The single biggest point of confusion most local, brick-and-mortar health and wellness businesses have about marketing is the role of SEO–search engine optimization.
If you think that local search for businesses is about getting your website in the first position on the first page of Google’ search engine results page (SERP)
If you think your website is actually how new customers FIRST find you
If you think blog posts about healthy lifestyles or the benefits of fitness or yoga or nutrition are important ways that new customers find you
Most business owners don’t understand that local search is its own thing.
One set of rules applies to online-only businesses that serve customers nationally or globally. Examples include:
Different rules apply to local businesses. People searching for businesses locally are already conditioned to buy. They’re just trying to figure out which business to choose, which one will match their needs and temperament best.
If they had general health and wellness interests, they’re getting that information from popular well-known sites like MayoClinic. Your content will never outrank those sites. Never.
And you shouldn’t try. Why do you want to spend time and money on people who aren’t interested in buying something? Very few small businesses have the time or money to indulge in that.
Why You Should Stop Blogging
Why You Should Ignore The Top of Your Sales Funnel
The top of the sales funnel represents folks who are just starting to take a general interest in some aspect of their health, fitness or wellness. For example:
- My family runs heavy but I sure would like to lose some of this baby weight. (Asks friend what worked for her. Searches “is weight hereditary.”)
- I need a good nights sleep wish I could be like that. It would be a relief to not wake up at 3 a.m. swirling about stuff. (Reads article about “sleep hygiene”.)
- Runs in 25-degree weather. Face, hands and feet literally numb at end of run. Googles “tips for running in cold weather.”
You’ve probably been told you need blog posts about topics like these to help your website rank #1 for these searches.
Sounds reasonable, right? Here’s the catch. Huge, popular, and extremely well-known sites like RunnersWorld, PsychologyToday, American Heart Association and MayoClinic have already addressed general topics like these, with articles like:
- How to Run in Cold Weather
- Anxiety Free Sleep
- How to Lose Post-Partum Baby Weight
You can pay your own team or contractors to write posts like this until the cows come home. You will still never outrank the megasites.
Before you give up in despair, let me point out: this is a good thing! Being at the top of the Google search results page (SERP) has nothing to do with actually getting paying customers.
One of our customers is a multidisciplinary pain management practice – doctors and other licensed healthcare providers who see patients in person. They have a blog post article on at-home do-it-yourself treatment of back pain that gets thousands of visits every month. Woohoo, right? Nope. 99.99999 of the people who read that article aren’t even in North America. There is zero chance they will ever be customers.
Let me also point out – almost none of these sites even sell services like yours! Some are non-profits like the Amerian Heart Association, or public service sites funded by government, like myplate.gov. Most are for-profit content publishers, not service providers. Their business model depends on selling ads on their sites, selling subscriptions to exclusive content, and partnering with adjacent businesses to promote their products. They’re not providing in-person health and wellness services. Only you do that.
So let them do their thing. They’re awakening people to possibilities, educating on really basic principles, helping dispel fundamental myths and misconceptions. All of this eventually benefits YOUR business, for free.