Mastering the Matrix: Content, SEO, Penguin & Possum

The Web as you know it —– is alive! It’s growing, evolving, and changing daily.

While websites have yet to develop consciousness like you and I, they still live and grow based on their interaction with website visitors and powerful search engines. According to InternetLiveStatistics.com, there are over 1 billion websites and Google processes 3.5 billion searches per day.

There are 40k @Google searches/second, 3.5 billion/day, 1.2 trillion/year. #SEO Click To Tweet

How does Google rank website results for all of those searches? Google has constructed an elaborate computer algorithm to “look for clues” to identify which websites best provide the information for which the user is searching. There are over 200 factors that are taken into consideration and the algorithm is updated regularly. The most recent updates include Possum, which went into effect on September 1st, and the latest Penguin update which is rolling out today.

From what we can see, Possum primarily impacted local search results. Map listings appear to have a different filter and results depend more upon where you, as the searcher, are physically located.

Penguin originally launched in 2012 and was a wake up call for many SEO companies who thought they could trick the system. There’s no fooling Google! This latest update has two major changes. The first is that Penguin is real-time. This means data is refreshed in real time so changes will be visible faster after sites are crawled and indexed. The second change is Penguin is more “granular”. Spam will be devalued by the algorithm bed on spam signals so the ranking of the entire site will not be effected as has happened in the past.

So, what does this mean for your website? Google has once again shown us that they put user experience first. They continue to find ways to better meet the needs of the user. That must be our mission as well.

@Google puts #ux first and so do we. @CobaltDigitalMarketing #SEO Click To Tweet

Just like a real, living thing, websites require analysis, care and attention to continually grow to meet user needs. If you fail to regularly feed your website fresh content, improved usability, and intuitive navigation, then you’ll likely be viewed by web crawlers as dead.

DO YOU WANT MORE SEARCH TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE?

It’s not a matter of keeping up with the latest changes in Google algorithms, it’s anticipating them. This is how the expertise of a digital marketing agency like Cobalt Digital Marketing can help you get in front of the right search traffic, stay in front of the search traffic and convert the search traffic into customers.

Keeping a healthy, vibrant website requires a meaningful SEO strategy with quality content. It is important to recognize though that quality content means quality content. Fluff and keyword stuffing will not work. Failing to provide any substance will leave your site emptier than a pool in the winter.

Stay on top of the latest Google algorithm change and anticipate future changes by keeping an eye on user experience with these website management tips.

New Content Means More Frequent Indexing

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean higher indexing, but rather that the more often you update your website with new articles, pages, or downloads, the more frequently web crawlers will stop by your living site. Web crawlers, simply put, are programs that scan the Web for websites and “index” a site based on a number of factors determined by a search engine’s algorithm.

So, the more often these little web crawlers are on your site, the better your opportunity to achieve a higher ranking. All because of fresh, quality content.

But again, it’s all about quality over quantity. Flooding your website with shabby quality content is only going to hurt you in the long run and can actually cause you to get penalized.

You can monitor your @Google site crawls in #WebmasterTools crawl stats. #seo Click To Tweet

More Content + More Authority = Informed Audience

New content should include keywords that will help attract visitors to your site. Search engine web crawlers help to locate these keywords in your blogs or postings, which optimizes your ranking, and gets those viewers to your content.

Something important to remember with Google algorithm updates is that they help filter quality content rather than keyword-stuffed drivel. By writing content that answers questions, provides valuable information, or informs readers how to do something, your authoritative potential rises. This understanding that content is king will make you a meaningful player in your specific industry.

@Google favors quality content not keyword-stuffed drivel. #SEO #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

The more relevant and meaningful content you saturate your website with, the more of an authority you become on the internet and the more people will begin to trust what you’re saying. By keeping an informed audience constantly engaged with your site, you’ll develop loyalty, which converts to returning traffic and, ultimately, into customers.

Every time you get search traffic to your site you are handed the perfect opportunity to provide users with information about your business and your services. Remember, these visitors were searching for information, product or service and chose your site from thousands of others. Take advantage of the situation and capture their attention with the right message and content to get them to understand why they need your services more than anyone else’s.

Google Wants to Love Your Website

The truth is that Google is the reigning champ right now in the competitive world of search engines. They are so powerful that they actually influence the manner in which websites are constructed, as well as the methodology of Search Experience Optimization (SEO) techniques. It’s exceedingly important to understand their motivation and let that drive your digital marketing effort and the evolution of your website. They love when websites meet the needs of search queries. They want to see low bounce rates. They will reward you for doing everything you can to create positive user experiences.

We don’t always know when Google algorithm updates are coming. In fact, often they slip by with little notice or comment. While there has not been any official word from Google’s PR team about the latest update, the webmaster and SEO community are confident that we will continue to see search result changes as a result of the algorithm change to Google’s local map filter and organic search results.

SEO Expert Mauricio Piña was noted as saying, “Only time will tell if these algorithm updates will leave any major lasting effects, but the fact of the matter is, the only way to be successful in the SEO and content world is by keeping up-to-date with all the changes that occur in the digital universe.”

“The path to #SEO success is keeping up with and anticipating change” @mauriciopina @google Click To Tweet

Cobalt Digital Marketing Wants YOU to Love YOUR Website Too

Let the phenomenal Cobalt Digital Marketing team help you take control of your digital presence. Our Marketing Catalysts can strategically manage all aspects of your online presence including website design, user experience, SEO, content, and social media, to ensure that you are best positioned to take advantage of future Google algorithm updates.

