I was on vacation earlier this year with my wife, who really likes to sleep in on vacation. I like the idea of sleeping in as well, but I just can't do it. Sometimes I can stay in bed until around 8:00 or 8:15, but that's about it. My wife is more of a night owl and she likes to be woken up on vacation around 11:00.
Based on this, I put a routine together where I'd get out of bed, catch up on email with a coffee, then go to the gym, then wake up my wife. While sitting with my laptop and coffee, I met a really interesting guy named Steven who is an acupuncturist in the Miami area. We got to talking about web advertising. He shared a very interesting and powerful story about their Internet marketing, as follows:
When they first promoted their web site, they used Google Ad words to pop to the top of the search results as a paid ad
Over time they became more successful and popular, and people started giving them strong on-line reviews
Now their practice comes up as the top "organic" search result
He also shared that when people call them who were referred by a customer or saw strong reviews, the prospect is bought in and wants to work with them, whereas those who come in response to an ad are more likely still shopping and looking for discounts
Interestingly, I don't think that I ever knew Steven's last name or the name of his agency but I just did a Google search for "accupuncture Miami" and his company came up right away. Clearly Steven's agency got it right, and you can replicate his success.
A Note About Search Results
As a general rule, the first company on the Google search results that's NOT an Ad has the most clout. Although Google doesn't share the details of how they rank, it's clear that it's a combination of having the right keywords, how much traffic comes to the site, and how many other sites have "linked" to the content on the site. Google also looks for how frequently the site changes (you lose clout if the content is stagnant or constantly updated).
A Recent Caring.com Survey Supports These Findings
According to a survey conducted by and reported on Caring.com, there are 3 key factors you should focus on to improve your search rankings. Please read the full article for detail, but their 3 key points are as follows:
Web Searches DON'T Begin with Company Names or Industry Terms: so make sure that your site is optimized for general terms like "home care" and the towns that you serve.
Customer Reviews Matter: In Steven's case he has 104 Google reviews and almost perfect 5 star rating.
Third Party Senior Care Websites Top the List of Most Trusted Source for Reviews: I have mixed feelings on this one... I often receive solicitations like "you've been chosen as one of the top 5 home care software companies and you can confirm your selection by paying the following fee." That doesn't feel right to me, but it shouldn't be ignored
How Can You Improve Your Search Results?
The keys to improving your search results are as follows:
Provide good rich content on your site: The best way to do this is with a blog, where your blog posts are informative and contain the terms people are searching for (preferably in the title)
Make sure to score for key words that customers are searching for and avoid insider jargon. Write posts that reference home care, senior care, care for the elderly, care for aging parents, home health, and home nursing (because people outside of our industry don't know the difference between home health and home care and don't know tems like private duty)
Get reviews: encourage your happy customers to write reviews. Despite that fact that Caring.com disagrees, I personally believe that Google reviews are the best.
For more best practices, take a look at our white paper, Seven Habits of Highly Effective Home Care Agencies. If you're interested in scheduling an online demo of our home care or care transitions software solutions, just click this button:
Ankota provides software to improve the delivery of care outside the hospital, focusing on efficiency and care coordination. Ankota's primary focus is on Care Transitions for Readmission avoidance and on management of Private Duty non-medical home care. To learn more, please visit www.ankota.com or contact us.