The Home Care Software Geek posts in this blog don't talk about Home Care Nursing Software, Private Duty Telephony, DME Delivery Software, Home Infusion Care Management or the other topics we focus on regularly at Ankota. Instead, these posts are intended to keep our readers up to date with technology trends that might be useful to your agencies, such as social media technologies, mobile devices, and what's happening from the big-boys like Microsoft and Google.
Today we talk about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Inbound Marketing. These topics are not the same, but they go hand in hand. The concept of Inbound Marketing comes from a realization of how people find the services they're looking for today. If you're like me, you might start with a google search (or maybe you like bing or yahoo or another search engine). Then you type in what you're looking for, so if I need home care for my mom, I might type something like "Home Care Tavares FL".
Let's look at the result:
I personally tend to ignore the "sponsored ads" up top and on the side for a couple of reasons: 1) often they're not really what I'm looking for (like the assisted living ad), 2) I'm a bit more skeptical of a company who is paying for advertising than I am of a company who I found organically. Some takeways are as follows:
- People search the internet for home care
- They search based on the words that they think of
- They search geographically
- They might search for a neighboring town (like where they shop or where their friends live)
- The DON'T search for a specific company name unless they know it
- They might ignore paid advertising
- They will most likely look at the choices near the top of the list
This basically outlines the concept of Inbound Marketing. It's all about helping potential customers to find your company.
SEO is one of the key techniques that helps you with this. First you need to think about what the customer is likely to search for and come up with the best possible list. Perhaps this is your initial list:
- Home Care Tavares FL
- Home Nurse Tavares FL
- Visiting Nurses Mt. Dora FL
- Non-Medical Home Care Tavares FL
They type these searches into a search engine like google, and of course you want google to find your agency and put it on the first page on the top. The way you do this is through search engine optimization (SEO), which is accomplished by including the words people are looking for on your website, and placing the words that are most likely to be searched in prominant places.
We can talk lot's more about how this works and we'll do so in future posts, but for now let me explain the best way to get a good score for a key word, which is to have your page title (the title at the top of the browser when you search), the URL (which is the web address they searched like http://www.ankota.com/blog/bid/36009/Maximize-the-Value-of-your-Private-Duty-Software), and the header at the top of your page (which your website people will know as the H1 header) match your keyword. See the example below:
The first question you should ask yourself is whether your agency's website supports SEO. Here's the test:
- Go to your home page on the web and see if your title matches the most likely phrase that people would search for (the likely case is that it's your company name - which is great if the name is meaningful like "Tavares Home Care" but usually it's not). Note that home pages are tricky because you probably want your name in the title, but I'd recommend putting the search phrase first and then the name, such as "Home Care Tavares FL - TLC Care Group"
- Go to other pages on your site and verify that they have different titles (intended to track different audiences - such as "Nursing - Tavares FL" or "Private Duty Care - Tavares FL"). If every page has your company name as the title, such as "TLC Care Group", then people are likely to only find you on the web if they search for that name.
If you pass these two tests, you're off to a good start. If not, you can probably fix this by the end of the day today. We'll cover more advanced SEO topics in future posts.