As organizations grow more web-savvy, the number using search engine optimization (SEO) increases to those outside of the traditional business world.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an increased number of hospitals in the city have implemented more internet marketing efforts, including search engine optimization (SEO), to make themselves more visible to people online.
The paper documents a story of an Alabama woman searching for a way to help her son with cerebral palsy walk. When doing a search for "dorsal rhizotomy," a procedure which has helped many with her son’s condition, the first result on Google was St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Based on that, Amanda Burt and her son traveled more than 400 miles to have the procedure done at the hospital.
The Children’s Hospital is one of a number of hospitals employing online marketing, from search engine optimization (SEO), to social media to get the word out about what they provide.
Tess Niehas, vice president of marketing and communications at St. Anthony’s Medical Center told the news provider that hospitals can’t necessarily increase demand for their services, but they can use online marketing more effectively.
"My job is to inform the public about my services," she told the paper. "I want people to know about me and to think favorably of me so when the need presents itself, I am in their consideration."
A study last year by researchers at Pepperdine Universityfound that nonprofit agencies need to increase online marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) to increase traffic to their sites and raise the awareness of their brands. This is especially true of nonprofits as SEO is more cost effective than traditional marketing efforts.
In total, search engine marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) is expected to top $14.7 billion this year, according to the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization.