In this webinar, Milestone experts presented the Covid-19 Crisis-Recovery-Growth framework, including key priorities, case studies, and tactics for medium to large-scale healthcare marketers to use as they manage the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic during April, May, June, and July, and then pave a road to recovery.
Key takeaways included:
- Crisis-Recovery-Growth framework and its importance
- How to innovate offers to adapt to the conditions
- How to update local to keep customers up to date
- Google My Business for healthcare providers
- The key role FAQs and schemas play in saturating the SERPs
- And takeaways to try
Title of file: Healthcare SEO during crisis and beyond
Welcome everyone. And thank you for taking time out of your busy day to join us. My name is Laura Clemons and I’m with greystone.net and the moderator of this webinar. To ask a question, please submit through the question pane in the control panel on the right side of your screen and due to the size of attendance, attendees will be in listen only mode to cut down on background noises. There will also be a short survey at the end of this webinar, we’d really appreciate your feedback. Now I’d like to welcome our presenters today: Sathya, Milestone Inc. Erik, Vice President of marketing at Milestone, and Adam marketing manager for Westlake dermatology and cosmetic surgery.
Sathya is CTO and brings over 17 years of experience in product management and strategy, new product launches, and ownership to Milestone. He has an exceptional record of defining delivery and growth products and startups and mid-tier. Sathya has displayed strong business ownership by bringing global teams to deliver strong product results, has mentored and managed global product management and engineering teams in the US, Asia, and Europe.
Erik is the Vice President of marketing Milestone. He is the growth marketing executives, he takes full life cycle view of customer acquisition, experience and retention. Prior to Milestone, he was the Vice President of growth marketing at BrightEdge. Early on in his career, he spent six years in Japan and earned his MBA there and then started his career at Dentsu Agency in Tokyo. Erik has worked in tech marketing for more than 20 years at adobemp3.com, Netflix and TiVo. He has published more than 150 blogs on SEO, he is an accomplished speaker and wrote a book called: “Hack – The corporate fast track.”
Adam currently serves as the digital marketing manager for Austin, Texas space, Westlake Dermatology, and cosmetic surgery, the leading provider of medical dermatology, plastic surgery and medical spa treatments in Texas. In his role, Adam oversees all things digital, including SEO, content strategy, CRO, social media and pay-per-click. In his time at Westlake, he helped transform the site into one of the most trafficked website increasing total traffic by over 540% since joining the company in 2013. Now I’d like to welcome all and we’ll turn the webinar over to Erik, and his presentation.
Alright, so the content we’re going to cover today derives from the crisis recovery and growth framework that we developed in early March. We have hundreds of customers and all kinds of businesses, and they were looking to us for advice on what do we do? We’re going to close? We’re changing our services? Things were happening so fast that they sometimes needed to update more than once per day on what was happening across a hundred or a thousand different branches in their network. So, we created the kind of crisis response for week one or two, and then we pretty quickly realized that the crisis was the beginning and then people were really, after they settled in, where they were going to need to focus on what is recovery? What is the impact of shelter in place?
And then what does later recovery and growth look like? And how do we take advantage of that? Because you don’t want to be a deer in the headlights, you don’t want to be frozen by the crisis. You want to keep taking action and make good plans. So we developed a whole webinar series and we focused on the SEO after COVID when we spoke with the search engine journal, we did some technical topics on FAQ, schema on AMP, which we’ll touch on gear today. And where do we put a COVID context into it because obviously, he has the most essential industry fighting the crisis, you guys have had to deal with a lot during the crisis and now into the recovery phase.
Let us know what’s most of interest we’ll be as on target as we can be for the rest of the webinar.Yes. Poll results:
- Providing COVID information to the community is 26%
- Managing COVID-infected patients with 2%.
- Acquiring new patients after COVID settles 64%, Managing appointments, timing no shows 8%.
Alright, here’s the agenda for today. I’m going to describe the C-R-G framework in the three phases and how we broke it out across those activities. And I’m going to show you some healthcare marketing data that I think you’re going to find pretty interesting and compelling. And then Sathya and Adam are going to go into local optics data and key steps and tactics and takeaways. And I have some research to share with you that has never been published before. I actually made the benchmark of the registrants of the webinar, I took your websites and analyze them and I created a benchmark to share with you to show you how everybody in the webinar is performing on those.
Alright. So this is the C-R-G framework and as marketers, we are going to be dealing with most channels in most months, as we do things, focus on particular channels. So the website was the best vehicle for communicating information efficiently and people who were coming to see what was going on and what was available, and then SEO, it was all also absolutely fundamental in communicating particularly local, our maps that are changing location information, access that access to services and so forth. Sathya and Adam have a lot of great examples on that and local content. So the tactics within those channels, the goal was to maintain and increase the digital relevance and then get into some specific COVID response content. And then by the end of that phase, you’re developing new content for maybe treatment diagnosis and care.
It looks like not so many of the people on the call are as focused on treatment. Now, as you get a couple of weeks into the COVID crisis, we are recommending that you retool your website and you prioritize some of those projects that haven’t been in the top three before floats, FAQs, and generally the site performance. And in this phase, we recommend thinking about appropriate service offerings and product offerings and putting those offers in the market, and learning about the customer reactions to that information and whether or not they’re meeting the customer’s needs. And during this phase, in the crisis phase, you’ve probably ramped down paid, and now you’re ramping up content and you’re ramping up your site performance and your site experience. Now, as you come into the growth phase, which is maybe going to be maybe June, about five, six weeks, seven weeks from now that things will get more back to normal. You want to harvest the content marketing efforts, you want to scale paid media back up and leverage different tactics in paid, and then potentially prepare for new shelter in place or things to change. We want everybody to be ready with their contingencies as they go forward through these days as back to normal.
So here’s the customer journey, on the bottom is through a kind of typical patient journey Awareness, Consideration, Engagement, and Recovery. And we kind of adjusted that so that we have Pre-diagnosis, Diagnosis, and Treatment and Follow up as the things that people are going to be focused on in your industry.
This information is really interesting to me, this is from Google’s The Digital Journey to Wellness in the hospital selection. So if you’re interested in reading more about it, you can search for it there under that name, but Google’s point was that 77% of people use search engines in that patient journey. And that makes it far away the largest channel, the most influential channel, the most involved channel, no matter what the overall route people are taking, that search is highly involved. And that of the people who booked online, 54% of the people who booked online are new patients, so there’s an opportunity there. 94% of people in the survey said that the reputation of the facility is important, this data’s a little bit old, so this is reputation and the traditional saying that prestige, the history of it, but ultimately reputation means marketing and it means if we do good work, if we have interesting transplants or breakthroughs in treatment and care, the marketing has always been important, but it’s even more important and there’s a component of marketing that specifically became more important over the last couple of years, and that is reviews and reputation, but other people greatly influence people’s decisions on whether they want to do business with a particular provider.
So here’s a couple more pieces of data from that study that they look at your, they look at the provider’s site they get information from the health insurance company site, who’s in their coverage plan, health information sites, and rating sites, and then consumer-generated review influence people. So I’ve seen data more recently that 60% of people have chosen a particular provider facility because of the good reviews and an equal number to do business or not to get care from a provider that had poor review. So it’s super important in how you manage a number of these. So all the online information is critical, 88% of healthcare appointments are scheduled by phone. I’ve talked to Adam about this as we were preparing, he said, yeah, that’s true for us, particularly with the new customers that they want to establish a relationship not digitally, and they want to use the telephone to call the office. So driving calls drives growth and local SEO drives calls. So I’m going to go through a couple of steps here, as we lead into how to do these things on a step-by-step basis.
Your website is what Google is reading. It’s what populates most of Google My Business. So they’re two separate ways to distribute information, but in combination, they’re going to create 50% or 60% of everything somebody’s going to see when they’re looking in a branded search, or when you’re showing up in local searches for the kind of services you provide. So this is the research data that I collected for you, and it’ll become more clear why I focused on these components. So schema is a way of adding information for Google that makes it easier for it to understand the context and the details and for it to lay it out and distribute it via the knowledge base and via the search result pages. So 54% of the sites in today’s registrar out there in the audience have no schema, and that’s a missed opportunity.
Only 18% of the sample uses more than 8 schema types. The medical industry is kind of uniquely positioned to take advantage of many, many, many different schema types and information types out of the 818 that have been defined by Google and schema.org. Now, unfortunately, 60% of the sites in the sample that are using schema are also showing errors and the errors can damage, like an error can make 35% of the impressions disappear overnight, and when you fix it, it comes back, but it’s important to monitor those and I can share that information, I can share the reports that I created with you, if you want to sign up to see more details.
The sites with schema average, 2.4 times more pages indexed in Google, and the average mobile page speed score of the audience was 39, with a range from eight to 96.
And kind of surprisingly 96% of the sample is not using AMP. AMP is accelerated mobile pages, and the accelerated mobile pages are a markup language, it creates a sort of a subversion of a site that makes it easier for Google to display in the search results page, and generally accelerates the page and enhances the user experience. So, in this industry, there’s a lot of mobile use and a lot of mobile applications and so this is definitely an opportunity to improve. I’m going to pass over to Sathya and Adam, they’re going to go into some more details on these tactics.
So Adam and I have been talking about this and as much as we’ve been working on helping several other industries and we’ve realized a lot of the stuff that we discussed are applicable to healthcare as well and that this kind of combination of what we are doing with Adam and with Greystone because Adam has a lot of experience has done some of these things that we talk about. As for us, we have some more best practices that we can share on top of what Adam and I have been discussing.
The first and foremost thing is business transformation. It actually got to a whole lot of industry hospitality, banking, and healthcare. Every single business is actually transforming itself as people are finding different ways to reach out. The first and foremost thing, as you guys have noticed that the lab testing was moved to curbside because they don’t want the patients to come inside the hospital. And if you guys look at the Google trends, that is a huge drop in searches for hospitals near me, or basically, there is a drop in people going to hospitals. And in fact, the Washington post article from April 19th of this week, actually talks about this, they say that is actually declining patients in hospitals for even the regular heart attack, strokes and appendicitis treatment, because people are now scared to get to your hospital. And this means hospitals and hospitals and healthcare systems need to pivot into newer models and new approaches to reach to their patients. And telemedicine and telehealth has been one of the things that have been touted as next thing and how healthcare Adam, what is your experience of this?
Yeah, so as the outbreak started, we pivoted pretty quickly into strictly doing telehealth. So doing tele-dermatology appointments and ironically, we actually experimented with it about a year or two ago, and it really didn’t work very well. Our providers didn’t like it two years ago and we didn’t really have a lot of requests for it so we sunset away but that was kind of a blessing in disguise because we had some experimentation behind us with it. So when we had to get back into it, we kind of knew what we wanted to do and it’s been pretty popular. Obviously we were unable to see people in person. So it was really the only thing we can offer, we didn’t have a choice, so we transformed the website, we disallowed booking of any other appointments other than telehealth. We put it all over the homepage and every single page, it was on all of our individual doctor pages that you can see them through telehealth, we did email, we did social media, we talked about Google My Business on all of our GMB profiles, we did posts, we redid our URL to, instead of going to our normal booking to go to telehealth. We were like, come and see us.
So it’s been really good. There’s definitely some learning to do in particular on the provider side obviously they were used to seeing people in person for so many years and actually some of our best doctors are not exactly the most technical, but it’s been a lot of fun, I’ve been working with them to get them more involved and introduce them to our CTO, guy’s probably been up, he’s probably done 18 hour days, as you probably know Sathya. If you’re watching this, thanks for that, and yeah, so you’re going to have to do it. Other derms and other cosmetic surgery places are going to have to do it obviously. And by the way, interestingly enough we’re in Austin, Texas, and last week, our governor decided to reopen the economy. So starting next week, we’re going to be taking live people in our offices. So we’re actually in the recovery mode right now, where we are transitioning back the website to having people sign up for, in-person appointments. And after this call, I just wrote down and I was like, Oh no, I gotta go back on GMB and put that up that they can come and see us now. So it was a great reminder.
Following up from Adam’s comment, that is quite a bit of a learning bend as hospitals are pivoting into some of these. Okay. As hospitals and healthcare systems are pivoting, we built a framework with which we want to basically share to the health care system, as well as anybody working in alternative healthcare to basically think about what you do when you are in crisis mode, what you do in terms of when you’re in recovery mode and what you do in terms of growth mode. And again, this is just hand-on learning, there are no hard and fast rules yet. As a marketer, one of the big things that you are going to do is you’re going to experiment with things and identify what are the things that work with your community, with your patients, and figure out the best solution. Some of our recommendations are basically in crisis mode basically to find your schema from the website, make sure your website has the right message. As Adam pointed out, messaging under the website is going to be critical. The marketing is again, we talked briefly about email marketing I talked about GMB, that our key channels that you do want to make sure that you update your patients about what changes are happening and what attributes. We even talked about some of the attributes that you need to communicate and other channels that we are seeing engagement.
Awareness messaging is definitely critical, but at this point in time, CPC low conversion is fairly okay, but more, more organic analysts, we recommend at least at this point. But what is right for you is something that you wind up. I pointed out as we’re moving into recovery mode, patient nourishment, you need to nourish and re-engage with the patients that have stopped talking to you because of the whole focus on targeting consideration, again updating attributes on local is going to be critical because that’s one of the places that they come and look for. And of course, as a recovery phase begins, some specific targeting email marketing will be helpful to tell them that you are coming back to normal and of course, hyper-local targeting on Google and social media always helps. Now, taking it to the exact next steps, right?
So what are all the things that we look for, first and foremost thing, if you look at Google My Business there are specific items, Google My Business has opened up where you can go ahead and start updating the information as to whether you’re open, you’re closed because of a certain activity, is your emergency to open, is there any specific instructions that you want to give your visitors regarding COVID-19 is that linked to your websites that you want to take them to? Is there anything about events or anything that is happening within your hospitals that you need to make sure that you communicate? Adam mentioned Google posts and Google posts and other very high visibility. We strongly recommend some of this. Adam, what is your take on Google My Business and knowledge panels and updating information there?
Yeah, first off Google My Business itself is pretty invaluable. I would say, about a year and a half ago, we’ve always done Google My Business. We’ve always, obviously I think everybody should invest in it. It’s something that appears in the local pack on Google, but we really didn’t put too much effort into it and about a year and a half ago, we actually tagged HOSPITAL URLs with parameters, so that way in analytics, it would be segmented better than just organic, It would be local and it was surprising, the conversion rates are really high from people who come from Google My Business into the website and as soon as we saw that, I presented it to the board, we started to put a lot more effort into it. We’re trying to do Google posts four to six times a month, we’re updating pictures, we’re really paying attention to reviews, where before we would kind of just let them go on their own, where we’re responding and we’re soliciting or asking for more reviews and then, like you said that the posts are definitely valuable. You want to use Google My Business as a funnel to your regular site so on every post that you do, you’re going to want to include a CTA, we do a lot of teasers where it’s almost a lead into a blog post that we have. So the post is the first paragraph or two to get them excited and then it’s a ‘click here’ to more information to get back to our website. So that’s kinda how I look at it, Google My Business is an opportunity to get in front of people, but it’s also an opportunity to use as a funnel to get back to your main site. And that’s kind of how we treat it.
Most critical is that if you do not control your local listing or knowledge panel, one of the bad habits that happens is that Google will crowd source information from users, which is something that you want to prevent, you would rather have you control the source of truth that appears in Google My Business, especially during these critical times, misinformation about your business and your healthcare system, preventing that and making sure that you control the system is going to be very critical.
That’s a good point. Yeah, I didn’t even mention the question and answer section in GMB, which is an area where anybody can ask a question, but also anybody can answer it and it appears on your GMB profile. So yeah, check that out guys. If you’ve never seen your question and answer section, there may be some interesting questions and there may be some questions that you don’t want on there and some answers that aren’t accurate on your behalf. So get in there and do that today.
Patient in this crisis phase. I think Erik touched on this, Adam also touched on this. They are searching more, they are spending more time online, they’re forced to spend more time online in front of their computers, visits to the sites have increased but the interactions has declined and the call volumes have reduced, which means you need to start planning for how you’re going to address the call volume as well as make sure that the customers who are visiting your website are getting the right set of information from your website. And such as that increasing visits to your sites are definitely increasing that customers are seeking information. This is a data from a senior care center that basically had to adjust themselves to the increasing call volume during crisis.
Adam touched upon some of the attributes, Google My Business has rolled up some of these attributes. I know Yelp also has done some of the attributes call to action as a part of this. Facebook also has similar attributes now. They have actually, if you want a healthcare system that you’re presenting in basically meeting the patients face to face to more of video visits, you can basically make sure to map up this attribute. If you have a go in and sign up, add that if you have a specific goal with specific link when you want to share that information that are very specific to COVID-19, make sure to share that information. And all of that information pops up during searches, this is a sample of how Kaiser has communicated that information, some city senior living basically updated their COVID-19 page with the Yelp page with this. And Adam has mentioned, they have also updated their description. Adam, do you find value in updating the description or do you think posts are good enough?
No, I think you gotta do both. I think you want to get the description, it usually appears higher out, and it’s usually more of a focal point. And you want to remember that you did it, like I said, I have to go back and undo that now or adjust it just to let them know that we are partially back, you can come and see us or continue telehealth, which we would like. And then also you want to do the posts, and another thing I forgot to mention about the posts is for acquisition purposes. A lot of times, if you do a post and it contains a keyword you’re trying to rank for, it’ll actually help your profile appear in the local pack. And it’s pretty instantaneous, you can do a post on I don’t know, Botox for us and shortly thereafter it’ll appear better in the three pack and in the snippet of the search result or in the packet of the search result, you actually see part of the post with the keyword. So you’ll know that it’s coming directly from that post.
Brilliant. So again, definitely elaborate the attributes, your description, product services, and the status of your business and if you are pivoting, make sure to mark up your Google. Now, as always we are in one of the big problems with SEO is always the plethora of channels. I have marked up some of the key channels where some people are spending a lot of time. They are definitely spending time on Google My Business, of course. Facebook is another channel of where you want to make sure that your information gets updated, yes it’s another channel, of course Bing because they power some of the other devices as well, not just they power some of the searches up, but they also power devices where people are talking to these devices. That does not mean you should stop investing in updating your information on some of the other sites like Yelp or Web MD, if that is relevant to you or if you are managing it, make sure to have this information updated.
You are communicating more and more with your customers, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, or some of the social channels with which you can reach out to your customers. You can actually have more and more one on one conversation. If a chat bot is your preference, you can definitely use chat bots on your website, as well as integrate the chat bot with your Facebook messaging channels to reach out and start talking to your customers. Hey, how do you guys talk, Adam?
Yeah, we’re doing Facebook messenger. We’ve actually been doing a lot of Zoom stuff, which we built into the site, which is kind of neat as well. So those are two pretty much main points and then we have checks, you can text us direct as well.
Cool, excellent. Getting into some more nitty gritty detail, Adam talked about posts. Of course, posts that’s hugely valuable, you can see Adam nice post on COVID-19 update. I’m sure he’s going to go and do another post that is relevant for us as they open up for business-relevant for their businesses, and of course a popped up additional living, how they are doing it such as some of the information that they are providing, how they are coordinating with with California and local health authorities to address some of these issues. Google My Business has a special COVID-19 post which you can leverage and image is not needed if it’s just a plain update, definitely leverage the COVID-19 post and have the content ready and have a call to action, which they can then come to your website. Creating a Landing Page with information is absolutely critical and having all the information about COVID-19, about how you are handling this in this crisis stage and how you plan and also updating it with information on how you plan to handle it during the equity phase is going to be critical. Adam, what is your strategy? What are you guys going to do as you guys get into equity phase?
Early on before the shelter at home standards came out, we did have a COVID-19 landing page and it was mostly on what steps we’re taking in our offices and also what we’re expecting of patients as they come in then when it went to the full on shelter in place, we’re not able to see patients that’s when we flipped over to all telehealth, right? So it was mostly a landing page on it’s a new offering and really we found out some of the barriers to people converting for telehealth were questions about insurance, right? So it’s kinda new. So they’re like, is this going to be covered under my plan? So we actually went and did a lot of research and made calls to our carriers and actually had an area on the page that had major carrier and the rates so that we can massage those concerns. And now we’re going to basically go back to almost normal. We’re still gonna have a telehealth web in the middle of the page, we still but we are going to try to start encouraging people to come in to our offices. I think we’ll probably re-purpose some of the content we did earlier about how our office is helping sterilization processes, the need for everybody wear masks, our providers have to wear masks, all of our employees have to wear masks and the patient has to wear a mask. There’s gonna be temperature checks outside. You know, that sort of information has to be out there not only to let the customer or the patient or customer know that we take safety seriously, and that they’re safe coming in, but also so they can know what to expect. We don’t want people to come and get turned away if they have a fever or if they don’t have a mask or whatnot. So I think it’s twofold, it’s parts letting your patients know that you care and that you’re taking steps to keep both of them and us, the provider safe, but also to give them some sort of expectation on how it’s going to go.
Because it’s all completely new, it’s never been done, so it’s going to be interesting to see how it goes. Like I said, our first week starts Monday, so right now, we’re in the process of filling out that first week of appointments. And I can say so far it’s gotten pretty good. We actually are spending most of our time re-contacting canceled appointments and just working with our current base of patients and just getting those who needed to be, seen in first and then I think once we go through all that and get everybody in that needs to get in, and then we’ll start looking for new customers or going back to acquisition. So we think it’s going to the growth phase, right. So we’re getting back to pay-per-click, getting back into other paid advertising, etcetera.
Okay, excellent. While you we’re updating the website information, one of the critical things that at least we love to talk about is schema. Matching up your website using some of the new scheme opportunities, Google and schema.org they have recently announced a category called special announcement schema, where you can mock up your COVID-19 information page with the special announcement on what changes you are making, even if you’re getting into a recovery phase. What type of changes are you making? Mock them up a special announcement. Actually makes it drive better. There are some examples that we have used as a part of this, making sure to optimizing some of the technical SEO time during this crisis by injecting schema or having schema on all your pages, as well as some of these special announcements pages is going to go a long way in making sure that you are ready for some of the new things that that is going to happen during the activity.
I do want to touch upon one more item, which we are seeing a strong visibility. We talked about Google Question and Answer but having some of these questions, things that you know your customers are asking, having these questions and having those Q and A on your website and marking them up with schema if it keeps should surge in visibility, and we are seeing your increase higher search saturation with some of these results, we see a few impression growth that’s because of some of these FAQ schema, simply just dropping it in with marking up the content. We have seen a surge in some of the results. Hey, Adam, since we deployed this for you, have you guys seen some similar growth and inflation growth on your end as well?
We have, I’m not too sure if we told the audience about everything, but we had Milestone implement a schema on our website with dermatology.com I think it was implemented maybe two weeks ago, two Fridays ago. And since then we’ve seen run of 14% to 15% increase in organic traffic. And I I’m in control of the website, I live and breathe and I have nightmares about the website sometimes. So nothing happens on the website without me knowing, nobody will even put a period on the website without me knowing, and we actually haven’t done anything else. I mean, we’ve added a few blog posts and made a few small adjustments to the site, but nothing other than that. So really, I can’t say I can directly attribute that increase to the work we’ve done. And yeah, I’m excited for it to keep going. I feel a little snippet right there of a right there for our melanoma page. So yes, that’s the proof right there.
Alright, you’re in crisis phase and you’re trying to pick it up, what are things that basically maps into edit data as well as make sure that you use this time to mark up some of the valuable content on your site with schema. It’ll definitely go a long way on the part of health of your website, right? I want to go through a couple of these quickly, and then I want to give more time for questions, we have I guess another 15 minutes left, even marketing again basically measured the email performance during crisis, and they because more people are spending time online. That is definitely less about and of course, if your business is operating in new normal, if you are moving over to telehealth definitely communicate this message to your people. Of course, Adam, what is your experience with email?
Yeah, it’s right along some of those parameters we can definitely always believe on keeping it targeted in terms of messaging and highly segmenting everything. So we have obviously our Alyssa segments and by location whether or not they are more medically focused or more cosmetically focused. And a good example will be next week is when we’re opening up just for medical appointments. So we’re obviously not going to email people who come to us for cosmetic reasons or medical reasons. Our cosmetics is going to open in two weeks. So we’ll segment the list and do some emails first to our medical sides, let them know we’re open and taking appointments and then later to the cosmetic side. And we also really don’t believe in inundating people’s inboxes. We usually try to keep it to at most, a couple of months, really just kind of just doing them gene and having it being targeted. And then, like he said, shortened using as a tool to push towards our website or push towards reaching out to us via phone, text, email or booking an appointment right away.
