Skip links

Questions and Answers – Search Struggles

Search is all about questions and answers.  Searchers are asking a question, whether it’s with a keyword or a literal search question, and as a business owner, you want your company to be the answer they see right away.

Problems can arise, though, when businesses aren’t answering the right questions.

I’ll use an actual example from a client of mine – a urologist who was running pay per click advertising services for bladder surgeries and related urological issues.  When I went through the site, though, there wasn’t a single mention of the word “urologist” or “bladder surgery.”  Nowhere on the site did it even say “board certified in urologic surgery,” which would be something a prospective patient might like to see.

The only quality content on the site was about the surgical center, the state of the art tools used, and where the surgeon went to medical school.  That won’t answer a searcher’s question if they input symptoms, diagnoses (maybe coming from a primary care practitioner or, heaven forbid, WebMD), or treatment options.

The result of this misalignment of content?  Oftentimes businesses can be their own worst enemies when it comes to understanding keywords and how users think. Searchers are asking questions but the content on the site wasn’t answering them. Potential patients typically have much more general queries; unless you’re a doctor, you probably don’t know all the lingo that a specialist would use. So you have to think like your patients (or customers), think how they think, write how they write. Go back to the basics. How informed is your customer? What knowledge do they have? What knowledge do they need? How do you reduce friction points with their knowledge?

After consulting with this client on their site, they added additional information about the most common illnesses they treat, how they treat them, symptoms to watch out for, as well as providing added detail about the doctor’s office and board certification.  They focused on adding words like “urologist” and “bladder surgery” and their location throughout the site. Quality score improved on their paid search campaigns and the cost per click went down significantly.  And it all boiled down to answering the right questions.

Know what your customer is looking for, know what your customer wants.  Don’t just rush in to be the answer to every question or show off your knowledge.  Be the answer to the RIGHT questions.

If you’re interested in web site and SEO consultation services, contact us to schedule a digital marketing overview.