digital competition

How to Identify & Analyze Your Healthcare Company’s Digital Competition

It seems like every industry has more or less accepted the move toward digital marketing. While healthcare has been slower to adopt digital, that doesn’t mean that some companies aren’t already there – and thriving. You don’t want to be left behind in this fast-paced world, losing patients or customers to competitors simply due to your lack of a digital presence.

So, first things first: identify who your digital competition is. Think about which practices, companies or organizations you often lose patients or customers to, names that you hear often in your industry and local organizations patients or customers might be trying to decide between.

If you’re unsure of who your competitors are, start by doing an online search for your service or product – let’s say you’re a cardiologist practicing in San Francisco, CA. Search for “San Francisco cardiologist” on Google. Which cardiologists are in the top 10 search results? This will give you a good starting point, but you might also want to try adding in keywords for surrounding cities, or may want to open it up to the entire state of California – it depends on how large your practice is.

Once you’ve identified your competitors, here are several ways to analyze what they’re doing in the realm of digital marketing, as compared to what you’re doing.

Competitive Audit

In order to analyze your digital competition, you should start by creating a competitive audit. This audit should consist of a matrix of data analysis followed by a few paragraphs comparing each company’s digital endeavors and their levels of success. You’ll want to have 3-6 competitors to audit.

The Matrix

When analyzing each of your competitors, consider each one’s web presence. Look at things like their traffic rank (a measure of a website’s popularity), how many indexed pages (pages on a website that Google has crawled and decided to index in its possible search results) and linking domains (total number of domains linking back to a website) they have, their MozRank (for SEO) and even their HubSpot marketing grade (we use HubSpot, an automated digital marketing tool, for many of our digital efforts, including learning a little more about competitors). However, there are many tools available to gather this type of information. The main point here is to gather information about competitors’ websites.

Once you’ve gathered that data for all of the competitors on your list, don’t forget to include yourself. You probably don’t know the exact numbers on where you stand off the top of your head, so add your company to the matrix for an easy way to see how you match up.

The Details

Next, delve into the digital marketing aspect of your competitors’ successes – or shortcomings. Look into things like social media – which competitors, if any, have a strong social media presence? Maybe one really stands out on Facebook and another has a robust Twitter strategy – you’ll know this based on their overall following, how often they post and the amount of interaction their posts receive.

Then, start browsing their websites – are they responsive? Take note of which are and which aren’t. Websites optimized for mobile will have a better handle on the analytics and SEO benefits we outlined in the matrix section.

Do some keyword research – use a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner. What keywords would you like to rank for? What long-tail keywords have a lower difficulty score and might be easier to rank for? Then, check out who currently ranks in the top 10 for those keywords (where do you fall?) and optimize your content to boost your ranking.

Is there anything that stands out on their websites that highlights lead generation or nurturing? Are there forms for visitors to fill out on the websites or premium content offers to download? What about a blog? These are the types of things that will draw people in from all parts of the Internet. Again, take note, describe and analyze what each competitor is doing in the way of lead generation and nurturing – don’t forget to look at your own website, too!

Next Steps

Once you’ve completed your competitive audit, really look at it and understand where you fit in when it comes to healthcare digital marketing efforts. Take the time to pore over where you stand and where you can improve.  Do the same for your competitors – maybe this will even spark a few new ideas or prompt you to reconsider some of the ways you currently look at digital marketing.

Are you ready to get started? We’d love to help! At Pyxl, we take customers in the healthcare industry through the full inbound marketing strategy process, which includes an in-depth competitive audit and analysis, followed by the development and execution of custom campaigns. If you’re not ready to begin the process, but would still like to learn more about the next generation of healthcare marketing and the influx of digital in the industry, download our free white paper.