Cool. Another interesting channel of course is going through social channels there are more folks spending time. And I have given some examples of blogs and social channels. Adam touched base upon this and again, people are spending more time on social blog post, make sure that you’re communicating clearly with your folks that you’re operating in new normal, or you are basically going to be sheltered in until the crisis gets over, do definitely reach out to your customers. With that, I do want to hand it back to Erik.
Thanks Sathya. Thanks Adam. That was a great discussion of the technical side and the practical side of what it’s like to implement here are the takeaways and things we recommend you do in a crisis recovery and growth phases:
- Update your business listings, Google, Apple, Yelp, Bing and the Verticals. Engage with your patients from what Adam said about the banner, what you do on the website enhancing your FAQs.
- Communicate with them via telemedicine if you’ve set that up and email.
- Adapt to new behavior online, mobile and no-touch, figure out what people are using and if you have a no-touch solution or you want to talk about sanitation and to lay people’s fears, to help them to help them make a decision to come in and see you and engage with you.
- Leverage the COVID-19 Schemas. I think everybody on the call is going to have some kind of information as we go through these next two phases to update your customers with.
- And get ready for the end of shelter at home. That means your service lines, what are you going to be offering. It might not be everything, Adam told me that they’re opening most of their offices in Texas, but not all of them, it sort of dependent on where the virus was more or less under control.
Think about your staffing. How many people are you going to need, if you have less people coming in, what the office is going to be like. Adam mentioned that what the PPE people are going to be using and that they’re going to be doing temperature checks and all that, that plan has to be developed and then the marketing people help communicate that. And then plan the scale up marketing plan to turn on your PPC plan to turn on your display and harvest what you’ve done in content marketing during these two phases and importantly and lastly plan for additional restrictions to come back just in case there’s definitely a potential story here for some type of shelter in place to return. And the marketing people should be as ready as anybody to have a couple options to roll out and put the market back in semi shutdown if that’s what we get to, but we want to be ready for it next time.
As I said, I audited the websites of the people who registered for this webinar and I’ve created reports on these things and I aggregated that data to make the benchmark research that I shared with you. If you would like a copy of your analysis, go to go.milestoneinternet.com/audit and sign up. I’ll leave this up on the screen for another second or two and then when we go to questions, the URL will be on screen, and this will touch on the schema, the AMP, the mobile, the speed that I talked about in the research results. And you’ll be able to benchmark your individual site performance versus the average of the industry. One of the things that was interesting is I threw in a lot of the largest and most famous hospital systems in the country and their performance was actually below the midsize and the small in terms of using these technologies and in terms of mobile performance.
It was interesting to see, I know people at a lot of those hospitals, and I know they do a good job with SEO and they have a huge content basis, but their technical SEO has an opportunity in it. And if you’re a small-sized or a medium-sized provider competing against these large hospital systems, you can get an advantage by putting in place the kind of technical SEO we’ve talked about here today.
Alright, with that, we are going to go to questions and this is again, the audit URL, if you’d like to sign up and get a copy of your report. Alright, Laura, back to you.
Yes. Thanks so much. Thanks for the insights. As Erik said, we’re opening up for questions. We do have a few coming in right now, but please feel free to add any questions as we discuss the ones that are coming up one that we have is on Google, like
With Google posts, how do you tackle this if you have multiple locations?
Yeah. So we have 15 locations, a disclaimer. So not a crazy amount, but still isn’t and so what we try to do is obviously first and foremost, to make sure that any posts that we do applies to that location because the different locations have different offerings. And we try as much as possible to segment it. So that way if we know one location has patients who are more into this certain procedure, say cosmetic, we know people in Houston are more into these types of procedures. They’ll get those types of posts. Whereas Austin people are into different sort of procedures, they’ll get those types of posts, that being said I still see value in reusing some of the same content as long as it applies to, you know, multiple different locations.
So we’re not afraid of using the same posts for more than one location, but we do try to minimize that as much as possible. That’s the basic answer.
On the technical side, Google previously had restricted publishing Google posts through API. So if you are using one of the vendors for doing Google posts like Milestone, definitely the API now allows you to take a single post and publish it across multiple locations so a single content can be re-published, again, as Adam mentioned, it’s very critical to have content relevant, whenever you’re doing a post, that content that you’re publishing is relevant to that location.
And how long are Google posts visible?
I think right now, first 15 days we are seeing about seven days. But they keep changing it. I don’t know what the current visibility is.
I actually thought it was 30 days, last time I looked but I could be wrong as well. I do know the more you post, you do bury older ones. So you kind of want to keep it fresh each month and sunset out old ones. So keep that in mind. For instance, one of the six to eight that we try to do each month is always like that month specials. So we always will do that at the beginning of the month and then at the end of the month, we’ll sunset that out and put a new one for the next month.
So for other verticals, when we tried it out, at least during the crisis, we saw the lifetime increase by 15 days. But previously before the crisis, it was seven days, now it’s around 15 days and and Adam’s seeing 30 days.
Right. So how many frequently asked questions should someone develop?
I guess as many would be the thing, but most you need to answer as many questions as possible. And more of course definitely will help you to rank for more of these questions that people are commonly asking you. And my recommendation would be as long as you can develop the content and market, build as many questions that are relevant for you and along the keywords that you want to rank for. What do you think, Adam?
I’ll agree to that I will just say we try not to double dip. So we try not to have too many crazy FAQ questions that are similar or about the same topic. We try to have like really distinct segmented FAQ questions, but we usually have a one per procedure or treatment. So we have quite a bit and yeah, I’m saying the more the merrier, as long as again, you’re not continually duplicating questions and answers.
And the follow up question is, should they put frequently asked questions on pages or in a database?
It should be out for Google to index it. I would definitely put it out on the pages and then put it out with markups so that even if website traffic is increasin and if you’re doing these best practices out in Google and you’re driving your website topics, we’ll definitely focus on putting it on the pages.
How many schema types should be on each page?
If I have to answer that question, it will depend on the page first, but what we are seeing is somewhere not of 16 to 18 different schema at bare minimum on every single page that basically identifies your brand, identifies your corporation, your entity, and what the webpage is trying to convey. That’s the bare minimum. And then on top of it, then you look at the content and then for each and every type of content each and every type of asset that is set on the page, you just start adding more and more schema types to mark up every single thing that’s available.
I’ll say I have nothing to add to that. I’m not technical at all, we were in your earlier poll, Erik. We were the groups that had schema errors, I believe, really old and air it out and I kinda knew a little bit about it. Like I knew generally what we’re trying to do with schema is trying to get Google enhance background information on existing page. And I did a little bit of reading on it, but I’m not technical at all so I turned it over to Sathya and Milestone to do everything so sounds great Sathya, I liked your answer.
I believe we have one last one on page or tag injection make a difference for results?
Both practices are fine, on page basically putting the schema definitely will cost more as the schema develops, and if you develop more and more content on page, you need to go and keep on updating your page, you can keep schema and content separated out so you can actually load it and as Adam mentioned, if any of your schema start throwing at us because Google and schema.org they changed the requirements for particular schema type, then you can actually quickly fix it without having to spend any time on development or basically updating your page. Both methods are fine. We use both these methods and we have seen success with it.
We do have actually another question. What tools do you use to develop schema?
So most of our tools are internal tools that we have developed. We have our own professional services team, which basically use that internal tools to audit the content on the site and build a schema for that. Some of the tools we have our visual editors, look at the page and then mark it up. And then I look at all the requirements which are pulled from schema.org. There is quite a bit of automation that is built into it as well into some of these internal tools that we use. Eventually if that is enough interest, we will definitely open it up for the for the public to consume, but all of these tools that are internal tools.
Wonderful. I’d like to thank everybody and all our speakers for a great presentation and please remember there is a brief survey following the conclusion. If you have any questions any more then please feel free to contact myself or any of the presenters and we’ll help you in any way we can everyone have a great afternoon and thank you.
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