Market Fresh | Jul/Aug 2015

Use PR to Improve Search Results

Reaching out to patients through online avenues offers a strong opportunity to grow your practice.

Major online search algorithm changes over the last few years have given rise to new elements that can help to optimize your dermatology website for search engines. One of the key elements is public relations (PR), which can impact how search engines view your website from the point of view of quality and effectiveness.

PR in the context of online marketing and SEO is more than just the creation and distribution of online press releases. It involves innovative ways to increase the presence of the dermatologist on third party review and rating websites, social media, and a regular engagement with relevant online publications, blogs, forums and other leading websites.

Media Engagement

Traditional media publications, magazines and leading journalists are increasingly receptive to the idea of engaging with informative websites and social media, and finding ways to integrate the two. If the dermatologist can write a periodic column for a leading publication, whether online or in print, it can provide a great opportunity for wider exposure and establishing authority.

Sometimes the dermatology practice may have a compelling newsworthy event or story to offer, which may arouse the interest of a journalist. If the practice gets featured in the media publication as a part of the story, it can deliver excellent PR value. Many of the eminent print publications have their online versions, blogs and forums, where also they may feature content from the dermatologist.

Inbound links that are generated through this process of engagement with respected publications can be very valuable. A higher number of such high quality links will eventually help optimize the dermatology website and improve its rankings in the online search results. To achieve success with the media, it is important to tell a great story, which has not been told before, and which is informative and insightful for the readers of the media publication.

Online Press Releases

When the dermatology practice issues a new press release announcing a new procedure, product, technology or a special offer or event, it should be appropriately optimized for search engines. Localized keywords should be inserted to enable search engine crawlers to pick up the story as it gets circulated. Providing links in press releases no longer counts as an SEO signal, but the value of a press release still remains intact if it gets published by a few leading websites and online publications.

Collateral Advantages

When a newsworthy story featuring the dermatology practice has gained traction on the Web, chances are that it will be picked up by other online and offline publications in the future. Quotes, data and remarks from the original story may be used as references in other articles, news items, and editorials across the spectrum.

The story may get linked and shared widely over social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Popular blogs and websites may cite the story in the future and provide valuable inbound links for the dermatology website. These possibilities can continue to generate quality exposure and SEO value long after the story has been published.

A focus on PR can help build a strong online reputation and a sustainable brand image for the dermatology practice over a period of time.

Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete Internet marketing company which focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education and the online reputations of dermatologists.

With a team of 130+ full time marketers, helps one doctor in an area dominate their market and grow their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call Naren direct at 877-249-9666.