There is often the belief in business and in all aspects of it that in order to make money, one needs to spend money. And while this adage is often times proven true, it is not always the case if resources are utilized more efficiently.
In an already harsh environment for maintaining profitability within the medical field, a physician group may not currently have the resources to engage in every single type of digital marketing that may be beneficial for the group. Because of this constraint, the resources dedicated to improving the physician group’s website traffic and web presence need to be used strategically and wisely in order to maximize results.
Today’s Business was tasked with increasing traffic to a physician group’s website. The goal of this traffic increase being that it will lead to new leads for the physician group and eventually, turn into conversions in the form of new patients coming into the office.
In order to perform these services, while keeping a budget in mind, Today’s Business had to engage in both Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). But the unique strategy employed in this case was to employ a two-pronged approach with SEO and SEM to work in concert with each other. This was done by examining any inefficiency in how the campaign was being run and making the necessary adjustment in order to effectively utilize the available resources. This approach was implemented beginning during the new year, on 1/1/17.
The resulting strategy’s locus was to dramatically cut back on SEM spend on words that were already ranking for the physician group. What does this mean, exactly? This strategy essentially takes into account which keywords (words searched for on Google, primarily) rank in association with the physician group. So if the physician group already ranks for the keyword “orthopedic” for example, it makes little sense to spend ad dollars on keywords that already rank for the client. Today’s Business identified those keywords, aggressively cut the spend on them, and reallocated the resources toward improving the overall SEO performance of the physician group.
The results of this aggressive strategy were clear and convincing. These can be seen below:
Overall Web Traffic
- Website traffic has increased 8.2%
- New Users to website increased 15.99%
- NOTE: Decreased SEM spend by over 70%
- Organic Search traffic is up 23%
- Non-Branded Sessions have increased 26%
- Non-Branded Goal Completions increased 4.33%
- Direct traffic has decreased 1.75%
- Direct traffic to hompage has decreased 12.69%
- Direct traffic to all other pages has increased 24%
- Paid Search traffic has decreased 50%
- SEM spend has decreased 69.39%
- CPC decreased 27.15% ($0.88 vs. $1.21)
- Social Media Traffic has increased 115%
- New Users from Social Media has increased 157%
Another important thing to examine is the changes in the paid search metrics. Paid search decreased by 50%, SEM spend increased by 69.39%, and Cost-Per-Click (CPC) decreased by 27.15% (from $0.88 to $1.21). This again underscores the strategy of moving away from paying for unnecessary keywords. Additionally, social media performance was up as well, indicating other ways to increase traffic to the site without wasting money on ranked keywords.Based on the data above, the shift in strategy has proven to be extremely effective. Website traffic and new users to the website increased by 8.2% and 15.99%, respectively. At the same time, the SEM spend was decreased by 70%. This points to a large growth in organic traffic, which we see in the next section. Organic traffic, non-branded search sessions, and non-branded goal completions all increased by 1.75%, 25%, and 4.33%, respectively.
The following is a further breakdown of the efficacy of the strategy as compared to how the physician group was performing last year:
Organic Search Breakdown
- Organic Search accounts for 73%of overall website traffic in comparison to over 64% of their website traffic last year throughout the same timeframe.
- Organic Search Accounts for 45%of overall goal completions throughout the website, compared to 63%.
- Non-Branded Search traffic has increased 23%since last year.
- Non-Branded Goal Completions is up 5%from last year, over 800 Goal Completions since 1/1/17.
- The homepage accounts for 48%of the organic traffic landing pages, which is up from 45% of the traffic last year.
- Overall blog content is up 119% YOY
- Blogs account for 17% of organic traffic.
- Top blogs contain “treatment” and “prevention” content.
- “What Is” content is driving 50% of blog traffic.
- Organic Traffic has increased 23% in comparison to the same period last year.
- Non-Branded Organic Search traffic is up 25%in comparison to the same period last year.
- Non-Branded Goal Completions is up 5%from last year over 800 Goal Completions since 1/1/17.
- Overall Website traffic is up over 8%YOY despite a drop in 70% in SEM spend.
- Also 1.78% decrease in Direct Traffic
- 37% decrease in Referral Traffic
- 31% decrease in Email Traffic
- 17% Increase in Social Media Traffic
After analyzing all the metrics available, it can be concluded that the strategy Today’s Business employed to reallocate resources for more efficiency was a resounding success. Unsurprisingly, it is terribly inefficient and ineffective to spend money on keywords that the client already ranks for. By identifying these keywords and moving the resources elsewhere (social media, SEO development), the physician group was able to see amazing increases in its organic traffic and, ultimately, more conversions from the leads the website traffic inevitably produces. This advantage that the physician group now possesses (exemplary SEO, efficient use of its resources) could be one of the primary factors associated with maintaining profitability. In an unpredictable business environment in the medical field, peace of mind that resources are being used to directly increase the profitability of the practice is something of immeasurable value.