Anticipate site visitor needs and keep your website growing, evolving and changing. Whether an image, download, or blog, adding fresh material will get you traffic and ultimately sales. So get to writing.
Or let Cobalt Digital Marketing do it for you.

The Squid: The Art Behind Planning Your Digital Marketing Strategy for a Medical Practice

The Squid: The Art Behind Planning Your Digital Marketing Strategy for a Medical Practice

We’ll get to The Squid in a bit, but first, consider this question. How does digital marketing fit into the overall marketing strategy for your medical practice? Perhaps you have no idea and that’s why you are reading this blog.

When considering the marketing of your practice, you must first determine why you want to market at all. Secondly, you’ll want to figure out who your target market is. The last step will be how you want to reach them.

#Planning

At the initial level of this plan, you must understand why you want to market your practice.  While the most common (and obvious) reasons for marketing are to develop more business, you may have more specific reasons for developing an overall plan. What are they? Are they static or fluid? Consider how you would measure these efforts. How would you respond to a need for changing and altering your plans? Later, we will dive a little deeper on goal setting for your digital marketing tactics.

#WhoIsYourPatient

In this digital age of marketing, your practice’s online presence is there whether you have built it or not. Your prospective patients may be trying to find you. Who are you trying to reach? Is your reach general or very specific? By developing the profile of the type of patient you want, and the type of referral source you prefer, your marketing efforts will begin to take some shape.

Your business’s online presence exists. Did you help build it? #takecontrol Click To Tweet

#HowTheSquidWorks

Now, how do you want to reach the ideal patient? How about the ideal referral source? This is where The Squid comes in. The Squid, as represented below, is my format to outline the relationships between my intended marketing tactics and the main practice website. And while I have been teased by my colleagues because of my superior drawing skills, this exercise has helped me decide where to focus my practice’s efforts to reach our ideal patients. In this example, 100% of the effort is digital. In your exercise, this may not be the case.

The practical application for The Squid in this blog is for deciding how digital marketing fits into your overall strategy. So, consider the many options you may have, and then how they relate to your company’s overall marketing plan, as well as how they may interrelate with each other.  Some, but not all, of these options are:

  • Print advertising
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Direct mail
  • Website
  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest)
  • Online directories
  • Online healthcare provider rating websites (Vitals.com, Healthgrades.com)
  • Online consumer rating websites (Yelp.com)

The Catalysts at Cobalt Digital Marketing have industry specific expertise to guide you through these exercises.  We understand the business, and the delivery of digital marketing strategies, and have proven success in helping medical practices build their clientele.

#WhyMarketDigitally

The healthcare consumer of today is largely a digital consumer.  75% of Americans between the ages 57-65 are online. 80% of patients between the ages 47-56 are online. 1 in 20 Google searches is healthcare related and more than 62% of smartphone users have looked up health related conditions in the past year (Pew Research Center). Furthermore, 66% of Americans are willing to use an app to manage their health and lifestyle (Pew Research Center). Lastly – and most significantly in my mind – 41% of potential patients have said that social media would affect their choice of physician, hospital, or medical facility (Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group). The reality is that consumers are now turning online for information and to find services. I’d say it’s time to take control of your digital presence.

80% of patients between the ages of 47-56 are online. #patients #online Click To Tweet 41% of patients say #socialmedia affects #doctor & facility choices. #healthcare #marketing Click To Tweet

#TheBottomLine

Digital marketing is not only an important element of your marketing strategy – it’s vital in today’s marketplace. What’s next is to decide what goals you want to accomplish and what digital media you want to incorporate.

#GoalSetting

Consider the following when developing your digital plan and goals.  Do you want:

  • To manage your online reputation
  • To build a greater following (referrals, new patients) for your business
  • To provide education to current and potential patients
  • To take on your competition and their digital presence
  • Letter E – All of the above
  • Letter F – Something entirely different

There is no right answer. Take some time to consider what your desired outcomes will be if you decide to use digital marketing. Remember, this goal setting must be in line with the type of patient profile and referral source profile that you want to develop. I find this step to be critically important. If you understand your business well, and you know the type of patient you want to bring into the business, you will achieve the goals you set through the proper selection of digital tactics and strategies.

#DigitalTactics

A solid digital marketing strategy is going to incorporate several tactics; from SEO usage on your website, to blogs, as well as the use of social media and online directories. The development of a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, or postings on Pinterest or Instagram may all have a place in the delivery of your message. One broadly used strategy is to utilize social media platforms to drive users (your potential patient) back to your website for more detailed information. Your digital tactics should interact with each other, and not be isolated from one another, in order to put you in the best position to achieve your goals.

#website+#SEO+#content+#SMM=Digital Success Click To Tweet

#TheWrapUp

We’ve offered you a lot to think about in this blog.  There is both an investment and a reward in developing and deploying a successful digital marketing strategy. Cobalt Digital Marketing is here to help you walk through this entire process, from inception to implementation, and beyond. We will continuously work with you to stay current, fluid, and relevant in your digital strategy. Because ultimately. Our goal is the achievement of your goals.

Have a #DigitalMarketing plan. Stay current. Stay relevant. #digitalstrategy Click To Tweet