We’re excited to have talked to Atlanta SEO expert Justin Knott from Intrepy Healthcare Marketing for the next installment of our Featured SEO Expert Series!
Justin Knott is the president of an award-winning healthcare marketing agency, Intrepy Healthcare Marketing. He founded his agency in 2014 with the purpose of bringing about a specialized approach to marketing for medical practices and hospital systems. His primary focus lies in digital marketing, medical SEO strategy and advertising to help practices attract, engage and convert patients. Justin is a public speaker and has been published as an SEO and marketing thought leader in dozens of online publications. He is the co-host of a marketing podcast: “Patient Convert Podcast.”
“I think when you’re dealing with a major metropolitan area like Atlanta, the surplus of competition adds a much higher level of sophistication in your business’ SEO efforts versus in a mid- to low-market region. Whether you’re a medical practice or law firm, you will have to ramp those efforts up especially with regards to onsite optimization and link-building locally as well as nationally. You also have to elevate your reputation as an agency providing services. I think being in a city of 7 million, you might assume there’s 150 to 300 dental practices your client could be competing against just in their area. Small details will separate you from your competition. Things like review generation, on-page optimization techniques, quality backlinks and podcast content. This is definitely a challenge for our clients in other large cities, it’s not just unique to Atlanta.”
“I think our decision to niche down has helped us to stand out. We’re not just an SEO agency, we have a specific focus in the medical industry. Staying focused as well as keeping our core differentiator, as far as saying “this is what we breathe: healthcare and medical” has been great for us. We stay on the cutting edge and our team is very knowledgeable about HIPAA, Stark laws, best practices when communicating with patients and insight into the daily life of a doctor. When you’re dealing with hundreds of other agencies in the Atlanta area, we’re one of the few who specialize in medicine, probably one of 10 of us who truly have this as a specialization at our core. It’s helped us become one of the “go-to’s” for medically-focused SEO agencies in the city.”
“We had a medical practice that had been in the Buckhead area since 2008 and previously had been operating under a different name. They wanted to not only update the name, but they were also rolling out a full suite aesthetic offerings — like skincare procedures — in their practice. So, we had to go about not only rebranding and updating the name while rolling out a new website, but do it with great care. We had to make sure to preserve 10+ years of SEO rankings in Buckhead and compete with other practices. We were also directly competing with a very similar practice name. After 90 days, we passed that particular competitor locally and had our client ranking #1 not only for concierge keywords, but also for the core internal medicine search terms over this 20+ year competitor in the marketplace. We brought them to a 157 percent increase in local organic website traffic in 90 days and a 50 percent increase in concierge memberships by the end of the first year. We hit our goal, which allowed them to hire an additional physician for the practice.”
“I’ve got a couple pieces of advice I stand by – one of the big ones I’ve heard from several people, that I’ve learned firsthand moving through the business of building out team culture, is that it really does come down to your team of people. The human capital component is the most important and certainly the most difficult in your business, but it is the backbone of everything you do. Only when you have good people on your side can your agency survive. That and to never stop learning. You’re never the smartest person in the room. If you think you are, you’re already losing to your competition. Be open to listening to people, be hungry to learn, improve yourself and sharpen your skills in your industry as it is always evolving. Businesses struggle to grow when that air of arrogance exists, that ‘I have everything figured out’ mentality.”
“I think the agencies that do the best in the SEO space understand that SEO is constantly in motion. What you did a year ago doesn’t apply today. That “gray-haired” business owner mentality, common among more seasoned marketing professionals, no longer applies when making changes to your strategy — the cold, hard truth is that Google has spoken and we need to listen. We need to grow and adapt in order to learn to do things differently to effectively adapt to our clients’ needs as they evolve. The leaders who invest in education for their agency employees, those willing to adjust their practices to the current landscape, are the ones who will ultimately be more successful. As an example, around five to seven years ago, there wasn’t such a thing as backlinks. It’s not just about buzzwords anymore but some people still hold onto those strategies. You have to be willing to invest in learning how to create quality content, for example. Basically, investing in tech, being comfortable in a state of constant learning, is what separates those truly great agencies.”
“I think video will continue to improve from an indexing standpoint. I think right now, putting a video on YouTube and leveraging it on social platforms is where it ends for most businesses. People are struggling to grow from a simple video-based blog, for example. However, artificial intelligence video transcription on the fly and a more of a weighted preference toward video in search results — I think we will see more of this in coming years. Voice-based search will continue to explode especially for local-level brick-and-mortar businesses. We will have to optimize further and further for voice search.”
“I don’t think you’re doing enough research if you make that statement — it’s not dying, it’s evolving. Optimizing for search will never die as long as searching is happening. If the trend is voice, that’s what the search engine is presenting to you. To say SEO is dying is, I think, an insane statement. As long as billions of searches are happening, you have billions of opportunities to optimize search. Trying to fit inside the box of how search has been optimized in the past (if you look at it that way) then yes, SEO is dead. But we are experiencing an evolution of search. It’s now a more difficult game to win than before. You have to be sharper, more well-versed and versatile as an agency to keep up with the changing landscape. A 10,000-word thesis mentioning your keywords over and over and hoping to rank won’t make it happen. Skyscraper techniques, social reach — there are a ton of components we need to consider now.”
“I think it’s staying engaged with them. The happiest clients are the ones we are very engaged with. In the agency industry, outside of perhaps software-based components, there’s a lot of overlap in service line offerings so the big differentiators will be understanding your niches and focusing on the customer service you’re providing. Making clients feel you are invested in their success and their bottom line is key. I think we take a consultative approach and I am an entrepreneur at heart. Growth for our client and a focus on their bottom line, rather than approaching our assessment from a pure execution standpoint, is what I think produces the happiest customers. What are we doing to attract and convert more business for them? It all comes down to being invested and engaged in the success of the clients.”
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