Natural Language Search and SEO Impact

By: Glenn Judah

Each person has their own unique style of communicating from particular word choice to sentence phrasing. When you tell a story or talk in conversation, it feels natural. Communicating with a search engine on the other hand, can feel forced.  We are used to performing keyword-based searches to find information on the web.

This is changing.

According to Search Engine Watch, natural language search “is an attempt to make searching faster and more effective by understanding searcher intent and more complex, multi-part queries.”

Google wants to answer our questions based on how we would ask a real living person. Computers and technology has made major improvements to process natural language and respond appropriately. Google made advances to understanding and answering questions with voice search in 2008, and the Knowledge Graph in 2012.

The search engine giant says “the Google app is starting to truly understand the meaning of what you’re asking.” This allows Google to understand the semantics and intent for each search query.

How does this work?

Search Engine Land reports Google is improving at handling superlatives, times and other complicated questions. Examples include:

  • What are the largest cities in Texas?
  • What songs did Taylor Swift record in 2014?
  • Who was the U.S. President when the Angels won the World Series?

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What impact does natural language search have on SEO?

Google and other search engines have been moving away from the importance keyword targeting for delivering relevant search results. Natural language search is the next step in this process for evaluating page content beyond keywords and looking at overall quality, related topics and searcher intent.

Google wants digital marketers, content writers and webmasters to create content that is for the user, not the search engine. If you speak the language of your consumer, then the correct keywords will naturally come through the content.

It’s A Small World After All

By: Emily Williams

How a Trip to Disney World made my world smaller.When I was five, my parents decided to take my older sisters and me to Disney World. I don’t remember too much, but there is one thing I will always remember from the trip:

The “It’s a Small World” ride… Caught. On. FIRE.

Yes, I’d say that is quite memorable. We were riding in the boat through the various countries when suddenly our boat stopped for a very long time somewhere near “Europe”. Next thing we know, there is smoke ahead of us and we find out that the boat just in front had caught on fire. Our “captain” got out of the boat and helped each of us climb up onto the set and make our way to the emergency exit. I suppose some little kids might find this scary. Not me. Instead of just watching the set sing and dance, my dream came true. I was actually in Scandinavia – or maybe Eastern Europe – with these amazing little characters that were just my size. And I LOVED it. I got to walk through Europe – all the way to the emergency exit.

I came home and told my Kindergarten friends that I went to Europe. I didn’t… I was in Orlando. But Disney made my world that much smaller.

I have since been to Eastern Europe in real life, but even that doesn’t make my world feel quite as small as the people and places that I can explore online now.

In fact, Facebook says that the world is even smaller than it was when I was five. It has been commonly known for decades that you are connected to every other person in the world by just six degrees of separation. Every. Single. Person. Even that seems very close!

However, Facebook performed research on its own social network and determined that – out of its 1.59 billion active users – people in the U.S. are separated from every person in the world by just 3.46 degrees!

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That’s right. Social media brought the world almost twice as close as it used to be.

The internet has connected such a multitude of people that information spreads like wildfires. Good or bad. Right or misinformed.

Because of this, there are three things that you can to enhance your online marketing efforts:

  1. Double check before you post.

Before you post anything to social media or send out a digital correspondence, always ask yourself if it is helpful and appropriate. You only get one shot. Sure, if you post something on Facebook that you later want to delete, you can delete it from showing on your page. But it’s already out there. People have seen it, formed an opinion and perhaps even shared it or taken a screen shot. Things that you might post on a personal page are not always appropriate for your facility’s page.

  1. Create Shareable Content.

Whether through emails or social media or your website, the more shareable content you create, the bigger the audience you will have. For example, on Facebook your posts will show to those who have liked your page. But as soon as one of your followers likes, comments or shares, your content is exposed to all of that person’s contacts. And it just keeps growing!

Don’t forget – bad news blows up quickly. But so does good news! Share encouraging stories often.

  1. Promote Your Practice Online

It’s okay to promote your own practice on social media! Consider advertising online appointment scheduling, a new doctor or a unique service of your facility.

