, and keyword research is a fundamental component of this. By executing a few simple steps, you can optimize your keyword selection and ensure that your website is among the first seen.

  1. Think like your patients. Consider what words and phrases they would use to search. Also, ask friends to tell you which words they would instinctively use to go about conducting a search for a new doctor.
  2. Determine your keyword competitive landscape. Use a keyword research tool to find out (a) how many patients are using the keywords you identified and (b) how many other websites are competing with you by optimizing those keywords. There are many keyword research tools available, but a good starting tool is Google AdWords (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal) because it is easy to use and free.
  3. Use the research tool metrics to refine your list and isolate your most powerful keywords. This research can also inform fresh medical practice marketing ideas by delivering data on how patients search for doctors.
  4. Optimize the selected keywords throughout your website in content, headings and title tags. As a rule, use each keyword less than five times per page, because overuse can have a negative effect on search engine rankings.

Thorough keyword research will ensure prospective patients reach your website as well as provide you with new medical practice marketing ideas by exposing how your patients formulate their searches for, and therefore conceptualize, healthcare information.