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Alex:

Hey, everyone. This is Alex and Mike with Sage Digital Agency here today with a very special guest. His name is Dr. Hasan Masood. He graduated from the California School of Podiatric Medicine at the top of his class. He then entered a three year surgical residency at Lorde’s Hospital. Dr. Masood emphasizes training in something called minimal incision surgery. This powerful technique allows for the correction of even very complex deformities through a very small incision and this decreases pain and reduces tissue damage and allows for a faster recovery. He has more than 10 training qualifications and he’s a local primary podiatric surgeon. We’re very happy to have you. Dr. Masood, thank you for joining us.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Thank you for having me. I hope I can answer some of you guys’ question and we can go more into marketing and especially, in the podiatric arena.

Alex:

Perfect. Well, we’re very happy to have you. Michael, do you want to start us off?

Michael:

I guess, can you give us a 30,000 foot view of your business and the current structure of it?

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Right. So our business model is basically, we want to focus on healthcare and the expenses that are associated with healthcare. Especially if you want to get a minor procedure done like a bunion, hammer toe, most of those procedures nowadays are done in a hospital setting, which is a very expensive place to be. Patients are not happy being there. Our model is with us having an in office surgical suite, which we’re the only one in Vegas that offer that. It allows us to basically, cut down the cost of any surgical procedure that a patient may need by thousands of dollars and that’s kind of what our focus is in. Not only that, we focus mostly on doing minimal incision surgery, which can reduce complex deformities, whether it be bunion, hammer toes, rear foot, ankle problems. Through a smaller incision, this helps the patients get back on their feet faster. This helps them have less pain and overall, produces a better cosmetic results as well. That’s what our main focus for our practice is providing affordable healthcare that is advanced and not only that, provided through minimal incision techniques.

Alex:

I think it’s fascinating. Dr Masood. First of all, as your web developer, I’ve seen some of the before and afters. I’ve seen some of the techniques. The images that you’ve used in order to show the process and how it works. It’s truly a fascinating thing and the results are marvelous from what I’ve seen.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Patients are happy because one, for most of our procedures, they come in, they save a bunch of time money and not only that, they’re able to walk out right after with minimal pain. Patient having pain afterward, that limits really the recovery process because the patients are scared to walk on it. There’s that rehab period and we’re able to avoid a lot of that or cut it down with minimal incision techniques and the more we do, the more we’re going to upload more before and after pictures that you guys can see, but patients very much like having minimal incision procedures. As far as I know, we’re the only ones in Vegas doing that procedure and it’s something you have to be kind of trained in. It’s not something that you can just pick up out of the blue.

Alex:

Two items that come to my mind, one, in your office it’s happening, which is very important, not in the hospital, and I think you’re the only one that’s doing minimum decision period in Las Vegas. Those are two very big points I think that are of import that… From my perspective as your website developer, it would be a point that I would really want to get across very quickly on the site.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Right. I agree and I think what you said about getting that point across, because we don’t want them to just… When people go to our website, we don’t want them to just think, “Okay, this is just another podiatry website. “We want them to be like, “Hey, there’s something different that’s happening here. There’s something better.”

Michael:

How do you find that technology has helped improve this process?

Dr. Hasan Masood:

I think a lot of people have kind of realized that technology has changed so quickly, so fast that if you reach out to a lot of the older podiatrists and everything, even they, they’re no longer going into yellow pages or they’re not advertising in newspapers anymore. It’s all about your digital presence and to be able to convey to the patients that, “Hey, you should choose us over our competition,” or I think everybody now wanting to be first, it creates a lot of competition. I’m not sure exactly how to really make myself more present in the web space.

Michael:

All right. Well, hopefully we’ll be able to take a deep dive into your marketing efforts and give you some actionable strategies that you’ll be able to start to implement too.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

I haven’t been practicing as long, but even in residency when you go to some of your podiatrists that are well established, a lot of them that are older established, they don’t necessarily need to do a lot of marketing. They update things here and there, but they’re not actually gaining any more patients. People that have noticed that done well, have adapted to the online model of like A/B marketed, constantly marketing and constantly updating your content, your websites, blogs, pictures, and those are the ones that are doing well in this environment that we have now.

Michael:

There seems like some industries that are somewhat still dated in the past, which I guess digital marketing as a whole allows anyone, whether you’re trying to enter into the space after just starting up a practice or if you’ve been practicing for 25 years, it really allows anyone, regardless of the size or the budget to sort of be on equal playing fields. Small companies can easily and fairly compete with major corporations with a little bit of work.

Alex:

Mike, as you said, it seems to me that look, currently the digital strategy according to Dr. Masood is, “Hey, make sure the website is as up to date as possible,” make sure that it is currently displaying all of the reasons why a potential client should get in touch with him. I think maybe we talk about Michael, you as a first time conversation with Dr. Masood, what would you say would be some of the arenas you would put some money towards or you put some effort towards with respect to marketing of his business? For example, maybe spending some money in Google ads to generate traffic. Maybe it’s on Facebook. Maybe it’s elsewhere. Maybe it’s search optimization. Can you give us some points about you think about that?

Michael:

Sure. I think I’d first start off with the website as a whole. As he said previously, the customers are going online or prospective patients are going online. They’re looking for a doctor, medical something that maybe someone would drive a little bit further away as opposed to a dry cleaners or a grocery store or auto repair shop. However, consumers are certainly smarter nowadays. They understand the internet, they know how to use it, they know how to research it, and they know what looks modern and clean and they know what looks like it hasn’t been updated since the 90s.

I think having a web presence that has that balance of good modern design, easy use, good user experience for the consumer to find the info that they want, without going over the top, when you’re talking about medical people want to know that the medical aspects going to typically come first before design elements, but having a good balance of a clean, easy to read, you certainly want to make sure that there’s a contrast, especially if you’re going to be working with patients that may be a little bit older, making sure that you don’t have fonts that are very light grays that contrast with a white background. Obviously, mobile devices is where most of search traffic typically will come from. You always have that battle of small buttons and big thumbs and certainly making sure that your mobile experience is designed in such a way that someone who might have a little more difficulty navigating is able to find the right web page and is able to certainly navigate the site very easily.

Alex:

On the basis that Dr. Masood has a website that that has those elements, what are we doing? If he was to come to you now and say, “I would like to improve the traffic that’s currently coming to the website,” what do you say to that?

Michael:

I think the first question is to break down into a few groups in order to be able to set your priorities as far as what elements do you want to promote. Maybe you want to promote the surgery, maybe you want to promote bunions. You certainly want to have that contrast of what has high volume that will get you the search traffic, as well as also what’s profitable. Can you give us a little bit of insights to? You don’t have to disclose any numbers specifically, but if we were to set up a marketing campaign as far as what something like that might look like for you, do you have five or six top priorities that you’d really want to highlight?

Dr. Hasan Masood:

In terms of what I really want the practice to be known for is definitely minimal incision surgery. A lot of people are going away from surgery because going to the hospital takes so much and money, but if you’re doing it in the office, it’s actually beneficial because one, you get paid more by the insurance, but at the same time you have to then buy or supplies or the surgery. But if you do it in a reasonable way, you can actually make more money and you can be seeing more patients and saving more time. That’s the minimal incision portion of it.

The other thing that actually that you have to kind of focus on, “Hey, what is it that podiatrists actually do that’s bread and butter that will bring patients in that generates income?” Those are your ingrown nails. Those are your plantar fasciitis patients, your diabetic care patients, your elderly populations with hammer toes and of course, then you have your wound care, which is basically ulcerations that happened because patients lose feeling on their feet after they get diabetes. There’s a lot of things that go with that. With infection, then that leads into surgery and stuff like that, but those are main four to five things would be your ingrown nails, hammer toes, fungal nails, bunions, hammer toes, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis. Those are definitely my bread and butter procedures and you have to be excellent at those if you’re going to want to do some of the bigger, higher end surgeries like ankle replacement, reconstruction and all of those things.

