Don (PMN): Hello everyone thanks for joining us at the Pharma marketing podcast. I’m your host Don Langsdorf our guest today is Vlad Mkrtumyan. He’s a serial entrepreneur, a search engine marketing evangelist and a passionate networker. He’s also responsible for running 5 meet ups including the Seattle Marketing in demand leaders meet up which is the largest marketing meet up in Seattle. Vlad thanks for joining us today.
Vlad (LI): Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.
Don (PMN): It’s great to have you on we’ve got a lot to get through today, you run the company Logic Inbound which is largely a an SEO firm and so I wanna kick things off here by talking about how SEO works for the doctors and healthcare entrepreneurs that want to do it on their own
Vlad (LI): Great that you want to kick it off. I think, SEO there’s really people used to know, there’s three primary components to SEO. Number one, there’s the content right, so when you’re searching coffee internet you’re reading something some kind of content and that’s the first thing you’ve got to create and optimize the second thing the second component besides content is link building, right? Let’s say you’re reading a piece of content you’re on whatever I don’t know you know, Redcross.com and then they’ll say hey, you know check out our partner ABC, they link to that partner, you click on that link you go to the their website and Google actually counts that there’s content link building and then lastly is the technical aspect. So Don as you know some websites they don’t work as well sometimes if you click on a website and it doesn’t load, it loads very slowly etc. Google will look at that technical aspect and then it’ll decrease its points through their algorithm and that’s those are the essential that I feel. So basically when Healthcare entrepreneur or a doctor wants to you know make their website appear higher on Google they got to optimized for those three components, you know they do that by number one they have to be very careful about the keywords they select on you know you can’t just kind of talk about anything and everything you need to pick your niche and you can search your competitors the kind of topics that they’re looking at. You know I write a lot of these topics on my eBook and kind of how to do it in detail but at a high-level you really got to figure out number one, who your audience is, what are they searching for and then that’s kinda what you tackle and if you start with a niche and you know create a lot of great content there then people should naturally link back to you and most websites that have a good technical component but yeah that’s kind of an overview of how SEO works.
Don (PMN): Right, so when a Doctor or a Healthcare entrepreneurs looking to do the SEO on their own it seems to me that you know content and Link building are sort of no-brainers right, there they’re the experts in the space anyway so they can produce the great content relevant content on the technical side though might be something that that they get in a little bit over their head, you know I’ve experienced this myself and I know that it’s probably the biggest hurdle for them to overcome can you drill down a little bit more on the technical side of SEO that from more of a Layman’s perspective, one can they do, what can we do as healthcare pharma marketers sort of tackle that or is it something that we need to really rely upon a third party expert for.
Vlad (LI): I would say probably like 75 percent of the time people rely on a third party, it depends on how large the site is, that they have a large site. Initially, when you first start a site, right? Let’s say have 5 10 maybe even 50 pages now that’s not a ton, you know 50 obviously is getting up there but it’s not a lot of pages that are hard to manage but let’s say you get to the size of a really big business you know let’s say like Amazon, now you know they’ve got a technical support staff that is constantly making sure every page is loading etc. So I would say initially you know when you got 15 pages, maybe you create your own WordPress site or you know your CTO does that for your start up, you don’t really have to really worry about the technical aspects too much the only thing you have to worry about is making sure that it is structured properly. So an easy way to do that is to simply look at your competitors and you can see how their site navigation bar looks like, you know most of the time it’s kind of like a for lack of a better way to put it sound like a pyramid you know you got like your top different things that your company does maybe your services, maybe you have a Blog etc. and then when people hover over that, you know and then its laid out correctly the architecture point of view. From the speed point of view, you know as I said earlier, if you have less than 15, less than 20 pages, not a lot to worry about you can use Google page speed test if you Google that you can put your website in there and they’re going to give you a million different things that you can do better but overall as long as your website is loading less than three seconds, if that’s your speed, you know takes up to 2 seconds to load that’ll be fine. Once you get over three seconds of load time it gets pretty crazy there’s been statistics out there that say you can lose as much as 50% of your audience for an extra second that your website takes to load.
Don (PMN): Yeah and that might be a concern for some folks out there that who’s websites are supported by advertising because you’re relying upon another third-party that can be adding load time to a site when you’re when you’re add tags are loading. Is there anything any pointers or tips that you could give those folks as far as optimizing speed on their site to avoid that kind of penalty that they would get to the major source.
