Internet marketing in elective health care, particularly aesthetic medicine, has come of age during the last few years. It is now part of every practice’s budget. Doctors are quickly becoming both businessmen and consumers, and as such, they have one burning question: Can I get it cheaper?
The short answer is yes, but the big-picture answer is no.
Sure, you can pay less up front. There are likely hundreds of companies willing to take your money and generate content for your site. But the way they go about it may end up costing you more in the long run—much more. Practices often have to bring in the Internet marketing equivalent of the Navy Seals to get you back on the grid. This can cost tens of thousands of dollars. In the worst-case scenario, you
may even have to scrap the entire website and start from scratch. Your best bet is to do it right from the get-go.
When shopping for a marketing company, you have three choices—good, quick and cheap—but you can only pick two. Choosing the cheap option means sacrificing quality and/or efficiency.
PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR CONTENT IS
Good content is the lifeblood of a great Internet strategy. While you may be able to find an individual who can produce high-quality content on a limited budget, it is unlikely that he or she can deliver the content quickly and consistently, and also possess the requisite aesthetic medicine expertise.
Content affects conversion. The goal of any marketing strategy is to brand your practice and stand out. Canned, duplicate content does the opposite. If your content is like everyone else’s, consumers will assume you are like everyone else.
Sometimes, cheap content is written purely for the search engines, and just feeds them key words and phrases. Expect smart search engines to chew this up and spit it back out. The reason Google generates $8 billion in sales each quarter is that it serves up the content consumers want: a top-tier list of resources for any given search topic. Google can’t sustain advertising revenue if it fails to spotlight the best of the rest.
If your content is canned or duplicate, Google and other search engines will pan your site.
Another area where cut rates can be red flags is link development. Most SEO companies provide some type of link building as part of their menu of services. Search engines rank your site based on the number and quality of incoming links. Buying inexpensive links by the lot or letting your SEO company bargain-hunt for you can be detrimental. If incoming links to your website appear fabricated or “unnatural,” search engines will penalize your site. This means you can kiss your double-decker, first-page rankings goodbye. If Google penalizes your site due to cheap links, it could be the most expensive cheap mistake you ever make.
In many cases, hiring an Internet marketing company at a low price will be the first of many incremental expenses. As with anything else, you get what you pay for. So make sure to do your due diligence before you hire a marketing company. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
David Evans, PhD, MBA, is the CEO of Ceatus Media Group, based in San Diego. He can be reached via PSPeditor@allied360.com.