Setting Expectations

Before unveiling a healthcare marketing strategy to Launch Centers, our first job was to educate their team about SEO and set accurate expectations. 

SEO is great because the effort you put into it now will generate compounding results over time. For example, if you write a blog post today, that blog post will continue to generate traffic to your website for years. 

The catch is that SEO results don’t happen overnight. 

Instead of thinking about it like paid ads that will start generating an ROI tomorrow, think about it like building a brand. It’s a process that takes time. But, once you’ve built a brand, it will pay dividends in the long run.

After explaining this process to the Launch Center team, we presented the low hanging fruit opportunities that we would take advantage of first and also presented what the long term healthcare marketing strategy to build a self sustaining growth engine.

Creating a Healthcare Marketing Strategy

As always, we start with an audit of your website and overall strategy. 

This audit often uncovers both technical errors (such as slow load time, 404s, unoptimized site pages), as well as overarching strategy questions (such as keyword rankings).

From there, the standard procedure is to execute a strategy based on those findings.

This is a part of the workflow in which we mind most SEO companies present a flawed plan of action. Most SEO companies will promote the idea of “generating more traffic.” However, this plan is completely flawed because generating more traffic isn’t what is going to make the phone ring. What’s important is to generate the right kind of traffic, meaning people who are currently looking for solutions to their addiction problem and are in need to treatment services. 

It’s common for SEO companies to show you that they are indeed growing the website traffic, but that traffic may not equate to qualified leads and revenue growth. 

This is where Stodzy is different from most marketing agencies and why we produce an ROI rather than just traffic. 

Step 1: Understand What Drives Conversions

Rather than aiming to create the most perfectly optimized website, we report conversions.

While the two goals may seem similar, they have a very subtle, yet important, difference. A perfectly optimized website that shows zero errors in an SEO tool may not drive as many leads as a website that has various errors. But, it provides more valuable information, ranks for better keywords, etc.

This means that instead of executing a plan that makes your website free of technical errors and drives traffic, we work closely with our clients to understand what is currently driving your best leads and what your past customers searched for to find you

For example, with Launch Centers, we identified two major issues in their healthcare marketing strategy:

  • They were ranking for plenty of national keywords (“addiction treatment timeline”), but they weren’t ranking for localized keywords their target audience searches (“treatment center in CA”). Local keywords will always convert better than national keywords.
  • Much of there traffic came from Medicaid users, which is a demographic that Launch Centers is unable to serve.

Both of those examples presented problem to Launch Centers, because they were spending resources to generate traffic, but the traffic they were generating was not helping them grow. In fact, it was only making things worse.

Therefore, as you create a marketing strategy, look at key pages that are currently driving leads. Then, start by optimizing them before optimizing less important pages like old blog posts that drive little traffic. 

For example, local people searching for detox and residential treatment are very valuable to Launch Centers, so we started by optimizing those pages.

This included redesigning the pages and improving the depth of the content, such as answering more FAQs.

Here’s what it looked like before we took over:

before we took over

This is what it looked like after we updated it:

Notice that the page above was functioning fine from a technical standpoint before the redesign. (Sure, it had a high bounce rate, but nothing grievously wrong). However, the key reason why we decided to this page over, say, an old blog post that is 404ing, is because this page is much more valuable to the business of the company. 

This is the issue that most SEOs become trapped in. They believe that they absolutely must fix the largest technical errors first and focus on driving traffic. This causes them to lose sight of what actually drives business results.

Though at Stodzy we prioritize optimizations based on the page’s importance rather than the error’s severity. So sure, 404s are huge issues, but if it isn’t affecting a page that’s driving conversions, it won’t be our priority until the pages driving conversions are optimized to the max. 

Action Items:

  1. Set up call tracking and Google Analytics to identify which pages generate your best leads
  2. Thoroughly audit those pages for technical issues (404s, slow load time, etc). Also, audit content depth (do we answer all of the questions people ask on the phone regarding this service?)
  3. Are there any pages generating low quality leads that you can change? (Medicaid example)
  4. Once all of the most important pages are perfectly optimized, then work your way down the funnel to optimizes pages that are more middle and top of funnel

Notice that this approach is much less overwhelming and much more effective than trying to make every aspect of the website perfect?

Step 2: Executing The Strategy

Now that you have a strategy, the next step is to actually execute your strategy.

However, we didn’t really define how we make these pages “better.”  

If we are to boil it all down to just a few things, it’s typically:

  • Content depth
  • Load time
  • Backlinks
  • Readability/Scanability (design)

For load time and backlinks, it’s easy to just plug the URL into a tool and see a hard number to gauge whether or not the website is up to par. 

However, content depth and readability/scanability is something that our team gauges just from their own years of experience. In addition, content depth is probably the most important of the four factors. 

Even without years of experience, there’s a simple way to uncover whether or not your page is up to par.

Just Google the search term and see how your page compares to the current competition. 

For example, if the keyword you want to rank for is “inpatient treatment centers for alcohol” just Google the term and click through the top results. What do they discuss that your page lacks? 

In addition to looking at competing pages, listen to your sales calls. What FAQs are patients asking that aren’t already explained on your services page? And if they are explained on your services page, is it difficult to locate them? Or is the answer insufficient?

If so, work towards improving that content.

For Launch Centers, one major update that we made to their content was taking their “Dual Diagnosis” page with a number of disorders and splitting it up so that each disorder had its own designated page. This created an opportunity for us to provide more in-depth information and enabled us to rank for those keywords.

Here’s the page before we took over:

Here’s the page after we finished:

Action Items:

  1. Look at the competitive landscape and analyze what they are doing better than you.
  2. Listen through prospect calls to understand what information potential patients are asking about your services. Also, include answers to the questions on key pages
  3. Hire a developer on Upwork to go through and improve your page speed

Step 3: Measuring Results

While SEO does take time, that doesn’t mean that you’ll see zero results for the first year. Sure, the first several months will certainly be slow, though you should eventually see an uptick in calls.

At Stodzy, our main metric is producing qualified leads. Therefore, we set up call tracking and each month we discuss with the team how those leads are performing. We then adjust our own strategy based on what we’ve heard is working and what isn’t working.

For example, when we realized that the “childhood trauma quiz,” was driving them tons of leads each month, so we decided to double down on it by adding more CTAs and in-depth content within the text.

We’ve found that by focusing on driving real leads, traffic is essentially a byproduct of the strategy.

In fact, this strategy helped Launch Center’s traffic grow from nearly 2,500 monthly visits to approximately 10,000 monthly visits in just one year. 

when we started

Therefore, don’t obsess over your traffic. Just focus on generating conversions and the rest of your marketing will fall into place.

Action Items:

  1. Set up call tracking and use conversions as your main metric
  2. Each month, assess strategies that did produce conversions and analyze why
  3. Double down on what worked and throw out anything that didn’t work

Final Thoughts

All too often, healthcare centers get bogged down by technical SEO and marketing strategy jargon. They lose sight of the real goal: driving conversions. 

Take a step back and use this super simple three step process we used to grow Launch Center’s leads by  over 1,000%. If you need more help executing the strategy, you can read more about the granular details of SEO tactics here, but remember to focus on executing these strategies on pages that produce the most conversions.

In addition, if you’d like us to work on your SEO strategy for you, you can always request a free proposal!

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    Tim Stoddart

    Tim Stoddart is the CEO of Stodzy Internet Marketing. He lives in Nashville with his wife and hit adorable pitbull, Alice. Tim loves to write about digital marketing and personal growth. You can learn more at

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