Vlad (LI): Yeah I mean it gets pretty fine right, So I would definitely encourage them to type in Google Page Speed test use Google Store and there’s also websites out there like GT Metrics and basically they also do something similar as Google, does Google is probably the most particular when it comes to page speed test and you know analyzing technical side of your website with their own tool. However there are simple things that you can do right? there’s things you can do such as like, let’s say you have a really large images that takes a while to load, you can minimize them, minimizing images is one of the most common things people do to improve website load time, then there’s videos basically, you know, if you take the video and maybe you link it elsewhere that’s something else you can do to improve the page load speed it depends on you know how much how many different animations etcetera you have in your site, on the back end you can do these things and yeah as I said earlier it’s basically depends on how big your site is initially you don’t have too much to worry about all the technical front the main thing you have to worry about on technical front is making sure the architecture is right and so as long as you take a look at competitors or you know you got that lay out or you got on your top topics and then it looks like a Christmas tree for every topic it goes down further and further Google’s gonna be happy with that.
Don (PMN): Right makes sense and as far as linking up a video what you’re suggesting is something like use a third party embed it with a YouTube player or a Vimeo player or something like that rather than self-posting the video right?
Vlad (LI): Exactly, and you know what’s funny actually is most people they do the technical part correctly cause they don’t have huge site where I see most entrepreneurs, startups and then Doctor who they say is actually the link building components and that’s something you have to proactively do if you crave really compelling content obviously that’s going to be great but sometimes they don’t have what they want to rank for in there, it’s called H1 which is like their title tag, you know if you want to rank, if you go on your website right now whoever goes in right now you think of your website right? think about what’s like the biggest title you have on the website most likely it’s an H1 tag that your developers or you use to write that out and what word does it have in that H1 tag on your homepage cause when Google goes on your homepage that’s what their reading and that’s what they’re gonna categorize your site out. And most people they don’t have that content structured correctly they’ve got it written well but then most of all the link building element so going out and looking at other vendors who have a lot of great link building done for them and making sure they link back to you I forgot who wrote it I think maybe it’s Neil Patel who is very well known in the SEO world. What great content sites do is they actually spend 20% of their time writing the content and actually 80% of the time promoting the content making sure it’s clean think it’s a really good strategy. Link building is one of the hardest thing that people are always trying to crack and the reason it’s so difficult is really, I would describe it as sales that’s how it is, you gotta convince somebody to give you something for something else and tell them I’m giving links and the reason it’s so difficult is because when somebody has a Tastic for example right now we’re doing audio link building so we cold email a website and say hey look we’re going to create an audio transcript of your website for anyone who obviously you know any special needs individuals out there who can’t just you know read a site this is going to help them it’s going to help your website looks better to have an audio file on this blog post and then we get a link back from that the strategy we’re using but this strategy isn’t you know the only strategy out there and the second somebody discovered it and it becomes a massive option now everybody’s using that same strategies you gotta think of another one and that’s why it’s so difficult right? everybody’s probably prescribed to do get blog post right? that’s like the most common things nowadays so that strategy become very very hard more people adopt it you got to constantly figure out, you know it’s like an arms race and it’s really difficult.
Don (PMN): We do, you’re right, we do get a lot of requests to do guest podcasts and that sort of thing in addition to Hey we wrote this great article we’d love for you to link to it and in turn will link two articles on your site and I do understand it’s a powerful tool I think our typical concern with stuff like that is what kind of impact is that really gonna have on our SEO overall will it have a negative impact, is it is it a duplicate content issue you know we don’t necessarily always know the quality of the overall content that we’re linking too and we don’t certainly, we typically pass on that kind of stuff, is that a wise strategy or should we really be spending time researching the folks that are reaching us, the content on the site and do this link
Vlad (LI): That is a really good question that’s actually, that’s really good question, our interviews, no one’s ever asked me that and that’s a good one I think it’s underutilized obviously the you know the joke in the SEO community is the answer to everything is that it depends, as the Google is constantly changing but I think the best answer for that it depends on what your guidelines are if you have clearly set guidelines to ensure the quality of the guest blog posts are high then when somebody says Hey I want to write a guest blog post for you, you can say that’s great, here are our terms right? you’re like the top 10 things you want to be seen in the guest blog post, here’s the example we have and then what you can do is you can basically have a great deal, when people are writing great content for you and yeah you’re linking out to them and you’re never really actually losing anything for linking to great websites with great content however if you don’t have that in place and you have somebody creating really bad content maybe it’s a really bad website that kind of makes no sense for you to link out too, that’s when kinda things can go arise so to speak especially if this other kind of random person who just pinged you maybe trying to buy link from you and you get intoxicated in that mess, Google, and you know often things really go bad. So i would say really depends on what your guidelines are for a guest blog post, If you really have a good one you’ll be set. What are, is your process for transcribing content on your podcasts? Have you guys done that for your videos?
Don (PMN): No we haven’t done any transcription, I’m assuming that transcribing the the audio or any of the video content would help boost SEO because your adding written content as a description or as a as that transcript of what was covered in that podcast is that the case? Does it actually add SEO to have that?
Vlad (LI): Nailed it, you nailed it a 100% right that’s actually one of the first recommendations we make when where talking to websites that have a lot of videos you know we were talking to I think this guy who is he’s trying to start like a chiropractic platform for example and he had a lot of different like a training platform start up and he was done and we have a lot of videos and that’s one of the first recommendations we made all that that content, especially video content obviously Google had a really hard time reading it right now so if you can transcribe it that’s going to give you guys a lot of benefits and then obviously you also have to take every podcast and then make sure has a clear title, a clear topic that Google knows to rank you for and it’s gonna put you in really good positions so anybody out there who has the video or is doing a podcast you should definitely transcribe, definitely recommended.
Don (PMN): Yeah it’s a great recommendation and some good pointers there too so that leaves me into the next topic I wanted to talk with you about you’ve actually written a book on SEO for Doctors so the Doctor’s guide to SEO. So I wanted to talk a little bit about that and how are our listeners can leverage the topic you cover in this book for their own marketing efforts.
Vlad (LI): Thanks, yeah I read, the way I wrote the book was with, you know doctors in mind who basically want to take control their own SEO and really actually want to put the work in and so it’s pretty practical in terms of the steps its kinda like a how to, you know and I think I might even, we’re still kind of trying to figure out like the Amazon SEO on how that works, So I’m like man what’s the best way to title this to hold it for an SEO game over there but you know I’m pretty sure if somebody wants to figure out how to do their own SEO I have really kind of practical steps and it really starts with the audience right? most of the time people don’t have a clear audience in mind whenever we’re doing a campaign for someone they don’t know who their most profitable client is as well as the most profitable client that also ties into a service so what’s your most profitable service, what’s the most profitable client where did that intersect and that’s probably where you should be gunning for all of your you know link juice and content etcetera when you’re building it across your SEO strategies, so my book basically that’s kinda where it starts out, it starts out with the ideal customer it goes through the technical of the content to link building processes out there, you know you can do blog post etcetera and it goes into more of a kind of the tactics there. And I would say the best way somebody can really leverage that is not be afraid I guess to reach out to me cause I love helping people I love answering questions so as their reading it not being afraid to reach out to me or an SEO community will answer all their questions, I love when entrepreneurs want to step in and just put the work in, I think that’s most attractive for me cause then you know who doesn’t want to take somebody else succeed and be a part of that.
Don (PMN): Yeah I see. One of the points that I at least ranks through with me as far as building a healthcare practice of some sort is reputation. Usually if I’m gonna see a new doctor it’s a referral from someone who’s seen that doctor or if I have, you know had knee surgery a couple years ago and I just asked my friends and my family do you know anybody and of course right away cause I got had this amazing surgeon you have to go here at least contact their office and see because they’re the person to and it was all built on that practices reputation and one of the points that I saw from the book is how to create content that will increase your reputation and build trust with your visitors which are potentially new patients for your practice right? Can you drill down a little bit on that point and how how doctors and healthcare providers can improve the reputation through content building and link building.
Vlad (LI): Yes yes 100% I think the first thing you should do is figure out what do you want to teach to your audience I think there’s a lot of power when you say okay hey I’m not trying to sell you anything I’m really just trying to create the best possible experience for us so you know if I do great here then hopefully even if we’re not fit you can recommend it to your friends etcetera and I want to teach you anything and everything you want to know and if you have that mindset and you kind of think about your ideal Prospect and then you write out here this top 10 things that they should know that I find myself consistently kind of repeating to people then that’s gonna put you in a really great position and that’s going to build a great reputation if you become the teacher. One of my favorite books is written by a guy called Jason Fried who built Basecamp, great company. I think at the time when I was reading about 40 employees put in 16 million-dollar company was like four million ahead and their whole thing was you want to out teach your competition everybody kind of like secretive etcetera and nobody wants to be like the head chef.
Don (PMN): Right, nobody wants to give away a free education, right?
Vlad (LI): No, yeah. If that’s what you want to do right, you want to give away your whole cook book and then people will because you’re the chef behind that cook book, “Unless like your patenting something there’s no real secrets out there” that’s how we are in building our reputation and this is how I advised the doctors we work with and the other entrepreneurs with work with as well. We tell them hey, you want to go and you want to cheat them everything that you want and eventually one of my strategies actually became of hey I’m going to do this for myself I’m going to write down here my top 10 things I want doctors to know or people in the Pharmaceutical States and Healthcare and then I’m going to put that package out into a book and then you know, we go to the races and it’s becoming really awesome for me actually.
Don (PMN): How long does it take to write a book like this?
Vlad (LI): That’s a great question, you know obviously it depends on what type of book you want to write what I like to recommend personally you know if I could go back in time talk to myself, it’s just make sure you’re consistent with it give yourself a deadline and then go and publish that book and then what you can do is you can actually take that book and then you can try to rank it for 1 keyword, you know for us for example, where trying to think of what keyword will rank for right now, whether it’s Healthcare SEO or Doctor-Patient SEO and then you can take all that book content you can rank it for that keyword ones you give yourself with a strict deadline of whatever three months and then you can go and you can create a 2.0 version right, so you got that kind of ultimate guide and then you got that 2.0 version in the book, there’s always more things to add, you know you can add an interview of yourself talking about the book. Most eBooks are on average around 30,000 words, mine is a bit shorter, mine is about 75 pages about 10,000 words so you can, know you can do the math if it’s going to take you on average an hour to write a thousand words the average person, I can go into real details if we have writers for SEO, the average person writes about 35 – 40 words per minute and so it would take them about an hour to write a thousand words etcetera and obviously it depends on the edits and all that that’s also one of the hardest parts is editing the book but yeah it took me about three months to write everything put in ten thousand words, I would say this is a great first version I went through I wrote each blog post publish them etcetera and then right now I’m actually working on 2.0
Don (PMN): Right so we should keep an eye out for the doctor’s guide to SEO version 2.0
Vlad (LI): Yeah, I’m gonna put that in I’m just gonna really refresh and keep adding more info there and for me know the other thing I guess most people don’t talk about in SEO or Marketing period is your trying to really build a community, you know like me and you were building a relationship right now and then all the other doctors I talked too and today I’m meeting up with another doctor whose also an investor in an you know healthcare and pharmaceutical startups and basically that’s kind of what you want to do through all of your content you want to align all of your actions through that community and I will say the eBook is one of the first place to build that community together, so that’s the thing I want people to also keep in mind when their doing different SEO content pieces whether it’s 10 different blog posts and then you packaged them to an eBook or whether it’s separate blog posts or maybe even guests blog posts because then guess what you did get a blog post for somebody and now you’re starting to build that relationship so even if you know you don’t get all your SEO success it takes a while, you can go ahead and you can actually maybe get some of podcasts and start building that relationships which is obviously invaluable.
Don (PMN): Okay we’re going to take a minute to hear a word from our sponsor and then we come back we’re going to ask the million-dollar question why do most SEO campaign fail?
Don (PMN): Alright welcome back to the Pharma marketing podcast, I’m here with our guest Vlad Mkrtumyan of Logic Inbound and Author of the Doctor’s Guide to SEO. Vald, welcome back.
Vlad (LI): Thank you, thank you.
Don (PMN): So here’s the million-dollar question for today. Why do most SEO campaigns fail?
