How do you talk about yourself? Well, maybe not about yourself in a Stuart Smalley kind of way, but how you talk about yourself as a professional and/or your clinical practice. I am a fan of making audiologist and audiology more household names, but I often have to explain that I am an “optometrist, but for your ears”. I remember when I worked in the clinic, I would tell persons that I work at an “audiology clinic” and use the same type of explanation. Recently, I was thinking, if many people don’t know what an audiologist is, let alone what an audiology clinic is, what words do they use to describe us?
This would obviously be important for marketing purposes, as you would be more likely to have more referrals if you used the same descriptor words that potential patients are using. I mean, who would go to the grocery store for a sale on musa acuminata when all they wanted were some bananas? You want to make a connection with the patient’s vernacular. Any good audiologist already does this when explaining test results; why not do the same thing with your marketing? But what words DO your patients use?
Google knows. How? Every time you put your keywords in the little search bar, Google records those words and how often they are searched. You can then do a comparison of search term frequency to start to answer the question above using the Google Tool https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal.
With some quick searches I found that “audiology clinic” is searched 1,300 times a month in the U.S. while “hearing aid center” is searched 6,600 times a month! Interesting, eh? There are obviously other combinations of terms and it would depend on the services you offer, but I hope this is enough to get your to start thinking about how to talk about your clinical practice to the public. When you take your marketing online via your website, this data becomes even more important. Why? These are the terms that people use when they are looking for you and your website and you need to use them when you optimize your website for search engines. I know that the audiologist in me wants to teach people the proper terms for things, but sometimes you have to meet your patients where they are at. The other point here, as my professor used to say, is that data does not lie. Ignore it at your peril!
This blog post was contributed by Dr. Paul Dybala, Ph.D., an audiologist and the President of AudiologyOnline, the world leader in online learning, news and information, career opportunities and clinic websites for the hearing healthcare profession. Be sure to check out Dr. Dybala’s free-to-view webinar on Website Marketing – Connect and Convert. You can find access to that webinar and much more information by visiting audiologyonline.com.