Being found on the Internet

Massimo during his presentationIn this post I will discuss some of the different ways people might be searching for you/your business on the Internet and in a few cases, with an increasing level of difficulty to be found.

There was a time when people would go on your website just when they knew you exist, perhaps after meeting you and they knew the URL of your website.  Then the search engines came along and we all got lazy.  Lazy because it’s no point anymore to look for the correct URL of a website; we search them using Google or other search engines of choice.  But how do we search for people, or a business?  We type a few words, a phrase into the search engine and check the results.  Most people will not bother to check beyond the first page of results so your aim should be to be on the first page of search results for all phrases you care about.

In order to make this example meaningful let’s assume you are called Joe Bloggs and you are a Massage Therapist in Cambridge. Here is the list of search terms in increasing order of difficulty to achieve:

Your name, service you offer and location

This should be your first goal to be found and the simplest way for people to find you on the Internet.   You should check now whether a search will work with one of the following sentences.  Obviously replace Joe Bloggs with your name, massage with your therapy and Cambridge with your location:

  • Joe Bloggs Massage Therapist in Cambridge
  • Joe Bloggs Therapist Cambridge
  • Joe Bloggs Massage Cambridge

If your website doesn’t appear on the first page of google then you should either speak to your web designer or someone who understands the most basic principles of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Your name and therapy – e.g. Joe Bloggs Massage

This should also be relatively easy to achieve in the hope there is not another therapist with your name who offers the same therapy as you do.

Your name and location – e.g. Joe Bloggs Cambridge

This might be a bit more complicated and is very dependent on how common your name is.  If there is a famous person who has a name like yours and lives in your  town it will be very difficult for you to be found on the first page of a search.

Your therapy and location – e.g. Massage Cambridge

This is the most difficult to achieve, particularly if you are new in this business or in your location; depending on the therapy you are offering there might be tens, hundreds or thousands of other practitioners offering  the same therapy in your area.  If that’s the case you might try to optimise your website for the so called long tail searches, e.g. not just the simple therapy and location but adding some extra information like the issue you are trying to address: e.g. massage backache Cambridge.

SEO  is about helping your web pages to be found by the relevant search terms.  A few tips to improve your search ranking and results would be:

  • Have a decent looking, well written and professionally designed website
  • Use WordPress as the content management system (CMS): WordPress has a structure which facilitates SEO.
  • Make sure that your WordPress installation has one of the relevant SEO plugins installed and properly configured
  • Keep your website fresh with new content (e.g. blogging) and add relevant articles about what you offer, how you offer it and so on

If you don’t know much, or anything at all, about SEO perhaps you should speak to an expert and see what he/she suggests.  Our affiliate marketing agency, Salus Marketing, is offering a broad range of marketing services including web design and SEO so you can get in touch and find out more about how we can help you.

Content marketing: writing and sharing

Massimo GaetaniIn a world where any company in any sector should consider themselves a media company it’s becoming more and more relevant the need for constant and consistent production of good content. During the last few years we have been seeing an increase in agencies and freelancers specialising in copy writing and content marketing.

Here at Salus Wellness we advise the majority of our practitioners about how to create an online presence which starts from having a website and an account of various social media platforms and then it continues with a regular production of content. Content can indeed be in written format, such as blog posts.However in 2016 most people have in their pocket a smart phone which is powerful enough to create and upload photos and videos on the go so the type of content to produce and publish should not be limited to written words and it can indeed be a combination of several media.

The question that comes often is: what shall I write/take pictures/shoot video about?  Before answering this question let’s briefly analyse why it’s important to produce content.

Creation of content puts you in the position of being visible as an expert of your sector.  Search engines love fresh (and good) content so they are likely to serve a search request with websites which contain good, relevant and fresh content rather than pages which were not updated in years.

So if you are constantly producing relevant and good content which is published on your website then the average punter will have to decide, usually deciding within a few seconds, whether your website with good content is more relevant than your competition  who haven’t bothered to update their website in years. Guess what the result is likely to be.

Are you already busy and finding new clients is not your main priority? Perhaps all of your business comes from word of mouth; even in this case you should not ignore the importance of producing new content and think again. If your name gets recommended from one of your clients’ to their friends or colleagues there is a high probability they will do a web search on you. This will be in the form of Google search (or other search engines) using just your name and what you offer, maybe adding the City you are in: e.g. “joe blogs physiotherapy”.  If they easily find you and your website then you’ll be one step closer to an enquiry which may result in a new client.

Within a relatively short time your website will become an authority within your sector and gain visibility, depending on how often you are publishing new content; minimum should be once per week on average, better if every day. Sometimes it can become difficult to keep producing content as often as required. The good news is that nowadays much content could be found readily from other authors and it can be simply republished with permission, as long as the content is kept intact and the author’s copyright is acknowledged.

Some of you might ask: what’s the point of sharing and re-posting other people’s content?  Well it’s pretty simple. If you are a physiotherapist and write about physiotherapy you could look for more content about physiotherapy and related subjects, e.g. lifestyle changes which reduce the need for physiotherapy and so on. If you are good at collecting and republishing other authors’ content then your readers will appreciate your work of finding relevant articles which of course they could find by themselves but you are saving them the work as you are doing it for them.

Content marketing has been the buzzword for many businesses over the last few years; whether you publish just your content or republish others’ or a mix of the two you will provide relevant content for a particular audience.  The question is: when are you going to start?

How to get an MRI – The 3 ways to get an MRI

Before we get to how you get an MRI, first lets go over what they and why you might want one in the first place!

What is an MRI?

MRIScanMRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. An MRI uses magnetism and radio waves to detailed pictures of the inside of the body.

The images show cross sections of the body. An MRI can show up soft tissues in the body very clearly (compared to an X-Ray which looks at bony structures). MRI can be used on most areas of the body. It is an expensive scan to take, and should only be considered when the diagnostics of an MRI are needed. Depending on your symptoms you may be offered an X-Ray or ultrasound first instead of an MRI.

What can be diagnosed on an MRI?

A wide range of conditions can be diagnosed using an MRI:

  • most ailments of the brain, including tumours and dementias
  • sports injuries
  • musculoskeletal problems
  • most spinal conditions/injuries
  • vascular abnormalities
  • female pelvic problems
  • prostate problems
  • some gastrointestinal tract conditions
  • certain ear, nose and throat (ENT) conditions
  • soft tissue and bone pathology/conditions

Who can’t have an MRI scan?

Because of the MASSIVE magnets used in an MRI there are a number of contraindications, situations where it’s not safe to get an MRI:

  • a cardiac (heart) pacemaker
  • certain clips in your head from brain operations, i.e. aneurysm clips
  • a cochlear (ear) implant
  • a metallic foreign body in your eye
  • had surgery in the last 8 weeks
  • a programmable shunt for hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain)
  • if you are pregnant

How to get an MRI?

When it comes to getting an MRI, there are three main options:

  1. A referral through an NHS consultant for free
  2. A referral through private consultant which costs £600+
  3. An immediate MRI, but with no consultant appt from £200+

The most popular, and safest, options are the first two. You are under the care of a specialist consultant meaning that if anything is found on your MRI they are best placed to advise on your treatment. Although the two private options are perhaps more reliable – as you are self-funding/paying – remember that in both instances, an MRI is not guaranteed; if your consultant doesn’t deem it necessary or appropriate, they have the authority to say no.

Funnel marketing and health care

Massimo GaetaniI was recently chatting to a therapist who, quite unusually and interestingly enough, had proper marketing training as part of  her therapy course.  In fact it was an add-on course for an extra whopping £2,000 but nonetheless she had been exposed to the practicalities of marketing her business rather than being wrongly reassured that the phone will start ringing as soon as she qualifies as it happens in many cases.

I decided to write this post once I heard the approach that was taught to her in this expensive course where, instead of focussing specifically on marketing her health care business, they trained her in general marketing using a funnel approach which is usually applied to online marketing for e-books and other information products.

In a few simple words a funnel approach is where you have a combination of marketing tools to reach a large number of unqualified or semi qualified leads which you keep Emailing with information about your business and slowly move down into the funnel until they come out at the bottom as customers.  This is great for generic products which can be sold to generic people to address generic issues and across a wide geographical area, ideally the whole world.

I always predicate using blogging and social media to create and maintain a solid presence online which, if adequate in quality and frequency, will be found by search engines and connecting your content to the right audience which eventually can become your clients. When a therapist works in a specific geographical area offering therapy to the local community she/he will soon realise that using a funnel approach to attract clients toward her or their business will be very hard.  Main reasons are:

  • People are either shopping around for a specific solution to a health problem or they are not; so if the advert appears in front of the second category of people they naturally ignore it
  • People will not be looking to share their contact details now and get caught into the funnel expecting to be using a therapy later

While funnel marketing can be used to market and sell products or services which can be progressively pushed toward customers I would not suggest to use this approach to market and promote therapies which are usually requested as remedial treatments rather than preventive actions.