Top 5 Reasons a Business Plan is Key to Your Success in 2021

Exactly one year ago, my uncle decided to set out for an adventure of a lifetime. He rode his bicycle across the country from Astoria, Oregon to Astoria in Queens, New York. He took his time to research his route, his stops, the equipment he needed, and the different types of terrain he would face. He also enrolled in classes to learn skills in wilderness survival and bike repairs. Once he started his journey, he logged and documented everything, including mileage, and set daily goals for himself.

If he didn’t hit one of his goals, then he looked for alternate ways to make up that time. His path continuously changed and challenged him—he rode on highways, gravel, paved roads, trails, and even over an international bridge in Sarnia, Ontario. With his focus, perseverance, and well laid out plan, he accomplished his goal: he rode 3,410 miles in 48 days.

His journey inspires me in so many ways. His work ethic and methods show that with proper planning and execution, anything is possible. Additionally, we need to spend less time thinking and more time doing.

Running your practice without a business plan or Annual Strategic Action Plan (ASAP) is like bicycling cross-country without a map or GPS and wearing a blindfold—it’s silly, it’s reckless, and it’s probably going to take longer for you to get to your destination.

The purpose of a business plan is to lay out both a short and long-term strategy for growth. It serves as the roadmap from where you are to where you want to be, outlining the individual steps and tools you need along the way. What’s your mission? Where do you see yourself in five, ten, twenty years? Where do you see your business in that same time? A business plan can help you answer these questions by allowing you to take a step back from the day-to-day demands of running the practice and focus on the big picture.

As a Consult YHN Account Manager, I work with Associates across the nation and hear what’s consistently working in their practices. What I’ve found is practices that create and execute a business plan are more successful than those that don’t execute one. Studies show that business planning can help you grow your business as much as 30 percent faster!

There are several key benefits of executing a business plan, including:

#1: It allows you to prioritize and set achievable goals.

Business plans don’t need to be overly complicated, but they do need to be executable and draw a clear connection between your actions and the results you plan to achieve. Goals like increasing revenue by 50 percent won’t seem as daunting when you have a plan that breaks it down into smaller, achievable steps. More specifically, a good business plan outlines SMART goals:

Use your plan to guide your sales and marketing strategies. It will ensure you keep track of what needs to happen, when, and in what order. For example, scheduling marketing strategies to promote a new product launch.

#2: It minimizes your risk.

Establishing a business plan isn’t just about setting goals—it’s about consistently tracking your progress toward those goals and making changes as your business grows and evolves. This will give you peace of mind that your business is heading in the right direction. Or, you’ll know that you need to make adjustments or try a different route altogether. There are two key financial statements you should build and regularly review as part of your business plan: Cash-Flow Analysis and Profit & Loss (P&L) Analysis. These help you to closely monitor the overall financial health of your practice and identify any potential cash flow challenges or opportunities.

There’s always a certain level of risk that comes with starting your own business. Some risks you can see coming from a mile away, but others are impossible to predict (like a global pandemic). Either way, it’s easier to handle issues when you’re actively looking for them. And the sooner you catch them, the less likely they are to snowball into a crisis.

#3: It allows you to make spending decisions with greater confidence.

As your business grows, there are some important spending decisions you’ll need to make: when to hire a new employee, whether you can afford to upgrade your equipment, whether you should open another office, etc. If you have a firm understanding of your practice’s financial health, you will have the information you need to make sound business decisions. A business plan is also invaluable in devising and executing an effective marketing strategy. It will help you determine how much you can/should spend on marketing to achieve your revenue goals.

#4: It’s essential if you’re seeking a loan or investment or want to sell your practice.

Would you ever invest in a business without understanding its business model or financials? Hopefully, not. And, neither would any investor. If one day down the road you decide to sell your practice, it will likely be worth more if you have a plan that shows the business is in good fiscal standing and has the potential to grow.

#5: It can help motivate your team and increase efficiencies.

A business plan that clearly communicates your vision and goals is one of the best ways to ensure your entire team is on the same page. Rallying your staff behind a common goal can also increase your collective efficiency and lead to higher levels of engagement. Knowing how their daily duties and actions relate to the business’s bottom line gives employees a greater sense of purpose and pride in their work. Be sure to regularly review your progress with your team, either during your Daily Huddle or monthly or quarterly staff meetings. This way, everyone knows what’s expected of them and can be held accountable for contributing to the practice’s success.

 

With a solid business plan and the right guidance and resources, any practice can become a million-dollar practice. Let us help you get there! Consult YHN will be hosting several Virtual Managing Business Activities (MBA) workshops to kick off the 2021 business planning process. These workshops help our Associates define their financial and organizational goals through the creation of their Annual Strategic Action Plan (ASAP) and Annual Marketing Plan (AMP).

About the Author

Jessica Shah joined Consult YHN in 2017 and currently serves as an Account Manager in the company’s Inside Sales Division as part of the Account Activation Team (AAT). Her diverse professional background includes sales, marketing, and planning experience, having previously worked in the healthcare industry as well as for the hospitality giant, Marriott-Starwood International. When not working, Jessica enjoys spending time with her husband of 13 years and her two energetic boys. They love to travel, entertain, and spending time with family and friends.

Is Your Website Ready for the Surge in Digital Traffic and Leads?

It’s no surprise that the digital world and its role in communication has changed dramatically since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. Many of us have adjusted to working from home and relying more heavily on technology to communicate with coworkers, friends, and family.
According to The New York Times, website usage for sites like Facebook and YouTube have skyrocketed since February 29. Video chatting platforms like Google Duo and popular remote work apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have also reported record usage spikes.

People look to connect and entertain themselves

This trend isn’t going away anytime soon. While the days of social distancing and continuous handwashing will eventually fade – the need for a strong digital presence will not.

Your website is your most valuable digital asset; therefore, the time is now to assess its performance. In other words, does your website have what it takes to engage and convert the influx of people seeking help with their hearing loss?

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Nearly 90% of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase, which includes visiting a business’s website

Hopefully, your site is updated to reflect the safety precautions your practice is implementing to protect patients and staff, as well as pertinent information on any Telehealth or curbside services being provided. Patients care about and want to know how your practice is responding to COVID-19 and adhering to CDC guidelines. This information should be posted prominently on your homepage and any social media profiles, like Facebook and Healthy Hearing. Don’t forget to update your Google My Business profile to reflect any changes or updates you make to your services or hours.

Now, let’s discuss the specific items you should focus on when evaluating the performance and success of your website:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):

Check whether your website dominates the first page of Google for the top hearing healthcare keywords. There are free online tools that will show you top competitive SEO metrics. Ultimately, your website provider/digital partner should manage your site’s SEO performance regularly and make the necessary updates. This is vital to maintaining a prominent rank in search results, which drives more quality leads, appointments, and sales.

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55% of search engine clicks come from the top 3 listings

Content:

Good SEO and good content go hand-in-hand. Fresh, relevant, and engaging content on your site will boost its SEO. It will also increase the amount of time visitors spend on your site and, in turn, your conversion rate (the percentage of unique site visitors who “convert” to leads by calling your office or filling out an online form). Adding unique content like videos, infographics, and weekly or monthly blog posts will help differentiate your brand from the competition. Timely articles about the effects of untreated hearing loss are great, but they’re even better when mixed with more personable and creative posts that will resonate with readers—tips for summer hearing aid care, how to choose the right hearing aid for your lifestyle, etc.

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52% of consumers say blogs have impacted purchasing decisions

Upgrades:

Features like click-to-call, online scheduling, chatbots, contact forms, and mobile-responsiveness are no longer optional—they’re essential.

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additional leads
On average, online scheduling tools generate 4 additional leads per month for hearing healthcare providers

User Experience (UX):

Users’ experience with a website is determined by how easy or difficult it is for them to navigate and interact with it. One broken link or slow-to-load page can create a bad experience for users. Your site needs to fulfill visitors’ needs, wants, and expectations both quickly and easily. While UX testing is a complex process, there are several simple things you can do yourself to enhance your site’s usability, including:

  • Check every link and app/widget to ensure they work.
  • Add internal links between relevant content and pages.
  • Shorten long paragraphs of text and/or break them up.
  • Create more white space around text and titles.
  • Use strong CTAs (Call-To-Actions) to guide users to convert.
  • Make sure all images and pages load quickly.

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Better UX design could raise your website’s conversion rate by 400%

Design & Layout:

Your website is most often your patients’ first impression of your brand. If it looks outdated or unappealing, visitors will have a negative perception of your practice. Everything from your fonts and spacing to your colors and design elements needs to be clean and cohesive across your entire site. There should be a consistent header and footer on every page that includes your logo, practice information, and social icons.

Of course, you want your website to stand out from your competitors. But that doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to its layout and design. Despite a common misconception, “templated” websites are not “basic” and are not going to make your site look exactly like other audiology websites. To start, they’re 100 percent customizable – using your brand, color schemes, unique assets (logo, photos, videos, more). Second, website “templates” exist for a reason: they work! Keep in mind, website site design is part art – but primarily science. Most developers use behavioral science and best practices to design websites for optimal usability and most importantly – conversion. Some tools developers use to test the merit of a website include:

  • User Testing: A platform for obtaining rapid customer feedback on any customer experience, including websites, mobile apps, and real-world experiences.
  • Heat Mapping: A graphical representation of data that uses a system of color-coding to represent different values. While used in various forms of analytics, most often they’re used to show user behavior on specific webpages and determine where the most important content should be placed on a page.
  • Conversion Tracking: A powerful tool in Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords) that lets you identify how well your ad campaign is generating leads, sales, downloads, email sign-ups, and other key actions.

Through these methods, developers know what the target demographic expects to see and how they can best be encouraged to convert. For example, most websites have a horizontal top navigation, left-aligned logo, and right-aligned contact information because heat mapping shows this is the best structure for usability and entices users to travel deeper into the site.

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People form 75% of their judgment on a website’s credibility purely on its aesthetics

Website Provider/Digital Partner:

If your internet-savvy nephew is managing your site, it may be time to consider making a change. A reliable and highly-skilled digital partner will make all the difference—a partner you can hold accountable to manage all your online marketing needs, not just your website. Your digital partner should oversee ongoing website maintenance, performance, results, and provide you ownership over your domain and other digital properties. Click here to find out the most important questions to ask your website provider or reach out to your Consult Marketing Account Executive for assistance. The Consult Digital Program offers engaged Associates a comprehensive digital solution proven to drive leads and sales.

Questioning if your website delivers the results it should? Consult YHN’s in-house experts will conduct a personalized website and digital marketing assessment, including a geographic and competitive analysis.

Increase your digital traffic and drive more patient appointments –
contact Consult Marketing today!

About the Author

Genevieve Amabile joined Consult YHN in 2019 and serves as a Marketing Account Coordinator. Prior to Consult YHN, she worked as a Social Media Coordinator for a staffing agency and interned with Seven Mile Publishing & Creative in Avalon, NJ. Genevieve graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications in 2018. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, and listening to her favorite true crime podcasts.

Marketing Through COVID-19: Key Considerations to Drive Leads at All Budgets

Communication is essential, especially during this time—and it will be equally important several months from now. Hopefully, you’ve used any downtime during the pandemic to stay connected with your patients.
As the economy opens, it’s important to forge ahead with your marketing efforts, including a specific plan to ramp up your marketing activities.

Practices that act now and adapt to the current environment will capture new patients as well as maintain a high volume of patients after the initial influx of demand has settled. Being proactive with your marketing strategy will ensure the near-term demand you experience won’t drop off in one, three, or six months, allowing you to continuously grow your business.

Consult YHN’s COVID-19 Resources Center provides healthcare professionals with strategic business advice and support, including virtual webinars, financial analyses, articles, marketing collateral, and more. A useful resource is our Cash Flow Analysis tool which determines your current and future months’ liquidity. This information allows you to forecast how much you can spend on marketing each month, with a goal to ramp up spend as your budget and timing allows.

Your messaging today is more significant than ever – it needs to be relevant, clear, and consistent across all of your marketing initiatives. It should address patients’ current needs and concerns, like providing a safe and caring environment as well as acknowledging that those struggling with hearing loss are even more challenged by COVID-19 safety measures.

Whether your practice is operating with a proactive marketing budget, limited budget, or no additional spend budget, we have solutions to help you drive new opportunities. There are many ways to stay top-of-mind with your patients without spending a lot of money. Below are Consult YHN’s marketing recommendations based on your practice’s current budget and timing.

Budget: No Additional Spend
Timing: Now

Planning Considerations:

  • Prioritize your patients and schedule
  • Fill your schedule with revenue-generating opportunities
  • Utilize no/low-cost marketing initiatives
  • Prepare for pent up demand from individuals seeking hearing help
  • Focus on marketing to maintain momentum
  • Depending on the response/how your patients are reacting, move on to higher-cost marketing initiatives

Sample COVID-19 Marketing Collateral, Available for Immediate Use

View More Samples Here  

Budget: Minimal Spend
Timing: ASAP

“No Additional Spend” initiatives +

  • Database Letters
    • Never stop reaching out to your database!
  • Consult Database Program
    • Our turnkey solution for database outreach enables your team to focus on closing more opportunities and helping more patients. We help you implement a consistent strategy, targeting each segment of your database with custom letters and follow-up calls that drive appointments and sales. From designing and printing to mailing and reporting—we handle it all, and at a competitive rate that’s included in your monthly Consult statement.
  • Email Marketing
    • Sending emails to your database is easy and inexpensive. You can check to see who clicked or opened the email in order to prioritize lead follow up via a phone call. For example, people who open and click on your email are the most engaged, so start with them, then work down the list. We recommend ConstantContact because it is easy to use and signs a Business Associate Agreement (BAA).
  • Consult Upgrade Program
    • For over a decade, Consult Upgrade has been the most effective way for practice owners to reach their patients and increase sales. For a one-time flat fee, a dedicated Digital Technology Consultant will work with you on-site to organize and run an Upgrade event that, on average, yields an additional $51,250 in sales for practices. The schedule for 2020 is almost full – act fast to secure your spot!

Planning Considerations:

  • Once you’ve maximized your database outreach efforts, consider:
    • Are people responding?
    • Do you need to make any changes?
    • Have you exhausted all potential?
    • Is revenue ramping up?
  • Based on the answers above, decide on strategy and timing for direct mail drop and digital advertising.
  • Once you’ve seen all of your existing patients as well as all the new patients willing to come in regardless of COVID-19, the next step is crucial – and marketing will be key. Your marketing plan needs to be set now so that you can implement and capture the untapped group of new patients and your demand and revenue can consistently grow.

Budget: Pro-Active Spend
Timing: When Ready (Cash-Flow Dependent)

“No Additional Spend” initiatives + “Minimal Spend” initiatives +

  • Direct Mail
  • Digital Advertising
    • Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
    • Facebook Advertising
    • Display Retargeting
  • Consult Digital Program
    • Drive and convert more quality leads with our industry-leading digital solution! We outperform the competition so that your website dominates the first page of Google for the top hearing healthcare keywords. We also track your results and provide you a return on your investment.

Planning Considerations:

  • Lead time considerations for direct mail: 3.5 weeks ahead of the event
  • If you have the budget, spend it on PPC. Cost per lead is lower right now, meaning your budget will go further than it did pre-COVID-19. For example, based on the current environment there are fewer businesses competing for keywords, etc. This trend will end as business returns to normal. If your budget allows, there’s a significant, yet, temporary opportunity to introduce your practice to as many patients as possible at a lower cost than normal.
Your Account Manager and the Consult YHN team are here to help you develop a comeback plan that’s guaranteed to position your practice for success in 2020 and the years ahead.

Start driving more leads today – contact Consult Marketing!

About the Author

Nicole Finkbiner joined Consult YHN as the Marketing Communications Specialist in 2018 with nearly a decade of communications experience. Over the course of her career, Nicole has created a wide array of different content for various mediums and outlets—news articles, press releases, arts features, product descriptions, small business websites, e-blasts, social media posts, promotional materials, and more. In her free time, the Philadelphia native enjoys soaking up the city’s culture and binge-watching TV shows.

Facebook Ads: Top 5 Benefits & Tips for Getting Started

Over the last several years, businesses have seen a steep decline in the reach of their organic content on Facebook. This is because Facebook made changes to its algorithm to prioritize content shared by friends and family over marketers and businesses. Not surprisingly, the amount of paid advertisements on the platform has skyrocketed as a result.

So, why should your practice join them?

#1. Your target audience is on Facebook.

Facebook has billions of users around the world, most of whom check their Facebook page multiple times a day. Your patients are no exception. In fact, 75 percent of Baby Boomers use the platform.

#2. Facebook ads are inconspicuous, yet effective.

There’s a reason native advertising has become so popular—it works! Facebook ads look almost like any other post in a person’s News Feed except that they have small, discreet “sponsored” or “suggested” labels.

#3. Targeting on Facebook is precise.

The level of granularity you can achieve with Facebook’s targeting is exceptional. Facebook allows you to decide exactly who will see your ad, when they see it, and how they see it. You can target audiences by several customizable characteristics—behaviors, interests, age, location, language, and more.

#4. It’s affordable!

Facebook ads can cost a fraction of what other online marketing channels cost. In fact, you could spend $100 on a campaign and still reach over 20,000 people, depending on location. If you take advantage of Facebook’s audience targeting features, a small budget can go a long way and deliver results.

#5. You can achieve immediate, real-time results.

Unlike print ads or commercials, Facebook allows you to monitor your campaign performance in real-time, so if an ad is underperforming, you can adjust it at any time.

Before you start advertising on Facebook, there are two components you should understand first.

1. Boosted Posts vs. Facebook Ads

Facebook offers two types of advertising: boosted posts and ads. Deciding which ad is best for your practice is directly tied to your business goals. If your goal is to build brand awareness and increase your audience on Facebook, then you’ll want to boost a post. Boosting a post on Facebook places your post in the Newsfeed of relevant users outside of your current Facebook audience. This option helps promote your Facebook page and increase page likes and followers.

boosts vs  facebook ads

2. Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads

In general, marketing experts would recommend a practice have a solid Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign in place and then add Facebook advertising. It’s important to remember that individuals using Google and other search engines are actively searching for local services online via keywords whereas Facebook users are passive observers who are scanning posts and looking for photos of their grandchildren—not you. So, while Facebook ads might be less expensive, Google users are more likely to take action after clicking an ad.

So now that you know why your practice should advertise on Facebook and the key things to consider, let’s talk about how to create your first ad campaign.

How To Run a Facebook Ad

Step 1: Create a Facebook Business Manager account.
Facebook Business Manager is the central hub where businesses and marketers manage their Facebook pages, ad campaigns, and accounts. Through Business Manager you have access to Facebook Ads Manager, which is the platform you use to create, manage, and track your Facebook marketing campaigns.

INSIDER TIP: Facebook Business Manager is a complex labyrinth that wasn’t designed for the average small business owner. So, before you run your first campaign, be sure to explore the tabs in Business Manager and Ads Manager. Be prepared to do a little homework. Facebook Blueprint offers free mini courses to help you get started. Or, a better alternative: sign up for the Consult Digital Program and leave the heavy lifting to our experienced pros.
Step 2: Choose the objective of your campaign.
In Facebook Ads Manager, there are 11 marketing objectives, but let’s focus on the most relevant:

  • Traffic: Send ad-viewers to another destination, like your website. This is a good option if you utilize online appointment scheduling.
  •  Brand awareness: Reach potential patients who would be interested in your brand, service, or product. This is a good option if you’re new to Facebook and looking to attract more page followers.
  • Engagement: Increase engagement on your Facebook page by encouraging current followers to like, share, and comment on your content while also attracting new followers.
  • Lead Generation: Drive leads by requesting users’ email addresses in exchange for more information, like downloading a guide or signing up for an event. Ideal for building your database!
INSIDER TIP: If you run ads that send users to your website, make sure the Facebook pixel is installed on your website first. What could that be? The Facebook pixel is a snippet of code that can be easily added to your website to track lead conversions from Facebook and gain more insight into user behavior to help optimize future ad campaigns. Talk to your website provider and/or social media manager—they’ll know what to do.
Step 3: Target your ad.

In this section, there are three key areas of focus:

  • Location: Simply enter your practice’s zip code or drop a pin on the map. Then, decide within what radius you want to target users. For example, a 2-mile radius or 10-mile radius.
  • Placement: We suggest choosing: Automatic Ad Placement. This way, Facebook places your ad where it will be seen most by your target audience and perform best according to its algorithm.
  • Demographics/Audience: Use filters to create a custom audience and/or upload a list of emails from your database to target Facebook profiles that may be associated with those emails. Once you’ve created an audience that performs well, you can clone it (this is a dream come true in the advertising world!). The feature, “lookalike audiences,” allows you to take a custom audience and find similar users.

The “Detailed Targeting” section narrows down your audience to the individuals most likely to be interested in your services. If you’re specifically looking to reach private pay patients, choose a “Household Income” in the higher percentage of your selected zip code(s). To target current hearing aid wearers, select the filter for individuals who are interested in hearing aid manufacturers. Other interests/demographics to consider: Baby Boomers, grandparents/grandparenting, technology/tech, health/fitness/exercise, retired/retirement, and the list goes on.

INSIDER TIP: Depending on your location, the max radiuses we’d recommend targeting include: Metro: 10 miles | Suburb: 15 miles | Rural: 20 miles.
Step 4: Set your budget and schedule.

You have two budget options: daily or lifetime. By selecting daily, you dictate the budget spend for each day. By selecting lifetime budget, you select a price cap for the duration of your ad campaign, a date range, and the time of day you’d like your campaign to run, for example, 9am to 5pm.

How much should you spend?
That’s a great conversation for you and your Consult YHN Marketing Account Executive. Facebook ads have an average cost-per-click (CPC) of $1.86 and cost-per-thousand-views (CPM) of $11.20 across all industries. In other words, for every $10 you spend, you can expect 17 clicks. The average small business advertising spend on Facebook is between $1,000–$2,000 per month.

How long should you run your ad?
Another great question! There isn’t one specific strategy —it depends on the budget and goal of the campaign, for example brand awareness versus signing up for an event. In general, it takes 3-7 days to know if an ad is working.  

INSIDER TIP: Facebook user engagement increases by 18 percent on Thursdays and Fridays as well as on weekdays between 1- 4pm.
Step 5: Create your ad.

Format:
Facebook gives you three different format options: multiple images (carousel), a single image or video, or a collection of photos that will create a full-screen experience for viewers. For most practices, the single image or video option will be the most useful.

Media:
The media section is where you choose the media asset for the post, including images or videos. You can choose previously posted photos/videos or upload new ones directly from your computer. Remember: your ad needs to stand out from the other posts and if you decide to include text on your image, keep it to a minimum.

Facebook ads that contain images are 75-90 percent more effective.

Text and Links:
This section is for ad copy, including headline, call to action, and website link. Your headline should be short and sweet, for example: “Hear better today!” and your call to action should match your goal, for example “book now,” or “learn more.”

On the right side of the page is a live preview, including an option to “View More Versions” and check the format of your ad from a mobile device or desktop view.

Finally, your ad is ready for Facebook approval or you can choose to “Save As Draft” and come back to it later. Once your ad is running, you can review campaign performance in your Ads Manager dashboard.

INSIDER TIP: Our Associates see the most success boosting a post and/or running an ad tied to a Facebook event, for example, educational seminars, Lunch & Learns, etc. Once you create an event on Facebook, a “Boost Event” button appears at the top of the page. Follow the steps to set up. For the best results, boost and/or advertise the event for at least two weeks leading up to the event.

About the Author

Genevieve Amabile joined Consult YHN in 2019 and serves as a Marketing Account Coordinator. Prior to Consult YHN, she worked as a Social Media Coordinator for a staffing agency and interned with Seven Mile Publishing & Creative in Avalon, NJ. Genevieve graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications in 2018. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, and listening to her favorite true crime podcasts.

How to Ensure Your PPC Strategy Drives Positive ROI

It seems the biggest positive and negative aspects of marketing are the same thing: how quickly it changes and evolves!

While digital marketing is hands down the fastest moving aspect of the marketing world, many business owners are slow to evolve in their marketing efforts, mainly because they’re still unsure how it works and whether it’s worth the money.

Ultimately, whether or not your digital marketing efforts are a success and yield a positive ROI (Return on Investment) boils down to these three simple questions:

  1. Is your overall digital strategy correlated to your geographical location?
  2. Is this strategy designed to optimize your digital presence?
  3. How well does it aid you in maximizing and owning your digital real estate?

There are a lot of digital marketing acronyms and buzzwords that get thrown around these days—KPI (Key Performance Indicators), CTR (Click-Through Rate), CPC (Cost Per Click), CPA (Cost Per Action), and the list goes on. The one we’re going to focus on today—which is actually a type of advertising and not a performance indicator—is PPC (Pay Per Click).

You’ll hear this term used interchangeably with Google Ads, Search Engine Advertising, and other similar terms. To keep things simple, the overall goal of a PPC campaign is to meet consumers halfway in their search to find you.

I know what you’re thinking: what on earth does that mean?!

When you’re trying to find a product, you usually start with a Google search, right? Well, it’s no different for a potential hearing aid customer. In fact, 81 percent of consumers perform an online search prior to making a large purchase while 89 percent of consumers turn to Google for answers to healthcare questions. In the year 2020, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

Perhaps more surprising…

That’s right—not only are potential patients not going to look past the first few practices that appear in search results, but they’re also unlikely to choose a practice that’s further than five miles. Showing up on page one on Google isn’t enough—your website needs to be in the top three results.

Ranking high on search engines is a combination of two things: staying on top of Google’s algorithm changes and a solid strategy to boost your listing both organically via SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and your site content and inorganically via PPC. While algorithms can be tricky, having good SEO and PPC is the trick to beating the odds and increasing your rankings. In addition, you should use location targeting in Google Adwords to bid for queries happening closer to your location. This is especially important if your practice has walk-in hours.

So, let’s say your website does come up in the top results when potential customers search for an audiologist in their area and your practice happens to be only two miles from their home.

Now what?

If you’re thinking your job is done, think again.

As the above graphic illustrates, once potential customers reach your website, it needs to convince them that you are the local provider they need and can trust. You can do this by following these ten tips for ensuring that your site content is mobile-friendly, engaging, informative, accurate, and easy to navigate. Online scheduling is another feature that can greatly help you increase customer engagement and drive positive ROI from your website and digital presence.  

The strategy here must be comprehensive to accomplish the one-two punch. First, promote your site via PPC and organic SEO so it ranks highly in search results and drives users to your website. Once potential leads click on your site, it needs to have engaging content that’s relevant to what they are looking for and positive online reviews to help convince them to choose your practice. Finally, your site should be optimized to drive conversions, featuring click-to-call and click-to-email links as well as an online scheduler.

When you convert a lead into a sale during the appointment, well, then your digital strategy has come full circle and your marketing dollars have been well spent!

 

If you’re looking for help with your digital strategy and website, we have you covered! Consult YHN has partnered with Audiology Design and Healthy Hearing to create the Consult Digital Program—a comprehensive digital solution that includes everything we just discussed (and much more!) to drive your digital ROI.

Talk to Account Manager or reach out to our in-house marketing experts today to get started!

About the Author

Matt Gargano joined Consult YHN in 2019 and serves as a Marketing Account Executive, developing marketing plans and managing various projects for Associates. Prior to joining Consult YHN, he has worked in Financial Services, Non-Profit, and Education. Outside of work, Matt enjoys managing his farm, all outdoor activities, and writing music.