Vlad (LI): Great question, that’s a really good question you know and kind of touch on the beginning and now we can go into a lot more detail here and so the reason most SEO campaign fail is actually not the technical reason right? Most of the time the websites aren’t really that big anyways and if it’s a huge most likely they have some pretty good SEO here, most of the time it’s because number one, their content isn’t structured properly, right? So their title on their homepage H1 there all that content is kind of jumbled up and is not organized and then number two, their link building and I would say number two is the biggest thing the link building, right? They don’t have enough I call every link like a vote, like a vote of conference from each website, you know and you can only get so many votes from one person before you get from another person if you, you know look at it as like the internet elections to vote your website to the top. They don’t have enough links from other websites, very rarely have I ever found a website that has a lot of links and isn’t ranking where they want to be. In those cases that campaign is gold for us you know it works very well and we go in and you know we rank them very quickly, most of the time there’s a lot of link building efforts and that’s the that’s a big thing as well most people need to know that they need to actually slowly grow their website overtime there something called link velocity and what Google does is looks how many links are you building overtime in concurrency to how many pages do you have right? If you have like 10 pages you want to build, one back link per page info, if you’re not trying to build a million backlinks in one day and write a million piece of content one day, what that can actually do is that can get you blocked by Google so if you consistently have the patience to wait nine months or 12 months for an SEO campaign then you’re gonna most likely end up where you want to be and it really also depends obviously on how competitive you are if your website has a competitor website has the strength of let’s say you know 70 from 1 to 100, Facebook for example has like a hundred theirs other like tools that score websites and if you just arguing SEO, most likely your strength like out of two it’s going to take you maybe even more than a year to rank for what you want to rank because you got a lot of work to do right? cause most of the time other people have been doing SEO for years etcetera so you know like planting a tree, you know the best time was 10 years ago second best time is today.
Don (PMN): And that leads me into the next question, we know where we are right now with SEO, what is the future of online search look like?
Vlad (LI): Great question, I think the future of search is undoubtedly voice, right? And it actually like I was just using like Siri a week ago and I said hey Siri I don’t know, I was like figuring out what’s the best cat food for my cat or whatever and it actually that works and I was really delighted and surprised that that works, I think that’s a hundred percent the future and that’s going to be also probably more catered around the health websites are structured is going to be sadly more technical. So you know people are going to have to do things such as Stream out more often against the knowledge based over finding knowledge, Google’s answering questions before even pointing to a website for example if you type in right now you know like what’s the weather in California or what’s the weather in Los Angeles tomorrow? you’ll click and then you’ll see Google actually you had little drop-down that gives you the answer before providing the websites, I think that’s where the industry is going basically figuring out how to answer questions before people even you know go on websites and thousands and that’s why I think it’s really always important for people to keep in mind that your building communities here so whether it’s content, whether it’s PPC etcetera just remember how do you tie it into you know link everybody together so you can have a really loyal audience.
Don (PMN): This is great, this has been a really enlightening conversation especially for you know someone like myself I’m definitely a new when it comes to SEO, so the insights are very helpful, very interested to kinda put some of these to work for our own stuff. If I could ask you where people can go to find out more about what you do and download your eBook where can we send them?
Vlad (LI): Yeah people go to my website, you know they scroll a little bit down, they’ll be able to download my eBook for free for their email you know, I’ll send there and then yeah once ones they basically have the eBook they’ve also got my email and eBook in Logic Inbound, I co-founder this, my cousin and you know we’re doing a whole bunch of fun things in SEO building our own software and helping people in the healthcare space but yes that’s simple and then obviously people can find me on Twitter even Facebook I just kind try to do business everywhere I try to imagine like what the future of business look like and I think it’s tied into LinkedIn and these other sorts too.
Don (PMN): Alright vlad this has been a really enlightening conversation I know you got a lot of little nuggets in there that I’m going to keep top of mind even as we do our own SEO on going. Where can people go to find out more about what you do and to download you’re free eBook?
Vlad (LI): Great, yeah well people can always find me online on social media you know if they search my name I think they’ll be able to find my podcasts Vlad Mkrtumyan so I have a Twitter LinkedIn even Facebook I’ll add people and then also at the same time people can go to logicinbound.com and they can download the eBook for free there and they can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don (PMN): Fantastic. Vlad, thank you so much for joining us today on the Pharma marketing podcast it’s been a real pleasure speaking with you and I know that this could be some really valuable information for our listeners I can’t thank you enough, thanks so much.
Vlad (LI): Thank you so much and I look forward to talking to you guys and see how we can support. I really appreciate you joining the community.
Don (PMN): All right thanks so much vlad, take care.
Listen to this podcast, Ep. 008 – Vlad Mkrtumyan here: https://www.pharma-mkting.com/the-pharma-marketing-podcast/