Companies and medical practices that are serious about growth know that they need to have an online marketing strategy. Most also know that outsourcing these online marketing efforts, specifically SEO, to a company that truly understands SEO is best. Those who perform SEO for a living are familiar with the extensive amount of changes that Google makes to its algorithms and what really works to help boost your search engine rankings. Just like a marketer may know some healthcare basics but isn’t qualified to treat patients, most physicians don’t truly understand the ins and outs of SEO and marketing. It’s a much better use of their time to do what they do best and work with marketing professionals to supplement their practice’s online presence.
The conclusion is often drawn that a company that specializes in SEO would be the best choice to handle all of your SEO efforts. While you do want people that specialize in SEO to be a part of your marketing efforts, we actually believe that having someone who only specializes in SEO could actually be detrimental to your SEO efforts. Pure SEO companies and freelancers most often do not provide the best SEO results for several reasons.
The Focus of SEO
Ninety percent of SEO companies will focus on two things: traffic and keywords. They want to show you a big increase in traffic and that there’s a whole bunch of keywords all ranking at the top of the first page. These are both good things that you want to have, but really shouldn’t be the focus. If you have traffic that doesn’t convert to a lead or sale, it’s really not worth anything to you. Most pure SEO companies don’t worry about lead generations and conversions, and don’t know how to optimize a site for these (let alone back end portal management, lead nurturing, etc.). A marketing firm that has a strong SEO department is much more likely to know how to bring the right traffic and ensure that it converts.
An SEO firm may have a lot of experience with SEO, and may know a lot about Google and their algorithms, but do they know you? Though Points Group consists of marketers with different specialty areas (Print, Digital, SEO, Video, etc.), and has backgrounds and competency in different areas (packaging, CPG, etc.), there is one thing that we all know: healthcare. We are experts in healthcare marketing. Why? Because we know that it’s not enough to just know our practice areas. We need to know yours, too. Focusing on healthcare enables us to know your content well enough to write with expertise on your subject matters in a way that is helpful to the consumer and works to generate leads.
Having someone work on all of your SEO efforts, and having someone else work on your website development or SEM creates a duplication of effort. There is increased amount of time (and cost) created by the need to manage separate entities, facilitate communication between them, and having to explain everything multiple times. It is often fairly common to see two different companies competing against each other, either not knowing what the other entity is doing or trying to steal additional work.
Lack of Synergy
This one is big. The principle of synergy, that when multiple parts work together the result is greater than the exact same parts working on their own, couldn’t be more true in marketing. SEO can help you on it’s own, but helps so much more when it’s partnered with social media, video, or a multi-channel marketing campaign.
You can have 6 landscapers from different companies come to your house for different functions and all do a good job. But, your yard certainly wouldn’t look as great as if you had 6 people come to your house and work together under one common vision and plan, working together to bring the best results under that umbrella. The same happens with outsourcing your marketing to 6 different companies working independently of each other.
All of this results in missed opportunities. Synergy brings better results:
- Ads: Looking at the bigger picture in negotiations (can you get a link? Any online or offline benefits?). We actually just scored a big link for our SEO efforts because our ad team worked closely with our SEO team and negotiated a big win by working together.
- Newsjacking: When there’s big news in your industry, are your web, SEO, PR, and content teams all ready to work together to publish on your company’s behalf and bring attention to you?
- Better website: A web developer, designer, and SEO team working together makes sure that your site ranks well, works well, and looks good enough to represent your business. One of these without the others doesn’t do you any good, but all three working together makes them great – and makes your website an optimal lead generation machine.
- Campaigns: Campaigns are typically highly effective, but require everyone working together to achieve a common goal. Make an effective campaign by working together.
- Idea Generation: The bottom line – everyone working together, brainstorming in meetings, and collaborating breeds more creative and more effective ideas. You simply can’t do that just hiring an SEO company.
The bottom line is that you’re going to get the most for your marketing dollar with a full service agency as opposed to individual agencies with specific focus areas. There is something to be said for integration and communication with just isn’t always possible with a pure SEO firm.
If your needs truly are purely SEO and you have a pure SEO firm that you really want to work with, make sure they are at least connected with the rest of your marketing team. The more integrated your SEO efforts are with the rest of your marketing, the better your results are going to be, and the more efficient (read: cost effective) your marketing will be.