For some time, there have been rumblings and chatter percolating in the online marketing world saying “SEO is dead”. In its’ stead, the thinking is that webmasters should be focusing on OAO – “Online Audience Optimization” - getting inside the head of their audience to get them commenting on blogs and spending more time on websites. Truth be told, SEO, OAO, SMO…none of it really matters. What matters to ECPs is New Patient Optimization.
For optometrists, the point of all of your online efforts is simply to get you new patients. If top rankings can get you new patients, great go for it. If social media does it for your Practice, focus on that. The point is you have to find what works for your Practice and go with it. This often means exploring and integrating a number of different channels.
Take EyeCarePro for example. We don’t pay attention to SEO for ourselves - we focus on providing good, educational content which automatically improves our rankings. This is nice, but it is not our objective. And social media? We are there, but again we know that it is not our main focus. We do make sure that we're out there publishing content where our audience is looking for it. We are creating trust and getting our name and expertise displayed where we know our client base will see it. How do we know? We create a presence, we test it out and we measure. When we know what works, we run with it. That's our 'new patient optimization' ... but it's different for every business.
So those SEO experts chattering online had one thing right, you do want to know your audience and what they are looking for, but that may not always fall into the trendy nomenclature. Your end goal, as an optometrist, isn’t to get users to comment on your blog or spend a lot of time on your website– it’s to get them to pick up the phone or fill in a form to make an appointment. And the ONLY way to do this it to make sure that whoever is in charge of your online strategy can measure the new patients, booking forms and calls they are generating for you.
Call tracking is one of the most effective ways to see how many calls and new patients are generated from your website. With services such as Twilio, you can purchase a distinct phone number to post on your website that can be forwarded to your office line to distinguish calls that are coming from the web. At EyeCarePro we have also programmed our call tracking service to prompt office reception to indicate whether the caller is a new patient or returning patient and what the outcome of the call was. This information provides invaluable information about the real success of our clients’ websites.
So let’s be real. You can throw around fancy names like OAO or SEO, but when it comes to your online marketing, be careful, because trendy terms may be all you are getting. Your online marketing strategy should be results-focused and that means real numbers that translate into dollar signs - not just a good Google ranking.
Here are some informative resources to help you increase your NPO (New Patient Optimization):
Here is our free online Children’s Vision marketing campaign available for a limited time only.
Looking for help to make NPO an easier and more effective part of your Practice? Check out our ODLingo and ODLite services and contact us at email@example.com or Call Toll Free at 1-866-886-4442 for more information.