What’s Working in Marketing with John Bertino | PoP 461

What's Working in Marketing with John Bertino | PoP 461

Do you know the different types of marketing and which one is best? How can you optimize your content for Google’s algorithms? Where are the best places for you to invest when it come to your marketing?

In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks to John Bertino about what’s working in marketing and what you can do today to make sure that your business is marketed properly.

Podcast Sponsor

When you’re in private practice it can be tough to find the time to review your marketing efforts and make improvements where needed.

Whether you are a seasoned clinician who’s current website needs to be revamped, or a new therapist building a website for the first time, Brighter Vision is here to help.

By first understanding your practice and what makes it unique, Brighter Vision’s team of developers will create you a custom website catered to your specific marketing goals. Better yet, they provide unlimited technical support to make sure it stays updated, and professional search engine optimization to make sure you rank high in online searches – all at no additional cost.

To get started for $100 off, head to brightervision.com/joe.

Meet John Bertino

John Bertino

John’s professional background stems from over a decade in the agency space where he consulted with clients on SEO and inbound marketing campaigns. During that time, John watched salespeople and marketing agencies fight tirelessly to one-up each other and impress prospective clients with industry jargon, flashy proposals, and agency bluster. Perhaps most concerning – a remarkable amount of the strategic recommendations agencies give their clients is predicated on what’s convenient for them – not the client’s situation. Enter TAG; arguably the world’s first true marketing consultancy, 100% focused
on providing brands unbiased direction, education, and vetted agency recommendations.

These days, John and his team at TAG consult with brands of all sizes on just about every area of marketing. He personally teaches several courses on the subject at the University of San Diego, Drexel University, SCORE, and other accredited educational institutions. John also organizes large events for marketers and entrepreneurs through his group the SoCal Marketing Club, one of the west coast’s largest digital marketing clubs.

Visit John’s website and connect on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • What’s not working in the marketing space
  • Advice for people in the startup phase
  • The next step for a more evolved business wanting to go to the next level
  • Somewhere worth taking an extra hard look
  • What is content?
  • What’s working in SEO?

What’s not working in the marketing space

There are so many unqualified people who are trying to win your business but they don’t have the credentials or experience to perform. John’s company is made up of five experienced marketers representing around 250, carefully selected, different teams of marketing consultants and agencies across the country. As a practice owner, you need to ensure that you have a successful marketing engagement so you need to be particular about who you hire.

Advice for people in the startup phase

The key is just to really take your time with the process and do it right, because oftentimes people’s mindset is immediately to ask ‘Well, how do I get more traffic and therefore more sales?’ But the first thing really they should be looking at is how do I convert more of the traffic and people that are already coming to my website.

Take the time and effort and make the investment of getting a really clean, solid website up:

  • Should load quickly
  • Should be mobile optimized (over 50% of searches are done on mobile phones)
  • Information and content layout must be clean and orderly

Take time to put together a great website but also realize that it is never going to be perfect. When you get to the point where you’re happy enough with your website, it feels professional, functions well, and users won’t negatively judge you for it, then start driving traffic. It’s an ongoing process where you will be testing new things and developing a list of ways to make your website better, then you start over. That is the marketing cycle and understanding that it is a cycle is a huge step in small business.

Figure out what marketing (anything that’s going to drive traffic to your website) channels to invest in. There are three types of media:

  • Paid – Any investment in marketing that you make by putting money into it. E.g.: digital ads and print ads
  • Earned – Anything that you do to earn your way into exposure. E.g.: SEO (ranking high in Google)
  • Owned – All of the assets that you. E.g.: Your website, social channels, blog, any content that you produce

Understanding the difference between these will really help you to choose the right marketing channels to invest in. For a small business, with a limited budget, that wants to get ROI (return of investment) out as soon as possible, John suggests going with paid media which allows you to get instant visibility at a relatively marginal price.

The next step for a more evolved business wanting to go to the next level

Marketing done correctly can get very expensive. And if you’re going to make a purchase of this magnitude, you should really take the time to at least get a proper primer on what you’re investing in and how it works. And hopefully the teams you’re talking to, help you in understanding.

Once a practice is established and is making more revenue, it opens things up. The world is your oyster, in terms of marketing, but you need to be careful and particular of where you put that investment.

  • Choosing the right person – be wary of anyone who doesn’t take the time to educate you on the marketing that they will be doing. Finding someone who will take the time to explain some of the concepts to you is a great start.
  • Be prepared to be a student of the game.

Somewhere worth taking an extra hard look

Thought leadership content – When you get the opportunity to contribute content like your knowledge and expertise on a third-party site. This works especially well for doctors, physicians, practitioners, etc. Some of the investments that people make in these areas are very expensive so people need additional nurturing, education, and signals from a “trustworthy” source before making a substantial investment. Taking the time to be on a third-party site has lots of benefits and it’s often a great place to look for people in those types of professions.

What is content?

Content comes in many forms, including blogs, social media, e-books, guides, visual infographics, videos, podcasts, etc. Content production is key but it also time intensive. You need to be regularly producing content which not only takes budget but also a team.

When it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), you need to do a lot to win Google’s favor and there are hundreds of factors that go into their algorithm. It is earned media, you need to earn your way to the top of the search engine and it comes really down to content production.

What’s working in SEO

Google has rolled out an update called “Your money, your life,” which pays particular attention to websites that pertain to an individual’s health, happiness, safety, or financial stability. Individuals in those types of professions need to more careful and meticulous about demonstrating expertise and earning trust and authority with Google (EAT – Expertise, Authority, Trust). In short, this could be done in the following way:

  • Expertise – Put up “About” pages with a mini-bio on each individual in your practice. Include credentials and their headshots. This will essentially reaffirm Google that these are qualified individuals with formal expertise.
  • Authority – This is key to Google’s algorithm. If you want to rank, you need to demonstrate true authority at what you do. This comes down to third-party signals and backlinks to your website. This is even more important for physicians and people whose websites affect “your money, your life.”
  • Trust – General security and privacy factors come into play such as your domain being https or even having a privacy policy.
    Any type of engagement with Google’s many properties have proved to, or speculated to, assist in your search rankings. This includes the “Google My Business” page which is tremendously important, you can go there and “claim” your business. Whenever there is an opportunity to claim something with Google, you should always do it.

Click here to book a free consultation/strategy session with John’s team and download the ebook on local SEO.

Useful Links:

Meet Joe Sanok

private practice consultant

Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.

Thanks For Listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[JOE]:
This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok session number 461. When you’re in private practice, it can be tough to find the time to review your marketing efforts and make improvements where needed. Whether you are a seasoned clinician whose current website needs to be revamped, or a new therapist building a website for the first time, Brighter Vision is here to help by first understanding your practice and what makes it unique. Brighter Vision’s team of developers will create you a custom website catered to your specific marketing goals. Better yet, they provide unlimited technical support to make sure it stays updated and professional, search engine optimization to make sure you rank high in online searches, all at no additional cost. To get started for $100 off, head over to brightervision.com forward/Joe. Again, that’s brightervision.com forward/Joe.

Hey, if you love this podcast, will you pause it real quick. And well don’t pause it yet, pause after I’m done talking. So, pause it after I’m done talking. And will you go into this podcast, in whichever podcast player you love, and give it a five-star review. And even better, if you want to just do a little comment in there. It is really important, just for new people to be able to find this podcast, to have ratings and reviews that are just ongoing. So, if you just take a minute or less, it’s not gonna take long to say I love this podcast, it’s so great, or it’s been super helpful, or it’s the lamest thing ever, it’s a waste of time. Whatever it is, would you do that? That would be so helpful, to help us just continue to get the word out. So, go ahead and pause it now. Welcome back, really glad that you did that review for us. That is amazing. Thanks so much. So, today we’re gonna be having a conversation about what’s working in marketing. And, you know, I think that one thing that’s really important about marketing is just being able to understand who your people are. One thing you’re going to hear me continue to say over and over is to fall in love with the pain and the people before you pitch the product. Fall in love with the pain the people before you pitch the product. So, what that means is, you want to really understand your ideal clients. So, whether that’s a telehealth therapy practice or when we get back to in-person therapy, or if you’re launching a podcast, those are all people you need to understand their pains. Because, when you think about anything we purchase, we purchase things to relieve pain for the most part. There’s a lot of other reasons, Harvard has this really great pyramid of values thing that people can buy based on silly things like nostalgia, self-actualization, but really, when you think about it, why do you buy groceries? Because you don’t want to be hungry? Why did you buy, you know, a new thing for your lawn? To make it easier on yourself, to relieve that pain, to not feel like you have a cruddy looking lawn. Or maybe you don’t agree with that, maybe you want to have like a natural lawn, whatever. Either way, we purchase things typically based on relieving a pain. And so, the more that you can understand that pain, the better. So today we’re going to be talking about what’s working in marketing now and we’re gonna just dive deep with John Bertino, and here he is.

Today on the Practice of the Practice podcast, we have John Bertino. John’s professional background stems from over a decade in the agency space, where he consulted with clients on SEO and inbound marketing campaigns. During that time, John watched sales people in marketing agencies fight tirelessly to one up each other and impress prospective clients with industry jargon, flashy proposals, and agency bluster. Perhaps most concerning, a remarkable amount of the strategy came from what was predicted and what was convenient for them, not the client’s situation. Alright, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast John.

[JOHN]:
Thanks so much, Joe. Thanks for having me.

[JOE]:
Yeah. Well, you know, I love hearing from marketing people, because a common problem for therapists is, you know, we spent all this time on a master’s degree, doctorate, double doctorate, you know, post doctorate, and we’re really good at the clinical side of things. But, we think that people are just going to come to our practices, we think that they’re going to just jump in and say, “Wow, you have a doctorate That’s amazing. I want to work with you.” And then the harsh reality is, that doesn’t often happen. And so ,we have to learn a lot about marketing. And so, for me, marketing always felt like kind of an icky word. And when we were talking before we got going, you said, you know, therapists are so uniquely positioned. Let’s just start with kind of what are some trends that you’re seeing out there in the world in regards to what’s working in the marketing space?

[JOHN]:
Sure. And thanks again for having me, Joe. So, well, perhaps I start by telling you what’s not working or where some of the problems are, and then we can talk about how to address those. You know, what we’ve realized about the marketing landscape is that there’s just too many providers. And for entrepreneurs, it’s great that it’s become really easy, excuse me, and accessible to become a marketing agency or to call yourself one, but for the brands looking to hire them, it’s really created a challenge, created a problem where there’s just so many unqualified teams, individuals touting an expertise in marketing, trying to win your business, but they don’t actually have the credentials or experience to perform or live up to these expectations that they set. So, that’s the problem as we’ve built TAG uniquely to satisfy that exact problem in that we’re a small boutique consultancy of five experienced marketers that have carefully selected to represent about 250 different teams, that is marketing consultants and agencies across the country, and what we do when we meet with a brand, or a physician, business owner, is come in and in a bespoke and kind of white glove way, understand what their needs or challenges are, consult and weigh in our own thoughts and expertise on how to address them, and then ultimately look to matchmake them with the right provider. So, to your question about, you know, what’s working, I would say that for the first part, if you’re a physician, you’re a practice owner, and you want to make sure that you’re going to have a successful marketing engagement, that you should be extremely particular about who you hire and you should resist just kind of doing the easy thing and plugging in the cousin/nephew/tech guy, you know, and relying on that individual to be your marketing team. There’s just so much more that needs to go into it.

[JOE]:
Yeah, let’s start with people that are maybe at the beginning of their practice journey. They want to get some content out there. But they maybe don’t even have much of a marketing budget at this point, like, what would you advise to be some of the first steps for people that are at the startup phase?

[JOHN]:
Yeah, sure. And I think a lot of what you’ll hear from me will be different than what you might get from other marketers because we really treat everything very objectively. So, the first thing I would say is that do take the time, effort, and do make the investment to get a really clean, solid website up. And, now that in itself might not seem like, you know, particularly unique advice, but don’t rush through the process.

