It’s that time of year! The Holidays are approaching and people are starting to think about their New Years’ resolutions. As we sprint toward 2015, I’d like to look ahead to better help your practice prepare for what’s to come in this new year.
1) End of the “free ride” on Facebook: I mentioned back in March that Facebook likes no longer matter. At that time it was estimated that your practice’s posts were only being seen by 1-2% of your fans (in their news feed). I expect this to drop to zero in 2015, forcing you to advertise or basically give up on this medium. This is my Facebook 1a prediction. While I could go on a rant about how this hurts small businesses, Facebook is purely acting in the best interest of its shareholders.
Does this mean you should give up on Facebook? I wouldn’t, because posting leaves a social footprint, which is good for your practice’s visibility online. Facebook’s goal is to improve its internal search and local business reviews (and star ratings), and if they’re successful then you’ll want to have an active presence on the platform. Will they be successful with this shift? It’s too early to tell, but my Facebook 1b prediction is that their local business reviews will become much more pronounced and relevant in 2015.
Bottom line, don’t overreact to this news and say “to hell with Facebook those greedy #$%*.” Instead, test out their advertising and encourage reviews on your page. It may pay dividends down the road.
2) Growth of Instagram: While Instagram may have surpassed Facebook in terms of popularity among teens and young adults (looking for something more hip), it’s still light-years behind Facebook as a social network used by cosmetic practices. With Facebook forcing businesses to advertise, expect Instagram to start to play a much bigger marketing role in 2015. The one problem with that prediction is that Facebook owns Instagram, so don’t get to comfortable with your posts being highly visible for free!
3) End of meta descriptions: Remember when meta keywords mattered? Yeah, that was about a decade ago. Meta descriptions have long been touted as crucial for on-page optimization, but more and more we’re seeing Google create its own meta description for you (despite the 10-15 minutes you spent carefully concocting a keyword-rich description). I’m predicting that we’ll start to see meta descriptions slowly fade away as Google decides they’re better off pulling this info from a page.
4) Rise of before & after videos: With more competition practices need more ways to differentiate themselves. Many practices use video as a key part of their marketing strategy, but very few use it to show case studies. And no, I’m not talking about video of the surgery itself. No one wants to see that! People want to see the results (and where the person started), and video sells the story better than a photo. Also, with apps like this one, taking consistent before & after videos is easier than ever.
5) Continued spamming from “SEO gurus”: There’s not much more frustrating than the stream of SEO people guaranteeing rankings. Unfortunately, despite Google’s algorithm updates, and my predictions, I expect to see as many (or maybe more) solicitations in 2015. This may be in part to their desperation because they’re unable to actually generate results from their outdated tactics. The ironic thing is that it’s well known that content marketing (blogging) is crucial for organic visibility, yet many of these spammers lack basic understanding of the English language! It goes without saying that if you invest with these types of companies you pay for what you get. If you want to be taken seriously then invest with a serious marketing agency.
6) Continued importance of blogging: Contrary to what some might be saying, blogging is not dead. Blogging is alive and well. However, some blogging tactics are dead (or dying). Spammy guest posting, spammy blog article comments, and unoriginal or “spun” content will do nothing for you in 2015. The blog is the main element of your website that makes it dynamic. Make sure you fill it with interesting, original articles that tell a story. Get people interested in your content by making it unique. Show your personality and passion in your articles and you’ll get the most out of blogging.
These are just a handful of predictions I have for 2015. For most, I’m not going out on much of a limb, but I think that only reiterates the approach we’ve taken with all of our clients. Focus on producing quality, unique content that interests people and shows off your expertise. Stop over-optimizing and searching for worthless backlinks. With the right content people will show interest, and that in turn will lead to more organic visibility and traffic. Couple that will some strategic advertising and you’ll have a solid blueprint for success in 2015.
If you have any predictions for 2015 feel free to leave a comment. If you’d like to learn how you can better prepare your practice for 2015 then drop us a line here, or call us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.