Michael:

You both said some really great talking points and we’ll dive into those now. As far as what we’ll get patients into the door, and please correct me if any of my assumptions are incorrect, but something like an ingrown toenail, the cost of that to both the patient as far and as well as what you charged for that would probably be significantly less than one of your ankle replacement surgeries.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Right. The cost of benefit and the risk is very high. Podiatrists that don’t do surgery because they rather just take care of the ingrown nails all day because it pays well.

Michael:

Sure.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

There’s not a lot of time involved because if you do a big surgery, then now you’re seeing the patient for free for the next 90 days because they’re your post-op, but yeah. A practice can get a lot of ingrown nails, that’s a very lucrative practice.

Michael:

Okay, so maybe this wasn’t exactly the example I was looking for. I guess what I was sort of going to try to find as far as how I would initially start off a campaign structure would be to find something with high traffic that would be a very common procedure or a problem someone might have, which they would go on to do research. They would then find a doctor who can solve that problem for them. Once they had that resolved, now it’s not so much about acquiring the customer or having to factor in the cost of acquisition as much as it is for the future surgeries or the future health care that could be provided by a specific doctor. Does that sort of make sense?

Dr. Hasan Masood:

No, I think ingrown nails are definitely one of those procedures that I want to do because the problem is now I’m competing with not just podiatrists for ingrown nails, I’m also competing with urgent cares. If somebody searches that, I definitely wanted to be the one that pops up, if that makes sense.

Michael:

Sure. Alex, what you were saying earlier, where I would initially start aside from the website, I would have very specific landing pages built out, but written in such a way that anybody could have a clear understanding of what that procedure would entail, how it works, who it’s for. So if someone looked up something for ingrown nails, they would not find anything to do with a diabetic foot problem on that landing page.

Alex:

What you’re saying, Mike, is build individual landing pages that go into a lot of depth about, “This is exactly what this service is. This is who it’s for. This is our process. This is the whole production,” as much info as possible to educate the consumer. Correct?

Michael:

Sure. The good thing is if you’re in the process of building out a website at this time, you can incorporate a lot of these needs into the actual content pages on the website. Let’s say you already had a website that was built and you weren’t looking to do anything to it, certainly making sure that if you’re going to do any sort of advertising campaign, that your landing page, which is where you’re going to ultimately drive the click, so someone types in a problem that they have or doctors to help with ingrown nails, your ad pops up, they click on the ad, what do they see?

You want to make sure it’s really targeted to answer their questions to highlight any sort of element, any concern that they might have, especially if it’s not invasive. You certainly want to make sure you’re highlighting that point if it’s more affordable, really being able to show how the savings, whether you got a chart at the bottom of the page to show the difference in costs because something like that, I suppose the typical patient probably isn’t going to necessarily assume that they would have to go to the hospital to get an ingrown nail.

Alex:

Mike, if I can make two points from a 30,000 foot view as we always like to say, there’s two tracks that we’re going down here. One is content education, right? At the end of the day, it’s search engine optimization and the other track is paid search. That’s what I’m looking at it as. Do you agree with me?

Michael:

Absolutely, but they’ll certainly blend across the channels because as the consumer is looking and they’re doing research, you want to make sure that you’re positioning yourself to be that point of reference that’s going to address all of their questions, that they’re not going to need to continue to do additional research about what their problem.

Alex:

Yeah, so what I’m saying is we build out landing pages that are specific to every one of the higher level services that Dr. Masood explained, but the point is is that yes, there’s a benefit for search optimization. Google will pick it up and the whole point is to show up for relevant search terms for those particular procedures, but also, we could utilize those landing pages as where we direct paid traffic to. Would you agree with that?

Michael:

100%, and intertwining these call to actions that would highlight very specific value propositions to the customer, throughout the journey as they’re scrolling down and down and down, you really want to make sure that you’re able to highlight the real value proposition so the customer is almost self reassuring that, “This is what I need. This is what I need,” really talking to the customer.

Alex:

Dr. Masood, are we on the same page here?

Dr. Hasan Masood:

One thing you mentioned was where they don’t have to go and do further research, all the information is already there. At the end, maybe you can talk about cost benefits and stuff like that, but some of them, bread and butter stuff, it’s hard to get cost benefits especially for initial treatment, but it should be there to be like, “Hey, if this needs to go to the OR or something, we can do it here and we can do it for cheaper,” and to reassure the patient that, “Yeah, we can provide you with relief.” At the end of day, patients want relief and they want to know it’s going to be done in a timely manner because a lot of podiatrists here are pretty booked out.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Obviously with what’s happening with COVID-19 everything, it’s put a hamper on everything, but it finally gets going, a lot of podiatrists are very busy and we can offer them same day service and all that stuff.I think all of that should be highlighted in the landing page and it should have all the information that the patient would need in a manner that the patient would understand.

Alex:

Yes. Written to them not to, for example, another doctor.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Right, because I think sometimes we do that. We start writing to each other professionals rather than to regular people.

Alex:

It is called the curse of knowledge, when you know something, you can’t forget it and it’s difficult to sometimes you, with your immense amount of training, it’s sometimes probably difficult for you to come and bring it to my level that’s not an expert in that particular subject.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Right, right.

Michael:

Very often, I see video use would be an excellent use case for a landing page like this, to be able to have the doctors simply explain in layman terms to the customer, the prospective patient, what the process is like, how it works, give that reassurance. The amount of content that you could fit into a 32nd video significantly… The amount of content that you could fit into a 32nd video or a minute long video would trump the length of the page that you would need to have in order to get that same amount of content to the patient.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

I think we’re going to start doing that and then in terms of really having a few videos that are simple, clean, and easy to read and they’re not so long that the patient’s like, “All right, when is it going to happen? When’s it going to happen?” A lot of times, even if they link to YouTube, some people have five minute videos for something that should be a minute long.

Alex:

Mike, I’d really like to have a discussion with respect to paid search and how we could direct relevant traffic to Dr. Masood’s website, whether it’s on Google ads or whether it’s on a different platform.

Michael:

For starters, you’re going to have probably a significant amount of overlap as far as the keywords that you want to target, but more importantly, the keywords that you do not want to show for. Say something like a ingrown fingernail, is that something you would be able or you would choose to handle or is that something you would not want at all?

Dr. Hasan Masood:

I would want more of a ingrown toenail, if that makes sense.

Michael:

With Google, you can target certainly keywords that you want. With the way the algorithms work, it’ll sort of adapt to what they believe is natural language. In their algorithm, it can often sometimes substitute certain words. It can take a singular word and turn it plural, where oftentimes, you might not want that and if you were to want to exclude certain procedures or certain body parts, building out any sort of paid search campaign, one of the most important aspects is going to, as much as you know what you want to target, knowing what you don’t want to target will save you a significant amount of money and certainly drive you better results.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

I see, interesting. Especially with ingrown toenails again, people also search, “infected nail,” “painful nail.” Those are some of the keywords that we would want to target. I think it’s harder for me to figure out what I would not want them to type. I think that’s kind of harder for me right now, especially since I’m newer and I don’t know exactly what people are searching for when they do, but that’s what I assume they would be searching for.

Alex:

It’s a very important point because let’s just say you had a budget of $2,000. I’m just throwing a number, and let’s say clicks were $5 each. Could you imagine if you had every day five, 10, 15 clicks that were incorrect or irrelevant things that had nothing to do with your business? We would blow through the budget in no time and it would be a complete loss to you. That’s why it’s so important.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Right, because you want to maximize the money that you have set up allocated for marketing to drive the right patient. Even if it’s somebody looking up information, at least I want them to know… be searching for me rather than different and then land on me. What’s the point of that?

Michael:

Sure. That’s sort of diving to the next one as far as the budget. Now, once you have a budget you can start breaking up between having a high level prospecting campaign and a low level, someone that’s on the bottom of the funnel who already knows who’s just looking for a phone number to be able to call. You could take your ad campaign, and let’s say you’re going to start off with whatever’s going to be on bottom of the funnel, which is really targeting someone who has that ingrown toenail and is looking for a doctor now, as opposed to having search terms that will trigger an ad to show up that would be targeting the how-tos, or what if, or the questions that people might be looking for self care, CVS kits that can do it themselves, whether it’s some sort of salt bath or whatever home remedy you would need.

You guys, if someone’s clicking on an ad and in the back of their mind they’re thinking it’s something that they’re going to solve for themselves, depending on the budget would depend on how much of an education phase that you would want to put that customer to. For larger budgets, if it happens to be a procedure that would likely be something that someone may try some self remedies, but ultimately will need a doctor, that’s almost targeting two different types of patients because if it’s something that you know that you’re going to have to educate the patient on, you could send them to a different landing page. There’s nothing wrong with having multiple landing pages for ingrown toenails because we would be sending different types of traffic to different landing pages.

If you know that this type of customer, someone who’s Googling a question, likely they may have more questions and follow up questions, which in my opinion, I would initially, I guess much higher in the landing page, I would have almost like a mini FAQ section that would address a wide variety of related, but general broad questions that this prospective patient might have.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

I never thought about heaven a FAQ. Most patients, they have a hard time reading through everything, every single thing I’ve written. I think patients can easily relate to question answers like, “Hey, will this hurt?” I think they like that, so I think having a FAQ for each one of the different problems that we deal with, I think that would be very helpful actually.

Michael:

To sort of build upon that, now depending on how in depth you would want to go into the subject, there’s bots and there’s automated search results that could potentially pop up that could answer a whole wide variety of questions that ultimately, would alleviate whether it’s office staff from answering redundant questions or having to send out the same type of emails, you can provide that info to the patient automatically. The first place I would start with when you’re trying to come up with the content is with the office staff, with the people who are actually answering the phones because they’re going to know better than anyone what questions do people always have and whether it’s taking a few days, a week, week and a half to have them document what questions are people calling and answering with or checking the email or seeing what questions are constantly being asked. These are some of the points that I’d probably put in bold and really make sure you get across on your website.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

I see, I see. That’s actually smart to ask the staff because they’re the ones dealing directly with the patients. The aftercare especially, they’ll call up the office and be like, “Hey, what do I do with this, that and the third?” Because even if I give them instructions, they still would like to be reassured with a voice on the phone.

Michael:

Sure. Sure. Do you offer any sort of financing?

Dr. Hasan Masood:

The financing we do offer is through CareCredit. It’s basically a credit card design for patients that can’t pay for something immediately. The way it works is you can offer them six months, 12 months and 18 months interest free financing and it’s interest free as long as they pay it off within that period. Eighteen months is a very long time for somebody to pay off a bunion surgery, which might cost $1,000. Over a course of 18 months is very doable for something that’s really bothering them.

Michael:

The fact that you offer financing alone is something I would certainly make sure that would get highlighted regardless of what the offer is, but the fact that it’s 0% is something that you certainly want to make sure that you’re able to highlight. Now, in Google ads and on your website, there’s places… So with Google ads, there’s what’s called an ad extension which gives you a little bit more real estate. It’s free when you’re getting your ad anyway and in theory, will push your competition down a few lines lower. The biggest values on mobile were smaller screens. But to highlight the financing aspect where you know you’re less expensive than, say a hospital and would be something that someone might be price conscious who doesn’t want to pay extra, obviously this could certainly be a point that would drive that click as opposed to the competition.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

We’re one of the few offices that also offers… We take Medicaid, which a lot of doctors don’t like doing that because of the reimbursement they feel is too low. I really want to target the extremely, I guess lower income population as well. With that, at least it’s through the government and you’re going to get paid by the government contracts and insurance rather than having to go through private and then having to deal with co-pays, deductibles, all that stuff. So I was wondering if you guys had ideas about how to target that specific demographic.

