Localised Search Is Not Necessarily Your Friend – Part 2

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MedTech Insider – UK
October 18, 2011 – 9:29 am

Guest blogger Amy Munice from ALM Communications writes:

To recap part one of this article—localised search affects your company one way or another. If you are building a medical device in Minnesota or Boston, you may be better served by the features of a data logger you can purchase in Italy or Taiwan but you may find it difficult to find one via the web. And if you are marketing a device such as a drug-eluting stent made in Grenoble or Baden Württemberg, you certainly want to be able to reach people in Minnesota or Boston, not to mention globally, but it’s an up-hill climb, because of the local search algorithm.

How to sell online? It is not impossible. Rather, you just need to know how the World Wide Web works circa 2011/2012: the rules have changed for businesses that want to sell online beyond their hometown. Some of the new rules that affect your ability to source or sell products and services include:

1. Now, your competitors are favoured for top search engine rankings in their locale. Depending on the nature of your business, where your competitors—and you—are located could impact your Internet marketing efforts a little or a lot.

2. There is a wild card factor in that search engine algorithms seem to vary in their ability to sort out which business-to-business products and services are truly and best sourced on a global basis.

3. Many large multinational companies are able to get around this invisible-to-many-but-real barrier on the Internet by having multiple offices in locations around the globe and, in some cases, using country-specific URLs.
Obviously, global sourcing and trade continues despite this new wrinkle introduced by localised search algorithms. But your lead generation efforts will be better served if you take the gauge of how much or how little localised search is affecting your company—in both sourcing and selling onand off line.

For example, if you are a supplier to medical device companies, your best advertising spend may very well be for a directory listing in the likes of Qmed, which brings together global suppliers with key people in the global industry. Similarly, while an SEO expert might tell you to go hog wild building links in the blogosphere to raise your site’s profile, free Google Analytics tools will predictably show you that your best leads come from reputable trade media such as EMDT,which any experienced marketer could tell you are widely regarded sources of trustworthy information.

Or, If you are a medical device manufacturer trying to reach physicians worldwide, perhaps you should take note of the Dr. Alistair Lindsay (cardiologist and member of the editorial board of Heart, a leading cardiovascular journal) who finds that one of his best time management methods for staying up-to-date on new drug and device developments is to religiously follow tweets with the hash tags of stent, carotid, atherosclerosis, PCI  and MRI.

At the same time, take note that some of your prospects might strictly use mobile devices to find what they seek while others are not connected to the Internet in any manner whatsoever for a wide range of reasons, none of which fall under the heading of Neanderthal.

In the next column we’ll delve into another devil in the details of how today’s web really works—personalised search algorithms. If you would like more information on localised search and how it affects strategising the best spend for your marketing dollars, please write to alm@almcommunications.

— Amy Munice, ALM Communications

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