Just make sure that you add value and vary your posts. Every Facebook page should have three goals (perhaps sharing relevant health news, getting new patients for a particular doctor and raising awareness of a particular service-line). And we also recommend having three posts per week to maintain an active Facebook page. Try using one post per week to support each goal!

Make sure that you are using online networks to your advantage when promoting your facility digitally.

It’s a small world after all!

Reputation Management Tips for the New Year: Build (And Maintain) Your Social Media Presence and They Will Come

By: Keiana Hastings

This is the third post in a four-part Reputation Management Tips for the New Year series dedicated to tips that can help you manage / improve your online reputation in the new year. Our first tip was Ask Patients to Leave Positive Reviews and our second tip was Update Social Links in M-3 Advocate.

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Establishing a strong online presence is no easy feat. Having a “build it and they will come” mentality won’t take you very far in the realm of online marketing. Not only do you have to build it, you have to promote it and maintain it. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Provide high quality content Patients follow brands that provide them with the products, services, and content they desire. High quality content is a great way to increase your brand visibility and provide patients with important information. Delivery is key, so make sure you know your audience. Do they prefer videos? Infographics? Text?
  1. Maintain an active online presence. Don’t post too much or too little. Post too much and patients will unfollow you. Post too little and patients will forget you exist. Find a happy medium—at least 3 posts per week— and post interesting articles that relate to your line of service. If you need content ideas and aren’t currently subscribed to our content newsletter, let us know!
  1. It’s what you say and when you say it. Social media is essentially an extension of your practice. When you post is just as important as what you post. A good post loses its value if no one sees it. Check out this recent post to see when and where you should be posting your new high quality content.
  1. Use promotional material. Sometimes patients need a gentle push in the right direction. Distributing promotional materials is a great way to increase your online visibility and ultimately your presence. The reputation management team has promotional materials available that can be customized with your facility name and logo. Contact your account manager for more information.
  1. Email campaigns If used effectively, email campaigns can have a large ROI. As social media continues to grow, so does the need for email and social media integration. We’ve listed a few tips that can help you increase your follower base.
  • Include social icons in emails
    Don’t have the icons hidden at the bottom of the email where no one will see them. Instead, include the icons in your header. Share them loud and proud.
  • Send a dedicated email
    Make it clear to patients that you would like them to follow your practice or hospital on social media.

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Establishing your online presences may take a lot of effort on the front end, but the ROI is usually worth it. What tactics does your facility use to gain new followers?

Create a Digital Plan for the Year and Stick to It

By: Carla Rivera

These days, if you find yourself running a business, you’re more than likely using the Internet to promote it.  For some, it is a struggle to keep up with every digital platform and be consistent with posting quality content.  This is why creating a digital plan for the year will help you stay on track week by week, allowing you to concentrate on what’s really important—attending to your customers.

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Now that 2016 has officially begun, chances are you have either already done this or have avoided it.  If you already created a digital plan, good for you!  If you haven’t, we are here to help.

The purpose of this post is not to give you a step by step process on how to plan a digital calendar for each digital channel.  What we want to give you are three key points that will help get the ball rolling to create a digital plan for 2016 that will help you be consistent with posting content online, this year and always.  Let’s get started:

  1. Do Your Research → Start by looking into each platform’s analytics for the previous year. Pull reports and answer a few questions: what topics engaged the readers more?  What type of content did they look at?  (video, photo, etc.)   Who looked at the content (demographics)?  How did they look at the content?  (desktop, mobile, etc.)  Which digital outlets worked better for the business?  Take all the answers into consideration for the new plan.  This will allow you to target the right people with the right content, through the right digital channels.  This might even rule out a social media platform that just isn’t cutting it—freeing up some precious time!
  1. Get Organized → We’ve already discussed the importance of creating a content calendar before. If you’re working with more than a handful of digital platforms, create a calendar for each.  If you only concentrate on  1-3 digital channels, create one calendar for all.  Do whatever is easier for you!  This will help you plan content ahead of time and maybe even show where you might need a little extra help.
  1. Re-group Quarterly → Once the calendar is in place and content is being posted as scheduled, it’s good to take a look back to see if there have been any changes. We advise that you go back to step 1 (Do Your Research) at the end of each quarter and look at those analytics again.  (Yes, each quarter.  Trust us…you do not want to wait a whole year to review.)  Ask yourself, what’s working and what’s no longer working?  You may notice changes; this will help you adjust your game plan for the next quarter.

Planning your Facebook Content for the New Year

By: Kelly Bodell

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The end of 2015 is upon us – believe it or not! So seize the day and start planning your Facebook content for the New Year now! In order to plan your content we recommend you follow these five guidelines:

  1. Create a Content Calendar – We highly recommend you plan and create content ahead of time by using a content calendar. You can use the content calendar template you received during Course 200, or you can create your own.

    When creating your content calendar, the most important thing is that it is organized, easy to use and fits your needs. You may find that a Google Doc or Sheet is the best place to store your content calendar if you have multiple people contributing to the content for your Facebook page.

  1. Define & Use Your Goals – Evaluate the goals you set during PMP 200 and determine if they are still applicable, practical and attainable. The end of the year is always a good time to reevaluate your goals as you look ahead to 2016.
    If you did not set goals when you started your Facebook page, now is the time to create them! For example, one common goal for Facebook pages is to keep patients informed about happenings at your facility. These goals will help shape your content for 2016.
  2. Outline Your Weekly Posts – In order to stick to your goals, outline your posts for each week. For example, if one of your goals is to educate your patients, be sure to include at least one post with health tips each week. Don’t forget: We recommend posting three times per week.

    When using your content calendar, summarize the posts you need to include for that week to help you with planning. So instead of writing a full post, simply write “Health Tip” or “Practice News” in that day’s space in order to make it easier to create the content.

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  3. Keep it concise – Whether you are writing Facebook content for the year, six months or just for the month of January, it may seem like a daunting task. However, if you stick to our recommended best practice of keeping your text two sentences or less, it will make writing the content easier.

    Remember to keep all the content short, sweet and to the point. For example, if you are posting a health article provide a short teaser to the article instead of summarizing it in the post.

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  4. Plan your imagery – If the images are the most daunting part of planning your content, make them your priority. Because you cannot simply pull any image off of Google due to copyright concerns, this can be the most time consuming element. We suggest that you ask for help from others in your office.

    Don’t forget that when you are linking to an article, an image preview will often appear from the site. You CAN allow these images to appear on your Facebook page. You didn’t create the image, but the link to the original source serves as a citation.

    We also suggest using a program called Canva, a user-friendly design tool where you can easily create and store any images you may need for your Facebook content. The program is free to use and has an abundance of free backgrounds, images and icons. Some images on the site do cost $1.00 to use, but you can create high quality imagery without ever purchasing any of those. To learn more about Canva, watch this helpful video:

How to Add Share Buttons to Your Blog Post

By: Carla Rivera

Share Buttons

By: Carla Rivera

There are many factors to keep in mind when writing a blog post for your business, some more obvious than others.  One thing that it’s often overlooked during this process is giving each post the capability of actually being shared.  Now more than ever before, sharing your content is just as important as writing it.  What’s the point of a great post when only a few people get to read it?

When writing a blog post, one must always follow the logical steps: brainstorm what you want to write about, do your research, include sharable material (i.e. photo and/or video), credit the correct sources, etc.  But one thing that can be easily forgotten is adding share buttons to your post.

How many times have you wanted to share something on Facebook and can’t find that share button, resulting in this process of having to go to a separate window, logging in, and copy/pasting the link into your status box in order to share?  More often than not, you end up not posting anything.  By simply adding share buttons to each post you are not only engaging the reader, but you are also enabling them.

The following steps will show you how to easily add share buttons to a blog post:  (Note: These steps are for the WordPress.com blogging platform.)

Step 1 – Once you’re logged in, click on My Site at the top left to go into your blog’s dashboard.

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Step 2 – Once in the dashboard, scroll down to Configure  and click on Sharing.

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Step 3 – This page will give you two options to choose from: Connections or Sharing Buttons—click on the latter.

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Step 4Sharing Buttons will allow you to fully customize the appearance of your share buttons, starting with editing the label text.  You can do this by clicking on Edit label text at the top, type in the title and then click on Close.

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Step 5Edit visible sharing buttons by clicking on the buttons you want to add or remove.  This will also give you the option of reordering the buttons to your liking by clicking on Reorder.  Once you’re finished, click on Close.

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Step 6 – Now that the buttons are added, you may proceed to customize their appearance.  We advise that you choose the Official Buttons since they are the most recognized by the readers.  Also, adding the options to Reblog & Like your posts is a great way to engage the reader.  Once you have customized these, click on Save Changes.

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Step 7 – Under Options, choose to show the share buttons on Posts and Pages.  This will automatically add the buttons to each every single time.  Click on Save Changes when finished.

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Done and done!  Remember that you can always preview the share buttons while customizing them in the Preview box at the top of this section.  Once all changes have been made you are good to go. Easy!

Best Times for Businesses to Post Content Online

By: Carla Rivera

In our fast-paced world where content is being posted and shared at rapid-fire speed, how do you capture your audience’s attention?  The truth is that every company is continuously trying to figure this out, some faster than others.  What sets them apart?  Not only having the perfect “sharable” content and the right tools, but also having the right knowledge.  When it comes to social media, this means knowing when to post on each outlet.

You hear it all the time, “timing is everything.”  Posting content at just the right time on social media means reaching a broader audience.  The more people that see your content, the bigger the audience you engage and the more likely they are to share that content, giving you an even wider reach than you initially anticipated.  Did I mention posting on social media doesn’t cost a thing?  You have a free marketing tool right at your hands, so why not use it correctly?!

You may remember a similar post on our blog from May 2014. Remember that statistics on social media are always changing.  Make sure you do your research every year to keep up with the latest trends.

Nora Flint of TruConversion recently released the latest analytics on the best times for businesses to share content on each social media platform.

Here is the breakdown:

facebookFacebook

Best Time:  1 p.m. – 3 p.m., with Friday being the best day for user engagement.  People tend to be in a better mood on Fridays, too.  Use this day to your advantage!  Facebook also allows you to schedule posts ahead of time so don’t forget use this feature.  And remember that videos are more engaging than any other content, followed closely by status updates, links and photos.

Worst Time:  8 p.m. – 8 a.m.  If your practice is closed outside of normal daytime business hours, then you may not be posting then anyways!

Quick Tip!  Need content?  Share a video you recently posted on your YouTube channel.

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Twitter

Best Time:  12 p.m. and 6 p.m. for a higher CTR, with Wednesdays and weekends being the best days for user engagement.  If you’re looking for more retweets, then 5 p.m. is the right time for this.  Also, weekdays are always a good time to tweet being that most people check their Twitter during office hours.  And even though you can’t schedule tweets, the 140 character limit makes it easy to tweet at any time.

Worst Time:  8 p.m. or later any day, particularly on Fridays after 3 p.m.   Think of nighttime as a “Twitter Break.”

Quick Tip!  Try posting small facts and bits of information related to the most searched medical terms.  You never know who might be thinking of booking an appointment that pertains to something that you just posted.

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YouTube

Best Time:  12 p.m. – 3 p.m.  You will be able to engage more users in the evening, with peak time being from Thursday – Sunday.  If you have content that you’d like to share, make sure you post it towards the end of the work week.

Worst Time:  5 a.m. – 6 a.m., especially Monday – Wednesday.

Quick Tip!  What makes content viewable and sharable?  Just think, what am I expecting to see in this YouTube channel?  More than likely the answer will be: provider bios, practice overviews, educational videos, testimonials, facility tours, provider Q&A’s, etc. Anything informative.

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Google+

Best Time:  9 a.m. – 10 a.m., with user engagement being higher on Wednesdays.  If you’re going to make a social media post when you first come into work, this should be it.

Worst Time:  3 a.m. – 7 a.m.  Conveniently, this is snooze time for most.

Quick Tip!  Since this platform is perfect for targeting people between the ages of 45–54, this makes a great outlet to share information about your practice, videos, health-related articles, etc.

Check out TruConversion’s infographic for stats on additional social media platforms!