SEO Audits: To Believe or Not To Believe
A look at the darker side of unsolicited marketing audits
If you’re like most doctors in private practice, you probably receive weekly (if not daily) unsolicited emails from Online Marketing Agencies. And while each company’s audit looks a little different on the surface, they all assert that they have “analyzed” your website and IT. IS. LACKING. BIG TIME.
They attempt to make you believe you have (almost) insurmountable problems as they feign incredulity that your current company has not noticed this. Surprise, Surprise, they are, of course, happy to be your knight in shining armor as they charge in to fix your “problems.” They also assure you that their “fixes” will catapult your patient volume to the stratosphere. Wow – what a benevolent offer! Not surprisingly, you are wary of such emails and question if they are legitimate or just another scam.
In this month’s article, we provide a breakdown of what to look for and how to evaluate these emails for yourself.
The first thing to consider is whether the marketer took the time to custom-tailor the SEO audit of your site. Did they point out SPECIFIC issues or pages that can be addressed? Or did they make global statements that could be said for just about any website? If legitimate, the marketer who sent you the email should have taken time to craft a custom report that contains more than just your name at the top and a screen shot of your website. A real analysis should include actionable items that are specific to your site. (Warning: emails/proposals containing glaring grammatical/formatting errors, guarantees of first-page rankings or repeated use of your name are signs of a canned proposal and are HUGE RED FLAGS!)
If you are contacted by a marketing/SEO agency, we urge you to take a quick look at the agency’s website. Here are some key items to check for while visiting their website:
- Gallery/Client Work: Marketers love to show off their work. Check their gallery of past and present clients. Do they incorporate the eight critical search engine-compatible and patient-converting design elements?
- Case Studies: They should be able to provide a diverse set of case studies that showcase data-driven decisions and ROI.
- Testimonials: Happy clients like to boast about their marketing companies. Do they have any testimonials or reviews from real clients? Do they have testimonials that refer to specific products/services or are they all generic?
- Communication: It should be easy to contact them by phone, email and even in person. Many “lesser” companies make phone contact difficult and insist that you contact them by email.
- Site Speed: Is the site speed of the company’s own website in the “Good” range? (Scores range from 0 to 100.)
- User Experience: In a formal analysis of their user experience, is their website in the “Good” range? (Again, scores range from 0 to 100.)
If you are unsure whether to take action in response to an email, we recommend you reach out to a trusted source to evaluate the validity of the request. We would be happy to provide a free evaluation.
Case Study of the Month
Patients Patients, Gimme the Reviews
Background: A prominent LASIK and cataract surgeon from South Florida has a longstanding, very successful practice. Like many eye surgeons, he has operated on thousands of eyes over the years; as a result, he has accumulated reviews.
Problem: Although he had acquired a good number of positive reviews, unfortunately, as is often the case, his negative reviews were hurting his online reputation. In total, he had about 50 reviews distributed across the 75 health care-related review sites. Because of a handful of negative reviews, his average review score was 3.7 on a 5 point scale (i.e., a solid C). Compounding this problem was the fact that the negative reviews appeared at the top of some of the most popular review sites.
Solution: He needed more positive reviews to increase his overall online rating and push down the negative reviews. So in May 2015, our South Florida eye surgeon’s practice implemented the Ceatus Reviews Management program. They used the exclusive Ceatus Text Option to solicit positive reviews, particularly during their patients’ post-op consultations — when patients were experiencing the “WOW” factor that so many feel after LASIK or cataract surgery. (The best time to solicit a review is when the patient is most excited about the treatment.)
Result: Immediately, the surgeon and his practice staff began accumulating positive reviews — and as a result, the surgeon’s average review score surged upward within just a few months. By Fall 2015 the surgeon reached 71 reviews (from 47 in May), and his average review score went above 4.0. Over the next six months, using the Ceatus Reviews tools, his reviews doubled to more than 150 and his average score was nearly 4.8!
Now, his positive reviews have have given him the stellar score that he deserves and have overwhelmed the few negative reviews that used to show up at the top of the reviews sites. Even more importantly, his new reviews strategy has increased his practice revenue. The graphs below show how his number of reviews and review score increased over the last year.
Ask the experts
Q: Does a good Reviews Strategy help my rankings on Google?
A: Yes. Reviews help rankings in a number of ways. First, Google’s algorithm takes into account the number and frequency of reviews when determining the ranking of your website. Without recent reviews, your rankings can suffer.
Also, reviews on your Google “My Business” page directly help your rankings in the coveted local listings, i.e. the top three positions in the Google search results (directly underneath the map).
Also, if you have recently received reviews on multiple third-party websites (Yelp, Google, HealthGrades, RateMDs, etc.), these sites will appear higher in the search results when consumers search by “Dr. Name + reviews.”
Come by the Ceatus booth for a FREE website evaluation!
Los Angeles, California
September 24-26, 2016
Join us in Los Angeles at Booth 1446 to meet the Ceatus team and see how Ceatus can give your Internet Marketing Strategy a facelift.
October 15-18, 2016
Is your Digital Marketing Strategy out of FOCUS? Come visit Ceatus at this year’s AAO conference (booth #2503) and see how we can help you grow your practice!
New Orleans, Louisiana
October 27- 29, 2016
Expand your online footprint with Ceatus concierge Digital Strategies at this year’s AAID conference in New Orleans. Our Digital Marketing Experts will be standing by at our booth (#1026) to answer all of your Internet marketing questions.
New Orleans, Louisiana
November 2- 4, 2016
Ceatus and Consumer Guide to Bariatric Surgery will be attending the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Obesity Week in New Orleans. Come meet the Ceatus team at Booth 137!
Not attending any of these shows? Give us a call (858-454-5505) for a FREE Digital Strategy Evaluation!
The Thrill of the Chase
Heart-pounding extreme adventures for every adrenaline junkie
(Those afraid of tornados, heights and gators need not apply.)
SCAD Diving (Worldwide)
Why just skydive when you can freefall. The creation of an adrenaline junkie from Germany, SCAD Diving is an unattached free fall with no parachute or wing suit, into a safety net 150 feet below the platform. Free fallin’ has a whole new meaning!
Storm Chasing (USA)
Should you find yourself in “Tornado Alley” it’s guaranteed there is a storm chaser close by. Storm chasing (a la the movie Twister) tours can entail up to six days spent chasing tornados and their chaos as they whip across Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas. While they can’t guarantee you will see a storm (only 20-30% of tours do), you will get a behind-the-scenes look at storm chasing, storm structure and the beautiful scenery of the plains.
Ever wondered what Godzilla felt like climbing the Empire State building? Well now you can, with Edgewalk at the CN Tower in Toronto, home to the world’s highest circumference walk. If the harnesses and jumpsuits don’t scare you the sheer height will. I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend!
Wing Walking (Worldwide)
If flying in a biplane is not scary enough, you can now walk on top of it while it soars through the sky. This concept — a fan favorite at air shows for many years — is now available to the masses. Talk about walking on the wild side!
Dine in the Sky (Worldwide)
Dine in the Sky gives a whole new meaning to dining outside. Guests enjoy an exquisite culinary experience while suspended 100 ft. in the air. Take in the sights and sounds below — just don’t fall out of your chair or drop a fork. Talk about a view from the top!
Cage of Death (Australia)
No need to be Captain Hook to apply. Crocosauruscove is home to over 200 crocs, including some of the largest saltwater crocodiles on the planet. The Cage of Death is one of Darwin, Australia’s infamous tourist attractions, and all that stands between you and the crocs’ oversized jaws is a thin glass cage. Tick tock, Tick tock!