Cosmetic Surgery Marketing: Inbound Marketing and SEO

Let me start by saying that while this article is focused on cosmetic surgery marketing, what I’m going to be talking about is principles that in many respects can be applied to nearly any business or website. If you’ve been devoting most of your effort to link building and neglecting the social marketing side of your business, you really need to read this.

Missing The Golden Opportunity

Cosmetic surgeons often spend a large amount of money on their marketing. Most have great looking websites with lots of before and after pictures. I’ve seen several with fairly in-depth link building programs to try and maintain good search rankings.

The problem is that the face of SEO is rapidly changing. Link building doesn’t even begin to be good enough anymore. The changes at Google (and Bing) mean that “social signals” are playing a prominent role in who gets ranked and where.

This is so strong at Google that simply putting the right people into your circles can mean huge search ranking benefits.

Not only that, but something that I find odd is that in the area of cosmetic surgery marketing, virtually no one is establishing themselves as an expert beyond the usual “board certified” junk that everyone does.

Let me pose a scenario to you. Someone is thinking about obtaining a cosmetic surgeon and are visiting a lot of websites. All are good looking and well designed. All explain the surgeries the doctor will do and all have a lot of before and after pictures.

I just explained the website of literally every single cosmetic surgery site I’ve ever visited, and in researching this article I’ve been to 124 different cosmetic surgery web sites (which is more than most people will visit in their research).

In fact, the situation with cosmetic surgeons is so bleak that it almost defies logic.

Do you notice that none of the organic listings are blogs by surgeons? Not one???

The first listing is a blog spot ad sense thing. The next are for anything but surgeons.

Isn’t it odd that considering how much some of these guys spend on link building campaigns and their websites that not one manages to have a top ranking blog?

How about “liposuction v liposculpture” … there is a grand total of one actual surgeon, all the way down at the tenth listing.

One of them, however has a ton of white papers on various types of surgeries, and the pros and cons for each. There are articles written by the doctor on differences in anaesthesia, the differences between liposuction and liposculpture and which is appropriate – and under what circumstances. There are video testimonials from happy clients instead of just simply before and after pictures (but those are there, too).

The site is for a surgeon 200 miles away.

How many people do you think will happily travel an extra 200 miles to go visit the doctor able to demonstrate that kind of expertise? Anyone about to undergo surgery, even something as elective as cosmetic surgery, is going to want to know that they are getting someone good. That means research. If you can be the person that will answer their questions … almost before they even have them … then you’ll be the person with which they choose to do business.

The golden opportunity that is being missed with cosmetic surgery marketing is that nearly no one is actually using their website to demonstrate expertise beyond the same junk that is being done by every other surgeon.

Here’s the thing: it doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or a surgeon, to figure out that people are going to want to do a fair amount of research before they buy most things, especially something as important as choosing a cosmetic surgeon. The surgeon that educates is the surgeon that will have the pick of the best business. This same thing could be said of any business.

It’s time to start answering every question your potential customers might have, and the best place to do that is with a blog.

If you use the common platform known as WordPress, this can be fairly easy. If you want “extra gold stars” you can check out Joost De Valk’s WordPress SEO Tutorial and make sure your site is as optimized as possible.

Once that’s done, it’s time to start creating content. Answer every question your potential customers might have. Then you can go beyond that, and start educating your potential customers about things they should know but might not know to ask. Tell them where the pitfalls are, things to watch out for, and so on.

Here’s the thing: inbound marketing is beginning to spread. More and more people are beginning to realize how much better it is to obtain customers that way. Those that realize this first will have huge advantage in terms of time.

That said, you’ve started a blog and you’re producing great content, and you’re going so far as to get actual video testimonials of your clients. Then what? Well, great content is certainly more than others are doing, but you need to go beyond that.

For starters, you need to get a Google+ account and begin adding people in your local area to your circles. Believe it or not, just doing this can have an impact on the customized search results that people receive. If people are in your circles, every time you post content to your blog, it’s possible (even likely) that your posts will show up near the top for searches on keyphrases related to the topic of the blog post.

Next, consider social bookmarking the content. In an article here on SEO Chat, Dominating Local SEO, I lay out multiple action steps to take to become the number one player in a local market. The problem is that those steps won’t exactly be enough for the cosmetic surgery marketing.

For starters, when you create content, you need to be extremely cognizant of the question that you are answering; you need to think about the keyphrases someone might type into a search engine. That same keyphrase needs to be “sprinkled” throughout the content to ensure that the Google Relevancy Algorithm understands exactly what your content is about.

Next, as I referenced earlier, once the content is created, you need to share the post on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and so on. Social Bookmark the content in as many places as possible. If the article is largely text, then also create a video from it and post it to a YouTube channel. Again, just as with the post to your blog, make sure you’re titling it properly. Share it out on the social network sites and social bookmarking sites, and the very first item in the YouTube and description needs to be a link to the text version on your blog.

Now, I do want you to be a little careful. Don’t overdo the linkbuilding, or else Google will find something odd if there’s more links than there is traffic. Posting to the social networks is good, and posting to the social bookmarking sites is as well, but don’t go much beyond that.

The next piece of the puzzle is to try and get as many of your customers as possible to add you to their circles.

This brings me to something. You want to be an expert. That means having a personal profile on Google+. When you share, share the content on your personal profile page. When you ask people to add you to their circles, it’s your personal profile you want added.

Once again, as often as possible, try to get your current customers to add your Google+ profile to their circles. The same is true of potential customers. The more people that add your profile to their circles, the wider the swath of people will be that get your content listed at the top of their searches when looking for anything related to what you do.

Understand something: what I’m talking about here goes far beyond cosmetic surgery marketing (and notice how I slyly slid another keyword reference in there). What I’m talking about here is really a “best practices” for any business in any field or industry, no matter who you’re selling to.

When it comes right down to it, the continued rise and importance of social media will mean that very soon there are going to be local market experts that are succeeding wildly, and then there will be everyone else that struggles. 

For more of my work, please check out http://www.mattgoffrey.blogspot.com/.

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