Michael:

With Google ads and Facebook ads, you can’t necessarily… There’s privacy restrictions as far as how you can target. You can’t target a specific person with a problem. You can’t get too granular anymore to say, target a diabetic medication to someone who you know is diabetic, but you can do it on a much more general level. Meaning, you start layering on filters. If you want to target someone who would be in Medicaid-

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Medicaid, they have come to how much there would cost them to have insurance would be too much, so then the government provides them insurance and a lot of times, it doesn’t have deductibles. It doesn’t have copays, so you’ll get paid. As a provider, I don’t mind taking a little less, especially if I can see patients that really need me, they can’t afford to go to a regular doctor. A lot of regular docs don’t want to see Medicaid patients because they feel like it doesn’t pay enough, but we are more than happy seeing them. Especially, we have the time to see them right now.

Michael:

Certainly incorporating keywords like. “Medicaid,” because chances are the person who has that type of insurance is going to be looking for maybe podiatrists who accept Medicaid. That could get them to a general landing page or if they were to incorporate certain keywords that would indicate, “cheap,” or, “inexpensive,” then you could certainly choose dynamically, what to highlight on that landing page when the person comes to the website. That’s just as far as what you have on your landing page. As far as the targeting, you can certainly target age demographics or it’s something that, let’s say that there’s… I guess age wouldn’t really apply, but you can certainly layer on filters for income levels. You can target heavier for zip codes on certain lower income zip codes that you might want to show a specific landing page experience to as opposed to someone who would be in a higher end that would be looking for a specific type of insurance.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

I was trying to figure out how we would target these Medicaid patients and on the postal website, you can go and type an, “EDDM,” and it’s a electronic direct mailing campaign, which basically sends all your postcards and stuff like that to specific neighborhoods. Now on their website, they’ll actually show you what the income level of that mailing route is in that zip code. Is this something that we can do to basically target certain zip codes because I can look up zip codes that have incomes below 30,000 or something like that and we can really target those patients in that group.

Michael:

I think that’s a start. Where I would advise to sort of dive a little deeper is, I guess it depends on the market. Las Vegas, it’s a little more spread out. You wouldn’t run into these issues where New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco where you cross the street, you might be in very low income, still the same postal zip code. Certainly a location is something that you would want to factor in. Aside from being able to take the zip code in Vegas where it’s much more spread out and the zip codes are more defined, that’s one step. The next step to take the next layer deep is to start factoring in and starting to exclude specific types of websites or specific interests that a person with lower-income potentially would be able to be targeted and not confused with just on the zip code. There’s different ways to target the zip code location. Obviously, there’s people who are constantly in the area and then there’s people that live in the area.

Now, Google’s algorithm is pretty good about being able to understand if you go to a single location every single day, it’s going to be able to target you. Same for Facebook and Instagram, it’s going to really have a good understanding that this is where the person lives; this is where they parked their car every night for eight hours. All the data points can get factored in to being able to target a specific user. If you’re going to stock market websites and investment websites and real estate brokerage websites, it’s going to start to take these data points and attribute that to the user. So when you go to target someone who might be interested in investment opportunities, you’re going to be able to target that specific user based on their other search activity. For better or for worse, all these data points are able to pinpoint to a specific user.

Starting with the location is a certainly a good place to start and then you can take it to deeper levels as far as what activity would someone probably be doing or the type of groups or interest or even job titles as far as where, depending on the type of ad you’re going to run and the perspective person that you want to ultimately have your ad serve to, it’ll take all these data points and it’ll funnel it in into your ad group. That’s one level of targeting. What do you do when someone comes to your website and they’ve been looking at, maybe they’ve clicked on a few landing pages, all of them related to ingrown toenails, or maybe they spent five minutes reading your page and then they leave? This is a great opportunity to use the retargeting elements on Google and on Facebook or Instagram or other paid search platforms to be able to start to show your ad to them again later on.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Interesting. I didn’t know that you could actually do that to be if somebody’s gone and went to your page, that you can actually target them again.

Michael:

In fact, the way that the retargeting works is you can set up different groups or different segments of people and then choose how much of your budget you’re going to invest. Let’s say you wanted to spend $1,000 a month on just your retargeting campaign alone. It could be $100, $500, it could be whatever amount you want. The amount of money that I would want to invest into someone who came in and viewed my website regardless of whether they came through a Google ad initially or they just found me organically, the amount of money that I would want to pay to reinvest into trying to acquire that customer if they spent 30 seconds on my website versus someone who spent five minutes on my website would be a very different amount.

The same goes for the person that came back to my website the next day. If someone came to my website, they looked at a landing page for two minutes and then they came back the next day, that’s a much more bottom of the funnel type of customer that you could potentially acquire easily and that’s where I’d want to put my money to make sure that, sure, I’ve spent whatever, the $2, the $5, whatever amount to initially get them, and then to get them back, it’s pennies at that point. The retargeting, you could show different messages whether they came in on… Let’s say they came in for an ingrown toenail. That might’ve been the ad that they clicked on, but now what do you show them on Facebook? You don’t need to show them the exact same info that they searched for on Google because they got that from your landing page.

What I would show them would be a customer testimonial for someone who had a ingrown toenail fixed at your office, or I would highlight how clean and safe and noninvasive the surgery process was to sort of give them that reassurance. Too often, people use Facebook or Instagram for the hard sell when if that person came initially on Google, you can show them an ad on Facebook completely opposite. I think that’s where a lot of people drop the ball, there’s huge opportunity in there and it just helps reassure the person, “This is where I want to go.” Maybe they’re Googling at their office or hopefully not in the car, but wherever they are, if they Google something and then they don’t come back, it doesn’t mean it’s a lost opportunity.

Alex:

You can retarget them even by time they spent, how long they were on, if they’re repeat or not. We can do all of that very specifically, it sounds like, and it actually becomes cheaper to retarget that person than to have them initially click, it sounds like.

Michael:

There are parameters, but in general, that is correct.

Alex:

Dr. Masood, can you talk to us about maybe some things you’ve tried and have not worked out from a digital marketing perspective? We’d love to hear from you that perspective.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Our digital marketing that did happen was not very strong initially and the person we have, I don’t think they realized exactly how everything worked and I wasn’t able to see the results. Patients would call, but I think the best thing is one, being involved in, “Hey, what’s exactly happening? How many clicks are you getting?” Being able to understand all that is one part. The other was, I think we did it sporadically. I don’t think we have had a consistent marketing present. We did it for like two months then we haven’t done it for like three. We are too new and I’m too new to exactly say, “Hey, this 100% worked,” but I know when it did work and we stopped doing it, that we saw a significant decrease in the patient calls that we were getting.

Michael:

Depending on who’s doing the ad oversight, there’s certain metrics that often get reported for people that are involved with the business, running the business that don’t have time to dive deep every day into the actual analytics. Sometimes reports get passed along and you see, “Oh, I got this many clicks, this many impressions.” For the most part, those are vanity metrics and often, the wrong metrics aren’t really being reported. That’s why it’s really important when you’re initially setting up your campaign and choosing whatever marketing partner you’re going to go with, is to really have a clear understanding on what are you deeming success? Is it a phone call?

Obviously, the goal is to get someone to come into the office and pay for whatever procedure. There is a value on getting the customer into the door. There’s a value on getting someone to potentially sign up for a newsletter or something like that, but certainly the phone calls and the form submissions for more info, or let’s say you had a campaign you’re running to whatever, you gave some sort of guide or a PDF download, there’d be a value to get someone or the customers that signed up as that took advantage of the offer. A clear understanding of what success looks like before you get started will ultimately dictate how successful that campaign is. Because if a marketing company is looking just to drive traffic and you’re getting a hundred clicks a day, that’s great, but not if those people don’t turn into phone calls.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Right.

Michael:

The same goes, you’re getting all these phone calls, but they’re not the right person. At that point, now you’re not only wasting your ad dollars, but now you’re wasting staff resources answering the calls that are for the wrong thing or they’re not the right insurance. Certainly, I’ve seen these types of mistakes in the past. There’s tools and resources that are easily available to track phone calls. That way it’s not a yes. It’s not a billboard of maybe someone saw it, maybe they did, and what value does that play? It’s very easy to tie in with, it’s called dynamic call tracking, where if someone came in on a Google ad, then one number would automatically swap out. It’s a simple line of code that goes onto the website.

