Algorithms: Changing the Face of Healthcare Marketing

Geoffrey Anderson, Editor Digital Marketing, Digital Media

Another day. Another algorithm.

In the marketing realm, an algorithm can mean the difference between someone seeing your content or someone seeing your competition’s content. Google, Facebook and other companies are constantly switching up the way content is presented, forcing marketers to really fight for that top spot on search engine results pages and social media.

Don’t lose hope, though. You don’t have to be at the mercy of these formulas and equations. There are still plenty of ways to ensure your work overcomes the algorithm overlords and gets seen:

1. Create engaging content. Regardless of the algorithm, search engines have one main goal: providing users with relevant and engaging content. Writing a successful blog post isn’t much different from writing a successful article, book or movie script. The subject matter has to be interesting to the reader.

Keep in mind that users are probably not going to sit and read a book, though. Our attention spans are fairly short these days, so take a page from commercials, movie promos and breaking news outlets – keep things short, simple and engaging.

2. Don’t neglect mobile. Search engine algorithms are now favoring mobile-friendly content. Your entire blog or company website must be designed with a mobile experience in mind. The text needs to be sized appropriately for the limited space on a smart device, and you need to structure information so that the important bits are above the fold.

3. Speed things up. It’s a well-known fact that no one likes to wait. For every second the user has to wait for your content to appear, it becomes likelier that people will abandon the page – in turn affecting your engagement. Ensure that your server is optimized for fast content delivery. Don’t overplay images or other graphic elements – sometimes less is more. Your images need to be appropriately sized and compressed, and your CSS, JavaScript and HTML should be minimized to save every byte possible.

As a general rule of thumb, your users should be able to see a screen full of beautiful and engaging content within 3-4 seconds of clicking the link.

4. Social media is your friend. Have a solid social media marketing and distribution plan in place. The more your content is shared and engaged with, the better. Your content should be distributed as widely as possible on the major social networks. Not only does this generate traffic to your site, but it will also tell the search engines that your content has value.

5. Try, measure, learn and try again. The tech giants test everything, gather evidence and then make decisions. This is what we refer to as “evidence-based marketing.” The concept is simple: You start with a set of assumptions, then you design an experiment to test them out and then you analyze the results and see what worked.
Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. It’s a never-ending cycle of optimization. This is what it takes to keep up with a fast-changing market.

6. Become more targeted. Speaking of engagement and end users, make sure your content is written for the right crowd. If you’ve been creating content without a persona in mind, nobody is going to latch onto that content. And no shares, likes and other engagement signs will greatly limit your reach. Know your clients through-and-through and give these people what they want: Reassess your marketing plan, flesh out your audience and get to work.

7. Stay away from known pitfalls. Even though backlinks to your site can be valuable, you will be penalized if they’re low-quality sites; Google is notorious for doing this. Make sure to monitor backlinks regularly and request low-quality sites to remove any backlinks to you.

Check your site regularly for broken links and errors, and implement a rigorous process to keep your site secure. You’d be surprised how easy it is to exploit forms, comments or user reviews to inject malicious JavaScript and install malware on most sites.


Need help getting your content seen and shared? Let Wax help you beat the algorithms and create compelling content. Call us at (305) 350-5700 or visit ww.waxcom.com to get started.

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