When it comes to drug rehab marketing, your approach has to be different than the typical advertising methods you may be used to. Thankfully, you can reference this cheat sheet when creating your marketing strategy - and consult with industry professionals to get it all off the ground.
Know Your Message and Cater to Your Consumers
Few industries are more consumer-centered and customer-driven than drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Your message as a business is about more than an advertisement. It’s about changing lives and improving clinical outcomes. Keep that in mind when crafting your advertisements and never lose sight of the fact that your ads double as outreach
Don’t Skimp on SEO Investment
Just because you think you understand search engine optimization doesn’t mean you should take matters into your own hands with it. SEO is your most vital tool for reaching the right audience. Trusting it to anyone less than an experienced professional with industry experience is like handing over the keys to your business and hoping that whoever you give them to takes care of things. If that doesn’t sound advisable to you, make the smart decision and invest in your SEO.
Follow Up with Leads Properly
The leads generated by your advertising efforts are more important than they would be in almost any other industry. After all, those people aren’t just potential customers. They are people whose lives may be in danger as a result of their motivation to contact you.
Following up with your leads isn’t just a solid business practice in the world of drug rehab advertising. Its a prudent choice for legal reasons and for the health and safety of those who are putting their trust in you.
Embrace the Paid Ad
It is easy to think of paid advertisement as being in direct opposition to everything that drug rehab marketing stands for. After all, it isn’t organic, it isn’t patient-centered - you aren’t tailoring your approach to your consumer!
When you have the chance to step back and examine the so-called “necessary evil” of paid advertising, though, you will see that it is actually a much better fit for your business than you might have initially imagined. Placing ads in places likely to be seen by your consumers, creating campaigns that meet their needs where they already are - you can make a patient-centered approach out of even the most obvious PPC efforts.
Understand the Importance of Social Media
These days, your consumers are on social media. That isn’t just to say that they are using social media to keep up with friends and family and laugh at funny viral posts. They are also using it to find local businesses - even those that provide drug and alcohol rehab services.
Studies show that consumers often search for the social media profiles of business they are thinking of patronizing. Don’t let that statistic exclude your facility. Invest time in your social media presence to foster a relationship with consumers from that very first search.
Keywords are a notorious buzz phrase for SEO, but it can feel nearly impossible to find specific instruction on what they are, how to use them properly, and why they are important.
When google crawls your website pages, it picks up on which words you use frequently in a specific piece of content in order to place it correctly in front of an audience who would most likely be interested. These are keywords—the words that you are consciously (or unconsciously) working into your content in order to communicate to Google what your content is about.
Keywords should represent your content accurately, specifically, and consistently. So how exactly do you ensure that your website is utilizing keywords correctly?
Keywords Speak for Your Content—Be Precise
The purpose of keywords is to communicate to Google what type of audience to put your content in front of. This is crucial—you don’t just want your content placed in front of a lot of people, you want it placed in front of the right people who are going to engage with it and potentially become clients or customers of your business.
Your keywords should be directly and specifically related to the type of content you’re producing. For example, if you’ve written a page or a blog about umbrellas, you will want to do more than just use the word “umbrella” repeatedly in your content as a keyword. First of all, “umbrella” is what you would call a “short-tail” keyword, meaning that it is just one word and is very broad.
This is problematic for a few reasons. Short-tail keywords, while searched at a high volume, are incredibly competitive in SEO. It’s very unlikely that your business will be able to rank for short-tail keywords in the sea of other similar companies trying to do the same. This is not to say that you should avoid short-tail keywords, but that you should be aware of the benefit of seeking out less competitive keywords.
While “umbrella” is a highly searched keyword, more often than not people actually search a longer phrase or question that happens to have the word in it, rather than just the word itself. This is considered a “long-tail” keyword. Most searches are for long-tail keywords—but they don’t have the same search volume as short-tail keywords, because they are so unique. According to Ahrefs, 92% of all keywords get 10 or fewer searches per month.
Consider why people might search the term “umbrella”. A person might be looking to purchase an umbrella, learn about their history, figure out what material they are made out of or even find puns in relation to the word. There are infinite possibilities for long-tail keywords, and the more specific they are, the less competitive they are to rank for.
One of the worst things you can do for your search engine rankings is “keyword stuffing”. While you may have heard that you should pack as many highly searched words into your content as possible, this can really hurt your rankings if your content is not actually quality and relevant to the search terms. Google’s algorithms pick up on random keywords placed without context, and they might bump your site’s ranking down.
You don’t just want your content to be seen or even clicked on—you want it to be interacted or engaged with.
It’s also important to keep in mind that your keywords will vary depending on the specific page of your website—pages are what rank for keywords. Many websites actually receive the most traffic to pages that aren’t their home page—organic traffic from authentic interest in the topic.
The best thing you can do for your SEO right now is to create quality content—at least once a week according to experts—that is 1000+ words. But if you can get a quality message across in less words, don’t add more words just for the sake of meeting the word count.
Put your content first, and then work on incorporating keywords that accurately and specifically describe that content and answer potential search inquiries. However, it can also be a useful strategy to look into what people are searching and consider creating quality content that would address those questions.
Consistent keyword research can not only keep you informed about what keywords you should include in your content, but also what content might be missing that you can provide.
For example, if in your keyword research you stumble upon a highly searched long-tail keyword that doesn’t have many quality search results—this might be a niche that you can fill. Just ensure that you’re truly writing quality content to answer search inquiries, not writing content that simply is framed around repeating the keywords.
Persistence Is Key
The most important part of working with keywords is that it should be an ongoing process. It’s going to require some trial and error, and because what people are searching for is always in flux, your targeted keywords should also be reevaluated.
It has also become more difficult to conduct keyword research over the years, so it requires more focus and strategy. While organic keywords were once accessible in any Google Analytics platform, since 2019 Google has increasingly been encrypting keywords, making it harder for businesses to research what keywords are relevant to their content..
But there are plenty of free and cheap tools out there that are worth the investment for this process, such as:
HubSpot’s Sources report
Google Keyword Planner
You can also start simple with a Google search. Take a stab at searching for something that might relate to your business and look at the autocomplete options on Google. You can also look at related search terms at the bottom of the Google results. You may find good keywords here—or at least get some idea of what people might be searching for that you can cater to.
Setting aside a certain amount of time on a schedule to do keyword research and discussion is crucial to a strong SEO strategy. Not only is search data constantly changing, but so is Google. With every algorithm tweak Google becomes better at guessing what someone wants when they make a search based on their search history, location, and previous click-through-rates for similar searches.
Google’s RankBrain algorithm, released in 2015, is still having an effect on search engine optimization because it is an AI algorithm that is continuously learning and changing search results. In fact, according to Google, 15 percent of searches have never been heard of before by Google every day.
Consider setting up a brainstorming session with your staff to make a list of inquiries your potential clients might have, carve out 10 minutes a day to do some keyword research, or invest in a paid service to optimize your keyword SEO strategy.
SeoTuners can offer an affordable solution for your business to increase exposure and SERP rankings with organic SEO strategies like keywords. we’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs. Contact us today to learn about how we can boost your Google rankings.
Since the early 2000’s, the U.S. has been dealing with an opioid addiction and overdose crisis. In 2016, opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 deaths, which was more than any previous year on record. One year later, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared a public health emergency.
And perhaps more upsetting, an estimated 40% of opioid overdose deaths involved a prescription. This past March, the company that makes the narcotic painkiller OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, agreed to pay a $270 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma for playing a role in the opioid crises.
Not soon after, Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world’s largest generic drug maker, appeared alongside Johnson & Johnson in court against the state. Both ended up settling—Teva for $85 million and Johnson & Johnson for $572 million.
According to Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter, opioid overdoses in Oklahoma killed more than 4,600 people in the state from 2007 to 2017, and it will take an estimated $17.5 billion over 30 years to address the crisis.
There are some signs that opioid addiction is beginning to decrease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 12,757 overdose deaths from prescription painkillers in 2018, which is down from 14,926 deaths in 2017—but is still too high.
Now an estimated 1,500 similar lawsuits are to be filed by state, local and tribal governments in order to compensate individuals for pain and suffering, ambulance runs, jail treatment costs, and childcare for children whose parents have died from overdoses.
It’s no wonder that the trust U.S. consumer’s have in brands has been steadily declining over the last few years, now holding at about 54 percent, according to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer.
But it’s not just pharmaceutical companies that are receiving blame for shady and immoral marketing tactics—it’s also addiction treatment and drug rehab centers, the very places these settlements will be invested into in order to prevent and treat opioid addictions.
False, Deceptive, and Misleading Marketing
Public nuisance laws are typically applied broadly to cases in which something is interfering with the general public’s rights—such as rights to public spaces like roads, waterways, or parks. But in the recent legal suits against pharmaceutical companies, the state of Oklahoma is arguing that false, deceptive, and misleading marketing is interfering with the public right to health.
While many treatment centers are honest, upfront, and truly do only want the best for their patients, some unfortunately resort to deceptive tactics, dishonest marketing, and even scams in order to get and keep clients.
And unfortunately, these scams have been known to target patients who have a lot of money—or good insurance. This hurts those patients as well as patients without money or good insurance coverage. For example, in 2017 some marketers were using the Google geographic targeting features to hide their ads for searches made from low income areas, such as Trenton or Camden. They would also hide their ads from searches made with the words “free” and “Medicaid”.
Some third-party businesses even sprung up in the wake of the opioid crisis that acted as referring hotlines—sometimes to their own treatment centers, and sometimes just to sell leads to centers who would pay top dollar for desperate clients who could pay handsomely—no matter whether they were reputable centers or were a good fit for the clients.
And Google unintentionally made this an easy scam by offering advertisers unique “tracking” phone numbers that would forward to a company’s phone—and they would only stay up as long as the ads did.
Sometimes even legitimate treatment centers experienced their Google ads phone numbers being hacked and remoted to other locations. According to a Google Top Contributor, since business owners aren’t notified of such changes by email, they would have to login to their “Google My Business” account page in order to verify periodically that their information was still correct.
Worst of all, some of these shady treatment centers were hardly even treatment centers at all. There were reports of human trafficking, prostitution, forced drugging, and kick-backs between labs, treatment centers, and halfway houses in order to keep profitable patients in the system, pulling profits from charges for daily stays and urine testing.
Protect Your Business, Your Reputation & Your Clients
In order to protect your business reputation as one that is secure, legitimate, and compassionate towards those that are suffering from addiction, you’ll need to in fact be secure, legitimate, and compassionate.
You can ensure that your business and your clients are protected from any possible hacking attempts by:
1.Obtaining an SSL certification for your website.
This will ensure a secure connection from a web server to a browser to protect your clients from harm when they visit you online.
2. Claiming your Google My Business Listing.
If a business hasn’t claimed its listing, anyone can “suggest an edit” and change the phone number or other contact information. Be sure to check on your Google My Business Listing regularly to make sure that it is taking your clients to you, rather than any would-be hacker.
3. Giving advise to your clients about what they can expect from contact with you.
Who will be taking their calls, how they can know they’re really speaking with you, and what are the locations that you work with? The more information you give your clients, the more secure they’ll feel that they’re really in the right place.
Once you’re sure that you and your clients are safe from harm, you’ll need to ensure that you’re worthy of your clients by maintaining ethical marketing practices that put their recovery first.
Remember Your Mission
Never forgot that you should be in the treatment center business out of a desire to help people and their families, not to use them for your own financial gains. The opioid epidemic can only be taken on by true compassion for and devotion to our communities.
If you do choose to ask your clients questions about their insurance, do so out of a desire to get them the best treatment they can afford, not to know how much they’re worth. Consider that just because you or an associate accepts a client’s insurance, does not mean that it’s a good fit. First and foremost, pay attention to your client’s needs.
Be sure to also pay attention to what your treatment center has to offer that could set it apart from others. Do you have a low client to counselor ratio? Do your counselor’s have personal experience in dealing with addiction themselves? Do you have a lot of experience working with a particular addiction or demographic? Your goal shouldn’t be to help everyone—you should realistically aim to help a certain group of people more efficiently rather than all of them no matter what their unique situation is.
Don’t shy away from building a network with other treatment centers that are different from your own and referring patients to where you think they will do best. Whether the client has success with you or a another center in your network—a positive review will reflect well on everyone involved.
Tread Carefully on Social Media
Social media can be an amazing tool to reach out to people who are in need and may be disconnected from family, friends, and their community, However, be careful not to use it as just a lead source or simply a platform to push your services.
Social media is best used to educate, inform, and connect people in need with services that you may or may not be the best center to provide them with. Your best bet is to publish a blog with regular updates that will give valuable information to people who may be thinking of trying rehabilitation services but are wary of the process or recovering addicts who may need some extra reassurance that their struggle is real and they are not alone.
SEO is one of the best methods for treatment centers to flourish online—but it will do its best if you have real, authentic content that can be key-word optimized.
If You’re Good at What You Do, It Will Show
Your client testimonials and reviews are your best marketing materials. Encourage your previous clients to give you feedback, positive and negative, and grow authentically with any criticism you receive. Ensure that your reviews are front-and-center on your website and even consider incorporating them into your blogs every once in a while.
Be sure to also check up on your web presence on third party sites and apps. You can set up a Google alert for the name of your drug rehab or treatment center so that you’ll receive an email notification when you’re mentioned online.
Finally, if you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional. An SEO or digital marketing company like SeoTuners can help you get your treatment center’s name out there while using ethical practices such as white-hat link building, organic and local SEO, and review monitoring. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you accomplish an effective addiction treatment marketing plan.
The impact of emerging technologies and social media year-to-year continues to astonish businesses and consumers alike. Ecommerce has become a staple of a growing business, and one of the most recent but fast-growing giants in the market is Amazon. So how did the online empire of Amazon emerge, and how did it grow so quickly?
Prior to 2001, Amazon didn't even turn a profit, and the numbers grew very slowly for many years. But in 2016, the company began to grow suddenly. It’s quarterly net profits that were well under half a billion quickly became close to the one billion mark.
And in 2019, profits somehow have continued to climb. In Q1 Amazon's net profits peaked at a hefty 3.56 billion dollars. Amazon took almost 50% of e-commerce sales in 2018, a figure sure to rise this year. Amazon’s reputation is so large that it’s common to hear about the “Amazon Effect, referring to the competitive difficulty retailers in many industries often face trying to keep up with Amazon.
An Integrated Marketing System
Not only does Amazon sell its own services and merchandise, but it also owns the platform by which many other businesses market their products. For smaller retailers, the latter step is probably unlikely for the near future. However, there is much to be gained by pursuing other opportunities for vertical integration.
A business should always be looking for ways to consolidate their supply chain. This can take the form of franchising, contracting, or direct incorporation. Amazon has a long history of such experiments, from establishing their own publishing imprint to developing their own delivery service. They also arrange unique deals with their manufacturers which allow them to freely enter and participate in the operations of their own brands.
Developing your own web platform to engage directly with consumers is essential. In the digital environment, those who own and operate apps, websites, and databases are important links in the chain. Amazon Web Services, which provides cloud computing and storage tools for businesses, is a powerful example of vertical integration in the digital world – they also use AWS for their own retail sites.
Horizontal integration is also key – putting new products into new markets is on many companies' to-do lists, and Amazon sells much more than books now. Famously, they purchased Whole Foods in 2017, a surprising entry into a new market with the hidden benefit of adding new information about consumer habits to their databases. All these moves, while seemingly risky in many cases, make headlines and expand Amazon's reach dramatically.
Innovative Customer Experience
Not long ago, a web-integrated approach to retail was simply called “multichannel”: brick-and-mortar stores and online selling would work in tandem but were viewed as two separate, but parallel, aspects of the business. Today, the “omnichannel” model is gaining prominence.
The concept of omnichannel marketing is like that of a vertical marketing system in that it calls for a unified approach to retail, but where vertical integration largely affects behind-the-scenes operations, an omnichannel strategy directly targets customer experience. The idea is that customers should be able to move seamlessly between various connected platforms and services while experiencing a unified brand experience.
For example, one should easily be able to purchase things in one way – say, on Amazon.com – and return them in another, such as a physical location, seamlessly. Amazon unveiled yet another one of their famous experiments this year when they made a deal allowing Amazon customers to return their products in Kohl's stores, which handle the packing and shipping themselves. This move appears to have greatly benefited both companies.
One of the biggest differences between a traditional business model and an omnichannel approach is the way shipping is handled. Large companies are not just shipping from distribution centers to stores—fulfillment centers have been introduced to package and ship parcels individually to consumers.
Amazon has also received a great deal of media attention in recent years for its interest in radical new ways to deliver goods faster than ever before. The most remarkable example of this is their testing unmanned aerial vehicles as a way to ship small products directly to customers' doors in 30 minutes or less.
We haven't yet exhausted the many ways Amazon is dedicated to new technologies. As climate concerns and renewable energy efforts make headlines more and more, Amazon pays attention.
Products and business practices viewed as “green” are still all the rage with both consumers and companies. This trend shows few signs of slowing down as demand continues to increase and smaller companies invest more frequently in the renewable energy industry.
Major players are getting involved too. In fact, it seems Amazon is determined to take the lead in environmental awareness and renewables investment going forward. In February, they announced their intent to make at least 50% of their shipments have a net carbon impact of zero, a plan fittingly named “Shipment Zero. Amazon has 61 ongoing renewable energy projects across the globe, two of which were just announced at the start of August.
They have also started shipping more of their items in lightweight plastic mailers rather than boxes to fit more items in fewer trucks and planes. Producing these mailers emits fewer greenhouse gases and uses less petroleum than making boxes from recycled cardboard, experts told The Washington Post.
While there are environmental pros and cons to most types of packaging, other companies would do well to explore innovative alternatives to stay ahead of the curve.
Amazon is also pushing for better practices from its various manufacturers: they have outlined a program requiring some manufacturers to change their packaging to make it sturdier, less expensive, and more eco-friendly. Brands that comply early will be rewarded with a credit of $1 per item shipped, but after August 1st, non-compliant items will incur a surcharge of $1.99 each, Forbes reported.
With all the expansion and innovation behind Amazon's rocket to prosperity, it's not surprising that many business owners would fear the Amazon Effect. However, with increasing worry about the impact of big business and tech companies, more avenues for smaller trustworthy competitors may be opening up in the near future.
But this is not to say that important lessons can’t be taken from the rise of the Amazon ecommerce empire. If your business hasn’t created an avenue for online sales, or is looking to increase your conversion rate, consider getting in touch with SeoTuners today. With affordable SEO solutions that include web design, social media, custom link building, SEO penalty recovery, and more, we’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs. Contact us today to learn about how we can help you grow your business online.
Better marketing leads to higher conversion rates and sales. If your products and services aren’t selling as much as you thought, you may be marketing them wrong. With more and more consumers switching to online shopping, you have a vast market to win over. Don’t waste your shot. Make your campaigns count by hiring the services of an SEO agency in Ventura. Expert online marketing advice can help you grow your business and revenue.
Know your market
SEO offers you a multitude of consumer data, the Entrepreneur shares. By knowing your target market inside and out, you’ll have a better idea of why your campaigns fail, why your competitors succeed, and what you can do to turn things around.
Drive website traffic
Organic search remains the primary source of online traffic, the Search Engine Journal notes. If you’ve got poor organic search traffic, though, an SEO agency can step in and help. Pros can implement campaigns to get your pages to rank higher. Better rankings will mean greater visibility, which leads to more sales. Remember that a reputable firm won’t promise to put you on the first page of the Google search results, though. Anyone who works in digital marketing knows that search marketing campaigns take time. If a firm comes up to you and says they can do it in a month or two, they’re lying.
Build trust and credibility
The goal of most companies is simple: to cultivate a loyal consumer base that will continue to increase demand for the company’s products. That’s one way to keep the business going. Rabid consumer loyalty doesn’t happen overnight, though, not unless you’re Robert Downey Jr. playing Iron Man for the first time. Companies with little to no star power can rely on SEO marketing campaigns to do this for them instead. With marketing campaigns that establish your business as an authority in the field, you can get the trust and confidence of your market. If they trust your brand or business, they’re more likely to try out your products or services.
Ever wonder what causes people to go to the theater and sit down to watch the same film for the hundredth time? Why do people line up just to get an ultra-expensive phone when they can get one for a much lower price? That’s brand engagement at work. It’s not enough that people know your brand. Your brand could be around for decades and still not elicit any consumer engagement. By hiring an SEO agency, though, you have pros to help you. They’ll determine the reasons behind your brand’s poor engagement and implement strategies to upgrade your brand. For some companies, it’s as simple as consumers confusing their brand with another firm. For some, consumers simply find their story boring. With expert assistance, you can transform your brand, create a story that your customers will love, and create deeper, lasting engagement. With greater engagement, you’ll get more people to buy your products and try out your services.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health states there are about 19.7 million adults in the U.S. who struggle with substance abuse disorder. The fact that drug addiction and abuse is costing American society more than $740 billion annually in lost workplace productivity and healthcare bills. Add to that rime-related expenses, and the numbers become even more alarming. There’s a need to ensure that people with the addiction get the treatment they need.
Treatment for select few
If you already have a drug rehabilitation center, then you’ll want to make sure your facility is always at full capacity. However, while the numbers of substance abuse and addiction in the country are high, only a quarter of that seek out or even receive proper treatment. Plenty of factors contribute to that. People are afraid of the stigma attached to addiction and would rather suffer on their own than seek out treatment. Some are afraid of the unknown. Unsure of the treatment, they refuse to check into rehab. Some cite cost as a problem. Out of all these, your campaigns should target those who want treatment but are afraid because they don’t know enough to make the right decision. That’s your market.
Marketing to solve the problem
Knowing the challenges that face the addiction recovery market will help you come up with better strategies. Once you’ve identified your audience, start looking for professional help for drug rehab marketing. Each strategy will focus on building and providing the necessary knowledge that people with addiction need to decide about pursuing treatment.
Choosing the right team
Smart, focused, and insightful marketing doesn’t happen by accident, though. It’s a product of skill and experience. That’s why it’s important to find the right marketing firm to create your campaigns. Do your homework. What kind of qualifications does the firm have? How long has the company been in the business? What kind of marketing services does it offer?
Look for specialization
Not all SEO marketing firms have meaningful experience in marketing drug rehab facilities. If you want stellar results, pick a firm that has already handled drug rehab marketing in the past. Ask them questions about that project. What marketing campaigns or strategies did they use, and will they use the same techniques again? Were the results successful?
Ask about the process
What strategies will they implement for your facility? Addiction recovery centers operate under the idea of trust and credibility. Given how serious addiction is, it’s only right that people take the time to get more information about the facility. They read reviews. They check websites. They ask for credentials. They want to know that the facility is trustworthy. Your marketing strategy needs to integrate that into the campaigns. A good marketing firm understands that. A bad one does not. Look out for that difference when you ask the company about their plans for your facility. If the company is more concerned about getting customers to your door by marketing low-cost services over building trust, look elsewhere.
Bad design hurts your business. If your pages are cluttered, has too many graphic elements, and unnecessary pages, you’ll lose potential customers before they even have a chance to find out what your products or services are all about. Improve their experience by hiring a web design company in Ventura to fix your site. The right one will make your pages mobile-friendly, clean up the visual clutter, and entice visitors to stay longer, increasing the chances for conversions and sales. Here are several considerations to factor into your decision.
Check out its site
Your hiring decision impacts your bottom line. Pick a bad firm and you could end up making mistakes and losing potential customers. If the company’s site is amateurish and lacks professionalism, look elsewhere. If the site is clean, simple, and easy to navigate, those are all signs that the firm knows what good web design is all about.
Browse through the portfolio
A lot of companies have online portfolios where they show samples of previous work. Go over those samples. Do you see anything you like? That may be a sign that the firm is a good fit for your project, Small Business Trends says. If you don’t like anything, though, be wary. Firms include their best works in the portfolio. If nothing impresses you, their style may not appeal to you. When you pick a web design team, experience and expertise aren’t the only qualities that matter. Fit matters too. If the work doesn’t suit the style of your business, think about moving on to other options.
Before you dismiss the company, though, reach out and ask them whether they have any experience working on a project like yours. They may have someone on the team who can execute the designs in the styles you want. Talk to them and ask. If you pick a reputable firm, they may come up with an arrangement that will suit you. Give it a try.
Consider the basics
Don’t forget to go over the basics. How long has the firm been in the business? Does it have any credentials? Who are the firm’s clients? Are you in good company? Do they have several clients in the same industry as your firm? Dig into the data and learn more about the firm’s reputation and track record. Are there legal complaints against the firm? If the firm has an excellent reputation and a track record for delivering excellent client solutions, then it deserves your business, the Business2Community says.
Read the reviews
Positive reviews are a good marker for a reputable company. But don’t just be satisfied with a high rating. Go over them and note down details that stand out. Do clients mention outstanding employees by name? What were some of the issues that they encountered? Are these recurring problems? What were they happy and unhappy about when it came to the firm’s services? These questions will help you figure out the right firm for your web design needs.
Google launched its first voice search App in 2008, and it wasn’t long after that similar voice recognition devices were released, including Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Echo (Alexa), and Google’s refined Google Assistant.
Voice assistant software has continued to increase in popularity up until 2019, where it seems to have decreased slightly. In 2017, 13% of all households in the United States owned a smart speaker, and in 2018, 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers said that their devices were used as part of their daily routines.
But how popular is voice search in 2019, and is it worth targeting specifically with SEO?
Is Voice Search as Popular as We Once Thought?
Most people who use voice assistant software currently use it for voice commands, such as making phone calls, sending texts, or setting alarms, which don’t require an internet search. Voice search is just one aspect of voice assistant software, but it’s the one that can be capitalized on most for marketing. Unfortunately, the statistics of one are often conflated with the other, so it’s hard to pin down just how popular voice search really is.
For example, a popular statistic that floats around online is the forecast that in five years’ time (which would be in 2020) 50% of all searches will be done by voice.
This statistic likely came from a misquoting of Braidu’s former Chief Data Scientist, Andrew Bg, in a 2014 Fast Company Interview. Baidu is a Chinese search engine, so this quote was speaking from data based in China which could be drastically different from the U.S. for several reasons.
Not only that, but it was a forecasted from 2014 and was in reference to speech and image searches. Statistics are often misquoted and repeated out of context to the point that they become inaccurate or untraceable altogether. Voice search is certainly nothing to ignore, but it’s growing at a much slower rate than we once thought it would.
So Why Is Voice Search on the Decline?
Aside from the overly zealous prediction that voice search will make up half of all searches by 2020, there was a consensus among experts that it would take off much quicker than it has.
One of the reasons may be that the technology is still being perfected—users may avoid opting into voice search if it takes multiple attempts to get the information that they could’ve found in one attempt on a manual search.
But this could soon be corrected. According to Google, voice recognition accuracy has increased to 95% since 2013. But it may still take time for many people to give voice technology a chance.
According to a study from Stone Temple released in March of this year, voice search has actually lagged from third to fourth place in how people use their phones to find information.
What was interesting about this study, though, is that it also suggested that those who did use voice search considered it their top choice. This means that there are many people who just have not tried the new technology, had a bad experience with it in the past, or do not have a voice technology assistant for financial or personal reasons, who may eventually prefer voice search.
This decline in voice searches may also be due in part to privacy concerns that have been mounting in the past few years. Before Bloomberg reported that Amazon was reviewing the spoken commands given to Alexa, many people were not aware that all major voice assistant data is reviewed by human personal. But this should come as no surprise—technology companies review frequent commands and searches made and how their technology responds to them in order to increase accuracy.
As technology improves and more people invest in voice technology assistants, voice search can be expected to grow—even if it doesn’t grow as fast as we’d once thought.
What’s Unique About Voice Search Technology?
According to Google, people often use their voice technology because it can help them multitask, making their daily routine easier and faster. Voice searches, specifically, allow them to instantly get answers and information without having to type and weed through more irrelevant information.
Voice search is convenient for hands free searching, which likely occurs most in the car. People may use it to ask for directions or recommendations for restaurants, businesses, or treatment centers when they’re on a time constraint. And with many states cracking down on texting and touching phones while driving, voice search allows people continued access to information in a much safer way.
Businesses like treatment centers should be especially conscious of voice search SEO, as addicts as well as friends and family of addicts may search for a drug rehab facility on the go or in a time sensitive situation.
Finally, voice search has immense potential for increasing ADA accessibility on the web. Rather than having to type, whether on a phone or desktop computer, a user can simply speak an action phrase such as “ok Google” followed by a query. And rather than having to visually and mentally comb through a multitude of results, a user will be read aloud the most relevant answer to their query.
For individuals with physical, visual, and mental disabilities, voice search could level the playing field and allow easier access to information online.
While voice search will probably never monopolize online searches, it’s absolutely worth accounting for in your SEO strategy.
How to Optimize SEO for Voice Search
The best strategy to optimize for voice search is do so when developing content from the beginning—that’s why you should work it into your SEO and content strategies now.
One major difference between voice and manual search is that voice search is much more conversational. Whereas someone might Google “drug rehab treatment centers in Los Angeles no insurance”, they might voice search “where can I go for drug rehab without insurance?”
People who know how to search efficiently will naturally pack their inquiries with keywords and relevant information like locations and stipulations, but voice search is unique in that it is meant to be treated like a (human) personal assistant.
So, you may need to fill in some of the gaps in your content. While packing in keywords may do some good for manual SEO, voice searches tend to pull from conversational content that happens to have relevant words in it. And since everyone speaks differently, you’ll have to consider the many different variations of questions people may ask and try to phrase your content to fit as many of them as possible.
The good news is, there are countless SEO tools to help you do this! For example, there is a tool called Answer the Public that will give you a map and list of commonly asked questions related to the keywords you type in. Google even has their own tool called “People Also Asked” that can give you related questions to any that you input.
As far as developing voice search friendly content, FAQ pages are incredibly effective at answering common voice search queries in a conversational tone about how-to’s, locations, and product and service information.
Additionally, it’s important to note that a vast amount of voice searches are made on mobile phones, meaning that having a mobile-friendly website is key. For example, page speed is a huge mobile ranking factor, and that comes through in voice searches. According to Backlino, voice search results load 52 percent faster than average pages.
Optimizing your site for local search results will also benefit your voice search SEO, so be sure to claim your business listing through Google My Business if you haven’t already done so and ensure all this information is accurate. You can then make content on your site that answers location and services-based questions in an accessible, voice search friendly tone.
So, the more you can do to optimize your site and content for local search results, the better optimized you’ll be for both kinds of queries. Claiming your business listing through Google My Business is the first step. Then you can develop content that easily answers location-based questions.
Securing your website with an HTTPS website domain may also boost your voice search SEO. According to Backlinko, 70.4% of Google Home result pages are secured with HTTPS.
Don’t wait until voice search actually makes up half of all online searches, start optimizing for it today! If you have questions about voice search or general SEO tactics, get in touch with us.
SeoTuners is well-versed in SEO and can help craft a custom, affordable solution for your business to increase exposure and SERP rankings. With affordable SEO solutions that include web design, social media, custom link building, SEO penalty recovery, and more, we’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs. Contact us today to learn about how we can boost your Google rankings.
Discover one of the simplest search engine optimization techniques in 2019; Google local optimization with Local Business Cards
In 2019, about 50% of the 67,000 search queries made on Google Search are local searches. How can your business tap into this user base, attract, and convert them into raving, paying customers to grow your business? And what does Google local optimization, local business cards, or Google My Business have to do with anything?
Let's do a little experiment.
Open a new tab in your browser. Type "green tea in Houston" in the search box. What do you see in the search results (SERPs)?
Anything like this?
Google My Business in action on top of search results
Notice the first result is a spice store. If you are looking for coffee and baked goods, you'd choose the second or third ones, right?
So, let's pick Palm & Boy Coffee and Acai. Click on the name once.
This comes up:
Inside Google My Business—the top Google local business card
Now, in the middle column, can you spot the following by scrolling down?
Google My Business reviews
And then this:
The last of the local business cards in a GMB listing
If you search for a business online, like 60% of consumers did in 2018, you may see this too:
Google knowledge panel directly in search results
The above series of screen shots demonstrate the cluster of features that make up Local Business Cards. Google calls all of it Google Posts.
What is a Local Business Card?
A Google Business Card is a search result feature that displays a host of critical information about a local business.
The information typically displays on the right-hand side of search results. It is essentially what a search engine user needs to know about your business such as:
Your location on Google Maps, and directions
Official business website link
Type of business
Contacts and address
Even more critical, a local business card will help persuade (or deter) a potential customer through Google Reviews, busiest hours, and the competition's appeal (as highlighted under "People also search for" section).
Instead of clamoring for overwhelming and expensive SEO techniques right out the gate, you can start by claiming your GMB listing. Then learn how to optimize your Google My Business Account.
How to optimize your local business cards?
Here's how to improve and take advantage of Google Local Business Cards in the simplest, most actionable way so you can start immediately.
Claim your GMB listing
Getting on GMB will almost instantly have your business feature in Local Finder, Local Pack, and Google Maps. You can link the listing to your business website.
You will also show you are a real business, in a specific location, and are open for business to boost your local SEO strategy.
Fill all the information in
From your business name to type of business to upcoming events/promotions, to open hours, give searchers the information they need to get to you
Use your niche keywords in your 300-word description.
Google only shows the first 100 characters on first glance so make those count.
Amplify what you offer without copy-pasting your menu (if you are an eatery). For example, highlight attributes such as free WI-FI, a vegan diet, and home delivery.
Don't overuse keywords, too.
Activate most relevant CTA
You'll have several calls-to-action prompts to choose from such as read more, get, and buy. Use one that suits precisely what you want searchers to do after seeing the listing.
Enable and solicit Google reviews.
And regularly respond to reviews whether positive or negative to show potential customers you care. Remember over 85% of buyers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
The feature allows consumers to easily text your business so you can connect more and convert them to buyers.
Verify your GMB Listing
Log in to your GMB account. Select the business to verify. Choose verification method. Follow the prompts.
Add striking images
Use sharp, 750 by 750 images or 30-seconds video on your listing to give a visual highlight of exactly what you offer. Show out your exterior, interior, team, the team at work. Ensure they accentuate the mood you want customers to know you for.
Regularly post upcoming events such as promotions, karaoke, team building, and competitions to keep your listing fresh and buzzy. Each post lasts up to just 10 days.
With just these nine local business card optimization tips, you can start seeing increased exposure online whether you are big or small business with a limited SEO marketing budget. Try it and see. Will you?
We get you may not have a huge SEO budget. After reading this you may not need to either. Discover tips for finding an affordable SEO company and DIY SEO tactics.
Whether you are a small or larger business, you can always save money to fund product or service improvements and delivery. When it comes to improving your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, you can cut costs by doing a few things right instead of shelling out more marketing dollars to expensive SEO companies for less ROI.
You can manage your online marketing budget to get the most out of it as you grow. In this quick guide, you'll discover the simple SEO tips and tricks you can use right away to start seeing results for fewer bucks.
1. Publish quality content
Google wants to help searchers find the most informative, relevant, and accurate information they can get in response to their queries.
So how do you ensure you offer this kind of information and rank as high as the first page of Google search results and gain 93% of all search clicks?
· Publish useful content
Create content aimed at answering searchers' questions. To do that, research your target audience to understand their search intent.
Do you have customer personas or market segments you've researched and created already?
You can also create content targeted to each of your marketing and sales funnel stages. A searcher at one stage, say awareness, wants to find out about a different matter from another at a different stage say, consideration.
Then use a tool such as the Google Search Console to understand what keywords your target audience uses to look for solutions to their questions online.
· Long-form content wins
The average word count of top-ranking text content is 1,850 words. Majority of top-Ranking posts average between 1500 words and 200 words.
It's not just about creating long content, though. Make it interesting and useful. Such content will help you keep readers around for longer.
That means reduced bounce rates for you, an increase of which signals to a search engine to lower your ranking assuming readers do not find a solution on your site.
· Attractive content structure matters
Online readers can be incredibly impatient. So you need to make your quality content appealing to look at, scan and read.
Avoid using too many keywords, long sentences, and huge paragraphs to reduce reader fatigue. Add keyword-optimized images and cut the fluff.
2. Focus on mobile
Over 54% of all search traffic is now accessed using a smartphone.
To tap into the ever-growing mobile search traffic, make your site mobile-friendly such that it is easier to access from a small screen.
3. Improve your site loading speed
In our experience, one of the major causes of increased bounce rates is slow-loading web pages.
A slow site can cost you leads, customers, and lead your competitors to take business away from you. According to Google, the best speed loading time should be about two seconds.
So do let your developer know your sites needs to be that fast to effectively compete without spending a ton of money on other SEO plans.
4. Boost your site navigation
Search engines love well-interlinked sites.
To take advantage of this knowledge, seek to conduct internal linking on your site. Link one page or piece of content to another, relevant page or piece of content.
This helps in two ways, at the very least.
It helps search engine crawlers to easily index your site due to the easy navigation, and
Readers tend to click, open, and read more pages related to the one they initially opened.
With more information to read, they'll stick around longer. That signals to search engine algorithms that your site has the kind of information a reader wants to learn in-depth. So the algo will improve your ranking.
Improvements in rankings mean you'll become more visible to more people hence receive even more visitors on your website.
5. Use an affordable SEO company
Getting the best SEO services don't have to be expensive. You need an affordable SEO company that understands a small business may not have a huge budget to dunk into their online marketing strategy.
However, with a bit more commitment, you can find a custom SEO plan from an SEO agency near you that is a great fit for your budget and business goals.
For example, you can choose a monthly SEO package that only provides techniques meant to achieve a specific goal. So if you need more traffic to increase sales, only focus on tactics targeted at attracting targeted visitors—warm leads that are easier to convert than readers at the awareness stage of your funnel.
SEO Tuners an award-winning, affordable SEO company in Los Angeles and Ventura that'll help you attract more targeted readers you can convert to buyers for less marketing dollars.