When someone clicks from Google, it’s going to show one phone number. When someone goes directly to your website, www.website.com, it’s going to show another number. Someone comes in from Facebook, it’ll show another number. Why is something like that important? Someone can be on their desktop and then they pick up their phone and then they call, how do you know where that call’s coming from? You need to be able to attribute a specific call with a value. And oftentimes, I’ve seen, let’s say we’re running a Google and a Bing campaign, we might find we get significantly more traffic on Google, but the cost of the actual acquisition… We’re measuring what’s the actual cost of a phone call because not everyone who comes to your website is going to call.

In order for someone to call, it costs you $60 on Google, but you get the same phone call for $30 on Bing. Certainly, if you’re limited on budget, you might want to shift more over to Bing until you get to the point of diminishing returns where you just can’t maximize the budget within a specific channel. Really having an understanding of what success and having the right tools to measure that success, I think would certainly help solve that problem if you decide to resume your ad campaign.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

That’s interesting. So another problem that we had now that I remember with our ad campaign when we started was that we were getting calls for different doctors and we’d be like, “No, this is not…” and it’d be very disappointing because you thought you were getting a call. It’s a lot more disappointing than somebody calling for something completely different. Not only that, I think that was interesting that you said that we can have a code on the website if they click from a Google ad, that it’ll show a different number and then that number will reroute to our main number or whatever had it. That, I actually kind of like and that’s something I think I want to know more about definitely in the future when we start doing the Google ads.

Michael:

Sure. The call tracking is very easy. Now, depending on, Vegas only has one area code, but potentially for someone that was in a broader area, you could show specific area codes to someone that was, if you’re searching on your mobile device and if you have a New York phone number, you could show a New York number. I guess that’d be more for our national campaign or a city that had multiple area codes, but you can really get into that hyper local targeting to really sort of increase your chances. Small things that some customers are going to take into consideration if they see that they have a a 702 area code and this business has 702, not even realizing why they’re calling, but oftentimes tools like the call tracking really, really helped drive the ability to track the results down.

It’s not a black box, it’s not a, maybe it works. I think that’s probably one of my favorite aspects of digital marketing as a whole; it’s very black and white. Alex is the creative one. He’ll create the website, do the design. Not really my forte, I’m much more of a black and white person. It either works or doesn’t and if you’re running an ad campaign and you’re getting clicks, but those clicks aren’t turning into phone calls, you can explore a few reasons on why it might not be converting. The landing page doesn’t have the right copy. Maybe you’re not targeting correctly, but there’s definitely a reason you can pinpoint it if you spend enough time trying to track it down.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Right. My main goal is what a lot of the very, very top end people in podiatry are doing was where they are getting people to come from different parts of the United States or even across the world to get bunion surgery done in this specific manner, which has minimal incision surgery. People are flying from all over. If you look up bunion king of New York, people are flying from everywhere if they have a bunion, which isn’t any different than what I do. The only thing is he just has the clout and the buildup, so that’s what we want to lead to. I think having a good marketing campaign, you can’t do it without it.

Michael:

Sure. You certainly have your prospecting campaigns and you target people at a higher level for more branding awareness and you do the retargeting to keep your name on top of mind, but you certainly want to make sure that the core of your campaign is at the bottom of the funnel, the people that are looking for very specific things. You mentioned the competitor names. That’s an ad strategy that typically doesn’t work very well.

If someone’s typing in a specific doctor, they’re looking for a very specific person. So calling the wrong person, it’s not really going to help you. Chances are whoever’s answering the phone isn’t expecting it and they’re probably not going to be able to convert the wrong person. Unless they’re there for a very broad general search, it’s not going to typically yield the results you’re looking for.

Alex:

Dr. Masood, we’re very, very happy to have you on the program. We learned a lot from you as well, and thank you for opening up and sharing with us your thoughts and issues and wins, et cetera, that are relevant to your business. I hope that it’s something that you could take away that is actionable. I hope it was great for our listeners and we hope to have you back in the not too distant future. Thank you.

Dr. Hasan Masood:

Of course, anytime. Thank you, guys.

Michael:

Thank you.