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.

The Importance of Customer Surveys

Most of us start the day raring to go – energized after our first cup of coffee, ready to tackle the day’s activities and anything that comes our way! Even though we may have the best of intentions and believe that we are expressing ourselves positively in front of customers, plus offering the best in class service, often, there’s a disconnect between perception and reality. What we believe to be true may not necessarily align with our customers’ viewpoint. That’s why it’s so important to solicit feedback from our customers – candid commentary regarding their experience on every visit.

Why Customer Surveys?

Beyond being a courtesy to customers – truly caring about their interaction with personnel by asking for their overall satisfaction – surveys gauge customer loyalty in real time. We all know that the records in the patient database are a primary key to business success, but did you know that businesses are fourteen times more likely to sell to an existing customer than a new one? This means intimately understanding the patient journey and correcting any bumps along the way. Administering surveys and reviewing feedback regularly allows insight into any systemic issues within the business that need attention. Also, if there are any unhappy customers, reaching out ASAP to remedy their grievance is the best practice and may turn a soured customer into a champion.

The Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score IconsOne way to measure customer engagement is by establishing a business’ Net Promotor Score (NPS), a leading indicator of customer loyalty that has been adopted by more than two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies. The NPS, measured on a scale of zero to one hundred, establishes how connected a customer is to a business. Ultimately, every business’ score should be upwards of seventy, which equals “world class” service. The only way to evaluate whether a business’ NPS is on the “world class” level is to first understand the current NPS score and then make strides to improve customer experience, if needed.

As a consumer yourself, you likely know more about the NPS rating than you think. If you’ve ever rated a business via an online survey by answering the question “How likely is it that you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague?” then you’ve helped a business better understand their own NPS rating!

By soliciting your customers’ opinions about their experiences, you are not only extending them a courtesy, but you’re actively evaluating how connected they are to your business. Your overall profit can benefit in a big way from keeping customers loyal to your practice – and that requires asking how satisfied every patient is with his or her experience after leaving your office.

Interested in learning more about customer surveys? Contact Consult YHN’s Marketing department for details about our exclusive Consumer Survey Program – 800.984.3272, option 8 or marketing@consultyhn.com.

About the Author

Keara M. Piekanski joined Consult YHN in 2010 and serves as Director, Product Management. She has over 13 years of marketing experience and develops products and services for Associates. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh, is Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certified, and is pursuing an MBA at Villanova University.

The Value of the Experience

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A forgettable experience won’t bring customers back through your doors – an unforgettable positive one will.

All of today’s shopping, dining and entertainment experiences are just that – experiences.  It’s more important than ever to engage customers and tether them to your distinct brand – what makes you different from your competition down the street or a purchase made online?  The answer to this question – and the way it’s conveyed to your current customers – will keep them coming back for more.

Let’s face it, in today’s marketplace, it takes more work to make [and keep] the sale.  Consumers have higher expectations, expect more value, look for discounts and demand better service – so your business has to focus on how to integrate or improve upon these factors.  Use these influencers to your advantage by enticing customers to buy from you based on what they want, not what you think they should be getting.  Maybe you can’t offer the best price, but you can give excellent service and you sell an amazing product – focus on your strengths and what makes your business unique to the customer so they’ll want to purchase from you.

Remember that the consumer experience does not end with the purchase; that’s just the beginning.  Large and small ‘follow ups’ post-purchase are necessary to keep your business top-of-mind with the consumer.  The establishment and retention of these types of relationships are becoming almost as critical as the actual product itself.  We know that your current customers are your most qualified leads, but just because they purchase from you once doesn’t guarantee repeat business.  So it’s up to you to nurture these relationships and create a strong connection between these customers and your business.  This can be accomplished via targeted direct response [email and direct mail], personal phone calls, yearly birthday messages, etc.  Stay connected to these customers to keep your business top-of-mind.

Businesses [especially privately owned ones] need to concentrate on selling the experience and differentiating themselves from the competition.  It’s the positive and unique experience that will fuse a customer to your business – not the device they take with them.  A forgettable experience won’t bring customers back through your doors – an unforgettable positive one will.

In this industry, our Associates are selling a lifestyle improvement, not merely a device.  The device is the solution, but the customers’ journey is actually more important.  Focus on the journey, the factors that are important to the customer and encouraging them to always travel back through your doors!

Remember these tips:

  • How is your business unique?  What differentiates you from the competition?   Use the answers to these questions to help your business stand out.
  • Raise the bar [especially related to service] to meet consumers’ increasing expectations.
  • Keep current customers connected to your business to encourage loyalty and repeat sales.

Superheroes and Ice Cream Flavors

We live in a world with so many choices. Some are simple, some complex. The beauty of these choices is that we are able to make decisions based on our preferences. Take a moment to decide if you prefer:

Batman or Superman
Chocolate or Vanilla
Coffee or Tea
Dogs or Cats
Mac or PC

All of these options are comparable; it’s simply a matter of a penchant for one over another – plus what’s right for you. The same idea – believe it or not –applies to your marketing.

Your preferences impact your marketing choices

For all intents and purposes, marketing and advertising has become the cost of entry for many businesses. If you are not putting yourself out there, you won’t be in the game. But when faced with the choices of the different messages and offers available, how do you know which one to choose for your business?

Since there are so many marketing options, let’s focus on the #1 response mechanism for Consult YHN Associates: direct mail. As we all know, not all communication is created equal. We believe that in today’s market, direct mail used to target prospect customers fall into two categories – Traditional or Aggressive – with the categorization based on message style. It’s important to determine which category best reflects the type of communication you want to have with your target audience and what type of customer your practice is ready to handle.

Sample of Consult YHN letter packages

Sample of Consult YHN letter packages

Here’s an overview of each ‘type’ of direct mail, so you can determine which approach is right for you:

TRADITIONAL Direct Mail

Messaging
This type of messaging is the obvious or ‘traditional’ offer route; savings on a pair of hearing devices, a free demo, free hearing screening/consultation, etc.

Response Rate
Expect a .25% – .50% response rate with this type of direct mail communication; e.g. if you mail out 5,000 pieces, you should receive between 12-25 calls.

Audience
This type of mailer attracts prospect customers who are closer to making a decision to act on their [semi] recognized hearing loss. Your front office person will have an easier time scheduling the appointment and your Au.D. will have an easier time closing the sale if a hearing loss is present.

Sales
The traffic that this type of mailer brings in to the office typically results in less cancellations and a customer that’s easier to close.

AGGRESSIVE Direct Mail

Messaging
This type of messaging takes on more of a ‘gimmicky’ or ‘aggressive’ angle; offering a giveaway for simply showing up for an appointment.

Response Rate
Expect a .50% – .1+% response rate; e.g. if you mail out 5,000 pieces, you should receive between 25-50+ calls.

Audience
This type of mailer attracts prospect customers who are likely to be a more difficult opportunity. Your front office person will need to be well-trained in overcoming objections when scheduling these candidates for appointments and your Au.D. will need to invoke a different strategy to capture the sale if a hearing loss is present.

Sales
This customer is likely to be more of a challenge, prone to a higher incidence of cancellations.

Sample of Consult YHN folded driect mailer

Sample of Consult YHN folded direct mailer

So which one is right for you? 

Above and beyond your preference lies the factor of preparedness. With either message [but  especially the ‘aggressive’ one], it’s important to have strong processes

in place before a direct mailer is scheduled. From capturing the appointment through closing the sale, the tighter your methods, the more return on investment [ROI] you’ll reap. Depending on which format you gravitate toward coupled with the strengths of your process, will help easily determine the proper direct mail package for your practice.

The bottom line is that you have to feel comfortable with the message you are sending out – just like you want to feel good about any choice you make.

When choosing a marketing initiative, Consult YHN is here to help! Find out more about you direct mail choices by contacting marketing at marketing@ConsultYHN.com.

List Generation: Buying vs. Building

With any marketing strategy, it’s imperative to make sure you are targeting the right audience.  Development of target names and addresses, known as list generation, should be a priority in your planning and implementation strategy.  After all, if you don’t reach your intended audience, how will you generate sales?   But when attempting to reach this audience, is it better to buy a list or build your own?

Let’s look at the facts

When marketing, it's important to reach the right audience. Concentrate on your most qualified leads first and your target prospects second.

When marketing, it’s important to reach the correct target audience.

  • Buying a list is quick and easy.
  • Building a list takes time and resources.

So, what’s the best strategy?  The answer is: it depends.  Meaning, it depends   on who you are trying to target and what type of message you are communicating.

Buying a List

When your objective is to reach a new pool of prospects within your area, buying a list is necessary.  Whether that’s for direct mail or telemarketing, you’ll need to reach out to those prospects within the community who don’t yet know about your services.  Be sure that you are reaching the appropriate audience – in this case, the 65+ active senior and Baby Boomers.

While buying a list for the traditional outreach like direct mail and telemarketing will help feed the pipeline with new opportunities, we recommend steering clear of purchasing lists for digital marketing [i.e. email marketing].

Building a List

We all know that retaining a current customer is more cost-effective than bringing in a new customer.  That’s why developing your customer database for future marketing [out of warranty, tested not sold, etc.] is so important.  Your customer database [read more here] includes your most qualified leads – those that are not as price sensitive – and nurturing these relationships will reap continuous rewards.

Reaching out to your current database with targeted messaging across the traditional mediums – direct mail and telemarketing – will result in a higher response rate and more positive return on investment [ROI].  And as mentioned earlier, it’s best to take the time to build an email contact list by collecting email addresses from you customers – let them ‘opt in’ to receiving email communication from your practice.

What’s Next?

Once you have your targets identified [compiled from both your customer database and prospect lists], remember to develop a marketing plan to reach these consumers on a frequent and consistent basis.  Also, think about the communication strategy [i.e. “what you want to say”] in order to convey relevant messages to each segment of your list.  Your target audience will appreciate the time and effort you put into speaking to them based on their needs via the mediums they prefer and you will reap the rewards.

Questions?  Consult YHN Marketing is here to help!  Contact marketing at marketing@ConsultYHN.com