Social Media Optimization

It is getting harder to get manufacturer Web sites to populate organically in search results. In fact, according to eMarketer, if you're not on the first or second page--good luck to you.

Where this becomes interesting is that for many organizations it is becoming more difficult to appear at the top of organic search results. Google and other engines tweak their algorithms and they are increasingly favoring social media. Blogs, frequent linking out to other sites, relevant content and currency of content (feeds, frequent updates)--all hallmarks of social media and user-generated content are favored.

It's no secret that it's cheaper to have an effective SEO approach and users prefer organic results to paid listings, making the pressure all the greater to get an organization bought in to a comprehensive social media approach.

Why does this matter to health care organizations and regulated product companies?
  1. You have the blogging issues discussed here:
  2. Content updates can often be counted by months and quarters, not days.
  3. Linking is usually limited to trade associations and organizations. While a decent start, they usually don't do much linking back because they need to remain agnostic to the manufacturers.
  4. Many content management systems, which help manage content for Web sites and is almost a requirement for a regulated organizations have hierarchies and folder structures that may help locate content in an audit, but doesn't necessarily make life easy on the engine spiders.
Here is a great Web site grader site that helps identify issues if you are having trouble with SEO.
That can provide some concrete information to start an SEO program, but unfortunately the effort that will really tip the scales in health care organizations favor media and an optimization plan.
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes