Public Awareness Initiative
More people than ever are receiving news about the relationship between untreated hearing loss and poor health and social outcomes. In addition, we are entering a time when there will be an onslaught of over-the-counter hearing aid choices.
These factors are leaving consumers confused about where to go for help. Because of this, consumers are taking to the internet to search for answers to their health-related questions. For audiologists, this is a pivotal moment — how can you connect with the individuals who need help?
The web is a vast space, and it can be challenging to even know where to begin. As an organization of, by, and for audiologists, the American Academy of Audiology and Foundation are here to help. We recognize that as an Audiologist practicing in today’s environment, you don’t need the Academy to connect help seekers to audiology in general; rather, you need the Academy to connect these help seekers to you, specifically.
This is why the American Academy of Audiology Foundation started the “Find an Audiologist” fundraising campaign. This campaign has one goal—to connect you (Academy audiologists) to patients seeking help for their hearing and balance problems.
The Importance of Search Engine Optimization
According to a 2013 PEW Research study, approximately 86 percent of patients will turn to the internet to conduct health-related research before booking an appointment with a health-care provider (Fox and Duggan, 2013). In 2012, Google reported that users primarily searched for symptoms and conditions. Additionally, searches like these drove nearly three times as many visits. (The Digital Journey to Wellness: Hospital Selection, 2012)
It may come as a surprise, but it’s not only a younger demographic using search engines for health-care-related searches. In fact, Google and Nielsen Online reported that boomers are just as active as younger groups in searching for health-related content online, their searches are much more treatment-oriented, and they are ready to act (2010).
Because users rely heavily on search engines for health-care-related information, you must be found on the first page. The first page of any Google search gets nearly 100 percent of all web traffic. Furthermore, according to Backlinko, 75 percent of all clicks come from the top three Google search results. (Dean, 2019)
Search engine results can be broken up into two categories—organic and paid.
Organic results are non-paid listings that Google determines where to rank utilizing 200 outside factors. (Dean, 2020) Key factors include search intent, relevance, content quality, page useability, and user context. (How Search Algorithms Work, n.d.) Organic results have a great return-on-investment versus paid listings; however, organic result performance is a long-term strategy.
Paid results are advertisements placed on Google via Google Ads. Google Ads is a short-term strategy that should supplement a long-term organic approach.
We understand that the majority of members can’t do the work required to get on the first page of a Google search. However, it is possible to get Find an Audiologist Directory on the first page of Google searches, which, in essence, puts every Academy member on the first page.
The Find an Audiologist Initiative is geared towards a holistic approach that includes search engine optimization (SEO) and other marketing tactics. The Academy has developed a three-pronged approach to further this initiative.
Your Foundation Dollars
The funds raised by the Academy Foundation will pave the way for this holistic approach.
- Overhauling the Find an Audiologist Directory to be more user-friendly and search-engine-friendly.
- Migrating consumer-friendly content to the Academy website, continued maintenance, and optimizing for performance.
- Launching marketing campaigns to further drive traffic to the consumer content and Find an Audiologist Directory.
The thermometer illustrates the fiscal milestones that move us toward ensuring that individuals searching for help will “Find an Audiologist” and, therefore, will find you.
Through donations from Academy leadership (boards, councils, and committees), we have reached the $101,000 mark. The leaders of the Academy have put their money on you and reached the first three goals!
Now it is your turn to contribute to this innovative initiative to reach the next milestone and move us toward ensuring that the people who need us can find us.
Updating Your Member Profile
Not only is your donation important, but your participation is too! Updating your member profile will go a long way in building a connection with the consumer. Information such as your profile picture, bio, first and last name, job title, work number and address, degrees, specialties, certifications, and website will be featured on the Directory.
Learn more about updating your profile on our in-depth instructions page.
Dean, B. (2019, August 27). We Analyzed 5 Million Google Search Results: Here’s What We Learned About Organic Click Through Rate. Backlinko. https://backlinko.com/google-ctr-stats
Dean, B. (2020, January 22). Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List (2021). Backlinko. https://backlinko.com/google-ranking-factors
The Digital Journey to Wellness: Hospital Selection. (2012, September). Think With Google. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-strategies/search/the-digital-journey-to-wellness-hospital-selection/
How Search Algorithms Work. (n.d.). Google. https://www.google.com/search/howsearchworks/algorithms/
World Health Organization (WHO). (2021, April 1). Deafness and Hearing Loss. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss