For Doctors: SEO is Dead, Social is Alive


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Medical experts, ranging from plastic surgeons to cosmetic dermatologists, have developed monolithic web marketing strategy: get top ranking on google. With social media, doctors need to shift to a patient-centric marketing effort where less time is spent pleasing the robot (google) and more helping consumers get informed.

Accompanying blog post is here:

Slides annotated from the Cosmetic BootCamp meeting, July 2012.

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  • Analog word of mouth
  • SEO consultants.They can’t tell you how it’s done. They make lots of promise. They say you’ll get found in the maze of online options, typically as “we’ll get you top ranking for ____”
  • This is how it manifests
  • 1000s of phd’s looking at 1000s of factors for ranking search results
  • SEO is dead as you knew it. Google is penalizing sites that optimized for the robot vs. the consumer
  • Digital word of mouth
  • RealSelf vs. the traditional doctor listing sites
  • Social media is…
  • It’s easy to see SM as a goof ball place for teens
  • Or inappropriate
  • but it does have relevance to your practice marketing
  • TOM
  • Angry mob
  • Purchase bias People buy products that they believe they will enjoy. So, the reviews are written by people that are more likely to like the productUnderreporting bias Those with extreme ratings (5-star or 1-star) are more likely to express their views to “brag or moan” than those with moderate views
  • TOM
  • TOM: reason #2
  • Be strategic…
  • Claim and update information on these sites
  • They are at their highest point of interestYou know they’re available!First to respond gets the highest likelihood to close
  • For Doctors: SEO is Dead, Social is Alive

    1. 1. SEO is dead.Social is alive. Shifting to a Patient-Centric Marketing Strategy Tom Seery, CEO/Founder July 2012, Cosmetic BootCamp
    2. 2. For dermatologists, marketing was once never a consideration.Patients came via word of mouth or doctor referrals. Do you like your dermatologist? Dr. Taylor at the PolyClinic is great
    3. 3. Yellow Pages was the first step into marketing, because shecould find you without relying on a friend’s recommendation
    4. 4. Then came the WWW, and doctors built a website to reachher with greater detail than afforded by phone books
    5. 5. With the first search engines, it became clear ranking mattered
    6. 6. Google shifted doctor’s entire online marketing attentionto pleasing the robot, away from her information needs Image: Robot courtesy of SEOmoz
    7. 7. SEO consultants made bigpromises: #1 Google ranking…but never explained howthey got robot love
    8. 8. With SEOs driving, doctors developed a web presence solelyto please the robot (Google) Link Keyword schemes stuffing Multiple websites
    9. 9. Stuffing
    10. 10. Link Schemes
    11. 11. Copy written to trick the robot…
    12. 12. And terrible articles designed to get a free link, not to inform
    13. 13. Many of you still have link schemes that hurt you, live on your site
    14. 14. Google has 1000 PhDs determined to outsmart an SEO consultant
    15. 15. Evidenced by SEO-scheme sites traffic pattern
    16. 16. Social media is back to WOM, but on steroids. The robot andyou feel marginalized or stay marginal Social media
    17. 17. What’s taken share from SEO-plays? Social (RealSelf is theleading social site in cosmetic aesthetics)
    18. 18. RealSelf is patient-centric, which focuses doctors on helping her,not the robot Doctor Patient Q&A stories Photos
    19. 19. “The world is in the middle of anongoing conversation. A marketer’schallenge and job is to enter thatconversation.” --John D. Hayes Chief Marketing Officer, American Express
    20. 20. It’s easy to conclude social media is silly
    21. 21. …or downright inappropriate
    22. 22. Social has significant value to aesthetic consumers who wantto reduce risk of making a bad decision
    23. 23. 3 REASONSPractices Should Become Socially Engaged
    24. 24. Your reputation
    25. 25. Doctors dread these
    26. 26. Leaving doctors to often see the web as a mob that’sdetermined to burn reputations
    27. 27. There is no angry mob87% of RealSelf doctorreviews are positive
    28. 28. Online reviews contradict the law of"large numbers" that would imply anormal distribution
    29. 29. The answer to bad speechis more speech Matt Cutts, Google
    30. 30. Aesthetic consumers are also social buyers
    31. 31. We all use social data to make decisions
    32. 32. Social information is inescapable in search becausepeople love it
    33. 33. Over half of women 18+share both good and badexperiences online
    34. 34. 36% share to helpothers make smartpurchases
    35. 35. Clearly, doctor reviews are important tothe decision making process 90%+ consider doctor reviews important or very important Source: RealSelf survey, 2012 Q1
    36. 36. ✪ TipsMaking the Shift to Patient-centric marketing
    38. 38. Post-op patients are your most important form of marketingSOURCE:
    39. 39. Embrace reviews because your patients are happy 87% of RealSelf doctor reviews are positive
    40. 40. Make it easy for patients to post with cards or emailssent pre and post-op
    41. 41. Review quality when started Review quality whenPost-op started Pre-Op
    42. 42. RealSelf makes it easy for patients to start talking beforetheir treatment or procedure
    43. 43. 87% positive
    44. 44. ✪ OWN YOUR “NAMESPACE”
    45. 45. Even if you hate them, update your bio and contact information LinkedIn Twitter Facebook RealSelf Four Square Yelp
    46. 46. ✪ BE HELPFUL (not promotional)
    47. 47. Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it… To gain influence and status, you have to give away your expertise and content.Gary Hamel, Strategist
    48. 48. Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it… To gain influence and status, you have to give away your expertise and content. you must do it quickly; if you don’t, someone else will beat you to the punch—and garner theGary Hamel, Strategist credit that might have been yours
    49. 49. Answering questions is a great way to be helpful and to signalyou’re patient-centric
    50. 50. Answering questions is never seen as advertising (which is good)
    51. 51. “I think a surgeon who takes the timeto respond to patient questions on aforum without any fee is a goodindicator of integrity.I am interested in lipo ofabdomen…would like to know how toproceed with consultation.”--A real patient inquiry to a plastic surgeon active on
    52. 52. Constant self-promotion in social media never works FAIL
    54. 54. 1 IN 10 SEE YOUR POSTS
    55. 55. POSTS LAST UNDER 20 HRS
    57. 57. LIKES ARE SCARCE
    59. 59. Call back in <2 hrsTwice as likely to schedule consultation Source: mymedleads
    60. 60. Thank you.Email: toms@realself.comBlog: