SEO has been tagged in several marketing studies as the single marketing initiative that produces the highest ROI. Still, we need to be aware of SEO’s limitations in marketing, and how it works with other pieces of the marketing mix.
SEO — search engine optimization — is about being found. If you offer medical tourism services, you want your website to be found by people looking for medical tourism services.
If you don’t show up in search, you’re not in the game. Up to 94% of consumers now search online when they’re looking for good and services, including local goods and services. Your potential customer will be searching for medical tourism opportunities, looking for answers about medical tourism, comparing prices relating to medical tourism, and seeking experts on the subject. You have to show up.
If you don’t turn up when that potential customer searches for you, it really doesn’t matter whether you have a great product or service, a cool website, and a cohesive brand message, because of that whole tree falling in a forest thing. You have to be findable.
That’s what SEO does for you and your brand.
It’s necessary, but it’s not sufficient. You must also pay attention to conversion optimization. Your website needs to tell visitors what you offer and how they can get it immediately. There should be a clear path to purchase. Your site must be good enough that people will share it with others and return to it. These things, together with SEO, add up to an effective website.
Because these elements work together, we tend to include them in our vision of SEO.
But SEO doesn’t build demand. If people aren’t looking for what you have to offer, SEO will probably not cause them to look. A lot of things you can do to increase traffic will bring people to your website, but these tactics may not help the bottom line because they don’t focus on bringing people who want what you have to offer, in the way that good SEO does.
Business owners often feel that just getting people to the website will be enough. Your goods and services are so awesome that everyone will want one, even if they were brought to your website by a video of cats, right?
Maybe not. If your visitors are not in need of elective surgery, chances are good that they won’t care about medical tourism opportunities. No matter how viral your video of cats.
Marketing can build demand. It can make people aware of new ideas and products. It can reach people in need of elective surgery and open their eyes to the possibility of medical tourism, to continue with our example. SEO can help support this type of marketing, but SEO truly is for communicating with people who are looking for you. It’s an essential part of your marketing mix and can’t be ignored if you want the best results and the best ROI. But it’s usually not all you need to do.
Modern consumers want to hear from you when they want what you have to offer. But they can also enjoy hearing about new products, new services, and new ideas. When you make plans for next year’s marketing, keep that in mind. Make sure that you have your resources allocated in alignment with your goals.