[JOE]:
When you say “Clean and solid” drill into that just a little bit more.

[JOHN]:
Yeah, sure thing. One that loads and renders pretty quickly when someone goes to it. One that’s mobile optimized because over 50% of searches are done on mobile phones. So mobile traffic’s just on the rise and steadily increasing. One that the information and content layer throughout is done so in a clean and orderly way. But the key is just to really take your time with the process and do it right, because oftentimes, people’s mindset is immediately to, well, how do I get more traffic and therefore more sales? But the first thing really they should be looking at is how do I convert more of the traffic and people that are already coming to my website. So, I would start there, and when they really feel like the websites in a good place, then you should start to invest in driving traffic. And of course, having gone through that first step, and having done so in a meticulous way, should increase of course the amount of conversions you get, if and when you do start driving that traffic.

[JOE]:
I love that you start with that, because so often people just kind of cruise through the website, and, you know, they throw something up, and it just doesn’t look good. And right now, there’s no reason not to have a great looking website. And in the therapy world, still, I would guess at least half of the websites that, when I just look at any kind of random town, they just don’t look good. They look like they’re from the late 90s, and they’re not optimized for conversions. And so, then they spent all this money on marketing, only to then get to a website that it’s like, I don’t want to go to this place.

[JOHN]:
That’s right. You don’t trust it.

[JOE]:
So, after they kind of evaluate their website, what would be kind of the next step still, for that beginner, that startup type person?

[JOHN]:
So, the next bit of advice I would give is to recognize that this process of cleaning and refining the website, it will never be perfect. So, I say this somewhat intentionally, in contrast with what I previously mentioned. So previously, I suggested take time in great care to put up a clean, professional website, but at the same time, realize that it’s never going to be perfect. And I can’t tell you how many small businesses in particular, I’ve said this to that felt so relieved to hear from a marketer, that the trials and tribulations they were going through with their website in it never being perfect is normal, and is always the case. So, what actually ends up happening in this balance between building out a clean, professional website and then driving traffic to it, is that it’s kind of a test, iterate, test, iterate, it’s an iterative process. So, in other words, you get the website to a point where you’re happy enough with it, you feel it’s clean and professional, and functions well, and users aren’t going to judge you negatively from it, then you start driving traffic. And that also is a process that is continuous, ongoing, you’re always testing, iterating new things. And at some point, you have collected enough data from driving enough traffic, that you’ll have developed kind of a list of ways the website can be better. And then you kind of start over and that is really the marketing cycle. And just understanding that it is a cycle is a huge step and a huge revelation for a lot of small business owners.

[JOE]:
Yeah, yeah. So, what else would you recommend for kind of the startup phase and then I want to start to talk about when someone’s kind of starting to grow, getting some momentum, when they should start outsourcing more of this to a marketing team?

[JOHN]:
Sure. So, first question was, what else right, in terms of marketing channels and where to look? So, well, once you have the site up, and you’re prepared mentally to know that this is an ongoing process and testing, iterating, you have to start figuring out what marketing channels to invest in. And again, by marketing, I’m saying anything that’s going to drive traffic to your website. So, textbook, which still holds up today, but literally you go to a school, university, any school/major university to learn about marketing to study marketing, they’re segmenting this the same way today is they segmented it 30/40/50/100 years ago, for all I know, and that is that to understand that there’s three essentially types of made media: paid, earned, and owned. Okay? And so “paid media” is any investment in marketing you make where it’s essentially you put money in and you have an advertisement. So, a search engine ad would fall in this category, a Facebook ad would fall in this category, the ads that follow you on the internet would fall in this category. All of these are our digital ads, as are of course, traditional forms of advertising, like an ad in a newspaper or magazine, etc, trade journal. So that’s one segment, then you have the “earned” segment, which really is radically different. Earned media is essentially anything you do that you kind of earn your way into the exposure. Now, earn is an interesting and somewhat subjective word, especially by today’s standards. But things like getting public relations or publicity is a type of earned media. Many people would consider SEO, ranking high in Google, a type of earned media, and those two things really kind of cover the gamut but there’s just so much that fall into those two categories of publicity and SEO. And then lastly, there’s the “owned media”, which is essentially all the assets you own. Your website, your social channels, although some would say you don’t actually own them, but your social channels, your blog, any video, any content you produce, all that’s owned. So, by understanding that framework, and that difference of paid, earned and owned, that’ll really help you start to figure your way through choosing investing the right marketing channels. Now, lastly, to kind of answer your question much more direct, what I always say to a small business that has a very limited finite budget, but wants to put money in and get money out, and who doesn’t, but wants to put money in and get an ROI out as soon as possible… paid media is usually the way to go. Paid media allows you to get instant visibility, right? At a relatively marginal price. So, unlike earned media, where you need to kind of earn your way and it’s more of a crapshoot, and it takes a lot of time, paid media is where you can get that instant visibility.

[JOE]:
So, say a practice is starting to really take off, maybe they’re approaching six figures or multi six figures. They’ve got a number of clinicians working for them and they’re ready to kind of take it to the next level. What would that typically look like? What would their marketing team look like? What kind of questions should they ask? You know, of course, I’m sure you’d want them to kind of work through you. But I mean, what questions should they ask? You know, for anyone, you know, if they do decide to go with someone local, what are red flags? What are things that they really need to know to be educated to go into that marketing relationship?

[JOHN]:
Sure thing. Well, so to start, I like the way you started off the question mentioning, once a practice is more evolved, because once it is more involved, that and is making more revenue, essentially, that really opens things up. Now, the world is your oyster in terms of marketing, and it’s just about being very careful and particular about where you put that investment, both in terms of who you invest it with, and the marketing channels or strategies utilized to get it. So, as far as choosing someone, yes, that’s indeed an area where we can provide tremendous value, but if someone’s going to go about it on their own, some things I would look for or red flags to be aware of… To start, I would, in my professional opinion, be wary of anyone that doesn’t take the time to educate you and have a two-way conversation, where, moreover, they’re willing to kind of drill down and reduce some of the fancy marketing jargon and actually explain what it means. In other words, one of the biggest red flags, I think, is if you talk to a marketer, and their strategy to win you over, is to talk over your head. Because as much as this stuff can be complex, and there’s a lot that goes into it, it’s not rocket science, and it shouldn’t be positioned that way. And someone that actually takes that time to explain some of the concepts is a great start. And I think the advice that goes with that is be prepared to be a student of the game, at least for a little while. And I think that’s especially true with physicians because, look, these are busy, working professionals. They have a lot more important things to invest their, their time into. But look, marketing done correctly can get very expensive. And if you’re going to make an expense a purchase of this magnitude, you should really take the time to at least get a proper primer on what you’re investing in and how it works. And hopefully the teams you’re talking to help you in understanding.

[JOE]:
Yeah, maybe walk us through what it would look like if someone hires a marketing team, what would be some of the things they would evaluate and what would be the types of campaigns they might run?

[JOHN]:
Sure, well, there’s so much that you can do, again, across that paid/earned/owned spectrum. I mean, there’s just so much, but things that I’ve seen, or tips that I would give physicians or, you know, practices, or that I’ve seen work, or that are worth taking an extra hard look at? Well, to start, thought leadership is a really nice, has multiple benefits, right? So, thought leadership, which is a commonplace thing in my sphere, but maybe I should define it a little bit. In the modern age of the internet, when you get the opportunity to contribute content on a third-party site, somebody else’s site where you’re essentially talking, educating, presenting a case or writing a blog on someone else’s site, we call that thought leadership content. Even being a guest on someone’s podcast, for example, would be thought leadership content, essentially, when you’re a guest displaying your knowledge and expertise. That’s thought leadership. And it tends to work especially well for doctors, physicians, these types of practitioners, and there’s a couple reasons for that. For one, again, some of these investments people make in these types of things are very expensive. So, before someone is prepared to make a substantial investment, they need some additional nurturing, they need some additional education, they need some additional signals that the people they’re considering hiring are that much more trustworthy. So, thought leadership serves that purpose. But another great thing about thought leadership content is you can do a lot with it. For example, and this is just off the top of my head, you can steal quotes from that interview or that piece you did and drip them through social media. You can take blog posts that expand upon or extrapolate further what you covered in that interview and provide them to people as additional resources. That content you’re putting on a third-party site, in the form of thought leadership, can be used for backlinks for SEO, or for white papers and eBooks that you might produce later. So, taking that time to be on a third-party site has lots and lots of benefits, and it’s often a great place to look for people in those types of professions.

[JOE]:
Oh, that’s awesome. So, what does it look like long term, you know, to kind of get into the flow? Like, you know, it’s one thing to just kind of start up, get a marketing team going. What does it typically look like for a private practice when a therapist wants to kind of have that marketing be on cruise control?

[JOHN]:
Yeah, as far as bringing in a team to do it? Well, the first thing I would say, and perhaps some of the best advice I could give as it relates to marketing, especially digital marketing for practices, would be to take content production seriously. Right? Take content production seriously. And by that I mean have a system, a process, a team, and a budget available because what you’ll find about all this SEO stuff, and content marketing stuff, and even if you’re going to start just driving paid digital ads, you have to have content to support it. But what is content? I think a lot of people when they hear content, they think of two things. They think of either blog posts, or they think of social media posts. But content can come in many, many shapes and forms, from long form eBooks or guides, to visual infographics to not just videos, but video series, even a podcast, right? So, content production, the production of audio, video or written materials, to supplement and ultimately be your marketing. Well, it’s not only key, but it’s time intensive. It’s time and resource intensive. So, this is why going into this is not just a plug and play thing, by this I mean digital marketing to truly do it right. To truly do it right, you need to be regularly producing content in an extremely strategic way, and that not only takes budget, but it takes a team. Now the team does doesn’t need to be a full-blown agency, it can be an internal person coupled with an external person or contractor, or two or three or an agency, whatever it is. And then oftentimes they’re specialized teams that need to come into. But you need a workflow, you need a system, you need a process, you need a team, you need a budget.

[JOE]:
Yeah, you know, one simple way that we do that is often when I do a Facebook Live, one of my assistants, I’ll upload it, I’ll download the video from Facebook, then I’ll upload it to Dropbox and then the team takes over from there and makes it look fancy, puts it on our YouTube channel, pulls the transcription, builds a blog post, puts into our email list creates a Pinterest infographic off of it. And so, I’ve spent only five minutes creating the content. And then we get you know, several different pieces of content out of that because we have a team that knows what to do when I do that.

[JOHN]:
Boy, you’re certainly making my point for me, that’s exactly right. And not only you know, illustrates some of the value of the thought leadership angle that that I’m talking about, because it’s really what the podcast is for you too right, it’s thought leadership, even though it lives on your properties, but it’s a variation on the theme. You extract the multiple pieces of content from that, as I said, and you’re doing that in a brilliant way, using Pinterest and whatnot as well, the infographic, etc. But then all the different hands that need to touch it to make it happen. And how many different individuals do you have to make that all happen? Are you able to do it with just one or is it a couple different people?

[JOE]:
Well, for that one, I have one person that she does most of it, but I mean, we have three staff in South Africa, one in Florida, we have four consultants, and then we have a team of four podcast engineers here in Traverse City. So, we have a pretty large team. But you know, I think that side of it, just taking the Facebook Live, I mean, you could have one quality virtual assistant that knows how to do video, and transcriptions, and it wouldn’t take a whole lot for just that kind of thing. But then you want to make sure, I would say maybe you agree or disagree, to make sure that you’re optimizing with your meta description, with your SEO, and your keywords, your internal linking, and then external linking from blog posts that maybe you’re doing as a guest. All those things help you optimize what you’re creating, otherwise, you’re just creating it. You’re hoping people find it, but you might as well optimize it so that they actually can find it when they search.

[JOHN]:
Yeah, that’s exactly right. And I love that you transition to SEO, because that’s where I wanted to go next, as well. SEO, which, for those listeners that might not be entirely sure, stands for search engine optimization, and it’s the process you go through to rank higher in Google. And who doesn’t want to rank higher in Google? There’s tremendous power, value, social proof that comes with ranking higher in Google, not to mention clients and revenue. And so, it’s a common request. We get asked about it all the time. How do I rank higher? How do I get SEO? And then when the part in the discussion comes about budget, a lot of times people are trying to price that out at, or hoping that they can secure higher rankings for, you know, an initial investment or total investment of a couple hundred dollars or even a couple thousand dollars. Well, here’s the thing about SEO… To rank higher in Google, you need to do a lot of things to win Google’s favor. There’s literally hundreds of factors that go into their algorithm. And they don’t make it easy because it’s earned media, you need to earn your way to the top of the search engine so there’s a ton that goes into it. But if I were to summarize, in just a few words, it’s actually comes back to the content we were just talking about. And all the things we just talked about, you know, that ability to get on third party sites, regularly produce content on your own channels, and then find ways to spin off multiple pieces of content. That’s not all of SEO, but that’s a huge, huge part of it. But what goes into that? It takes really, it takes a village like we discussed. So, while you can absolutely get one individual to do things like your title tags, your meta description, some basic fundamental technical SEO, really it turns into a game of content production and that’s a fairly large and significant undertaking.

[JOE]:
Yeah. And what are just some of the things that right now you’re seeing work with SEO that, you know, small and medium sized businesses can enact?

[JOHN]:
Yeah, sure thing. Well, you know, so Google rolled out a few updates over the last couple years that are particularly important to physicians, and anyone in a profession that requires specific expertise, such as legal, financial, medical. And it all has to do with their update that’s called “your money, your life,” right? And so, these would be any website or pages that pertain to, or apply to, an individual’s health, their happiness, their safety, or their financial stability. In other words, Google is taking websites particularly seriously that speak to these different areas, and so certainly physicians would fall under that. And so ultimately, those individuals in those types of professions need to be exponentially more careful and meticulous about earning trust and authority with Google and demonstrating expertise. So again, expertise, authority, and trust, okay? This is actually something that Google has publicly talked about. And they refer to it as eat, EAT, which again, stands for expertise, authority and trust. And so, of course, this begs the question, “Okay, I get it. Google really is looking for signals of expertise, authority and trust. Well, how do I get those?” Well, it’s a complex subject and, maybe something I can’t cover super quickly, but to abbreviate… when it comes to expertise, physicians would be well served to do things like actually put up “about” pages with each individual at their practice, and giving a little mini bio on that individual – their credentials and their headshot, to reaffirm to Google essentially, that these are qualified individuals with formal expertise. And I just want to confirm like, you heard that right. If you have a physician’s office, Google actually cares whether or not you go into this depth about the people that work there. And taking that step for each, you know, physician that’s there could really help in earning those expertise points. Okay? So that’s the first thing. As far as authority goes, this has always been key to Google’s algorithm. This idea that if you want to rank, you need to be demonstrating true authority at what you do, but, but how does one do that? Well, a lot of times it comes back to third party signals, such as backlinks in particular to your website. That is, third party websites that are linking back to yours. This has always been an important key, an important variable. But it’s even more so for physicians and people that their websites affect you, your money your life as we discussed, and so backlinks become that much more important, as well as do a multitude of other just kind of such general security and privacy factors such as having your domain be HTTPS, or even having a privacy policy. The little details have always mattered to Google but matter exponentially more than they ever did with some of these, these EAT expertise, authority and trust factors that they have their quality raters actually going out looking for.

[JOE]:
Yeah, I actually every once in a while I will Google my name and just see what comes up, outside of just Practice of the Practice, and I noticed recently, maybe I just hadn’t noticed that on the right side, there’s now like it’ll have like a short bio of like Joe Sanok has done this podcast and these sorts of things. And it popped up and it just kind of auto filled it. And then it had “claim this name.” And I’m like, “Yes, I want to claim my own name.” But to do it, I had to take a picture of myself with my driver’s license and send it to them and do all these different steps to kind of authenticate. Do you know more about that program? I just saw it, I thought I should probably do that. But do you know more about that program and whether or not that actually helps with any of this authority.

