SERP, Meta Data, SEM, CTR…what does it all mean?

You went to school to be a top-notch hearing healthcare provider, not a top-notch marketing executive, right?

Reaching your customers, however, requires you to engage digital marketing and the language that goes along with it.

Don’t stress yourself if you don’t know your site impressions from your unique visitors, or your bounce rate from your conversion rate — you have Consult YHN’s Marketing Department and this glossary of website/digital marketing terms to help you make sense of the information.

Website Design

Blog

A blog is a site page that features regularly updated content. That content could include office announcements/changes, event invites, and discussions about new device technology or health information.

Content

The copy, images and videos that make up a website.

Domain

The registered name of a website, purchased through a company like GoDaddy. For example, ConsultYHN.com, yourhearingnetwork.com.

Hosting

The “space” you rent on the internet where all the code and content (pictures, videos, copy) that makes up your website lives. A company such as GoDaddy must host your website for it be visible.

Keyword

A word or phrase that people use when searching for something online. Keywords are also the words or phrases included in a site’s content to increase search engine rankings.

Meta Data

Information built into the coded structure of a website that helps tell search engines what the site, individual site pages, images, and video are about. This can include meta-tags and meta-descriptions. Providing this information is part of the site design process and updating it can be a part of an SEO strategy.

Mobile Responsive

A site designed to automatically resize content and adjust to different screen sizes used across devices. The site would automatically resize to accommodate smartphone, tablet and desktop viewing. This is a must-have feature in 2017.

Platform

A reference to how a site was built. WordPress has become a standard platform used by many sites.

Search Engine

Website designed to provide a list of “results” based on the keywords searched. Google, Bing, Yahoo (in that order) are the three most used search engines.

SERP

Search Engine Results Page. The list of sites returned as answers to a search engine search. For example, if you were to search for “women’s suits,” you would want the search engine results page to list sites where you can buy women’s suits.

URL

The full web address of a website that is typed into an internet browser to access the site. For example, www.ConsultYHN.com, www.yourhearingnetwork.com.

Webmaster

The person who manages, and typically can make changes to, a website. If you use a “build-your-own website” platform like Wix, you are the webmaster. If you use a company to build your website or perform ongoing digital marketing, they may be the webmaster. Please Note: If you have a company managing your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, they may not be managing your website.

Website Analytics

Analytics

The data and statistics about the users of a website and how they interact with the website. This can include the device they’re using, where they are, how long they visit the site, if they perform an action on the site (fill out a form), and some demographics.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of site visitors that leave from the same page they enter. For example, a person visits the home page and exits the site without viewing any other pages.

Conversion Rate

The percentage of unique site visitors who “convert” to leads. For an audiology practice, this would typically be someone who filled out a form on the site or called the office.

Rank

The place in search results where a site appears. This is determined by an algorithm (Google’s is considered the industry standard). The actual factors are secret but include keyword density (how many times keywords are included across a site), mobile responsiveness, content quality, and whether recent and regular content updates are made. The Google algorithm is updated about once a year.

Session

Can be interchanged with “visit.” Each time a site is viewed.

Site Impressions

The number of times a site was shown in search results.

Traffic

A total of how many people visited a website. This is typically broken into three segments:

  • Organic Traffic — Those who visited the site as a result of a web search. E.g., they searched for “hearing aids Philadelphia” and they clicked on your site in the search results.
  • Referral Traffic — Those referred to a site from another website. E.g., a person may visit a site from a Facebook link or clicked on a link to your blog, which you shared on your Facebook page.
  • Paid Traffic — Those who visited the site because they clicked on an ad.

Visitor

A person who visits the site. Analytics software will typically break this count into unique (first time) visitors and total visitors.

Digital Marketing

Ad Impressions

The number of times your paid ad is displayed with search results. This is dictated in part by ad budget and quality of ad (how well Google says it matches a search keyword)..

CPA

Cost per “acquisition.” The average cost per conversion..

CPC

Cost Per Click. The price paid when a person clicks on an ad. This is determined by a bid system and can vary widely based on factors such as geographical location, keyword competition (how many people want to buy a keyword), and time of day.

CTR

Click Through Rate. The percentage of ads that were clicked on.

Display ads

Image ads that are displayed on outside websites to people who have not been to your website.

Landing Page

A page visitors are directed to after they click on a paid ad. These are specifically built to encourage conversions and feature information specifically tied to the ad, a form, and a strong call to action. These pages can have a higher bounce rate than the rest of a site because they are specifically built to capture lead information rather than provide overall education.

Local Listings

A term for online directories that act like phone books, confirming a business’ NAP (name, address, phone number) across the internet. Google Maps is one of hundreds of public local listing resources online that search engines rely on to confirm information.

PPC

Pay Per Click. Ads that appear at the top and bottom of search engine result pages based on searched keywords. The cost is based on a bidding system and you only pay for an ad when someone clicks on it.

Retargeting ads

Also referred to as remarketing ads, they are image-based ads displayed on other websites, shown only to visitors of the original site. Have you ever looked at an item on Amazon, only to have an ad for that item shown on a news website later that day? That is a retargeting ad.

SEM

Search Engine Marketing. The broad term for continuing digital activities like search engine optimization (SEO), social media advertising, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

SEO

Search Engine Optimization. The idea of using design and content to give a visitor the best possible user experience (menu order makes sense, images load correctly, mobile responsive), the most relevant information (developing quality content with relevant keywords throughout the site), and to obtain the best possible search results rank.

Social Media

Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that allow users to create and share their own content. These sites now also have their own advertising programs.

If you have questions about any of the terms in our glossary, need guidance to effectively market your practice, or don’t know where to start, please call us at 800-984-3272 or email us at marketing@ConsultYHN.com.

We exist to alleviate the stress and jargon associated with marketing your practice so that you can stay focused on helping individuals hear well.

About the Author

Rachel Atar joined Consult YHN in 2015 as Marketing Account Executive. With experience in multiple industries, Rachel has consistently helped small businesses navigate marketing for their end consumers. Prior to joining Consult YHN, she was Taylored Home Health Care’s Marketing Manager.

Video: A crucial component to your marketing strategy.

You’ve heard the adage “Content is king,” right? Content drives traffic to your website and increases your online presence.

So, who or what is the undisputed king of content? That can be answered in one word: Video.

Research shows that including video on your website is effective for marketing to your patients and prospects, as well as for tracking your marketing data. Here are a few reasons why video should be a part of your marketing strategy.

Video is engaging.

It’s easy to see why. Written text can feel clichéd and trite no matter how accurately it portrays you and your practice. Images are more compelling than text and the visual/auditory elements of video create a far more captivating experience. Video engages the viewer on a personal level and makes them more likely to remember you, your content, and your brand.

Speaking in front of a camera is not for everyone, however. Take me, for instance. I feel most at ease behind the camera. Flip the lens on me and I take on the personality of a rutabaga.

Thankfully, you are in the people business, selling a service and an experience. You interact with others all day. If you want to engage and make a personal connection, video is the closest thing to your daily, face-to-face conversations.

Video builds trust.

Any audiologist (or paid writer) can claim that “we offer the best care,” but only you can convey your uniqueness, credibility and sincerity. Only through video can you convey a true sense of who you are and what you’re like. Video captures your authenticity and differentiates you from the internet crowd.

The same holds true for patient testimonials. A 30-second video clip of a happy patient is far more effective than a well-crafted paragraph. It elicits emotional responses and makes a connection with your prospects.

Video has a wide reach.

Videos are multi-platform friendly. You can upload them on YouTube, post them on your website, and share them on all your social media outlets. Viewers, including third-party and referral sources, are more likely to share a video than a block of text with a relative or friend. A single video has the potential to reach hundreds (or thousands!) of patients and prospects.

Video is effective (and the research proves it).

If you’re still not convinced of the importance of video to the purchase process, consider these numbers:

  • 90 percent of users say that seeing a video is helpful in the decision-making process. (Forbes)
  • Retailers cite a 40 percent increase in purchases as a result of video. (Adobe)
  • Four times as many consumers prefer to watch a video than read text. (Animoto)
  • Four in five consumers say that video about a product or service is important. (Animoto)
  • Almost 50 percent of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. (ThinkWithGoogle)
  • Marketers who use video grow revenue 49 percent faster than non-video users. (VidYard)
  • Enjoyment of video ads increases purchase intent by 97 percent and brand association by 139 percent. (Unruly)
  • 80 percent of customers remember a video they’ve watched in the last month. (Hubspot)
  • By 2019, video will represent over 85 percent of all Internet traffic in the U.S. (Cisco)

If you’ve been working with our marketing team, then you know the importance of data behind your efforts. Here are a few more numbers that show how video can play an integral part in your marketing:

  • Video can increase landing page conversion rates by 86 percent. (WishPond)
  • Including video in an email increases click-through rate by 96 percent. (Forrester)
  • Content with video see 27 percent higher click-through rates. (VidYard)
  • Pages with videos are 50 times more likely to land on the first page of Google’s search results than text-based content. (PR Newswire)
  • 52 percent of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. (HubSpot)

If you’re not incorporating video in your marketing strategy, you might want to reconsider.

About the Author

Rolando Corpus joined Consult YHN in 2011 and serves as Art Director. He has more than 12 years’ experience in graphic design, digital marketing, and video production. He received a bachelor of arts degree from St. Joseph's University and a master of arts degree from The University of Pennsylvania.

A Decade of Marketing: a journey through change and transformation

When I began my career in marketing over a decade ago, my world was very different. Reflecting upon this time with what I now know, I admit that there was a lot of guesswork, trial and error was often a “strategy,” and the concept of tracking was a “nice to have.” It wasn’t just because it was early in my own career; it’s just how things were done. At the time, most of my clients were focused on their newspaper and direct mail efforts and were obsessed with the creative side of things. They reluctantly dabbled in digital media [which was barely a “thing”] with a “state-of-the-art” HTML website – and this was only when they had a few dollars left in the budget and were told ad nauseam it was a good idea. These approaches were acceptable for the time, but there’s been a LOT of evolution at a breakneck pace over the past decade. As a marketer, I’ve continued to run to keep up [and have enjoyed every minute of it]!

Truth be told, during the early 2000’s it was a bit of a “churn and burn” approach to marketing – which campaign can we implement now to obtain a few new customers, never to think about them again after purchase? Since there wasn’t much data analysis, when a client “felt” like something didn’t work, they’d pull the plug and often prematurely abort an otherwise successful program. Plus, social media was in its infancy and you were lucky if you carried the latest flip phone…

Fast forward to [almost] 2015 and it’s truly a different world. There are many things I’m grateful for – the focus on segmented, targeted messaging, a high level of importance placed on tracking and analytics and the power of the consumer. The last point might be the most significant switch – as marketers we need to constantly focus on customer experience, retention and communication preference. 10yrsThis concept is a wonderful touchstone to consider when planning and implementing marketing strategies. We now find ourselves continuously asking: What resonates with the customer? How do they like to be reached [via text, email, direct mail, etc.]? What does “great” look like to them? How can we better reach, speak with and connect with our customer?

Successful communication with the customer is hinged upon targeted messaging via the appropriate medium, not just about the creative campaign – this is a significant cultural shift in the world of marketing. The mass messaging approach of yester year is a waste of time, energy and resources. Today’s consumer is highly educated and motivated to purchase based on their needs and preferred buying habits. Understanding these preferences – and communicating to each consumer in a relevant way – is the key to capturing their business, making them a repeat buyer and [hopefully] obtaining referrals for your business and/or product.

The main way today’s consumers become so informed and savvy is through online research, including price  shopping, product reviews, and referrals from peer-to-peer interactions [social media]. These are the main reasons that today’s marketing strategies and tactics are so digitally focused. It’s important for potential clients to be able to find your business via online mediums. You’ll want to ensure that you’re online reputation is stellar; this is accomplished through online reviews, social media exposure and ongoing content [regular blog postings].

Regardless of the industry, times change and marketing is often a significant driving force. I know that both my professional and personal experiences have changed because of marketing. Those who pay attention to the changes, embrace the journey and transform along the way are the ones who’ll have the most success!

Plan to Measure & Measure the Plan

blog post pic

As 2014 is coming to a close (we can tell by the plethora of holiday décor in every retail store), we want you to seriously consider your marketing strategy for 2015.  If you don’t already have your plan in place – and some do – you may not be sure where to begin.  Our number one recommendation is to look backward before looking forward, meaning assess your marketing efforts from 2014 and how each one contributed to the bottom line before embarking on a plan for the next 12-months.

Two Consult YHN colleagues recently co-authored an article in Hearing Review that sums up this idea perfectly: Know Your Marketing; Know Your ROI.  By having a defined marketing plan and tracking its efficacy (plus course correcting along the way), you’ll be able to capture beneficial trends from your data and eliminate wasteful spending.

But first, you have to actually develop the plan.  After allocating 10-12% of your overall budget towards marketing, we recommend:

  • Using a targeted multi-media approach with frequency and consistency (including direct mail, print and digital media)
  • Ensuring you are communicating with both your current customers and prospects via mail, telemarketing, etc.
  • Creating messaging that resonates with your target audiences; i.e. speak to individuals about what matters to them via their preferred communication channels – email, print, text, etc.

Once your plan is up and running, track the results.  As recommended in Know Your Marketing; Know Your ROI, many computer programs are available to facilitate and simplify tracking (Consult YHN has one), but typically a person(s) in your office must physically input the response data.  It’s important to consistently gather this data because you will use it to calculate your return on investment, or ROI.

Once you gather the data, then what?  Consult YHN recommends a quarterly assessment of all marketing initiatives to analyze trends, assess the performance of the plan, and ensure marketing dollars are being spent wisely.  Some key metrics to pay attention to: number of calls (how many times did the phone ring from each initiative), number of appointments set and number of hearing devices sold.  The aggregate of these metrics will contribute to your ROI calculation.  To discover how to properly calculate ROI, click here.

Remember, marketing 101 tells us that developing a plan and working that plan frequently and consistently yields success; couple that with tracking your results, calculating ROI and analyzing those results in order to tweak your plan will put you on a successful marketing trajectory.

 

For questions or a free 30 minute marketing consultation, contact marketing at marketing@ConsultYHN.com.

Even the Changes are Changing

Not so long ago we learned how to “Google it” to learn anything we wanted to know. It was a rapid rise to freedom of information and instant knowledge.

Over the years since then there have been shifts in the Google landscape. Many people who wouldn’t even THINK of themselves as technical by nature have taken up conversations about the mysterious Google algorithms and the secret sauce to getting to the top of their search pages.

Numerous studies have been conducted that look at how we, as search engine users, relate to the search results presented by Google. According to a recent report from Mediative, the way people engage with the search engine result pages (SERPs) has changed significantly over the past decade.

serps-mediative-2005
2005

In 2005 they conducted a study using eye tracking and found that users tended to focus their gaze on the top-left corner of a SERP where the first result was usually displayed. This area became known as the “Golden Triangle.” Look at the heat mapped image of the 2005 study, you can see for yourself that the area in that upper left corner was the focus of attention for most participants.

serps-mediative-2014
2014

Today, the Golden Triangle has all but disappeared. A look at the 2014 results demonstrate how strikingly different behaviors are from those observed a decade ago. Users tend to scan down the page more now and vary their focus on other areas depending on their particular search. The 2014 heat map image indicates a much broader area of observation.

This change in behavior is partially the result of changes Google has made to its SERPs along with the impact of our increased use of mobile devices.  Consumers have become conditioned to scan vertically more than horizontally.

Back in 2005, the most relevant results were nearly always in the upper-left corner of the page. Google has introduced a number of new elements since then including the Knowledge Graph, Carousel, and Local Listings among others.

The study reveals some interesting details:

  • Users now tend to scan pages more quickly. In 2005, searchers spent just under 2 seconds viewing each listing; in 2014 that has dropped to 1.17 seconds.
  • The impact of a Knowledge Graph result varied significantly depending on whether or not the answer was relevant. Participants often skipped irrelevant Knowledge Graph results and went straight to the listings below them. However, if a Knowledge Graph result was relevant, it drew away a significant amount of attention from the subsequent listings.
  • Google’s Carousel—an image strip at the top of the page accompanied by other information such as ratings—had much less of an impact on the searchers results than did Knowledge Graph.

But, the most interesting details to emerge are these:

  • The highest placed organic result still garners roughly the same amount of click activity (32.8%) as in 2005. However, with the addition of the new page elements, the top search result is not viewed for as long, or by as many people.
  • Organic results positioned in the 2nd through 4th slots now receive a significantly higher share of clicks than they did in 2005.

Overall this means good news for smaller businesses in competitive markets. Search has evolved to allow for consumers’ attention to include more than just the highest position. The spots from 4th on up are seeing 30% more attention today than was the case in 2005 (see the chart). The coveted top spot is still the master of the page, but as consumers come to realize their needs are often broader than the largest or most invested participants. Those who make the “above the fold” group in the first five spots on page one will see their efforts rewarded.

Clicks are evolving. The top 4 slots have improved 30% since 2005.
Clicks are evolving. The top 4 slots have improved 30% since 2005.