[JOHN]:
Any type of engagement with Google’s properties, generally speaking, has been proved to or speculated to assist in your search rankings. That includes your Google My Business Page, for sure. Something that we haven’t even talked about yet, but Google My Business is tremendously important. That’s the business profile that you can go out and claim. But as it relates to individuals, it’s something more recent that they’ve been doing rolling out in tandem with this your money, your life and the EAT principles we were just discussing. But whenever there’s an opportunity to formally claim something with Google, you should absolutely always do it.

[JOE]:
Awesome. And we’ll put some links to whatever that thing is that I found. We’ll have Sam try to discover some tutorials we can put in the show notes. Well, John, the last question I always ask is, if every private practitioner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to know?

[JOHN]:
It would be that all this content, marketing and SEO stuff, I call it stuff because that’s usually the way it gets referred to me on the other end of the phone, it’s for real. You know, as discussed at the beginning of our conversation, I’m not actually an agency. We’re a team of experienced consultants that represent 250 or so carefully selected agencies and because across those agencies, and there’s consultants, small boutique consultants, and individual solopreneurs in that network as well. Across that network, they these folks collectively can do just about anything extremely well. And that makes us very, very unbiased and objective into the recommendations we make for businesses. And so back to the point, I often get asked, “Okay, well, so you’ve got agencies that do paid media, you’ve got agencies that do PR, what about this SEO stuff? Is this for real? Do I really need to make it an investment there?” And the short answer is, you don’t need to make an investment there, but if or when you do, you can expect it absolutely to be real and pay huge rewards, but you need to be prepared to properly invest in the process, and all that goes with it. And that includes a lot of the content marketing considerations that we were discussing earlier.

[JOE]:
Awesome. And John, if people want to connect with you, what’s the best way for them to connect with you?

[JOHN]:
Sure. So, we’re at theagencyguy.com. But we put up a landing page specific for this podcast. It’s theagencyguy.com/practice. And on that page, you can not only book a no cost consultation with us, but you can also download our recent eBook on local SEO, local SEO in 2020. As well as connect with us on social and all our various social media channels.

[JOE]:
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast.

[JOHN]:
Thanks so much for having me, Joe.

[JOE]:
So, it was so awesome to have John on the podcast to really walk us through what’s working in marketing. I think that when we take in this information, sometimes there’s a tendency to try to keep up with the podcasts. And of course, I love seeing that you’re keeping up, and seeing those numbers continue to go up. You know, we’re helping you know 80 to 100,000 people a month through our podcasts alone? But it’s really, it’s helpful to pause sometimes and say, “What am I going to do?” Because when we look back, and we think about, you know, Episode 457, so that’s less than a month ago, when Theresa, Dawn and Jenny were on, and they met a year’s worth of goals in three months. It was hyper focus in three months to get those goals done. Or if we think about doing the Google snippet, being a woman of impact, or what’s working in marketing, these recent podcasts, there’s a lot of information packed in there. And if you tried to keep up with all of the advice, two podcasts a week, that’s just a lot. So, make sure you take time to actually get things done that you’re working on. So, go do it.

Also, if you don’t have a beautiful, amazing website. If you aren’t totally satisfied with your website, you should be with Brighter Vision. I want you to head on over to brightervision.com/Joe. Brighter Vision makes the best websites for therapists, they are just plain amazing. And so, we’d love for you to head on over there. Schedule a conversation with them. It includes all of your hosting, all of your website setup. You know, oftentimes they have a website like this, it costs two to three thousand dollars, just to have it set up, let alone the ongoing IT costs and the hosting. They have done such a great job in helping therapists. I want you to go work with them because they’re just so amazing. So, thank you so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain heading over to brightervision.com/Joe and I’ll talk to you soon.

Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We really like it and this podcast is designed to provide accurate, authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests, are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional you should find one.

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